Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Monday, September 17, 2007

Take the plunge

You know you want to.

You've been aching, your fingers vibrating with the creative need to DRAW. But, you've put it off. Your boring job saps all your strength. Or even your moderately not-so-boring job takes up so much of your energy, when you get home (or hell, if you're working from home) you just don't have it in you to.. draw..

Scott McCloud
came up with a nifty device over a decade ago (August 31st, 1990), called The Dare. In this Dare, he challenged a compatriot, Steve Bissette, to draw for 24 hours straight, one page an hour, until by the time he was done, this fella would have a complete comic, written, penciled and inked in his hands. That's all it took. From that wonderful, inspired idea, the 24-Hour Comic has spread like fruit flies on a squishy mango, in other words, FAST and with much sucking of tasty, sticky juice! To check out more information on The Dare and to read McCloud's first 24-hour comic, check ze links!

No writer or artist's block can withstand the energy or will that exists in the sweat of someone working on a project for 24 hours straight. Take it from someone who has braved that valley of darkness three times and come out alive... blind, exhausted, hallucinating, but alive! Below, are panels from my first attempts: "Good Medicine/ Bad Medicine", "The Wyrm's Treasure" and "SnowBlonde" (you can read the last two in their entirety on my website, thanks to the continuing web genius of Carol Busato.)

"Good Medicine/ Bad Medicine"

"The Wyrm's Treasure"


If you're interested in reading more 24-hour comics, you can order them online from Amazon, or via the 24-Hour Comics Day site which has tons of info on the event! You can also order two of Troy Little's 24-hour comics directly from him at Meanwhile Studios ("Smoked Fish" and "Inanimation".)

Come October 20th, 2007, the entire world will host hundreds of mad, creative folks in various locales, drawing maniacally away and creating something from nuthin'! I was interested in joining the fun, but realized it would come very close to overlapping my business trip to Abbey Hill Design in Callander (near North Bay.) I heard that Hairy Tarantula in Toronto was going to host it, but thought the additional drive and then no sleep, then driving HOME would probably kill me. I looked for something closer to Ottawa and realized there was nothing.


No 24-Hour Comics Day event in ANY Nation's Capital comic book stores to encourage artists to create masterpieces on trestle tables, between multicoloured rows of comics. No fervent prophets of art and story, drawing throngs of the interested public through the doors to bring lucre to the tills. No store was signed up to host. So I thought to myself, "Self," (sfx of Arlo Guthrie talking) "Yup?" "Why dontcha host an event yerself?" "Sounds like a great idea. Then I won't end up in flames somewhere near Belleville on the way home from the stint in TO!" "Sounds like a plan." "AND I would get to see all of my comic and animation buddies whom I haven't seen in a donkey's year." "Is that an African or European donkey?"

And so on.

The 24-Hour Comics Day site has wonderful resources (like this FAQ) for hosting the DAY and I have downloaded lots of 'em. DragonHead Studio is officially on the boards at their site, and the fun starts at noon, October 20th, 2007 at yours truly. There is a Facebook Group set up for it, as well as an "Event" that you can request an invitation to.

As it stands, I have a possibility of 7 people turning up, which looks great! There is room for 5 -7 more, so if you are in the Ottawa/ Kanata area and you're keen to draw and you'd like to play with my animals and sit on my deck sipping Rev or what-have-you, drop me a line!

You know you want to.
That leetle voice you spend all day ignoring and the entire drive home from your job trying to feint left and right as its siren susurrus pleading whisper darts from ear to ear... Listen to it. Next time you're about to crank "Sam's Town", take a minute to really listen to what the Killers are saying; don't just let the sound wash over you.

"...I've got this energy beneath my feet
like something underground's gonna come up and carry me,
I've got this sentimental heart that beats
but I don't really mind that it's starting to get to me now..."

Call, write, email ( or sign up on the Facebook Group and pester me. You have 'til October 6th to get your name in! It's going to be fun!


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