The 24-hour Comic Day in Minneapolis

October 5, 2009


Above: David Steinlicht and Zander Cannon work on their comics in the gallery space at MCBA. (David is doing a 24-page in 24 hours; Zander is doing a 12-page in 12 hours.) It's only 7 p.m. on Saturday. Look closely at the Pictionary box. I have more to say about that!

On Saturday night a friend and I stopped in to see David Steinlicht at the 24 hour Comic Day being held at MCBA. (Be sure to check out the other links on David's site—to his own comics All Small and In This Corner, as well as other related sites of interest.)

To read more about this event and follow the updates see the 24-hour comic blog and scroll back to Oct. 2's first post to read events in order, see portraits of the comic artists at various hour milestones, etc. (You can also go to this post and then click on newer posts to read in chronological order. To read about the national event go here.

While we were joking with David about the progress of his 24-page comic I asked him if, like the 48-hour film project
everyone was given a topic, a line of dialog, something everyone had to
include. (You're supposed to create the 24-hour comic with no prep work
or pre-planning.) He said no. Zander Cannon, who was working at the same table, then explained that he uses
Pictionary cards to get the story plot points for his 24-hour Comic. His card's first word was "skeleton" and his comic was called, "The Mysterious Skeleton."

Zander went on to explain that he then drew a second card and used it to inspire character names.

Pictionary8080 Left: Pages from Zander Cannon's 24-hour comic, with his second Pictionary card which inspired his character names. Comic art ©2009 Zander Cannon.

I think this is a brilliant idea. I got so excited about it I asked to take photos of Zander's page with the "character names" card. The idea just makes me smile.

I love the "keep working" aspect of it, the "no agonizing, just plow forward" approach. How many times have you been writing a story and stopped and puzzled and lost your forward momentum because you were thinking of the perfect character name? And what a great device for creating plot points you have to identify in your story!

It's like Comics Improv—instead of an audience yelling out words and situations to actors the card is giving you the elements.

Visual journal artists can use this technique as well to spark ideas to write about, or to pick themes to observe in their surroundings. So go get a Pictionary game today and challenge yourself to work under deadlines and with limits. Discover new connections!

David told me 25 or so people showed up at the event and the resultant comics will probably be available in box form at local comics stores. I'll try to find out and keep you posted. I've purchased these collections from past years and they make for fun reading, presenting a variety of artistic styles and approaches.

  1. Reply

    Wow…love this “Pictionary” process…keep it simple sweetie. Reminds me of the jewelry artist, Sally Jean that she describes in her book “Pretty Little Things” where she writes down all the collage processes she uses (like charcoal pencil/torn papers/photos/rubber stamps/paint, etc.) onto pieces of paper that she folds up into little bits and places them in a bowl. Whenever she feels blocked she just pulls out a piece of paper and does whatever that process tells her to do…not thinking just doing and she works herself out of it. Of course I haven’t done that yet either…lol Thanks Roz, can’t wait to see the comics.

    here’s Sally Jean’s blog:

    • Roz
    • October 5, 2009

    Roberta, I once put topic headings in a bowl for a piece on dog-tracking that I found overwhelming—where to start! So much to say, so many connections. I broke it down into topic lines, put them in a bowl, drew a topic, dealt with it, and moved on to the next topic I drew out from the bowl. Then rewriting/editing was a breeze. Totally manageable.

    I love the idea of putting TECHNIQUES in a bowl! That’s great fun. Blocked or not, we all get so wrapped up in doing a variety of things that taking a first step might be delayed if we ponder what medium or technique we’re going to do. This is a great idea. I’ll go check out her blog. Thanks.

    • Roz
    • October 5, 2009

    Roberta, I couldn’t find the “bowl” technique suggestion at the link you provided, but there are some cool things on the site—money pit buildings around the country caught my eye—I loved the bank in Pennslyvania.

    If you have the exact link for the post on the “bowl” let me know.

    • Nita
    • October 5, 2009

    I’ve used tarot cards; shuffle and pull a card for ideas for fiction writing, to add to a character’s qualities or actions, etc. Especially decks with great imagery or complexity on a card. The range of artistic directions and development in tarot decks is ama-azing and inspiring, whatever one thinks of tarot itself.

    • Roz
    • October 6, 2009

    Nita, I think that’s another really fun idea! Thanks for suggesting it!

  2. Reply

    Hey Roz…sorry for the confusion…Sally Jean didn’t post about this…she wrote about it in her book “Pretty Little Things”. Send me an email and I’ll look up the details and send them to you. Hope this helps, Roberta

    • Roz
    • October 6, 2009

    No problem Roberta, people can seek out her book and check out her suggestion. Thanks.

  3. Reply

    Tried making comic strips once and man believe me its not an easy jobs.

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