Some highlights from 24-Hour Comics Day 2011

This past Sunday was 24-Hour Comics Day, a grand old comics tradition that began in 1990 when Scott McCloud challenged his friend Steve Bissette to draw an entire 24-page comic in a single day. Scott has posted the whole story, including the first 24-hour comics, on his blog. The idea loped along for a while until 2004, when writer and publisher Nat Gertler came up with the idea of making it a Thing, with coordinated events and people posting on the internet and so forth. And now it even has its own Twitter hashtag. What a long way we have come!

I looked through a lot of blog posts while compiling this, and one thing I noticed was the number of people who felt their comics failed, or who didn't complete the challenge. I think the value of 24-Hour Comics, especially for newcomers, is that it allows the creator to start something and bring it to a close within a defined period. Starting things is easy, but finishing them is hard, and even finishing a bad comic is better than starting a lot of good ones and never bringing them to a close.

Tom Spurgeon is compiling the definitive, exhaustive collection of links, and what I see from his list and the people linked at the official 24-Hour Comics Day site is that very few well-known creators took the challenge this year; the flip side of that is that there are a lot of ambitious newcomers who gave it a shot.

On the other hand, there were a few veteran creators, including Lea Hernandez, whose comic was super-cute and very colorful, although a bit lacking in storyline ...

Emi Lenox's 24-hour comic, Lord of the Ring-House, is, as the title suggests, a riff on Lord of the Rings, with two spunky campers putting The Eye firmly in its place.

Tara Abbamondi had an impressive short tale about a wishing well, with a cute twist at the end. I like it that, unlike almost all the 24HCD participants, she actually displayed her comic in a comics format, using a neat little scrolling comics reader, rather than uploading it as a series of jpegs that each have to be clicked individually.

And while Derik Badman hung up his pencil after only 17 pages, and says he isn't happy with it, the comic he posted is awful pretty.

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