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05th Oct 2014

24 Hour Comics Day 2014

So we had another 24 Hour Comics Day in Belfast this year. It was held this weekend at Farset Labs, a sort of community creative space in Sandy Row, organised by the indefatigable Glenn Davidson. Cheers Glenn! Here’s a couple of photos nicked from the Facebook event page of me and Ann Harrison setting up and showing off some of our recent work.

Me at 24 Hour Comics Day, Farset Labs, Belfast

Ann Harrison at 24 Hour Comics Day, Farset Labs, Belfast

PJ Holden entertained us all by narrating his comic, Barry the Space Prawn, as he drew it, and was the first participant to get his effort online. Follow this link, or click the image below, to read mine. The story (such as it is) is all over the place and some of the likenesses of family members, drawn from distant memory, are a bit wonky, but I’m pleased with the drawing.

A Personal Narrative

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18th Oct 2010

This year’s 24 hour comic

I’ve had a hankering to do a comic for children since the 2D Festival last year, when there were so many kids at the event but I had nothing that was particularly suitable for them. I also have a nine-year-old niece and a six-year-old nephew, and I wanted to do something for them. So at this year’s 24 Hour Comics Day, I did.

I wanted to challenge myself in another way, too, by working in colour. There were long periods drawing this I was completely in the zone, and I think I’ve done a pretty decent comic, even if I say so myself. So here it is: Rise at Sundown. Click through to read it.

Rise at Sundown

Two more comics from this year’s Belfast event are already online: Stephen Downey’s untitled comic, and Andy Luke’s Don’t Get Lost. There’s also one from the Dublin event: Cliodhna Lyons’ Underground. Read and enjoy.

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13th Oct 2010

24 Hour Comics Day 2010

Well, 24 Hour Comics Day happened. Drawing from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday, to create a self-contained, 24 page comic. Stephen Downey already has his scanned and online at Tales of the…, and Andy Luke has posted a report. The Forgotten Pelmet are covering it too.

This year I decided to challenge myself by working in colour. The result is a 24 page children’s story called “Rise at Sundown”, which will be going online as soon as I’ve got it scanned. In the meantime, here’s the cover.

Rise at Sunset cover

I’ve managed to post this week’s page of The Cattle Raid of Cooley on time by the simple expedient of drawing it last week when my brain and drawing hand were still functioning.

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21st Oct 2009

No Cattle Raid of Cooley, but you get to hear what I sound like

I’m afraid that, thanks to my creative exertions at the weekend, it will be quite impossible to bring you your scheduled page of The Cattle Raid of Cooley this week. But! The Comic Cast’s podcast of the panel discussion on self-publishing and webcomics, featuring me, Hilary Lawler and Phil Barrett, along with contributions from the floor by Tommie Kelly, Gar Shandley and Maeve Clancy, is now available to listen to. I must warn you, however, that if you don’t make or want to make comics you may find our discussion of the techniques and logistics of producing a comic a little esoteric. Plus, I had no idea that’s what I sounded like.

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19th Oct 2009

24 Hour Comics Day 2009

My second 24 Hour Comics Day experience has now passed, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There doesn’t seem to have been a Belfast event this year, so I made the trek down to Dublin on the train (and bus substitution from Drogheda). Went very well – tip of the hat to the indefatigable Cliodhna Lyons who organised the whole thing. It was well attended, so although I tried to mingle and have a look at what everybody else was doing, I won’t have a hope of name-checking everybody I caught up with or met for the first time.

Maeve Clancy (creator of Flatmates) provided the music, and showed us a couple of music videos by Lisa Hannigan she’d created art for – “I Don’t Know”, for which she did the cut paper backdrops, and “Lille”, for which she and Jamie Hannigan made the pop-up books (click the titles to watch the videos on YouTube). Gar Shandley made a brilliant crack about a nine-year-old Hitler getting a gold star from his teacher, which he swore was inadvertent. Eoin Marron managed 5 pages in a meticulous cross-hatched style that looked fantastic, but was hardly the best approach for a 24 hour comic.

Having recently acquired an A3 scanner I decided it would be worthwhile to open up and draw a bit bigger (most of my comics are drawn at A4 size). I took the same approach as last year, doing no preparation but simply starting with an image and seeing where it took me. I came up with what turned out to be a low-key post-apocalyptic thing which I have called “After the End” (click the title or image to read it), experimenting a bit with the grey tones you get from dried out permanent markers, and playing with flashbacks showing my characters at different ages. It came out complete at 16 pages, and I padded it out to 20 with a cover and a spoof introduction, letters page and back cover ad, but it’s still short of the prescribed 24, so it would have to be counted as a “noble failure”. I’m pleased with it though.

The Comic Cast panel on small press and web publishing also seemed to go well. One correction to be made though – the panellists were me, Hilary Lawler and Phil Barrett, not Paddy Lynch as I reported three days ago. Phil is a slice-of-life cartoonist in the Adrian Tomine vein, and his comics include Lint, Matter, Blackshapes, and, in collaboration with the Comic Cast’s Liam Geraghty, Gazebo. I’ll link to the podcast once it’s posted.

Edited to add: I didn’t bring a camera with me, but Deirdre de Barra did, and has put a few photos up on Facebook. Here’s one of our table. That’s Hilary Lawler on the far left, then me, then Tommie Kelly avoiding drawing as usual, and then Eoin Marron overdoing it also as usual.

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16th Oct 2009

24 Hour Comics Day tomorrow

Obviously, any announcement I make today will pale into insignificance next to the earth-shattering one I made yesterday, but never mind. Be reminded that tomorrow is 24 Hour Comics Day! Assemble, if you will, at the Central Hotel in Dublin at 11am, when doors open, and workshops for kids, as detailed in this post, begin. The 24-hour comic marathon begins at 1pm, the challenge being for each artist to create a complete 24-page comic in 24 consecutive hours – here’s the one I did last year.

At 7pm there’ll be a round-table discussion hosted, and podcasted, by Liam and Craig of The Comic Cast, on the subject of “Self-publishing for the Web and Print”. Panelists will be myself, Paddy Lynch (of Cardboard Press and Edition Book Arts, and creator of Last Bus) and Hilary Lawler (of Longstone Comics, creator of Superhilbo). Should be good.

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13th Sep 2009

24 Hour Comics Day is coming

We’re just over a month short of this years 24 Hour Comics event, held at the Central Hotel in Dublin on the 17th/18th October.  The main feature, as ever, is the 24 Hour Comic marathon, where participants have 24 hours (starting at 11am on Saturday 17th, finishing the same time on Sunday 18th) to create a 24 page comic – here’s the one I did last year, and a load of others from the last three years. If you want to take part, it’s free – just show up. You’ll need to bring your own paper and drawing utensils.

But this year there’s a difference. It’s bigger. The event is being run in conjunction with Children’s Books Ireland and the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and on the Saturday there’ll also be workshops and other activities for kids, including:

  • 11:30-12:30 – a giant comic jam where young participants (7 and under) can collectively create one huge comic
  • 12:30 – 1:30 – a pop-up book workshop (6 and over) with animator and illustrator Maeve Clancy
  • 2:00 – 3:00 – a make-your-own-mini-comic workshop (for 8-12s) with small press cartoonists Bridgeen Gillespie and Phil Barrett
  • 3:00 – 4:00 – a workshop with manga artist Tsuyoshi Ogawa (pre-teens, under 10s need to be accompanied by an adult)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 – the same for teens and up
  • 5:30 – 6:30 – a workshop on creating monsters with children’s illustrator Sarah McIntyre (all ages)

Places are limited, so if you are or have a kid with artistic tendencies who’d like to take part, email Cliodhna and sign up – it’s free!

At 7pm there’ll be a panel discussion, hosted by Craig O’Connor and Liam Geraghty of The Comic Cast, on getting started in comics, focusing on self-publishing in print and on the web. Barring unforeseen circumstances I’ll be on the panel – a treat for my hordes of fans!

So if you can make it to Dublin that weekend, even if you don’t  fancy you have the stamina to create a 24 hours comic, why not put your head round the door and say hello?

All due kudos as ever to the indefatigable Cliodhna Lyons for organising the thing, and drawing the gorgeous graphics.

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21st Oct 2008

24 Hours Comics – post script

Well, I did it. I completed 24 pages of comics, plus a cover, within 24 hours.  It’s called “Something”, on the grounds that, well, I had to call it something.  Once it’s scanned and I’ve figured out where to put it, I’ll post a link. Here’s a photo of the first three pages, taken when I had no idea where it was going, just drawing images as they occurred to me:

The event was held at Catalyst Arts, a studio/gallery space in an old converted industrial building of some sort, and was organised by Catalyst’s co-director Fionnuala Doran.  I’d met Fionnuala once before, at the 2D Comics Festival in Derry in June.  A few days later I ran into her working at Waterstones and struck up a conversation.  Except, as it turned out, it was actually Fionnuala’s twin sister Aideen, and she had no idea who the hell I was.  Bit embarrassing.  Aideen, who’s also a co-director at Catalyst, showed up to help out for a while, but didn’t do a comic like Fionnuala did.

The other person I knew was Andrew Croskery, who’s a regular at the Belfast comics pub meet in the Garrick on the first Thursday of every month.  Here’s Andrew hard at work on his comic, “The Four Seasons”, which from what I could tell depicted Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as bickering sisters.  Looking forward to reading it properly.

Everyone else was new to me, and I’m having a hard time keeping their names straight in my head.  Here’s a wider shot of the studio:

That’s Andrew again in the foreground, Michael just behind him, And on the sofa, Vicky on the left, and (mind completely blank) on the right  There were others drawing, and quite a few others who dropped in to offer moral support.

I think my experience drawing without pencils probably stood me in good stead.  Jonny (not pictured) had never drawn a comic before, and I think completely misjudged how long it would take him, starting off with tight, detailed pencils on full-size, ruled-out boards.  By the middle of the night he’d got maybe four or five pages done, and realised he’d never get it finished that way, so he had a few hours kip and started again, drawing at A5 directly in brush and ink. He got seven pages done like that and they looked gorgeous – if he’d taken that approach from the start he’d easily have got a 24-hour, 24-page comic done.

We had a webcam link-up with the Dublin event, in the far more salubrious surroundings of the Central Hotel.  Here’s a link to a message board post with some of Cliodhna Lyons’ photos.  As you’ll see, nobody in Dublin spent the night drawing with their coat on with the hood up and wrapped in a duvet, as hotel function rooms are a bit warmer than artists’ studio spaces in converted industrial buildings.  Not that I’m complaining.  I’m pretty warm blooded.  I just wish I hadn’t had to sleep on the floor.  Getting a bit old for that.  Next year I’ll bring a camp bed or something.

Anyway, the webcam link was a bit awkward because although we could both see and hear the Dubs, they could only see us, because they’d neglected to bring any speakers (and not, as initially thought, because we didn’t have a microphone).  We started by holding up handwritten notes, and the Dubliners did the same until we pointed out we could hear them fine.  We ended up using some kind of text chat thing, although I couldn’t type fast enough to have proper conversations, but never mind.  Later on when I was half-asleep I’m pretty sure somebody was using it to tell Dublin dead baby jokes.  Anyway, hello to Cliodhna and Kyle and “Declan” and the rest.  Liam and Craig of the Comic Cast have done a special edition podcast interviewing some of the Dublin participants.

Oh, and we had a barbecue.  Catalyst has a balcony where they’ve rigged up a barbecue out of an old wheelbarrow.  We ate well, largely thanks to Andrew, and some of his mates who couldn’t stay but brought food anyway. That looks like Andrew on the left, the guy in the middle is Richard, who was one of the participating artists, and bending over to his right is Maria, who’s from Germany, didn’t do a comic, but subtitles sporting events for the hard of hearing on German TV for a living.  In the background are two more moral support people whose names have gone, but their presence was appreciated.

Hopefully it’ll be an annual event and get even more popular.  Roll on next year I say.

Edited on 6 November to correct a certain degree of confusion over names

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18th Oct 2008

24 Hour Comics Day

No webcomic roundup today, as I’m busy at the Belfast 24 Hour Comics event at Catalyst Arts. The idea is to draw, from scratch, a 24-page comic in 24 hours. We started at about 10.30 this morning and I’m taking a wee break having completed 11 pages of my comic, provisionally titled “Something”, but will probably have a proper title by the time it’s finished.

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