Saturday, September 25, 2010

24 Hour Comic Book Challenge

Next Saturday, October 2, starting at 3PM, the 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge begins. The goal is to create a complete (penciled, inked, and lettered) 24 page comic in 24 hours.

My daughter Kat and I will be there, pencils, inking pens and paper at the ready :-) You can check at the ComicsPro site to see if there's a hosting site near you. Of course anyone can do it at home, knowing that people all over the world are hunkering over their drawing tables or computer tablets at the same time, but a group can often be inspiring and energizing :-)

If you make it all the way through the 24 hours, you can submit a copy of your comic to the archives at Ohio State University.

How much preparation you do before the 24 hours begins is up to you since it's a personal challenge rather than a contest but you can't start the comic until the 24 hours begins. The original challenge was created in 1990 by Scott McCloud for himself long-time fellow comic artist Steve Bisset. Scott's rules were you needed to begin with no preconceived idea, no character sketches! The rules for the Australian version are: "The Challenge is to create a comic in 24 hours, in whatever medium you're comfortable in. Use ink, computer graphics, paint, magazine photos, crayons; use paper, bristol board, wacom tablets - it doesn't matter." So it's up to you! It's your comic. Your challenge.

One tip Scott passed on is the pages should generally have more than one panel (to feel like a comic book) but don't try to do more than 4 panels per page. (It's hard enough as it is!)

These are not pretty comics :-) The finished product will be glaringly imperfect but the point is to get past the perfectionism block to complete a story. Tip: If you're spending more than an hour (sketching, inking, lettering) on a page, you're going too slow.

Here's some online comic creation sites. Not guaranteeing any of these will help with a 24 hour comic, but they look like fun :-) Some might be useful for storyboards. The Marvel site will create a 22-page comic but perhaps it does so much for you that it might take the challenge out of the challenge.

Marvel's Superhero Squad
This is nifty. You can create either a comic strip or comic book (up to 22 pages) starring Marvel Superheros. Choose the page layout, drag over resizable characters, backgrounds, objects, words balloons. Download when you're done.

Stripcreator at Make a comic
1-3 panels. Simple pull down menus to choose location, funky characters, emotions and so on. Slick and simple. Could be good for quick storyboards.

Make Beliefs Comix
Click and drag from 20 characters with many emotion options, word balloons, captions and objects. You can even write in Latin (among other languages)! There's also a monthly contest there for comics created with Make Beliefs Comix.

Pixton: Click and Drag comics
Multiple layouts for strips and comic pages.

I didn't register to check it out, but the 1-3 panel strips on the main page suggest you can draw your own characters. It looks like you can create your own characters and emotions so you can use them over again.

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