What I Did on
My Summer Vacation
Write and Draw 24 pages in 24 hours? No Problemo!
I'm so tired I can't sleep.
There have been so many things I wanted to write this next commentary about, but I just never had the time to sit down and write them. Since this one is the most time sensitive, I figured I'd do this one first. Of course I'm talking about the 24 hour comic I did a couple of weeks ago.
Ever since I learned about the 24 hour comic, I've wanted to do one. (The 24 hour comic being you need to complete one fully completed 24 page comic in a day's time. Learn more about it here) The idea sat in the back of my mind for a while. When my friends and I decided to rent a shore house I figured this would be a great opportunity to try out the greatest endurance test known to man (or at least to the comic book creator).
Four out of the five people who were at the shore house had drawn before (including me), so I presented the idea to them to see if I had any takers. Long story short, only the two of us (myself and Joe, who's work you can see here) were dedicated to the cause.
Without further ado, click here for my 24 hour comic. (But beware, its a little over 1 meg for those of you with slow connections...) I kept track of when I finished each page and I'll try to give a time line on what happened when but the whole day is a little fuzzy so... oh and by the way, if you're going to read the timeline, please read the 24 hour comic first because I've got a couple surprises that could be spoiled if you read the timeline first.
July 24, 2002 9:30 AM - And we're off! We decided 9:30 would be a good time to start because its after NewsRadio (8:00AM-9:00AM on A&E) and early enough in the day. Since we're not supposed to think of a story ahead of time, I asked Joe for 5 words that I had to work into my comic. (Which I'll reveal as I work them into the story)
10:03 AM - Page 1 is done. Latin Boy was a character that I had drawn in my college days and I figured this would be a nice way to revisit him. One page in and I've already worked in 3 of my 5 words: owl, roller derby and fire.
10:32 AM - Page 2 is done. I had bought the Royal Tenenbaums DVD before I did this comic and the idea for this page comes from the cast of characters intro that Anderson does in the movie. I also figured this would be a good way to reintroduce the characters and the backstory which I planned on referencing.
11:55 AM - And on page 3, I fit in the fourth of my 5 words: Disc Jockey. Of course in my prior Latin Boy outings, Latin Girl's job wasn't even referenced. So the whole DJ thing was made up especially for the 24 hour comic.
12:53 PM - I have no idea what I was thinking when I drew that guy's hair on Page 4 panel 1. Note the extreme close up on Latin Boy's mouth for no particular reason... actually, I wanted to vary the drawings and the only thing I could think of was an extreme close up. I wanted to have a list of old villains that appeared in the Latin Boy strip referenced here, but I couldn't remember them at the time, so you got 4. One of which isn't a villain I made up. Luckily they all had appeared in the strip.
2:47 PM - After taking a lunch break... (mmmm... salami & provolone cheese sandwhich on the George Forman grill... mmm...) I got back to work on pages 5 & 6. I worked on them simultaneously because I knew what was going to go on those pages. Also note how similar the pages look in layout and such...
3:46 PM - I'll let you in on a little secret that no one seemed to get when I was doing the Latin Boy strip... Latin Boy is really stupid. Page 7 shows how stupid he really is. After all, if you set fire to someplace, wouldn't you drop it instead of following up on a lead that would eventually uncover you as the culprit? Oh, Latin Boy, will you never learn?
4:26 PM - Hee hee... I actually figured out a way to work in my 5th and final word prior to this page... But I won't tell you what it is until I get to the "big reveal" page. The silhouette page was an attempt at disguising the villainís identity while at the same time keeping my page count to time ratio high.
5:40 PM - I confess, I didn't know where to go for page 9. I mean, I had 15 odd pages to go and only a little bit of story left to tell. I figured, why not go back to the roller derby? Something you might not have noticed, Latin Boy always wears roller blades. Don't ask me why... I just draw him like that.
7:01 PM - Page 10 has the straightest panel borders in the entire comic. I really wanted to separate the page into 3 panels, each in a moment of time. I thought the best way to do that was to have each border the same size. Oddly enough, I didn't use a ruler for each of the vertical panel borders... go figure.
7:38 PM - Oh Demon Fork, how I've missed you! Page 11 is probably one of my worst pages... but it features one of my favorite character designs... Demon Fork!
8:16 PM - Page 12 is just more Demon Fork... that and playing with the idea that he has no limbs, yet he's wearing roller blades. I really like drawing Demon Fork, but this is an attempt to keep ahead of the page an hour rate...
9:04 PM - Can you tell how lazy I've gotten with page 13? Silhouettes all around! Note the roller blades on Demon Fork's-- well, at least where his feet should be. Also another reference to Latin Boy's stupidity.
9:30 PM - We're at the halfway mark and I'm staying about a page ahead of the curve. Joe has pretty much stayed on schedule, doing one page an hour.
10:01 PM - Page 14. More Latin Boy stupidity and the return of our mysterious stranger!
10:42 PM - Page 15. This was taken from an idea in From Hell (by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell). I really like the drawing of the mysterious villain's hideout in panel 2. It sort of reminds me of Andy Lee's stuff. But the dialogue on this page doesn't feel right to me. Or at least in my mind it doesn't feel like a Latin Boy story.
11:13 PM - Page 16. You can tell how tired I'm getting because the drawings keep getting simpler and simpler. I'm pretty sure at this point I know what's going to happen in the rest of the story, except in my mind, I don't have enough for 8 more pages...
July 25, 2002 12:13 AM - We've crossed over into tomorrow and the brush pen I've been using (that isn't even mine) to fill in all the blacks on page 17 is running out...
1:16 AM - Man, how bad is page 18? I'm pretty sure I don't realize I'm two pages ahead of schedule at this point or I would have made the page better.
1:28 AM - On page 19, The 5th and final word revealed! Yup, the 5th word that was given to me was: Luke Perry. I thought drawing a caricature of Luke Perry would take a while... but really, all Luke Perry is, is a pompadour, squinty eyes and sideburns.
2:04 AM - Page 20 was a product of not having enough material to fill the next 5 pages and a suggestion from Joe...
2:35 AM - As soon as I figured out Luke Perry was going to be a villain, I knew I wanted to draw on a story line I did on the past, i.e. Latin Boy the movie. (Of which, Leo DiCaprio stars as Latin Boy, Chris O'Donnell stars as Billy and Lisa Kudrow stars as Latin Girl...) Oh and note the name of the owl, Dylan McKay, the name of Luke Perry's character on Beverly Hills 90210.
3:29 AM - On page 22, Latin Girl plays the part of exposition girl, as she explains the convoluted story that has grown in my mind for the past 15 hours. My Luke Perry is getting better with every page.
3:56 AM - I really like the first 3 drawings on page 23. Latin Girl is the best I've done so far... Billy was done completely with the brush pen, (a different one... one that hasn't run out yet) no pencils... and Latin Boy is perfect. But apparently Luke Perry's hidden lair is limbo because there are no backgrounds whatsoever and hasn't been since page 18.
4:25 AM - Finally the end... page 24. And again, I've used up another brush pen on the second panel of this page. I've finished about 5 hours ahead of schedule... how'd that happen? Oh yeah that's right, there are no backgrounds on the last 7 pages.
But, I'm happy with the ending now. With the inclusion of Luke Perry, the story has been saved from going horribly awry to only slightly awry and well with in the confines of a Latin Boy story.
5:30 AM (approximately) - Joe finishes up his last page for his 24 hour comic, we both have a beer to celebrate (of which I can only finish about half...)
6:15 AM - After about 20 hours since I began this journey, I decide its time to get some sleep.
6:25 AM - I realize it's trash day at the shore house and in a half awake stumble, manage to round up the trash from the aftermath of the 24 (or in actuality 17) hour comic and take the trash out to the curb without accidentally killing myself in the process.
8:13 AM - I turn on the TV from bed to see that the James Caan episode of NewsRadio is on. I also realize that I could do a cover for my 24 hour comic, since I have about an hour and 15 minutes left.
8:14 AM - I dismiss my desire to draw yet another page as an ambition of a seriously-sleep-deprived-person-who-is-in-no-condition-to-make-decisions-especially-when-that-decision-entails-more-work. With that, I turn off the TV and get some much-needed rest.
Well, that's about it. Many a person has asked me since, "Would you do this again?" I'm not really sure. But I know it would have to be far enough into the future for me to forget the exhaustion, the deliriousness, the eating soggy veggies, the staring off into space for no apparent reason, the rocking out and the all around hard work it took to accomplish 24 pages in 24 hours.
So, maybe next week.