Well, its over! And I finished 19 pages so far, which you can see here:
It may not be 24 pages but it doesnt feel like a failure. I have to admit that I didn’t really WANT to participate in 24 hour comics day. I thought “that’s not how I work and I probably wont finish so whats the point and I’ll just end up with some crappy, hastily done comic that I hate.” I agreed to do this because I thought it would be a fun experience with my new fellow residents at the MdA and also because I was peer pressured by Gilles (Boulet).
But whaddaya know, it was actually a pretty helpful exercise. I found myself actually drawing differently as the night–and then day–wore on.
I started out thinking that I would make an inkwash comic. I’ve been experimenting with inkwash lately, considering using it for my next book because its faster than watercolor (and cheaper to print). So I started out yesterday with pages that looked like this:
But when I realized there was no way in hell I would finish a 24 page comic at that rate, I decided to stop adding the inkwash and just stuck with the line art. I can add the wash in later.
Things got much faster. But still not fast enough. Then at one point I drank too much coffee and all my lines started getting all twitchy (like me):
Then I started to calm down but my nib started clogging so those things cancelled each other out. Still, though, I actually felt like I was improving towards the end despite the tiredness and the hurry. Maybe it was just a nice chance to work on something that doesn’t need to be perfect; you have the freedom to fuck it up any way you want. That was refreshing.
What I’m trying to say is maybe you should try this 24 hour comics day thing sometime. I’m glad I did it. And next time I’ll know better than to try and do a 24 page story about a massacre in Iraq. Pro tip: on 24 hour comics day, keep it light.
Now I need to finish my comic because I told Lewis Trondheim I would (he doesn’t actually care).
Four more pages done and uploaded and now I have 9 more pages to go in 4 hours. Impossible! Oh well, I’ll just finish afterwards. The sleep deprivation plus caffeine is doing weird things to my style, like adding a wiggly line due to shaking hands. But I dont necessarily dislike the effect.
I stopped adding inkwash, instead just inking line drawings with plans to go back in with a wash later on. It’s much faster this way, although I still dont know if I’ll finish in time. I have 13 more pages to go (if you don’t count the front and back covers).
I no longer care if I finish this within 24 hours and it suddenly got a lot more fun.
I’ve drawn, inked and lettered 3 pages…up they go!
I’m done with my script now and about to start drawing. I decided to make a short story out of the visit we paid to Halabja, Iraq, in 2010 when I was there with some journalists for my next book (which will be about those journalists).
Etienne has given us the constraint: he picked three phrases from a hat and they must appear as narration in a frame in the story. The first one, “suddenly emerging” must appear within the first 8 pages, then “and finally” must appear between pages 9 and 16. The last, “she suddenly interrupted herself” will be somewhere between pages 17 and 24.
So here we go! I’ll update from time to time here.
Tomorrow at 3 o clock (or “15h” in French) 24 hour comics day (or “24 heures de la bande dessinée” in French) will commence. Some artists who have signed up will be working from their homes, and some of us will be working from the Maison des Auteurs here in Angoulême.
In the States, 24 hour comics day seems to be a bit loose; there’s no set theme. It is this way because we cherish our freedom, natch. Here, there is a theme or constraint. Last year it was Popeye and I’m glad I wasn’t participating then because I know zero about Popeye except that it was the basis of Robert Altman’s strangest film ever. The year before that it was Pirates. What is the theme this year? I wont know until exactly 3pm when we gather round the break room at the MdA and find out. For the past several years, it’s been Louis Trondheim who gives out the constraint, but this year it’s Étienne Lécroart, a member of the OuBaPo club/movement/association. That means we’ll probably have to draw a palindrome comic or a comic that can be read in four directions or something. Yikes. Please be kind to us, Étienne!
Participating artists’ pages will be scanned and posted as they’re completed. You can follow along throughout the day from here:
Also there will be camerapeople floating around and posting videos online periodically but I dont think they’re very interesting to watch unless you like looking at people hunched over desks or eating snacks.
Ok see you tomorrow.