Documentary about the event 24 Hour Comics, where writers/artists have 24 hours to create a 24 page comic. 8 artists go into a comic shop and through 24 hours create, or in some cases, try to create a complete comic from conception to completion. We travel through the day and along the journey learn more about the Comic Book business from well-known comic book professionals and those who hope to be a bigger part of the industry.
If you don’t know this already I write comics, and have done for a long time now, I’m a small press creator who is exceptionally happy with his place in the business. At the heart of me I’m a storyteller, there are plenty who want the Dark Horse or other company writer title, and if it happens it happens, but in the end I’m a story spinner. But I love the comic book business, I love working with artists that complete what they set out to do, I write other stories in various formats, but there is something about writing panels and getting pages from the artists I’m fortunate to work with. I’ve known for some time the 24 Hour Comic event, and because I can’t draw to save my life, honestly can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, I haven’t taken part.
This documentary has been given a four out of five because it’s a well made, well-informed, and on point documentary. Having worked within the business now since the year 2000 there is so much relevance within the running time that if you have any plans to work as a writer and artist in comics that this will aid you more than nearly anything, apart from experience. As you get to know the different Women and Men that are taking part in this particular challenge that has been copied the world over you learn of the various successes and failures that have shaped their careers.
The great part of the documentary is the frank nature of the successes and failures, drawing out the truth from people within an industry like comics takes a deft hand at the wheel. I have to give massive amounts of credit to the creative team behind the film to get that honest exchange from creators. Believe me, we like to brush our failures under the carpet as much as any creative, but here there is a lot of brave creators who tell the truth. Talking about the financial struggles that face any, remember that ANY, creative in comics. Even if you’ve got a successful book it doesn’t mean that the bills are going to get paid that month, I think any writer will tell you that.
When it comes to the event itself the film injects you straight into the troubles and the fun of the 24 hour limit, when it can take a comic artist over a week to complete a page they are pushing every limit of their talent to get this done. You’ll ask yourself why would you put yourself through that, but as an exercise for an artist it teaches you more than college ever could, and could be a valuable tool if you are considering trying your hand.
A lot of creatives from any industry would serve themselves well to watch this documentary the interviews with the event participants show that it’s not about cool, it’s not about wanting some professionals email or phone number, it’s about doing the work. You need a drive within you to complete the challenge of not just the 24 Hour Comic event, but to survive in the industry. This is the most valuable tool in any Comic Creators arsenal, and I wish I had this back 17 years ago, compulsive viewing for those starting out and those still banging their heads against the wall in their forties.
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