On Thursday Sarah McIntyre, Jack Teagle, Kristyna Baczynski, Dan Berry, Fumio Obata, Warwick Johnson Cadwell and me, sat down to each complete a 24 hour comic as part of the LICAF festival in the lake district. (I’ll talk more about the festival in general in another post) Quite a diverse group of artists, stylistically, so an interesting lineup. And a fine group of folks to spend 24 hours locked in a room with.
So anyway, a page an hour. I usually take about 8 hours on each of my pages if you include all the procrastination and mucking about on twitter. But, working in just pencil and watercolour I was able to crack on.
At various points throughout the evening we were visited by guests of the festival (Joost Swarte, Scott McCloud, Jeff Smith Junko Mizuno etc) which was a nice distraction from the impeding deadline. What if I was the weakest link? what if everyone else finished lovely comics and I was left with a half finished pile of pages and some scribbled notes?
At some point, in a moment of madness I tweeted that if people wanted to be included in the comic to send me a photo of their face. My internet connection dropped out for a few hours and when it returned I found myself inundated with people to draw. This was around 3am, the halfway point. Drawing those faces broke me, I was a whimpering wreck attempting to add all these portraits to the background of the panels. I managed maybe ten or so (badly) before hiding in a dark room for an hour. I was greasy Decie, and a mumbling wreck. So, if your face made it into the book, I can only apologise.
By dawn I was back on track and distracting all the others by wandering around and chatting. There’s a timelapse video the shows just how little I spend sat down.
I think I finished around lunchtime, but still had a cover to design. Dan (who had completed his hours earlier) helped get my pages ready for print whilst I rushed to paint a cover. Usually a cover would take me a few days to design, it’s not something that comes naturally to me. Anyway I made a cover, not the best cover, but I’d beaten the deadline. Dan and I rushed the files to the printers and the books were made there and then. And they came out gorgeous.
The books were officially launched on the Sunday of the festival and we were given medals (chocolate) and did some ceremonial bowing and shaking of hands. Christopher Butcher later told me that loud speakers had been blaring the Chariots of Fire music through the town square whilst announcing the books arrival. All good, bizarre, fun
So there you go, I now know I can draw 24 pages in a day, but not every day eh?