It was hard to get back in the 24 Hour Comics swing. I hadn’t done one since 2014, and I hadn’t done one with the Doomkopf crew since 2012. Doom DeLuise and I decided to rekindle some old magic, and we reunited via webcam and hung out remotely for most of the 24 hours.
I got a late start on the East coast (I wasted a lot of time purchasing, attempting to set up, and eventually giving up on a new webcam), and I ended up pooping out at 6:23 a.m., which was the 15-hour point. What was supposed to be a little nap turned into 6.5 hours of sleep. I woke up to find DeLuise chugging away and nearing completion (and he finished — go read it). I worked to the end of our 24 hour period, but I wasn’t finished.
I realize technically — according to the rules of the challenge — I failed, but I was enjoying my story, and out of commitment to DeLuise, I was determined to finish it. So figuring I had 6.5 hours in the bank, I waited until my next opportunity to tackle it. Work and personal travel tied up the next few weeks, but finally today I cashed in those hours and finished it.
The lingering story popped into my head occasionally over the past few weeks, but I did my best to not think about it until I was sitting down and officially resuming. I didn’t want to cheat with the limited time I had left by thinking about it “off the clock,” so to speak. And when I did sit down this afternoon and officially resumed, I realized I had way more work ahead of me than I thought I had.
I only had around 10 pages completely done. I had a bunch of pages either fully drawn and inked (but not lettered) or at least sketched — but I had very little recollection of what some of my intent was with some of these pages. So I spent a lot of my time today just getting reacquainted with what I had produced on 24HCD, trying to make sense of what I intended and trying to figure out what I could do with it.
I usually work non-linearly on 24HCD stories, but this one took that to another level completely. I drew so many pages with no idea where they were going, how they were fitting in or even what they were fitting into. This went to such an extreme that, with about 2 hours left, I realized I had actually laid out a 26-page story. I found one page I could ditch completely, but only one, so I ended up making a 25-page 24-hour comic in 24 hours and 30 minutes. I went over time, but still averaged under one page an hour.
This year, for inspiration, I asked my girlfriend to just tell me some random words. She offered balloon, rake, jungle gym, vacation and feudalism. Also — to honor tradition — Doom DeLuise and I listened to a 90s web radio station all night. Early on, “Sadeness Part 1” by Enigma played, and I started talking about the “monk craze of the early 90s.” He and I both happened to write down “monk craze” as inspiration. You can see it in both of our stories this year.
Working in a non-linear fashion keeps it fun for me. If I figure out too early on where the story is going, I get bored. This one kept me figuring things out to the end (and when I say “figuring things out to the end,” I mean figuring out important things that should happen on page 3, 8, 14, etc.) and more than any other 24 hour comic I’ve done, felt like it was revealing itself to me. Technically a failure, but one of my favorites. I hope you like it!