For the seventh year in a row, many of the fine cartoonists in the Twin Cities will be gathering together -- surrounded by coffee, pillows, and pizza -- to participate in 24 Hour Comics Day. 24HCD has grown from a cloud of neurons firing in Scott McCloud's head to an international event, and Minnesota has been a major player since day one.
On 24HCD cartoonists are tasked with the unenviable goal of producing a 24 page comic in 24 hours -- no mean feat, no matter how simple your style or sharp your wit. By hour 20 everyone's hand hurts, by hour 22 everyone's brain is mush, and by hour 24 ... well, it's not a pretty sight.
The official rules state that participants are not allowed bring any ideas with them. To that end, Zander Cannon has perfected the technique of drawing a Pictionary card at the beginning of each event. Each card lists six words, and he crafts a story around those six words, no matter how bizarre or unrelated they may seem at first. But over the past few years there's been a growing contingent of cartoonists who forego the official rules and bring in well-formed ideas and even scripts and model sheets. I used to rail against this insurgency as being against the spirit of the event, but I've lightened up: the REAL spirit of the event is getting together with like-minded artists who are crazy enough to stake out of 4-foot square piece of real estate and sit there, for an entire day, and do nothing but move ink around on white paper.
So good luck to the 50+ cartoonists who are gathered at MCBA today (and tonight and tomorrow morning)!
But if you, like me, won't be able to be there this year, follow all the action on Twitter:
Or search using the hashtag: #mpls24hcd
Or check out the blog: 24-hourcomic.blogspot.com