My New 24 Hour Comic: “Leaving The Bedroom”

Yesterday (October 20) was 24 Hour Comics Day!

What’s a 24 Hour Comic, you ask? It’s an invention of Scott McCloud’s:

To create a complete 24 page comic book in 24 continuous hours.

That means everything: Story, finished art, lettering, color (if applicable), paste-up, everything. Once pen hits paper, the clock starts ticking. 24 hours later, the pen lifts off the paper, never to descend again. Even proofreading has to occur in the 24 hour period. (Computer-generated comics are fine of course, same principles apply).

Although one can do a 24-hour comic any day of the year, it’s more fun to do it in tandem, hence 24 Hour Comics Day. Yesterday, at the studio where I work, myself, Jake Richmond, Ben Lehman, and Alan Ward all did 24 hour comics.

So here’s mine. It’s silly and not enormously well written or drawn, but perhaps you’ll enjoy it anyway. And it not, at least it won’t take more than a few minutes to read.

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10 Responses to My New 24 Hour Comic: “Leaving The Bedroom”

  1. 1
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Loved it.

    The ante-penultimate page is pure brilliance.

  2. 2
    Ben Lehman says:

    Bad website link for me. Good link:

  3. 3
    Tess Eract says:

    Exquisite. Made my predawn.

  4. 4
    nobody.really says:

    (spoiler, spoiler)

    1. Wow. If Amp wouldn’t be heart (broken), I’d be interested in hearing the origin story for this.

    2. Easy to see Hushy as a stand-in for religious fundamentalists – a character type that is constantly brought to mind by the same-sex marriage debate. But where did the characters Chrissy and Fish come from?

    3. Page 23 suggests that the entire episode is merely a girl’s fantasy; she’s bringing some helium balloons outside with the intention of letting two go. Once the reader reaches this page, he can go back to see that throughout the strip, the balloons have been pulled ahead by their strings, albeit by a force that is not included in the panels. This kinda reminds me of How Mirka Got Her Sword, where the light grows so gradually that the reader doesn’t notice it – until it becomes a plot point.

    I continue to marvel at the challenge of creating a plot surprise in the graphic novel. Text novels get to bury clues in among thousands of word. Graphic artists have to bury the clues in virtually EVERY DAMN PANEL, yet still make them sufficiently unobtrusive to be a surprise when they suddenly become relevant.

    4. Page 7: “Fishy, Fishy, Fishy, Fish.” Gosh, where have I heard that before?

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    1. The thing about 24 hour comics is, often there’s no origin story; you just start drawing something and you make up a story for it as you draw. In this case, I started with the idea of a comic about balloons, and by the time I finished drawing page one I knew that I wanted to have the person or persons holding the balloon strings come into it at some point.

    But everything else varied. Originally it was a story about religious fundamentalism, but as it went on it became more about a child’s fantasy quest narrative, and I went back (still within the 24 hours) and rewrote some of the earlier dialog to suit that better.

    And I intended for Chrissy to die and the story to become about Fishy’s quest to the Outside, but somehow it didn’t work out that way.

    Also, I was at first intending for the balloons to murder the balloon-holder at the end in order to escape – either stabbing them through the throat with the scissors, or strangling them with their strings. But the more I thought about that ending the less I liked it – it seemed mean for the sake of being mean – so I decided to have the balloons escape by gentler means.

    2. I have no idea. I just drew a fish (although Fishy ended up looking more like a bird – but the beak was so expressive I couldn’t do without it!), and then it occurred to me that everyone would gender Fishy male so I drew in a definitely human figure and gave it boobs so it would be taken for female by the readers. Their personalities I just made up on the fly.

    3. I think it’s actually much easier to do this sort of thing in comics, because comics are immersive. In comics, it’s completely natural to just “show,” whereas “telling” requires extra effort.

    4. THANK YOU! I was wondering if anyone would recognize that.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks, Tess and Eytan and NR! :-D

  7. 7
    Sebastian H says:

    This reminded me a lot of something I might read in the Sandman. Off beat, darkly whimsical, and a lot more serious than you might initially think.

    (To be super clear, I think of that as high praise).

  8. 8
    Silenced is foo says:

    You pulled that off in 24 hours? Holy crap, I’m mostly just boggled by your workflow. It’s just so *complete* and more coherent than most comic books that I can buy on a shelf.

  9. 9
    Anthea says:

    I just found this via the random link widget. Beautiful, beautiful work – and I mean the story as well as the art. :)

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    Thank you so much!