24-Hour Comic Day 2011

Prep for 24 hour comic day

In less than 36 hours, I plan to participate in 24-Hour Comics Day. In a nutshell, this Saturday is set aside for masochists to create a 24-page or 100-panel comic within 24 hours. I plan to start as early as I can–3 or 4am if I can, and to live-tweet-blog-video it throughout the day and back into the dark night of the creating soul.

Here is the dare, and its guidelines:

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…

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 ONLINE VARIATION: The above applies to printed comics or online comics with “pages” but if you’d like to try a 24-hour Online Comic that doesn’t break down into pages…then try this: At least 100 panels AND it has to be done, formatted and ONLINE within the 24-hour period!

Two years ago, I realized I just missed this event, so I organized an “18-Hour Comic Day” with Galen, CatGirl and a few friends. Here are our final results: mine: You Are Here – A Photographic Journey Thru Heaven & Hell. and Galen’s silent, haunting: Lest They Should See. (samples below:)


pgs 1and2

This year, I’m back, and ready to take on all 24 for those hours (cue Training Montage), in spite of the fact that I draw as well as I fly the Space Shuttle. What’s more, it isn’t enough for me to fail at producing the 100 panels for “THE ONLINE VARIATION” within the guidelines they have listed above. Not only am I not scripting or sketching anything beforehand, I have added the following restrictions personal challenges:

  • I will create new content (last time, I used Creative Commons-licensed images as backdrops)
  • I will incorporate the comic panels and their layout as part of the overall art.
  • I will tell a non-linear story.
  • I will utilize the ability to navigate through digital space in multiple directions, including zooming in and out.
  • I will upload everything and broadcast it throughout the day.
  • I will host a Google hangout
  • I will incorporate a Bible and other material elements (i.e., it won’t be all digital). I would like a physical version of the comic when I’m done.

I will also only operate the mouse and exacto blade with my left armpit.

On a serious note, I have reasons for imposing these restrictions on myself–I believe that they will free me to create more than I can without them. And so far, I’ve held to my commitment to not script anything before I start working on the comic. I have thought a lot about tools, techniques, and materials. Because I can’t draw, I’m going to try to cut silhouettes. You can see some of my material preparation in the photo above.

Galen and CatGirl are doing it again this year, as well as friends Andrew Penn Romine and Tracie Welser (who are collaborating) and Jacob Ruby. you’re welcome to join the insanity as well! What rewards await those who accomplish this nigh-on impossible task? I’ll tell you: overnight celebrity, vast riches, and an iPhone 5 with a detachable hookah and preloaded with Alan Moore’s home phone number. Or, perhaps even more incredibly:

If you complete a 24-page comic in the 24 consecutive hours during the 24HCD event, you can send your comic in to be collected with the national 24-Hour Comic Book Day archive hosted by The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Galen’s written up a great post as the Art Nerd at Functional Nerds that describes the event in more detail. We both plan to live blog our progress via twitter (@johnremy and @galendara , hashtag: #24HCD), here at Mind on Fire and at Galen’s Mining the Nooks, and on Google+: John and Galen. I’m going to try to run a Google+ hangout so that we can either work alongside each other or that curious onlookers can curiously look on. (Only 10 people can be on at once, so I’m not sure how that will play out.) Let me know if you’re doing one–I’d be happy to post links to any completed works in the follow up post.

If you’re interested in participating or in following along, please leave a comment or tweet me!


  1. I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t join you guys for this! I had so wanted to. It was fun to check in on occasion to see what you were up to and to see the final products!

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