24-Hour Comic #16

Tue 12/20/2016

This year for my Christmas present, Claire agreed to watch Suzanne for an entire day so that I could draw my 16th 24-Hour Comic. When I was 20, I swore that I would draw one 24-Hour Comic a year for the rest of my life. We'll see how much longer I can keep that up...

I have already lost more sleep this year than any other year of my life, hands down. For the two weeks leading up to this, Claire and I were trying to get Suzanne on a new sleep schedule, which was pretty brutal. When I started at 12:01am on Saturday, December 17th, I was already very tired. By the time it was done, I was utterly exhausted. Two days later and I'm still trying to recover. It's a lot harder at 37 than it was at 20! :P

Instead of drawing an improvised comic, I decided to use this opportunity to make a dummy of a children's book that I have been thinking about a lot for the last few months. I spent the first hour thumbnailing it out. It ended up at 40 pages, but I tried to just focus on the first 24, which I successfully finished (25 actually) at 10:37pm on Saturday, December 17th.

I'm not going to post the pages online for a few reasons: 1) They are not very good. My whole life I have wanted to make picture books, and I have had many false starts over the years. Only now, as a parent who is reading a lot of picture books day in and day out, do I feel like I'm finally ready to make my own. But I'm new to this. And so, like most things that one tries out for the first time, it's not very good. It is a rough draft that still needs a lot of work. 2) I want to do the work that it needs, to make it a better book, and someday draw it for real and release it. So I don't really feel like posting a super rough draft online.

Now, drawing rough drafts of 25 pages of a 40-page picture book is stretching the definition of a 24-Hour Comic to the extreme. I do believe, that to a well-orgaized mind, picture books are comics. But I only drew 18 images, and I didn't even ink them. Furthermore, I decided to try and write it in verse (which was probably a mistake, given how tired and sluggish my mind was) so I also just printed out the text and pasted it in.

Given all that, was this thing even a 24-Hour Comic? Probably not, but I don't care. I'm still counting it. I still got to that place creatively, where I was so deep into it that the project seemed to be coming together of its own accord and I was just channeling it. I'm probably going to use this same approach for my next 24-Hour Comic, which is already scheduled for March (I'll be running a 24-Hour Comic event at UWM, like I did back in 2015). I don't have time these days to spend weeks and/or months working on the first draft of a picture book, but I can use this challenge to knock out a dummy in a day. I've got a lot of picture book ideas bouncing around in the back of my mind, so this seems like a great way to get them down on paper.

Anyway, above you can see the one spread I was most pleased with. The story takes place in the mid-50s and is about beatniks. I hope that I'll be able to share it all with you someday!

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