24 Hour Comics: Bunnirah

15 05 2013

I’ve been remiss in writing about my 24 hour comic experiences on this blog. Here’s what’s happened since 2009’s Shamanic Lemonade:

wp4HI missed two 24HC events in 2010. In 2011, we ended up with no family obligations for Thanksgiving, and I thought it would be fun to host a 24HC event at home that weekend. Only Adrian Wallace was able to stay the whole time, but we had fun and I produced The Four Humors. We spent a lot of time goofing off, so I had to draw a lot of essentially single panel pages to finish in time. This may be my weakest 24 hour comic, but I’m happy with it. It’s pretty much an elaborate pun I just had to get out of my system.

WPcrepsIn May of 2012, I hosted another gathering, on a weekend less prone to family commitments. This would be my last group 24HC event in Portland. I’m glad my good pals Adrian, Conch, and Spider were able to make it. By this time I’d posted all my 24 hour comics to my new site on Comic Fury. I figured if I do two 24 page comics a year, I could post one page a week all year long. However, I found with The Four Humors that 1 page a week is too slow. So for The Crepusculars, as an added challenge, I drew on extra large paper and designed each page to split in half, so that I could have two pages to post each week. In other words, 48 pages of narrative on 24 sheets of paper. Would this be twice as arduous as 24 straight pages? Not at all. It prevented me from using some of my tried-and-true shortcuts, and forced a denser story, but certainly was not twice the work of the comics I’d done before. I’ve stuck with this format ever since.

WPbky2The rest of 2012 was consumed by prepping the house, selling the house, and moving to Minnesota. On the official 24 Hour Comics Day in early October, we had just put the house on the market. There was no way I or anyone else could expect to plant ourselves for a whole Saturday of drawing comics. But then the house sold, much faster then we expected. Then Marcie left for her week-long conference in LA. There was still much to be done for the move,  too much to devote a whole weekend to comics (it’s best to set Sunday aside to sleep and recover), but I decided to try to work it in around the move preparations. My plan was to draw 12 pages in 12 hours for two consecutive days while I had the house to myself. What I discovered is that there is no substitute for setting aside 24 hours and sticking to that one day deadline. Things came up, there were distractions, amorphous breaks, and I couldn’t accrue 12 hours of drawing in a day. It then became just like any project that you work in around your daily life, and took me three weeks to complete. It’s not really a 24 hour comic at all, but it is The Return of Blinkey.

WPBunnirahBy Christmas we were in our new house in Minneapolis. In May, Marcie traveled again for a meeting and I had the place to myself for a week with no pressing engagements. On the spur of the moment I decided to draw a 24 hour comic. Months ago I had mentioned a dream I had on Facebook, in which I drew a comic about a giant radioactive vampire bunny. Several people demanded that I make the dream a reality. I knew then who would star in my next 24 hour comic: Bunnirah, Count of Monsters. This was my first completely solo, legit 24 hour effort. I never managed to hit the one page per hour pace, even thought I broke the split-page format a couple of times to speed things up. At hour 24 my last five pages were still in pencil, and the story was only 22 pages long. I didn’t want to rush inking the final pages, so I threw in the towel and went to bed. I dozed for about an hour, and then people were working on the street outside (a hazard of doing 24 hour comics midweek), and the dog was barking, and I couldn’t sleep. I read, watched tv, expected to doze off again, but didn’t. So I went upstairs and finished the damn comic. I consider this a successful 24 hour comic as per the Eastman Variation. It may not be my best effort, but I had an absolute blast with these characters. Be assured they will return.

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