24HCD 2013: My Afterthoughts
From 5:21am EST on October 5 to 4:26am on October 6, I embarked on one of the most brutal, intense, and (most importantly) fundamental experiences I had drawing-wise in 2013. Having heard of 24 Hour Comics Day for quite some time, I originally considered taking part in it last year, but chickened out in the end. This year I accepted the challenge and made it part of my weekend and lived to tell about it.
In short, 24HCD is an annual event where participants try to make a 24-page comic within that allotted time. No script-planning nor concepts are allowed ahead of time: Just improvise, improvise, improvise!
I woke up at 5am that Saturday, turned on my Mac, made sure I had everything in place. Once I pressed my phone’s stop watch (5:21am), I started without hesitation. I used a bucket with cards as a starting point; to help me get started. Then it was unto the thumbnails.
Ghe TNs themselves took an hour and a half and already I expressed tension because of it. I immediately worked on Page, which took me a good half-hour. Then the double-page spread came along and it took longer than I anticipated. 1 hour 30 minutes to be exact.
I halted in my comic at 9am due to an errand I needed to take care of. Despite trying to complete it as fast I could, it cost me 1:40 hours. I immediately resumed my progress the minute I returned home, and had to turn off my phone due to a few calls I received that made it intrusive for me.
Page 4 was done at 11:30, then unto page 5, etc. Page 6 however was a real pain due to the fact I relied on too much grayscale schemes. I can’t remember how long that page took me but I know it was one of the few that were excruciating to finish.
Page 7 was complete around the 9-hour mark and it was around that time my wrists began to hurt. Despite promising myself I would finish 2 pages before 3pm, I was only able to finish page 8 by itself. Page 9 was complete somewhere around 4:15 and with page 10 I decided to work on a different method to make coloring the panels faster. That page was done at 6:15pm and it was the last time I used that approach. Back to the drawing board, I guess. (Mind the pun, lol.)
Page 11: 7:05pm. Page 12: 7:50. And so on. My progress was somewhat improving but at 8:40 my wrist begun to hurt at an extent, leaving me with a Massive hand cramp. Nonetheless, I prevailed despite that artistically inflicting pain that persisted throughout this experience.
As I was uploading the pages to my 24HCD WordPress page, I noticed the times were wrong and spent nearly ten minutes resolving the issue. Afterward, I resumed progress. It was 10pm.
I finished pages 13-16 before midnight and by the time it struck October 6, I started to exlerience fatigue. So much that an hour later I was almost close to passing out. 5 hours left. 8 pages more to do. I was panicking, and my tensiveness and adrenaline cranked to an eleven. I wasn’t gonna give up yet!
(I should point out that I changed the script for certain pages while keeping the panel layouts as-is. Anyway…)
Fortunately, my confidence and optimism kept me going during the final stretch of the remaining pages. My Twitter followers along with fellow particilants motivated me to “keep at it”; as I did for them. My coloring at that point was becoming sloppy due to the exhaustion, but I said to myself “I don’t care. I MUST GET THIS COMIC DONE!!!”
Pages 19, 20, and 21 were done during the 2am period, then worked on page 22 during Hour 22 (the irony of that thought, but whatever). Page 23 was done at 4am followed by the last page at 4:23am. After uploading page 24 to my WP page along with my Twitter feed, I stopped the clock, leaving me with an overall time of 23 hours 5 minutes.
Then I went to bed. zZZ…
After finishing my 24HCD comic, I compared my progress with my senior project. Pseudo-Traditional took nearly 2 years to plan (revisions included) and another 3-4 months completing the final comic. It made me wonder of the benefits/drawbacks of time management, something I still need to work and improve on, personally.
The process was also one of those rare times I fully embraced the adrenaline rush given I (once again) found the entire experience a fundamental one. Overall, the entirety of 24HCD was wonderful in every sense of the word, and I plan to participate in this again come next year.
It was both fundamental and educational, which is the best part of all of this. Because you know, Comics and stuffs.
Until next time,