Puxley the Possum vs. Buddy Boo the Bad: A 24-Hour Coronavirus Comic

Several friends and Doomkopf alums (who are also friends) got together virtually this past weekend to make something out of the fact that we’re all stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour comics process and rules would be the same — we’re just doing it in April instead of October.

For mine, I started with my normal routine of soliciting random words to help me generate ideas. My girlfriend — on the spot and off the top of her head — gave me “possum,” “avenue,” “dream” and “oceanside;” Doom, Where’s My Car? gave me “cartography” and “comatose.”

From those seed words, and from “Show Me the Way” by Styx (which came up on our 90s station during the ideation period), I came up with the idea you see below.

I wanted to place this story in an abandoned city (my coronavirus influence) but I almost ditched the idea completely when I thought about how tedious it would be to draw city streets and storefronts over and over for 24 pages. Fortunately, my friend Christina — who has been taking photos of the mostly abandoned lower Manhattan lately — graciously shared some of her photos, which I was able to use as background influences (Christina also gets credit for suggesting the names “Buddy Boo” and “Puxley”).

This was by far the most linearly I have ever constructed a 24-hour comic, as I had a good (general) idea of where I was going to start and (generally) where I wanted to go right from the beginning. However, I had no idea how to end it. All the details get filled in along the way (for example, Pete the Wizard was inspired by one of my friends’ comics, which involved a Pizza Wizard), but once I hit 20 pages 18 hours in, I was completely stumped on where to go from there. I sat there for another hour with no additional ideas on how to salvage it, so then at 8 a.m. I decided to take a three-hour nap with the hope that my subconscious would save the day.

I woke up with an ending in mind, talked through it with my girlfriend, and then she made an off-hand comment that gave me a much better idea on how to end it. So I scrapped my first idea, sat down and cranked out the last four pages —- and came in just under the wire at our 1:30 p.m. stopping time. I had to use banked time when I completed my most recent 24 hour comic, so it felt good to be able to start and finish within the 24-hour window.

As always, it was a blast to be able to do the challenge with my friends, and I hope you enjoy this story! We’ll have Doom DeLuise’s story up here on the site once he’s had a chance to scan and upload it.