Friday, September 19, 2014

24 Hour Comic Book Day!

Well, it’s that time of year again. The 24 Hour Comics Day Challenge is going to hit the world on October 4th and people are already starting to get excited about what they are going to create.

Our very own Luke Milton kicked off the Perth based event that has now been taken over by our friends and fellow pop culture enthusiasts Gianni and Christopher. You can listen to Luke’s thought’s on the event on this weeks podcast!

Those who have volunteered as tribute this year will create a 24 for page comic in 24 hours! It’s no mean feat but it’s an incredibly rewarding venture, getting the creative juices flowing and making some new friends in the process.

For those of you in Perth who’d like to take part you can sign up here => 2014 24 Hour Comics Day Registration

The Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Tower (at University of Western Australia’s Nedland’s Campus) will host 25 participants on site, but if you’d prefer to participate from the comfort of your own home or by hosting your own comic creation party you can get involved by posting your progress on social media using #24HCDPerth hashtag!

The challenge officially runs from 10.00am Saturday 4th October to 10.00am Sunday 5th October 2014, so now is the time to get thinking about getting involved or passing the message on to someone that you think would or should do this. You can always support them with company and snacks!

Feeling keen? Want a bit more information to get hyped? Follow me under the cut for a chat with local organiser Gianni and feel free to ask some of your own questions.

I’ve known Gianni for a long time now, and if there is one thing I have learned about him, it’s that he has a real passion for getting people excited about creating connections and engaging in their wider community.

If you’re a keen comics artist or writer and you’d like to push your skills to the limit, the annual 24 Hour Comics Day challenge is definitely for you, but if you also have a passing interest in creating something different, maybe this is the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow comic writers and artists in your local area (or globally) and get involved.

I met Gianni while he was working in the Perth comics shop Quality Comics. I caught up with him recently about his work in the 24 Hour Comic Day project.

Gianni, how did you get interested in running the 24 Hour Comics Day in Perth?

I used to work in one of the comic stores in Perth, and that's where I met Christopher Markle who ran the event out of the Film and Television Institute. Way back in the day one of the other staff working at the store took part in the event so it's always interested me. I'm not really artistic at all, but I've always been impressed with and appreciate the talents of local Perth creators. When I left the comic store to pursue my full time studies, I thought it would be great to keep in touch with the comics community and I asked Christopher if he needed any help. This is my second year running the event and I handle most of the online communications on Facebook, and our Website. It's really good fun because I find social media fascinating, and I get to connect with a bunch of really great people.

Tell us a little bit about your history with comics.

I started out a lot like other people. I had a friend in high school who was mad keen into comics, and we used to visit the comic store after we finished school on Friday. When I graduated I kept my interest in comics, and made friends with the staff in one of the comic stores. At uni I'm studying Radio, and for 3 years I hosted a general nerd show on community radio with a strong focus on comics, and linked in with a comics update each week. When a job came up at the shop, and I was offered a spot and I was there for 5 years! I do miss it a bit, even though I don't read as much as I used to, I really like the community in Perth and this gives me a good opportunity to stay in touch.

Why would you encourage people to participate in this event?

I know, especially with things that are part of the creative process, it can be difficult to get started and keep up momentum. The 24 Hour Comic Day challenge sets out some rules and it puts you in a location where you're surrounded and supported by a bunch of other creators. It's tough, but some of the work I've seen created is outstanding. It's the real endurance artist test. What I think is really great, is that you get a chance to meet like-minded people and maybe make some new friends.

We also like to collect all the completed 24 page comics and publish them in a yearly compendium, It's a really good opportunity for creators who are interested in getting their work published, and may not have had the chance yet. The achievement of starting and completing a task in 24 hours under strict conditions is a really great skill and would look fantastic on a résumé if someone is going for illustration jobs in the future, but it's applicable to many different jobs. The deadlines are often tight in many industries, and it's really valuable to have someone who has proved they've worked well under pressure

What are the rules for the challenge?

Each year we do a different theme, and this year we're focussing on storybooks and fairy tales. Part of the spirit of the challenge is to create a full comic from start to finish within 24 hours, so we ask people not to pre-plan their ideas. As it can be challenging sitting in front of a blank piece of paper we give out random idea cards based on the theme. These are a jumping off point for creativity, and can be included as much or as little as you like. For example if you select the three little pigs, you can do a straightforward retelling of the story in comic format or you can change it up entirely. You could replace all the animal characters with people, and make it a gritty crime and corruption tale with three corrupt cops "the pigs" and the corruption investigator known as the "big bad wolf". You could do something completely unrelated to the story and just include an image or reference to the original story in one panel. Really the only limitation is your imagination.

Do you need any comic book experience?

While we do have some artists and creators who have been doing their thing for a long time, everyone has to start somewhere. If you're keen to give it a go, you're more than welcome! The event is all about developing skills.

You can use a range of different methods to create your 24 pages, and it's good to see people approaching their method as creatively as their story. Some people go traditional comic format with panels speech, bubbles, call outs and double page spreads and others go for single page illustrations.

It can be a bit daunting taking on a 24 page comic so you can work in a small team of 2. This works really well if you want to use magazines scissors and glue to make a story using collage. One person writing the story, one cutting the appropriate materials and one putting it together. If you're going to work as a duo just let us know when you register.

Okay! If you’re in Western Australia, you can sign up to the local event 24 Hour Comics Day Perth which is now in its ninth year. Remember, the event kicks off at 10am at the Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts (ALVA) Tower at the University of Western Australia.

Challengers will be working to a “Storybook” theme, and can use that as a jumping off point to create something based on classic storybook ideas or completely original. The only restrictions are time and imagination.

If you can’t make to UWA, you can still take part from home, work or where ever you are by posting pictures of your work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #24HCDPerth

For more information check out 24HCDPerth on Twitter or Facebook or check out

Where: ALVA (Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts) Tower, UWA Nedlands Campus, Corner of Hampden Road and Stirling Highway, Nedlands WA.

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