24 Hour Comics Day Is Today

by Jeff

Today is “24 Hour Comics Day 2008,” which is sponsored this year by ComicsPRO.

ComicsPRO took over administration duties of 24-Hour Comics Day this year, and our team of volunteers has kept very busy this summer and fall with the sponsorship deals, venue registration, 24HCD questions from around the world, hundreds of press releases, mailers to over 100 24HCD venues, and many, many website updates. We’ve learned a lot about making next year’s event run more smoothly, too!

The 24HCD event surrounds October 18th, this year, and as long as the host venue includes that date in their 24 hours, they can start or end at any time. Good luck to all of the artists around the world who have already started, or who will start tomorrow, on their 24 pages of comics!

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In 1990, cartoonist Scott McCloud came up with a friendly challenge for himself and fellow comics artist Steve Bissette: they’d write, draw, letter, and complete a 24 page comic book in 24 consecutive hours. Thus the 24 hour comic was conceived.

Now, nearly twenty years later, the challenge has its own special day: 24 Hour Comic Day. Aspiring comic book authors gather in locations around the world to take the challenge. If your kids fell in love with Iron Man or Hellboy over the summer, bring them along and let them create their own superhero stories.

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A marathon of sorts will be held in Chicago today, but instead of Gatorade, running shoes and tank tops, think coffee, junk food and lots of pencils, pens and paper.

The “runners” for this marathon are artists and writers, the “course” is three Chicago area comic book stores, and the finish line is creating a 24-page comic book in less than 24 hours.

No prizes are given, but some of the comics could wind up being published by the comic book stores, and all can be submitted to the Cartoon Research Library at Ohio State University. But for the most part, the event — like most marathons — is a personal trial.

The goal is to complete a page an hour, so sometimes you just have to tap in to your subconscious, says Burnham, whose final product last year, “I Have 24 Hours to Live!” features robot spiders, slimy insects and giant beer cans.

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