FAIRBANKS — Starting noon Saturday, aspiring comic artists are invited to skip sleep and come to the Comic Shop to participate in 24 Hour Comics Day, where willing participants will attempt to crank out a 24 page comic in 24 hours.
There are rules, said local cartoonist Jamie Smith. You can’t come up with any sketches, designs, plot summaries or any other sort of direct preparation before the event, according to Scott McCloud, the artist who started the 24 Hour Comics.
McCloud’s rules also allow for naps, but he warns against them in the interest of upholding the integrity of the event.
But Smith says it’s not as challenging to get in the zone and just create comics for 24 hours as you might think.
“It’s not that hard to pull a 12-hour stint, to just get your creative blinders on and tunnel vision and focus on the project. You can lose track of time pretty easy,” Smith said.
Local paleontological animator Hannah Foss participated in the event in 2011.
“It’s crazy. There were various art things, junk food, sleeping bags, computers,” Foss said. “It was definitely not for the faint of heart.”
Foss plans to be there again this year, but she’s thinking of taking it a little easier this time around. In 2011, Foss said she drew everything in pencil and then inked over it. This year, she plans on just diving in with inking her drawings.
Usually, a couple dozen people attend the event, but only 6-8 make it to the end. If you do make it, it’s really satisfying, Smith said.
“You get to look at this big pile of work you have and see what you can accomplish,” Smith said. “It’s an excuse to kind of jar things out of their normal routine.”
IF YOU GO
What: 24 Hours Comics Day
Where: The Comic Shop, 418 Third St.
When: Noon Saturday through noon Sunday
Cost: Free, except your sleep
FYI: Local cartoonist Jamie Smith suggests bringing your own art supplies
Elika Roohi is a senior in the journalism program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.