Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Having *adored* Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics books, I figured I'd pre-order Making Comics, his latest book, which comes out next week.

While on Amazon, I also noticed another of his books that I'd not noticed before, 24 Hour Comics. Rather than an exploration of the medium, this is more of a documented experiment in making comics start to finish in a 24hr period. From one of the reviews:

So here's the challenge (read more about it at 24hourcomics dot com): you have blank pages and nothing prepared; the clock starts; 24 hours later, the clock stops and you have a 24-page comic - scripted, laid out, penciled, inked, and lettered. That's it.

Considering that the average professional comic team takes 320+ hours an average to get that far, it's a hell of challenge. To put in other terms - the challenge is to do 320 hours of work in 7.5% of the time normally needed.

It should be no surprise that the 24 Hour Comics Challenge is the brainchild of Scott McCloud...

It sounds uncannily like the Indie Game Jam format, no? Given that McCloud was hanging out at the GDC a number of years back, could that have been where Chris Hecker and others got the idea? The first IGJ was 2002, McCloud started the 24hr comic thing about a decade earlier.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not making a 'credit where due' claim here. Just asserting that these types of efforts may have ripples that travel farther than we think. This is yet another strong case for collaboration between disciplines.


Darius Kazemi said...

Yeah, I've been looking forward to Making Comics myself.

The 24-hour comics thing is a really great exercise, and I'm sure there was some indirect (and maybe even direct) influence on IGJ.

Another interesting thing is that from what I've seen, in order to be really successful at a game jam, you need to be a designer/programmer, and maybe something of an artist. Teams of two don't work super well. Similarly, almost everyone who does a decent 24-hour comic functions as writer/artist.

Anonymous said...

It is known that the 24 hour comic spawned the 24 hour play (and it's believed that lead to the 48 hour film contests), as well as 24 hour web design and role playing game concepts. I don't know if it directly or indirectly influenced the Indy Comics Jam, but the concept is the sort of thing that once you put it in the atmosphere, folks tend to absorb it.

There's now an annual event, 24 Hour Comics Day, when people are encouraged to make 24 hour comics. At official event sites around the globe, cartoonists gather side-by-side to work on their comics. This year's 24 Hour Comics Day is coming up October 7th, and we've got more than 60 locations signed up in a dozen countries. More info at

24 Hour Comics Day