Make Comics Forever!!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

don't go backwards

Harry Houdini did some amazing things in his lifetime, but one of things that impressed me most was something he said.
"People have sometime suggested that I have a genius for this sort of thing, but I know what I have is a 'sense.' I mean that I am sensible enough to know that when you stop doing your job you begin to go backwards. And I don't want to go backwards."

Welcome back to MCF, and forgive my long absence. I've made some new developments in my work process that I'd like to share. One is that I purchased a daily planner (for $5!) How I got along without it before, I'll never know.

My cute little planner was produced by the Slingshot Collective of Berkley, CA. Birthdays of important anarchists are noted, there's chart to record you menstrual cycle and advise for dealing with the repressive government (NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE, EVER!) Sigh, I still have a soft-spot for well-meaning anarchists.
I really love my planner, which is good, because need to use it every day. I forgot to check it one day and I messed up an important appointment. That's why I taped the word "diligence" on the cover, and vowed to check it everyday.
Another thing I'd like to report on is my 24-hour comic experience. I completed my first 24-hour comic while on vacation in Alaska. A few days after Christmas, I took a nap (three hours) then woke up at midnight (the Longstreth method) and started drawing in my mom's basement. I didn't have a plan, except I wanted to start with the theme of returning home, and I wanted the main character to have ponytails (after a photo I saw in a hairstyle magazine, while my mom was getting a haircut.)

The first six hours were quiet, lonely and dark (being Alaska in winter, the sun didn't rise till about 11am.) I came closest to quitting at the sixth hour, I was tired and frustrated with my comic, which I kind of hated. But I took a break and ate some breakfast, and that helped. After that it was a lot easier. At a certain point quitting wasn't an issue, I'd come to far. But I was loosing ground, somehow I gotten off track and was a few hours behind (I was on page 18 and it was hour 20.) I drew as fast as I could manage, while keeping the look of the comic consistent.
I should admit, I kind of failed. At the 24th hour, I was still completing my last page. In truth, it's a 24 hour and 36 minute comic, but I think Scott McCloud will forgive me.
I was always told that completing a 24-hour comic will change you, and to be honest, it kind of did. I felt more confident about myself and my work. I had always thought I wasn't tough enough to complete one. That was something other cartoonists (better cartoonists) could achieve, but not me. Having completed one, I fell on par with those better cartoonists. If they can do it, I can do it! It was a nice way to start the new year.
For the comic itself, it's ok. I'm not good at using pens or working fast, but I think I pulled it off. It's fun. It's about riding bikes, cartooning, and making-out. I don't think I'll post it online or publish it, but I will share it with friends.


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Chuck Forsman said...

Hey WOW!!

Congratulations on the 24-hour comic!
I hope my local comic shop participates in this year's 24 hour comic day. I've always wanted to do one. I guess I could do it anytime like you did but I guess I just like the idea of a group of people doing it so there is more energy in the room.

I love this blog! It is such a good source of inspiration. And I need it it. I am making myself work on my CCS submission comic everyday until it's done(which I hope is soon). It's really tough when life has so many other distractions like college, job interviews, car inspections. But if this site has taught me anything, it's is to work on comics everyday even if it's fifteen minutes. And the more you do, the better and more confident you are.

Thank you again!

Keep it up!

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Colin Tedford said...

Yes, congrats on the 24-hr comic, that's quite an experience.

I've definitely been feeling the need to start scheduling my life more. That planner is way cool! I've got an electronic doodad but I have to clean my room to figure out where it is :(

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me about those Slingshot organizers! I had one back in 2002 and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I'll have to go pick one up after work maybe.

I'm surprised you've never done a 24-hour comic before! Congratulations. Completing your first 24 hour comic really is like a milestone or a rite of passage for cartoonists. After I finished my first one I really felt like I had climbed the Mount Everest of comics!

PS- Even though I've never commented or posted before, I read this blog all the time and love the heck out of it! Keep up the good work.



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