April 24th, 2005

Flying Ace

I'm back.

I did it. The 24 hour comic. 24 pages. With enough time to spare to draw a COVER.

The title: Puzzles.

You'll see it. But not today because I need to lie down and DIE.

I am of the tired that I want to look up and see Alex ready to trundle me in her car and drive me to Guelph and stuff me into a bed with the electric blanket already going.

THAT freakin' tired.

Holy crap I'm proud of myself though.
  • Current Music
    I'll Be Seeing You -Mamas and Papas
Flying Ace

The 24 Hour full report.

Okay, had a nap after church, enough that I'm far less strange and wired and hopefully more coherent so I can get my thoughts about this weekend down on paper. Ha ha, like I haven't gotten enough down on paper. WheeEEEE!!! Okay, I said LESS strange and wired.

The whole experience of doing a 24 hour comic was amazing. I was a bit nervous as I was setting my stuff up and wound up sharing my table with a nice guy named Jeff who was going all digital with his. Just his laptop and a really, really, really big wacom tablet for him.

When it started I had determined to be a clock watcher, otherwise I would get totally behind and so gave myself half an hour to do my pencils and half an hour to do the inks. It worked pretty well but while I've had deadlines I've never felt the relentlessness of the clock like that before. It was BRUTAL. Every minute absolutely counted...it was a race every hour on the hour trying to make it work. I would finish the inks, number the page and set it aside in victory...and it would begin all over again.

It didn't matter if I had some friends who decided to pop in or I was tired or needed to use the bathroom...the time just kept on ticking. The furthest I ever got ahead of the clock was about 15 minutes which was a luxury. The furthest I ever got behind was 10 which felt nightmarish.

If I finished a page a little early I would get up, stretch, see what other people were working on...and just like THAT...it would be on the hour again and I would have to start penciling.

I feel like instead of a 24 hour haul, I did 24 sprints. Every page felt like a victory. Racing the clock pervaded EVERYTHING. Even going to the bathroom I was aware of the clock...(crap that took 4 minutes, go go go!)

It was craziest dealing with the story though. I went in with the seed idea (I had thought of it the night before,) of a bunch of people getting together to work on a puzzle...and it went from there. Being absolutely insane I took this simple premise, threw in SIX people and 3 or 4 subplots and watched them weave in and out of each other.
More so than any other comic I've worked on, these characters were completely unique and independent of me and I was fascinated by them. I had created this little universe, populated it with these little people and watched them interact with honestly, very little interfering from me. Sure, aspects of my personality are in them as well as other people I know...but it was fascinating to see the directions they would go. When I started I had no idea ...by the end I felt like I was just along for the ride in seeing these guys story arcs take them from point A to point B.

I felt almost depressed when I drew the last panel...because they were such fun personalities and I was not going to revisit them again. I created them, watched their lives and that was it. I felt sad. Proud of myself though. I mean, so many of the other guys attempting it just did pencils, very little dialogue, drew on smaller paper...everything was set up to streamline the process...which isn't a BAD thing..it was their creative choice...but I am really proud that I went the whole nine yards on this thing. I drew it standard size, I inked it and darn it...the characters are FUNNY.

Around 10 or 11 last night an older gentlement came in and I could see him eyeing my finished pages and so I invited him to read the whole thing. I had no idea who he was, he had no idea who I was and so it made my day to hear this stranger reading my stuff and totally cracking up at the characters. It was GREAT.

Also great were the friends who would pop in. Cassandra checked in on me 3 times, one when I was sketching my very first page, one in the mid afternoon and then she and her husband came back after midnight and checked the scene out. Serious, serious props go to my roommates (thanks Rach) who drove me there, checked in every few hours and brought me stuff ... replacement pens, a Wendy's salad at midnight (I was dying, okay?) read and laughed at my story, cheered me on and then picked me up at 10:00 this morning.

It was strange stopping. I felt like I had been racing time for so long...I didn't know how to not do it.

I went home, had a shower and lay on my bed feeling this strange euphoric buzz.

It was so exhausting, so grueling...and yet so ... empowering ... by the end of church this afternoon I could tell that the raving lunatic in me was really scrambling to get out. (It got really nuts after sacrament meeting...when I hit hour 36 of being up.) I tried to explain the experience to a friend...realized I sounded like a nut case and went home and went to bed.

Sweet, sweet bed. How I love you. Let us ne'er part.

My pages are still down at the comics shop. They want to make a copy and so I'll pick it up tomorrow.

It will be interesting to read it after I have recovered from this and see if it's still as cool as I remembered.

And yeah, I am so proud of myself.
  • Current Music
    I'll Be Seeing You -Mamas and Papas