ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

24 Hour Comic Challenge; Next Weekend

I love the 24 hour comics challenge-- even if I don't always participate.  It's been going on in the Worcester Area since 2004 and I think it only started a year or two before that.  It began at That's Entertainment on Park Avenue where they hosted it in their front room-- and did an excellent job.  I was there that first year and I finished my project at around 4am on the second day.  But I'm getting ahead of myself;

The 24 hour comics challenge is pretty simple-- it's a worldwide event which runs the first weekend in October from 9am Saturday to 9am Sunday.  The Challenge is to completely write, pencil, ink and letter 24 pages of a comic book in that amount of time.  Normally it would take four people a month to do the same thing-- so it is a challenge.  I've seen some pretty impressive entries-- including Veronica's from a few years ago.

As an artist-- even one that doesn't necessarily do comics-- it's an amazing experience.  To lock yourself away and just work creatively for 24 consecutive hours unlocks all kinds of resources you didn't know you had.  Since doing it-- I've become increasingly faster in my work.  If I could do the challenge in my studio I'm confident I could get it done in under eight hours-- but there is something to working in a group environment which adds something to it.

The event forces you to stop making excuses-- no phone calls, no errands, no headcolds-- nothing stops you from completing the challenge and when you get there it's an amazing feeling.

There are a few simple rules you have to follow;

No pre-prep.  No thumbnails before.  No scripts, you're supposed to come into it cold.
You can take a nap but the 24 hour clock continues to click away.

From my own experience, I've got a few secrets to share with you;

1. Work larger than you think.  It would seem like working small would make sense right?  Nope.  Tried it-- it's actually harder and you'll be cramping up.  Working larger -- preferably with brushes-- will give you a better result.
2. Good music and comfortable headphones.   You're going to want to get lost in "the zone" if you're going to finish.
3. Good solid reliable art supplies.  But feel free to experiment-- that's what this whole thing is about.
4. No excuses attitude.  Come and prove something to yourself.

Here's the official Website where you can find out more.
Here's the WAM signup page.

If all goes well we'll be live-blogging the event.