Saturday, November 12, 2016

Recap: 24 Hour Comics Day 2016

Special thanks to the Comic Shop for hosting this insanity for a decade (hat-tip Naomi + crew too) and everyone who dropped by w/libations + victuals for sustenance & creative juices, and most of all all the participants for the energy + inspiration... once again proving that Fairbanks comic artists and our creative community are the BEST!

A grand total of six outta over thirty participants successfully met the challenge and completed twenty-four pages in 24 hours this year. Beautiful weather too, not that it would have mattered to folks who are perfectly fine holing up inside a cartoon bunker nomatter what's going on, nuclear armageddon, zombie apocalypse or snowstorm.

As an aside, while making the obligatory rounds and checking on the progress of people I was struck by the variety of manners everybody held their respective instrument (see earlier explorations along this theme here, here and here).

Trey Smith/Bethany Eisenman

A lot of these works-in-progress were also posted in the discussion threads and updated posts over on the official event page on Facebook. Apologies if I mixed up and/or forgot who's who and what's what... sometimes things get a little bit fuzzy during these events.

Geo Yi/Chaweinta Hale

Even thumbnailed stages can in many instances be just as awesome as completely rendered pages. There's something about the spontaneous, organic quality of sketched-out versions, the comparative freshness of roughs, which has its own aesthetic appeal. In my experience, there's no end of examples when hours and hours of time and attention to details doesn't necessarily result in anything better than what was initially roughed out in a matter of seconds.

Rachael Smith/Morgan Burns

Sometimes we're reminded that the overarching goal isn't a competition to complete twenty-four pages, it's to simply participate. As in, it's equally humbling to see firsthand how a couple pages - or even one - is often equal to dozens of pages of output. Quality versus quantity, or put another way, it's the content compared to quality at times that makes for a satisfying and rewarding result.

Kelly Wilson

Meta: The situation at hand - context and environment - can be the catalyst that inspires work which otherwise might stay buried beneath layers of inaccessibility. Part of the challenge is to see what happens when one is given the time + space to dig up all the energy which is otherwise dispersed throughout the demands of the day. It can be revealing and fun to put everything else in normal, day-to-day life on temporary hold and just let it all rip.

Jose Mojica

Another aspect of this event is in how all manner of talent comes together: seasoned professionals to total amateurs, beginning students to advanced, everybody's on the same page. It's because of this turnout of a truly inclusive group of individuals that it really speaks for the welcoming attraction inherent in comics.

As always, such a diversity of styles and techniques along with an amazing range of tools and implements was on display.
We were also treated to a poetry reading with local teacher/actor/director/writer/poet Michael Shaeffer and his new works: what more perfect fit for an audience at 1am than pieces on Pepé Le Pew, Firefly, Star Wars and Aquaman!

Ripped Art/Staci McIntyre

From simple line art to fully colored pages, the artwork ran the gauntlet of stylistic possibilities for the medium. Kinda like the range of different comic books on the shelves of the hosting venue... hmmm.

Along with some ink by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner promoting the event, Channel 11 News came by and interviewed a few of the participants (Jose Mojica, Geo Yi and Staci McIntyre): their coverage is posted here.

My own humble contribution was an eclectic series of beavers enacting random Facebook activity updates and posts straight off my feed during the event. Made for some interesting fodder to draw from - sooner than later I'll scan 'em all and upload a sampler gallery.

Hannah Semock /Alex Bates

Here's the landing page with backlinks to previous 24 Hour Comics Day events

As an end-note here, you won't see me personally next year as I'm tying off both this gig and the comics class (after a decade of involvement in each) along with scaling back public appearances and other commitments that inevitably fill up the calendar every year. Been a great run, but now it's time to take care of artistic business and socially hibernate... here's hoping someone else will pick up the reins and mush on.

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