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19 October 2006

Lessons Learned from 24 Hr. Comics Day...

Well after the fact, here's a few satoric insights gained from 24 Hour Comics Day:

1) Ideas come easy under a short deadline. If I'd had a month to do those same pages, I'd have spent three weeks agonizing over layout, three days avoiding work and watching old episodes of Ren and Stimpy, and the last four days rushing to get the job done on time.
2) Stream of consciousness is a great writing tool. When I started "Why Comics?" I only had a rough idea of where I wanted to go and the concept for the first page. Everything else was made up on the spot.
3) Sometimes you have to forget everything you think you know, and just DO it. Doing this story was almost a zen thing, with little conscious thought about style, technique, form...it was just a race to the finish pulling on every artistic instinct I have spent the last mumblety-something years developing.
4) Taking a few minutes to get your process down cold before you start frees your mind for the creative stuff later on. The one bit of prep I did do beforehand was to be sure I understood the scanning process in IrfanView and the type tool in The Gimp, and record all my settings in a text file on my desktop, so that when it came time to do it, there was no guesswork or fiddling. Just "get 'er done" as they say.
5) Most importantly, when you've just pulled a 24 hour drawing session with a hangover and while running a fever, the appropriate response when asked to go on a walking tour of downtown is not, "Sure, I'd love to." The appropriate response is more like, "I'm going to go fall into a coma now. The first one of you monkeys even thinks about disturbing me, I'm going to end your bloodline right on the spot." Given that I've spent nearly two weeks trying to recover and am currently undergoing something akin to St. Vitus Dance in my central nervous system will testify that this is not a rule to be taken lightly.

I don't think I will be repeating this experiment next year (unless I become financially independent in the next few months, that is...), but may try it at some future point. It was fun and educational, in a Neitzchean "that which does not kill you" kind of way.

Oh...and here's a picture. The ink work is not mine; I just did the colors. Ain't they purty?

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