Podcast of Doom (transcript):
24 Hour Comics Day is coming!


[SFX: Intro music]

JIM DOOM: Hello and welcome to the latest Podcast of Doom. I’m your host, Jim Doom, and with me as always, or at least most of the time —

DOOM DeLUISE: Always.

JIM DOOM: — is Doom DeLuise.

[SFX: Intro music fade out]

So 24 Hour Comics is coming up in one week from this Saturday – October 20th to be exact – and I thought it’d be fun to dedicate this episode to talking about the challenge — our experience with it, favorite memories, what we’re looking forward to this year, that sort of thing.

This year will be the first time that any of us have done the challenge since 2010, and it’ll be the biggest 24 Hour Comics Day gathering of the Legion since 2008. What are you most looking forward to this year?

DOOM DeLUISE: Mostly just hanging out with my friends. Our newest member, Doom Goes the Dynamite, is hoping to attend. And I’m going to work a little harder this year. Every year, I kind of phone it in at some stage, so this year I’m going to try not to do that. I’m going to try to maintain the same level of effort through the whole thing. Rather than ending it with six splash pages, I’m going to actually put forth effort throughout. Looking forward to that. Yourself?

JIM DOOM: I’m excited about the new location. We’ll get into this more a little later in the show, but Fredd will be hosting the regular gathering at Krypton Comics [transcriber’s note: on the south side of Westwood Plaza at 125th & Center], again coinciding with their Artist Jam, but we’ll be at Legend Comics [transcriber’s note: at 52nd & Leavenworth], which is hosting for the first time. They’re keeping their coffee shop open all night to ensure we have a steady stream of caffeine.

So I’m excited about the new venue, and any new participants that might bring.

Like you, I’m excited to hang out with the regular crew. For me, one of the best things about the challenge is the energy you get from doing it as part of a group. I believe we’re going to have Fin Fang Doom, Colonel Doom, Doomanchoo and Doom & Gloom in person, plus Doom Where’s My Car? is hoping to Skype in from Vietnam.

I’m also hoping we’re able to successfully set up a Google hangout to unite the Legend and Krypton participants over the course of the event [transcriber’s note: if the Google hangout is successfully established, we will share the info here and on the Facebook event page].

And as always, I’m just excited to see what comes out of it. Every year has been so different and resulted in such different output.

[SFX: audience politely applauds]

So with that, I guess let’s go back to the first time we attempted this, back in the fall of 2006.

[SFX: audience cheers]

DOOM DeLUISE: Ah yes, at the Hiway Diner.

JIM DOOM: Doomkopf.com didn’t even exist yet. We were still calling ourselves the Legion of Doom and we were just dwelling on a blogger site. I think.

And yes, after calling around to some coffee shops and other businesses, we found Lincoln’s Hiway Diner was willing to host us.

DOOM DeLUISE: I think, at that point, I’d written one blog —

[SFX: audience boos]

— about how much I hated Wonder Woman, and that was it.

[SFX: audience cheers]

JIM DOOM: I don’t know if anyone other than us was reading our blog yet.

The Hiway Diner set up their little side dining room with some long tables for us, giving us that whole wing for the challenge. If I remember right, we made a Facebook event and actually got a few strangers to attend.

DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t remember much about that event. If you recall, I had to leave midway through to go to work. I remember you trying to sleep on the floor, and that’s about it. Oh, and I had, like, three club sandwiches.

JIM DOOM: No, I didn’t leave to go to work.

DOOM DeLUISE: I said I had to. Clean the wax out of your ears!

[SFX: audience laughter]

JIM DOOM: Oh sorry. Doing too many things at once. I was making this list of who I remember being there.

You were there, I was there, and so were Doominator, Fin Fang Doom, Doom Where’s My Car? and Colonel Doom … and I think maybe even Doom Fritter was there, but he wasn’t Doom Fritter yet.

DOOM DeLUISE: Oh yeah, when I showed up, I made some wisecrack about how if Fin Fang Doom was there, who was manning the Gay Factory? That was before he was out of the closet.

JIM DOOM: Big things I remember from that year: Fin Fang Doom was really excited about these different challenges, and he’d shout out “It’s 2:00! Time to make a splash page!”

DOOM DeLUISE: How did we not know he was gay?

[SFX: audience laughter]

JIM DOOM: And the Hiway Diner was playing a classic rock station, so I remember he made the challenge that if a ZZ Top song came on, you had to incorporate a Back to the Future III reference into your story. I complied with that one. I think I ignored splash page challenge.

But the big big thing I remember is that I had promoted the event on my cartooning website, and so this guy who disagreed with all my cartoons about guns and gun control came to talk to me for about two hours.

I was doing a pretty good job of keeping up on the page-per-hour pace until he showed up.

DOOM DeLUISE: Oh yeah! That was while I was at work. I got the skinny when I came back. That guy was the worst!

JIM DOOM: He was a really nice guy, and it was a pleasant conversation as far as conversations about extremely charged political issues with strangers go, but it largely revolved around the idea that if I would just fire a gun, then I would learn to love guns, and then I wouldn’t be such a liberal gun control lover.
For about two hours.

DOOM DeLUISE: hahahaha

JIM DOOM: And I couldn’t shake him, even when I’d say things like “Well, I should probably get back to work to keep up my pace!” I think he finally left because he got tired.

DOOM DeLUISE: You should have told him that the same can be said about gay sex.

JIM DOOM: So I fell behind, and so around 2 a.m. my contacts were really dried out and I had kind of lost motivation, so then yeah, as you said, I took a nap on the floor. On the hard, tiled floor of the Hiway Diner.

I never finished that one, but I did get pretty close.

What was your story that year?

DOOM DeLUISE: That was Planarian Man, right? Mine was the drinking robot.

JIM DOOM: Yeah, and that was kind of a cheat. I didn’t plan any of the story in advance, but it used characters that were already created. So I started from a little bit of a shortcut. I did like the idea of creating a brand new story from established characters, which I did, and that was fun, but I don’t think it was quite in the spirit with the challenge.

Was the beer-drinking robot called Jakko, or was that the name of a different character of yours?

DOOM DeLUISE: Jakko was my D&D character. Jakko the Noble. The drinking robot didn’t have a name.

JIM DOOM: That’s right. I was thinking I combined two characters for that. Was that the year that Fin Fang Doom did the story about Star Trek: The Next Generation?

DOOM DeLUISE: Yep! He made an entire 24 Hour Comic based around an inside joke he had with Colonel Doom.

JIM DOOM: Ok, well, looking on that year, it was a fun first attempt. I learned a few lessons from that, the most important of which were to not take naps and to bring glasses and contact solution in case my eyes dry out.

Hopefully you learned to take the day off.

DOOM DeLUISE: That’s literally all I learned. I remember my comic sucked, because the first half was all just a joke, and then when I went to work, I changed the entire direction, so the last half was a spy thriller.

Super disjointed.

JIM DOOM: Oh man, I wish I could read that again.

So the next time we did the challenge was the fall of 2008 at Krypton Comics. You, me, Colonel, Fin Fang Doom, Doom and Gloom … were Doominator and Doom Where’s My Car? there again?

DOOM DeLUISE: Doom Where’s My Car? was. Doominator was living in Philly at that point.

That was my favorite year of all.

JIM DOOM: So that year’s event happened to coincide with Krypton’s monthly Artist Jam event, where they invite people to just come in and draw for a few hours with company. So at first, there were like 3 dozen people there and they had to add more tables.

I remember that we didn’t fit in very well at first. There were lots of kids. There was that guy that sat at our table who kept trying to joke with us, and we were probably not super welcoming of his friendliness.

Oh!

Also, that year Bawlz energy drink sponsored 24 Hour Comics Day, so we had all the energy drink we wanted. And I remember drinking like three bottles of it in a very very short amount of time and feeling very sick.

Fin Fang Doom came totally prepared with these activity bags he made.

DOOM DeLUISE: How did we not know he was gay?

[SFX: audience laughter]

JIM DOOM: He had a bunch of genres written on pieces of paper in one bag, and then he had a bunch of other random words written on other pieces in the other bag. The idea was so that you could fully embrace the from-scratch nature of the challenge by drawing genres and random words to inspire your idea. I was a nervous wreck because of the election, and I remembered that I’d had a dream the night before about an argument over Obama and McCain yard signs. If I remember right, I drew “mystery” and “rhubarb,” so I decided to make some garden-based mystery that ended up being kind of inspired by my dream.

DOOM DeLUISE: The reason I liked that year so much is because of two different things at work in my brain. First, I was also a nervous wreck about the election. Second, it was about a month after I got dumped by my super ex-girlfriend. So I was nervous and super [bleep] depressed. 24 Hour Comics Day was just this perfect little escape, where I just didn’t think about any of that for an entire day. But you can kind of see the depression at work in the pages of “Space Dinosaurs from the Future.” Like, I really did not give a [bleep] about anything in life at that point, which you can totally see through the cavalier way I told that story. There was this level of ambivalence, where I just didn’t care if it worked or it didn’t, if it was funny or not, or anything, really. So this little comic completely captured my life at that point in time.

JIM DOOM: And it ended up being great! I’m glad we have everyone’s comics preserved from that year. Or at least almost everyone’s.

Ok, so the next year, none of you guys were able to make it, and I went to Krypton by myself.

[SFX: audience boos]

It was a much smaller group that year — maybe like around 8-10 people total — and I didn’t know anyone. Even Fredd, who had been our connection to Krypton the previous year, was gone. I think he was at a convention or something. So it was a much different vibe.

So in 2009, I think you and I were shopping at Capes Comics — would that be about right as far as the timelines go? Because I remember Traci from Capes was there. But that was the year I made Pokrok Zapadu.

DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, 2009, we were shopping at Capes. It was right before he closed shop, I think.

JIM DOOM: I remember being driven mad by a conspiracy theorist guy in attendance, who had been there the year before — Colonel Doom interviewed him for a story he was writing for The Reader — but not nearly as vocal.

Here, I took some notes about the things that guy was saying.

ahem

Conspiracy guy said “Americans are too fat, and so it’s weighing down the Earth and shifting it 3 degrees so it’s moving closer to the sun.”

The guy across the table from him said “I don’t know about that…”

To which conspiracy guy replied “How else do you explain global warming?”

[SFX: audience laughter]

Here’s another note I took — this one from roughly 2 p.m. “The guy just freaked out because he thought something was burning. Someone suggested he smell the comic book he opened because the smell started up when he opened the book. He would say Its the book! No wait, it isn’t! Oh yeah, it’s the book! Back and forth for a while.”

[SFX: audience laughter]

Another note, this one from just after 8 p.m. “He just said that his son has been doing some research and discovered that Madonna is in the Illuminati.” Oh, and he had confused Kaballah and Baalism, so he was talking about how Madonna sacrificed children.

[SFX: audience cheers]

Another note, this from around 9 p.m.: “Unsurprising line of the night: ‘I listen to a lot of talk radio.'”

DOOM DeLUISE: hahaha! That stuff is golden!

JIM DOOM: He referred to Ahmadinejad as “retarded fart man.”

[SFX: audience makes fart sounds, laughter]

Here’s a note from 6 a.m.: “I really hate this guy. He grunt-hums to every song. He also doesn’t know the difference between Fatboy Slim and Heavy D & the Boys. He’s insisting that ‘Now that we’ve found love’ is by Fatboy Slim.

“Earlier I went out to my car. The windows had frosted over. I mentioned that when I came back in. He didn’t know what frost on windows was and made a spectacle of that. He kept shrieking ‘What is that? What does that mean?’ Someone replied ‘It means there is frost on the window.'”

Okay, here’s an exchange from 10 a.m., in which he announced that they have a Highlander cartoon in France. Another guy in attendance, kind of rhetorically, asked “How can they have a Highlander cartoon?!” Missing the point, annoying guy replied, “It’s a cartoon. And since it’s in France, it’s in French.”

So anyway, since I was on my own that year and stuck in a room with this super annoying guy, I sort of brought the gang back together by building a story around characters drawn from previous 24 Hour Comics creations and other random notes I had in a notebook.

There was the aforementioned beer-chugging robot, Tedron or something like that, the bear from one of Fin Fang Doom’s stories, a dinosaur from your Space Dinosaurs from the Future comic, and then I think the other things were from random notes.

So that was my way of feeling less alone without you guys.

That makes it sound like I was a little kid off to summer camp for the first time.

A little kid off to terrible conspiracy theorist summer camp.

So anyway, that leads us to 2010. I had been to the reunion concert of one of my favorite bands ever the night before and went to an after party, so I arrived a little late and out of sorts. Were you and Doominator the only other ones there from our posse? He was there, right?

DOOM DeLUISE: Doominator and Fin Fang Doom were there.

JIM DOOM: Oh man, I totally forgot Fin Fang Doom was there. What was his story about?

DOOM DeLUISE: Couldn’t tell ya.

JIM DOOM: Oh I can kind of remember him getting impatient around 6 a.m. Does that sound right? Or do I just remember that from every year?

DOOM DeLUISE: Well, it’s a yes to both of those questions.

JIM DOOM: That was the year I accidentally made a Toy Story knockoff. Well sort of.

I got pretty far into this story about an astronaut in the wild west who was homesteading next to this widower farmer. And the widower was being harassed by a bully landowner, and the astronaut came in and protected him. And at some point in the middle of the night one of you pointed out that it was like Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

And then I hated it. And never finished it.

DOOM DeLUISE: Nope!

Close, but you have the details wrong.

It was in the middle of the night, but it was one of the funniest reveals ever. You were just doing something on your iPod phone, at which point you just started mumbling swear words to yourself. And I looked up, and you were like, “Stupid [bleep] comic,” and flipped your phone around to show me you’d done a Google image search of Toy Story. It was hilarious.

[SFX: audience laughter]

One of the rare times where you’ve let loose with a stream of profanity.

JIM DOOM: Hahaha I don’t remember that. Oh man. So I wonder if I have rewritten my memories to assume that if I was oblivious enough to spend that much time on it, I probably would’ve required some kind of outside explanation to get out of my zone.

And maybe it’s slightly less heartbreaking to forget that I figured it out myself.

I remember that I just started that year’s comic by thinking “What’s fun to draw? Astronauts! Cowboys! Spaceships!” How could such a pure and innocent beginning lead me down such a disappointing path?

[SFX: Audience “awwwww”]

DOOM DeLUISE: I dunno. Aside from the obvious Toy Story parallel, I thought that comic was absolutely awesome. Unquestionably.

JIM DOOM: I found it not too long ago and thought about finishing it. The whole thing is penciled, but the last six or so pages remain uninked. There’s a 24 Hour Comics Day term for a variation where you only take 24 hours to make the comic, but they’re not consecutive.

Considering I got there two hours late and we left probably four hours early, I’m sure I could finish that thing within the time limit. I’d just have to include an asterisk.

That was the first time I’d done 24 Hour Comics day after my still-fresh separation with the now ex-Mrs. Jim Doom, and I think that totally affected the story.

DOOM DeLUISE: Oh absolutely.

JIM DOOM: It had these themes of loneliness, getting over loss, giant spaceships in caves, and learning to embrace the opportunity of a new life after losing control of things.

DOOM DeLUISE: I think that’s what’s so cool about 24 Hour Comics Day. Unlike other forms of writing or drawing or whatever, you don’t get the prettiest work. You don’t get the A Game the entire way through. Because this thing spends an entire 24 Hours with you. Think about that. It gets you at your best and worst.

Unlike other stuff, you can’t just set it down and come back to it a few days later. It gets an unfiltered version of you, warts and all.

JIM DOOM: Yeah that’s really true. I was talking to a friend last night who might come, and I was talking about how my 24 Hour Comics are some of my favorite things I’ve ever done. They’re far from perfect when it comes to things I’d change, execution and whatnot, but they are perfect capsules of that 24 hour period in your life. It’s weird how much of life gets poured into those things, probably by necessity.

You create something you would never end up with if you had the luxury of time, edits, rewrites and whatnot, but that’s why they’re so great.

There are always people who approach it from this professional angle, with their giant sheets of bristol board, triangles, T-squares, brushes and inks and all that stuff. They inevitably get like 4 pages done and don’t really seem like they got anything out of it. But I feel like that’s missing the point of the challenge.

I found these notes from 2009, after I’d finished the challenge on my own.

It repeats some things I just said, but elaborates a little, also with the fresh zaniness of sleep deprivation. I wrote,

“I think the way to get something out of 24 Hour Comics Day is to embrace the challenge. People who show up with their bristol board and fancy supplies and treat it as just another day polishing their art skills tend to 1) not have fun 2) not come back and 3) be kind of boring. They don’t get that this isn’t a day to make a fancy, finished art piece — it’s a challenge. You really shouldn’t be refining anything at 24 Hour Comics Day because it’s a completely unique set of circumstances with a completely unique goal. Three-legged races and marathons both involve running, but it’s not like you take your experience from a three-legged race and try to apply it to your marathon.

“I think it can be hard for people to let go like that though. New people approach it as ‘I need to make something ready for publication.’ That kind of pressure will get you nowhere. One guy commented that he had performance anxiety and he penciled 5 pages and inked 2 over the whole 24 hour period. You’ve got to just forget that some people do this work professionally and just embrace it for the wicked weird thing it is. If you do that, it doesn’t matter how good or bad of an artist you are — you made a comic book. You beat the challenge. That’s what’s awesome about it. And I think that’s why we always have so much fun there — because we get it. We’ve figured out ways to push and puzzle ourselves so that we get something out of it that’s much more than 24 pin-up pages or something. ”

[SFX: Outro music]

The Doomkopf gang will be participating in 24 Hour Comics Day from noon, October 20th to noon, October 21st at Legend Comics at 52nd & Leavenworth in Omaha. You can RSVP to that event on Facebook. Krypton Comics will also be hosting an event at the same time at their store on the south side of Westwood Plaza at 125th & Center. Or visit 24HourComicsDay.com to find a location near you!