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The Tom Cherry Experience

Monday, April 25, 2005

24 Hour Comics Day

This past Saturday was 24 Hour Comics Day and I actually participated this year. I previously attempted to do a 24 hour comic last year and failed (Though I did eventually get a decent comic out of the deal) so I was determined to actually finish one this time around!

The day found me rising around nine or so in the morning. After quickly getting cleaned up, I was on the road to Anderson, Indiana where I was meeting the famous John Oak Dalton at Reader Copies, a dandy comic store that was officially hosting a 24 hour comic extravaganza. I finally arrived at the store around 11:00am. Once there, I met fellow participants Eric Dalton (John's brother) and Robert Flory, an art professor at Ball State University. Also on hand were former Touchy Feely Fotos employees, Eric and Amanda Ballenger. Eric B., a friend of Robert's, was actually filming the event as a documentary.

I started work on my comic at 11:10am. I really had no idea what my story was going to be about so I just let the drawings be my guide. One of the cool things about drawing out in public was meeting and talking to some of the onlookers as they passed by our tables. Reader Copies seemed to be a major hub for gamers so most of our "audience" were curious kids. One little girl actually sat down at my table and started to draw as well.

I stayed at the store until a few minutes before closing time which was 5:00pm. John actually finished his comic book a little before 4:00pm so he and Eric took off to catch Sin City while Robert finally called it a day a half hour later. I had eight pages completed when I finally left.

In order to spare you the very boring details, I won't cover the next few hours blow by blow. I did almost throw in the towel around 10:00pm or so when I realized the story I was working on no longer interested me. However, before I called it quits, I decided to go into a different direction and the work progressed anew. With just a couple pages to go, I fell asleep a little after 5:00am.

I awoke a couple hours before my deadline with no clue on how to wrap things up. I struggled for nearly an hour to finish my final two pages. I would start to draw something and then I would hastily erase to start again. Realizing I was wasting too much time, I dropped any concerns for perfection as I doodled a resolution to the project. I finished at 11:01am with just nine minutes to spare.

So I did it! I actually completed a 24 hour comic book. It was frustrating and fun and challenging all at the same time and I'm glad I did it. Here's hoping I can do the same next year!

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