The comics community gets a new holiday this April 24th with the introduction of 24 Hour Comics Day, a day to not only celebrate but to engage in the creation of comics. Based on the creative experiment created by Scott McCloud, this holiday encourages everyone from comics fans to big-time pros to try to create their own full 24 page comic book in 24 consecutive hours.
“Most 24 page comic book stories that people buy are the result of literally months of work, when you consider all of the writing, drawing, lettering, and coloring that goes into them,” explains Nat Gertler, publisher of About Comics and a driving force behind this new holiday. “Years ago, leading comics theoretician Scott McCloud invented an exercise where you set aside 24 consecutive hours and try to create a complete 24 page comic book story in that time. Hundreds of people have taken the challenge. Obviously, with an hour per page you’re not going to get the most polished possible work, but in the works people have created there is an amazing strain not only of raw energy but of cleverness, wit, and pure human emotion, plus a surprising amount of grace.”
To help creative individuals participate in 24 Hour Comics Day, various comics retailers across the nation will host special 24 Hour Comics Day events. They’ll be offering creators space in which to work on their comics in a group atmosphere, so that everyone keeps each other’s energy up. Food and drink will be supplied. And while some stores are simply renting some working space in a nearby hotel, others will have the creators actually working inside the store, so that curious fans can actually watch this comics creation taking place. Some shops will even stay open for the full 24 hour period of the event, giving comics readers that rare opportunity to buy comics at 4 AM.
A list of participating stores will be released in February. “When I first planned this,” says Gertler, “I expected three or four stores to be involved. Within 24 hours of having mentioned this event to a group of retailers, more than a dozen expressed an interest – and that’s with most stores not having heard about it yet.” Retailers who are interested in hosting a 24 Hour Comics Day event should email email@example.com
to get more information.
About Comics is also celebrating this day by releasing a book entitled simply 24 Hour Comics. This book features 9 of the best stories created as part of the 24 hour comics challenge, selected and introduced by Scott McCloud himself. Creators include such big names as best-selling writer Neil Gaiman and long-time Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette, as well as lesser-known folks who really managed to show their stuff. This paperback, released in the convenient and affordable About Comics Reader Format, is scheduled to hit stores on April 21st, the Wednesday before 24 Hour Comics Day.
Scott McCloud is positively beaming about 24 Hour Comics Day. “For years, people have told me what a great idea the 24 hour comics challenge is, and how they have to do it – someday. Well, the day is coming -- and it’s 4-24-2004, you couldn’t ask for a better date than that!”
24 Hour Comics (ISBN 0-9716338-4-3) is a 240 page black-and-white paperback with a full color cover. 5.5” x 7.75”. Published by About Comics at a price of $11.95 US, the book does include artistic nudity and harsh language, and is not recommended for those whom that would offend. The book will be distributed to the comic book specialty market through Diamond Comics Distributors, FM International, and Cold Cut Comics Distribution, and to the bookstore market by Diamond Book Distributors.