April 24, 2004

All In a Day's Work

As Spyder relates, she's right now in the throes of 24-hour Comics Day. We all eagerly await her recounting of the insanity.

(I say this in the knowledge that this "insanity," in pure play-by-play terms, is probably as exciting as watching paint dry. This is true of all Art, despite its image in the popular imagination. The sad fact is that watching the creative process is boring as hell from anywhere but inside the head, and frequently from there too; we spend inordinate amounts of time on our asses with brow furrowed, putting one word [or picture] after another in the grim hope that it will all look like something eventually. I can imagine all too well tuning in to the thoughts of any 24-hour comics creator: "Next panel. Scribble scribble scribble. Next panel. Scribble scribble scribble. Next panel. Fuck. Oh, hell. Scribble scribble scribble. Next page. Panel 1...." And so on, and so on.)

Anyway, the concept of the 24-hour Comic - one of the madcap inventions of sequential-art deep thinker Scott McCloud - has been around a little while, but it's only recently taken on the status of an Event. I get the impression that some folks wonder at the reason such things as this and NaNoWriMo are scheduled Events, when they're the kind of projects a person could certainly just decide to do at any point. And this is true enough. But remember that we artistic types, by our nature, are a sedentary and antisocial lot, given to long stretches of time sitting around by ourselves and being brooding and complex. So it's good for us to take advantage of opportunities to both get a creative kick in the ass and to form communities around ideas like this, temporary as they may be. Plus it's just cool to know you're taking part in something larger than yourself, which is another thing it's easy to lose track of when you're all holed up in your studio by your lonesome.

So hurrah for 24-hour Comics Day. I'm a bit sad I couldn't take part this year (home improvement trumped improvement of the soul this weekend, I'm afraid - not that that isn't a worthy endeavor as well), but a big thumbs-up goes out to everyone who did. Finish or fail, it's a great thing to undertake; may neither your ink nor your imagination run dry.

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