24 Hour Comics Day survival guide

This year the comic making marathon will take place on Saturday October 7th. Get ready with these tips to get through it with minimal discomfort!

Emmi Nääppä
Sep 29, 2017 · 4 min read

What is 24 Hour Comics Day

In 1990 Scott McCloud, a comics innovator and researcher, came up with the concept of drawing a 24-page comic in 24 hours. Now thousands of artists complete the challenge every year. One hour per page for a whole day sounds crazy but it is doable.

Join an event

In my experience a comics marathon is best spent with lots of people. I’ve met some comic artists in my city through a public 24HCD event I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Try searching an event near you (link) or host one yourself, even if it’s only among friends.

Come prepared

Get a full night’s sleep the night before and take a shower beforehand. Dress comfy and maybe bring a blanket.

Just draw

It’s up to your preference whether you like to make thumbnail sketches or go straight into drawing the final pages. On one hand the time limit forces you to get pages done fast. On the other hand making a loose plan at the beginning might pay off after 20 hours when you’re struggling keep your eyes open. This challenge is a great opportunity to switch things around.

Stay motivated

Put the finished pages on a wall or spread them on a surface so you can see your progress and quickly glance at where you’re at story-wise. If you’re drawing with friends, you can read their unfinished comics while taking a break. Maybe give and receive some feedback and encouragement.

Have fun

According to the official rules set by McCloud the entire 24 pages must be brainstormed, thumbnailed, sketched and inked within 24 hours. When the time’s up you’ve either won or failed. If there are any pages left you can either keep drawing until they’re done or end the story there.

Good luck!

This year’s 24HCD is on Saturday October 7th. Join a public event or invite your friends over. What have you got to lose besides a good night’s sleep and a stack of paper? And if you don’t feel like participating, check out what others have made during the weekend.

Emmi Nääppä

Written by

Graphic designer, illustrator and comicbook artist interested in creativity and gamification https://twitter.com/emminaappa