Monday, April 25, 2005

Fear and Lothing in Felt-Tip

My arm is still numb from fingertip to elbow, but here is my account of 24 Hour Comics Day, with apologies to the late Hunter S. Thompson....

We were somewhere around Daleville, Indiana when the Vanilla Pepsi kicked in. In the passenger seat was my brother, wild-haired and red-eyed on five hours' sleep. Some band called Mah-Jongg spat 70s funk smashed with electronica out of the speakers. In the backseat we had a dozen felt-tipped pens, a fat blue Sharpee, two mechanical pencils, three shades of drawing paper, a half-dried jar of white-out, a bottle of Tylenol, and a thick copy of last year's "24 Hour Comics Day Highlights." It was almost 9 a.m., and we had a dozen miles to go. I knew they would be tough miles. And many more miles to go before we slept. It was 24 Hour Comics Day.

I had started 24 Hour Comic Day at 4 p.m. the day before, doing preliminary research on the internet into Nedor heroes and getting some idea prompts from the official site. Then I went to dinner with my brother and family to celebrate his birthday, and stayed out too late talking about philosophy and life and so on. I learned the happy news that he would join me the next morning and draw his own 24 Hour Comic, a story in a fantasy setting. He would start at midnight. Meanwhile, the whole time my own clock was ticking. I drew about two pages and made the bold decision that I would do better after a few hours of sleep. I crashed out around 11:30 and got up at 5 a.m. I did four quick pages before I had to leave and pick up my brother a half-hour away, then head to Reader Copies in Anderson, Indiana, an official site for the event. Another hour gone.

Reader Copies in Anderson welcomed us with open arms, and plyed us with food and drink all day. I met Robert Flory, a professor at Ball State University with actual artistic talent, trying to tell the history of creation through his story. Mine was about a giant robot invasion.

At around 11 a.m. Tom Cherry joined us, another actual artist with one "noble failure" under his belt. Fresh blood gave the rest of us a shot in the arm, but a few hours later and we were all at low ebb together, the waves crashing on our splintered rafts. I genuinely didn't think I would finish, but so much interest from patrons of the store helped egg me on the last mile. I did 18 pages in seven hours, ending at 3:45. So I got a little frisky and drew the cover as well.

My brother ran out of steam, as did Robert Flory, but I later learned that Tom Cherry and his fish-headed friend crossed the finish line. We had left to go see "Sin City" and have BBQ to celebrate. But I was slowly slipping away, and fell asleep with Nedor heroes dancing in my head at about 10 p.m.

Thus, "The Liberator" was born, and if anyone wants a copy, give me a shout at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

1 comment:

Bill Cunningham said...

Come on John!

Let's see it!