Making a 24 Hour Comic is hard, that much I have told you many times before.
However, I think I must also tell you that it’s much harder when you do it without some kind of structure to work on.
In my “all-random” days, I used to go at it one page at a time until I got close to the cut-off page, then I wrapped things up in some way. If I needed more pages, I often included more characters or information that was not actually needed. There was very few planning or structure, for that matter.
However, since last year I started experimenting with a more structured approach: Thumbnails -> Drawing.
Last year I did all my Thumbs before I even started drawing the final pages, only to realize I needed more pages to finish the story that had been brewing in my head. I decided to commit to the idea of making more pages anyways, so I started to roll with it until I realized there was WAY too much ri-dunk-ulous drama and pacing issues, so I ended up doing some on-the-fly improv with some pages to get the whole thing back on track.
This year’s approach was more structured: I had a vague idea for an ending, and a vague idea for a beginning, and a clear idea of the sort of basic underlying message. Thus I planned it as a three-stage model: Introduction, Development, Conclusion.
- During the Introduction, which shouldn’t take longer than ~6 pages, I would present the characters and the main location for the rest of the story.
- The Development is essentially playing around with the characters, while setting things up for the eventual Reveal, which divides the Development from…
- The Conclusion, in which things get resolved and things work out in the end, maybe in less than 6-8 pages.
Using this structure, I then decided to pace my work accordingly: I would thumbnail six pages at a time, then proceed to draw them digitally.
This system was more efficient, and allowed me to finish relatively quickly, despite all the loafing around I did at some point.
Necessary loafing, mind you, because otherwise the process would’ve been too stressful.
This system might not work for you, though: Everyone has different work ethics, and different pacing needs. Some work better with no thumbnails, others can’t work more than 1 or 2 pages ahead, others need to thumbnail, sketch and ink one page at a time. Practice for a bit, find the pace that works for you, and set it as a standard.
Anyways, that’s my experience.
Want to see what other people have done? Let’s dig into the #24hcd Twitter Tag!
- “The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization”, by Jeff Overturf. A fun comic about… Well, about how civilization was made! XD IT’S ALSO EDUCATIONAL, if you don’t know a little bit about history XD
- “Rat King”, by Carey Pietsch. Very interesting read, has some pacing issues here and there, but nothing bad. The art is rough in a nice kind of way, the kind of style I enjoy a lot. The ending!!
- “Aurora”, by Andrew Gregoire. He’s posting a couple of pages at a time, so be sure to come back to see the final thing! It’s mostly non-verbal and the art is soooooo clean! Makes me SUPER ENVIOUS.
- “The Hairy Mermaid”, by RR Anderson. Gonna get updated one page a night for the next couple of nights, I guess. LOOKS PROMISING AND HAIRY. Very fine qualities!
- “Painterly”, by Tara Abbamondi. You can SMELL the influences in this one, and it’s GOOD INFLUENCES. The kind of thing I wish I could do BUT I CAN’T. Also included: Her comic from 24hcd 2011!
- “Vandal”, by Veronica Vera. Have I mentioned how much I love those comics that are rough around the edges? They have this raw quality that is hard to match! Also: ANOTHER SILENT COMIC!
- “I wish…”, by Yvette Gustafsson. The hurriedness makes it a hard read, but the franticness is also good, it’s the kind of work you can tell was made with sweat, tears and love.
- Many, MANY comics in German and English, courtesy of myComics.de. STUNNING STUFF MAN. Humbling!
- The 24hcd Tumblr. Haven’t checked them all out due to personal policy (“We don’t go to
- If you thought the Germans were big on these, you should see the French. Are those 113 comics? YES THEY ARE.
- Not an actual 24 hour comic, but a Photo Comic about people making 24 hour comics. DELIGHT! The last panel is SO TRUE.
If you have ANYTHING else to share, please do! I LOVE reading 24 hour comics, particularly when people are nice enough to share them!! 😀