That’s true, and I’m planning on failing this year. But, I am going to commemorate the 2013 24 Hour Comics Day by publishing this book, which I’ve already sent to the printer, and will be available for purchase later this month. Stay tuned for more details. (Update: Now available here)
For the first time since the inception of the event in 2004, I’m not going to be able to participate in some way, shape, or form in 24-Hour Comic Day due to a conflict with the 2013 Mile High Horror Film Festival, which I’ll be doing zombie caricatures at. So, to commemorate this year’s event, I’ve decided to put together a collection of my previous 24-Hour Comic stories in this collection.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, according to the official 24-Hour Comic day website (24hourcomicsday.com), “24-Hour Comics Day is an event held around the world which challenges writers and artists to create a full 24-page comic in 24 consecutive hours…
“…The original 24-Hour Comic was created by Scott McCloud.
Visit www.scottmccloud.com for a wonderful history of the 24-Hour Comic, 24-Hour Comics Day and much more! From Scott McCloud:
“THE DARE: To create a complete 24 page comic book in 24 continuous hours. That means everything: Story, finished art, lettering, color (if applicable), paste-up, everything. Once pen hits paper, the clock starts ticking. 24 hours later, the pen lifts off the paper, never to descend again. Even proofreading has to occur in the 24 hour period. (Computer-generated comics are fine of course, same principles apply).
“No sketches, designs, plot summaries or any other kind of direct preparation can precede the 24 hour period. Indirect preparation such as assembling tools, reference materials, food, music etc. is fine.
“Your pages can be any size, any material. Carve them in stone, print them with rubber stamps, draw them on your kitchen walls with a magic marker. Whatever you makes you happy.
“The 24 hours are continuous. You can take a nap, but the clock keeps ticking. If you get to 24 hours and you’re not done, either end it there (“the Gaiman Variation”) or keep going until you’re done (“the Eastman Variation”). I consider both of these “Noble Failure” Variants and true 24-Hour comics in spirit; but you must sincerely intend to do the 24 pages in 24 hours at the outset.”
Some of you probably think that this doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun: sleep deprivation, hand cramps, a sleep-deprived result of a story to show for it… But, as a comics and cartooning instructor, I’ve found it a fertile ground for learning. Each year, I feel like the environment of the 24-Hour Comic Day allowed me to learn something new every year about writing, drawing, new media, or all of the above, whether or not that was my intent going in. I found when I’m under the gun to produce a page of comics in less than an hour, I can’t worry about what I can or can’t draw, I just have to do it. And, lo-and-behold, once I set aside my paradigms, at the end of 24 hours, I often find that I’ve accomplished something I’ve never done before, or figured out how to. In addition, I feel like some of my fellow cartoonists actually creatively thrive in this environment, and their 24-hour comics might even constitute their strongest work.
Besides that, I’ve got a very personal connection to this event, since before the first International 24-Hour Comics Day in April of 2004, a group of cartoonists, around the country including myself put together an unofficial 24-Hour Mini-Comic Day challenge in February of 2004, which I gladly hosted at my house. At this challenge, most of the challengers only did 12-page stories, but it was a good dry-run for the real thing. Unfortunately, of all of the stories, I couldn’t find the original pages for this story, so they won’t be contained in this book, but I still have the screen-rez versions of it, which I promise to put up on my website at stanyan.me.
In addition, I’ve coordinated and run the event at galleries and local comic book stores each year since 2006. So, it does make me sad to not do the event this year.
So, since I’m not even doing the challenge this year, I official declare this my “Fail Year.”
The following pages contain complete stories from the preceding years, with various degrees of adherence to the aforementioned rules. I hope you enjoy not only the results, but the stories of my journey through the 24-Hour Comicland!
Stan Yan, Grizzled 24-Hour Comic Day Veteran