Tuesday, March 29, 2011
One Hour Minicomic Challenge
At the Chicago Zinefest this past Saturday, I held a one hour minicomic challenge. The idea was that in the hour I had, I would come up with the idea for the comic, write it, draw it, and make copies that I would fold and staple and give to everyone there. I called it a challenge because I wasn't sure I could do it, especially since I was also going to be talking to the audience about my process as I worked and answer questions. I had already quartered and numbered the pages in non-photo blue pencil to save a little bit of time. First thing was to have them throw out suggestions of what the comic should be about. The first idea thrown out was sloth, and after a few more ideas were suggested I decided I'd go with sloth, making the snap decision to not waste time. My first thought was about the giant sloth skeleton at the field museum, and then I remembered in sixth grade when I got to be a junior zookeeper for a week, and one day got to go into the sloth exhibit. So I brainstormed another handful of stories from that week as a junior zookeeper to fill up the minicomic, since all that happened with the sloth was that he hooked his claw onto the zookeeper's shirt. I guess I could've just made that one story 8 pages and just have the sloth move really slow, but that would be kind of boring and felt like a cheap trick. Anyway, I managed to draw the comic in the hour, just finishing the last page as time ran out. The Zinefest took the pages and ran off to make copies, while everyone who had attended wrote their names down so they could pick a copy up from me later, after I'd folded and stapled them at my table. There were over fifty people there, and I feel like it was pretty successful. I don't know if it'd have been harder or easier to just make up a fictional/fantasy sloth comic, but it worked out well to make this one autobiographical. Incidentally, there were three people who didn't pick up their copies, so they can email me to see about getting their copy.