Britney Victorious!!

Dear Bloggosphere:

I’d like to introduce you to the mastermind behind this year’s 24-Hour Comics Day event on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, and a brand-spanking new 24-Comic Artist:

Congratulations: Britney Winn

YOU MADE IT!!! And you made it look easy!

A few words from Miss Britney: 
This is “an indescribable sense of accomplishment.”
[She turns to me and asks if she has to use her right hand for anything–apparently it’s thoroughly knackered. I tell her no. Ice that baby and put it to bed for a few days!]
When I ask her what victory feels like, she smiles sweetly and replies: “I BEAT NEIL GAIMAN!!!!”

Also, CONGRATS!! to all the 24-Hour Comic Artists worldwide (especially you, Stefan *wink!*), and a big THANK YOU to the UWM Library, Collector’s Edge, my English 236: Intro. to the Graphic Novel class (especially you, Britney!), and  everyone at ComicsPRO and 24-Hour Comics Day!!!

2 Hours Left of 2011 24-Hour Comics Day

Howdy from the UWM Library on a perfect autumn afternoon (I can say that now, right? Wasn’t the equinox this week??). 

We’ve got just three short hours left of this year’s 24-Hour Comics Day. Just 2 hours left to claim this is my first 24-Hour Comics Rodeo. 2 hours of penciling and inking left for Britney Winn, my superstar student who is getting a boatload of extra credit for pioneering this event on the UWM campus. Here’s the score at the 22 hour mark. 
True Confessions: I’m black-dogging it. I’ve listened to Dead Man’s Bones a gazillion times. I’ve probably misspelled more words than I can currently count because basic math has left the building. I know this because filling in the blank on “ONLY ____ HOURS LEFT!” just now left me stumped. 
True Confessions: people only want information when I want to nap. I haven’t eaten a proper meal since the PB&J that almost killed me about 7 PM last night. Britney’s taken two breaks in 21 hours: one to have a lie down and the other to go to class. CLASS! Can you believe it? To take a test. On the Japanese language. And she’s just as happy now as she was yesterday, sketching away, with 3 pages left to go before she’s finished her 24-page comic. 
True Confessions: when I heard about 24-Hour Comics Day, I was all “it’s no NaNoWriMo!”
True Confessions: 24-Hour Comics Day makes NaNoWriMo look like a hot rock massage. 24HCD is difficult, y’all. Artists can spend a week on one page. ONE page. This event means you bust it for 24 hours and walk  stagger away with at least 24-pages. Plus cover art. Plus finished, edited lettering. To say this is extreme is to put it mildly. 
True Confessions: I get it now. This is so much bigger than I could have anticipated a week ago, or 22 hours ago. I set this up so Britney could have a quiet semi-public place in which to challenge herself. I set this up so comic artists and enthusiasts in Milwaukee would know that there’s a NaNoWriMo for them, and that it’s kind of a bigger deal. But when I set this up, I had no idea just how much I would learn from one of my students. 
Final True Confessions: when I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I came up with this wild fictitious scenario to help me decide. I asked myself: what’s the one thing that you could do happily for the rest of eternity, even if you were stuck in Hell and demons were flogging you while you worked? What’s the one thing that could turn demon whips into tickles? I know, I know. You’re probably thinking it has something to do with BDSM. But that’s not what I’m getting at. 
When I asked myself this question, the only answer that fit was writing. Through writing, I could be so transported as to be on another planet, even while enduring the most horrific torture imaginable. Writing is my Sucker Punch dance. Somewhere in grad school, pressured to publish and give public readings, I lost the pleasure I once associated with writing. I lost writing as a coping and survival skill. It became a chore. 
In the span of 22 hours, hanging out with a young artist a hardly know, and watching her work, I’ve been reminded of my one thing. Seeing her transported as she works, beyond the need for food, for sleep, for diversion or change of scenery–I remember. Writing is alchemy. Like Grant Morrison said, writing is magick. 
Maybe it’s the 22 hours sleeplessness talking, but damn it feels good to be a wizard. 

Getting kids involved in 24HCD

During their regular 24-Hour Comics Day event, Time Warp Comics and I Want More Comics in Colorado are working with Comic Book Classroom to let kids to create their own 24-minute comics while the other creators take the 24HCD original challenge.

What a great way to get kids involved and to make the day accessible to even the youngest creators! Somebody remind to me add the idea to the 24HCD host kit next year.

All In a (FULL) Day’s Work

Greetings from the UWM Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

We’re coming up on just 8 hours left of our first ever 24-Hour Comics Day on campus, and things are falling into place. Britney’s drawing hand is moving so fast we’ve had to put out six fires. I’m no longer sleepy (thanks to six fires). Hopefully our third participant, Lydia, is out there working it, too. Looks like it’s just going to be the three of us this year, but that’s okay. I’m shooting for exponential growth of nine next year, then eighty-one the year after that…

Besides, party of three this year means more bananas and donuts for everyone. Thanks Molly Mathias!!!

All In a (FULL) Day’s Work

Greetings from the UWM Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

We’re coming up on just 8 hours left of our first ever 24-Hour Comics Day on campus, and things are falling into place. Britney is cranking out page. I’m no longer sleepy. Hopefully our third participant, Lydia, is out there killing it, too. Looks like it’s just going to be the three of us this year, but it could be nine next year, could be eighty-one the year after that…

Besides, that’s more bananas and donuts for me and Britney (and the library staff!)–gifts from our lovely event coordinator here at the UWM library, Molly Mathias.