24-hour comic

A 24-hour comic is a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 hours. Cartoonist Scott McCloud came up with the challenge in 1990 as a creative exercise for himself and fellow comics artist Stephen R. Bissette. Beginning in 2004, writer Nat Gertler helped popularize the form by organizing annual 24 Hour Comics Days (usually held in October), which now take place regularly in the United States and many other countries worldwide.


To prove it could be done, McCloud drew the first 24-hour comic on August 31, 1990,[1] and Bissette did his on September 5.

Word of the challenge slowly spread, especially as Dave Sim published his own 24-hour comic, as well as those of McCloud, Bissette, and Neil Gaiman, in the back of his popular Cerebus the Aardvark.[2] Eventually Scott McCloud had collected six 24-hour comics on his website from different, well-known comic-creators. Creators Erik Larsen and Chris Eliopoulos published their 24-hour stories together in the one-shot comic Image-Two-In-One featuring The Herculean and Duncan ("The Herculean" being Larsen's creation, and "Duncan" being Eliopoulos').

Until 2004 (when participation in 24-hour comics expanded exponentially), McCloud kept an archive of all completed 24-hour comics on his website. That archive was later maintained by About Comics; it is now maintained by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, which also has physical holdings of hundreds of completed 24-hour comics.


As originator of the challenge, Scott McCloud has established rules for a comic to qualify: It must be begun and completed within 24 consecutive hours. Only one person may be directly involved in its creation, and it must span 24 pages, or (if an infinite canvas format webcomic is being made) 100 panels.

The creator may gather research materials and drawing tools beforehand, but cannot plan the comic's plot ahead of time or put anything on paper (such as designs and character sketches) until they are ready for the 24 hours to begin. Any breaks (for food, sleep, or any other purpose) are counted as part of the 24 hours.

If the cartoonist fails to finish the comic in 24 hours, there are two courses of action suggested: Stop the comic at the 24-hour mark, or continue working until all 24 pages are done. The former is known as "the Gaiman variation" after Neil Gaiman's unsuccessful attempt, and the latter is called "the Eastman variation" after Kevin Eastman's unsuccessful attempt. Scott McCloud calls both of these "noble failures", which he continued to list on his site when he believed that the creator intended to finish the project within the specified amount of time.


Nat Gertler/About Comics organized 24 Hour Comics Day on April 24, 2004.[3] On this day, comics creators around the world were invited to spend the day making a 24-hour comic. Many comic book stores supported this event by setting up space for participating artists to work on their comic. It attracted many writers and artists, working both in print and web media.

In 2005, the second annual 24 Hour Comics Day began on Saturday April 23, such that the 24 hours ended on the 24th, with over 800 cartoonists taking part at organized events with other folks taking the challenge at home. 2006's 24 Hour Comics Day fell on October 7 of that year, and had over 1200 participants at official event locations in 17 countries around the globe.

Leadership of 24 Hour Comics Day has been passed over to ComicsPRO, a U.S.-based comic book retailer organization. They held the 2008 event on October 18.[4]

Year Date Number of participants
2004 April 24
2005 April 23 Approximately 800
2006 October 7 Approximately 1200
2007 October 20 -
2008 October 18 TBD
2009 October 3
2010 October 2
2011 October 1
2012 October 20
2013 October 5
2014 October 4
2015 October 3

The School of Visual Arts hosts a 24-hour Comic Day every year, but due to class schedules, the date varies. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has an annual, campus-wide event for all majors that includes a 24 Hour Comic challenge for the Sequential Arts program. This event, called "Generate," happens in the fall of each year. In 2013 it occurred between Oct. 4th-5th, from 10am.-10am.

Europe, Asia and beyond

Lo Spazio Bianco organized 24 Hour Italy Comics Day, for creators in Italy, beginning on October 1, 2005, with authorization from McCloud and Gertler. 24 Hour Comic events have also been held in Croatia and France.[1]

Pulp Faction organise an Australian event known as the Comikaze 24 Hour Challenge over the Queen's Birthday weekend every year since 2005.

Since 2006 Comicworld (www.comicworld.gr) is responsible for organizing the event in the Greek cities of Athens & Thessaloniki. In 2006 they gathered more than 50 participants in the same place. Every year they publish a graphic novel with the best three stories created in the event.

24 hour comic challenge was held in a castle on 21–22 March 2015 at Kellie's Castle, Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia as a collaboration between Port Ipoh, the Malaysian Comic Activist Society (Pekomik) and Malaysian Animation Society (Animas). The event was the "scariest" 24 hour comics challenge — the castle is known as a famous paranormal tourist spot.[5]

In 2017, once again Malaysian will organising another hardcore 24 hour comic challenge set in Taiping Zoo and Night Safari on 8-9 April 2017, Perak, Malaysia. This time the event will be the first ever international 24 hour comic challenge held in a Zoo or Safari and will also featured comic artist from India and Indonesia.[6] Taiping Zoo is the oldest Zoo in Malaysia and is one of the major zoological parks in Malaysia. It covers 34 acres (14 ha) and exhibits 1300 animals representing 180 species of amphibians, mammals, and reptiles. It also has a night safari.[7]

Similar challenges

The International 3-Day Novel Contest started in Vancouver in 1977 and now happens all over the world every Labour Day Weekend.

The 24-hour comics idea inspired similar challenges in other art forms:

  • 24 Hour Plays — a group of playwrights/actors script and perform a full play by the end of 24 hours
  • 48 Hour Film Project — a group of filmmakers/actors script and perform a film by the end of 48 hours
  • 24 Hour RPG project — started in 2003; asks designers to produce a playable tabletop role-playing game in 24 hours, and holds frequent "Grand Events" which assign a theme and a time window for designers to compete


Five books of 24-hour comics have been published:

  • 24 Hour Comics (About Comics, 2004; ISBN 0-9716338-4-3) presents nine comics selected by Scott McCloud.
  • 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2004 (About Comics, 2004; ISBN 0-9753958-0-7) presents selections from the 2004 event, edited by Nat Gertler.
  • 24 Hour Comics All-Stars (About Comics, 2005; ISBN 0-9753958-4-X) presents comics by several professional cartoonists, edited by Nat Gertler.
  • 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005 (About Comics, 2005; ISBN 0-9753958-6-6) presents selections from the 2005 event, edited by Nat Gertler.
  • 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2006 (About Comics, 2007; ISBN 0-9790750-0-9) presents selections from the 2006 event, edited by Nat Gertler.


  1. ^ a b c Benjamin Pogany, Elizabeth Chou (April 7, 2007). "Alec Longstreth, 24 Hour Comics survivor". The Daily Cross Hatch. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Cerebus #142 (Aardvark/Vanaheim, January 1991).
  3. ^ Mertes, Micah (October 14, 2008). "Rest up now to take part in 24 Hour Comics Day Saturday". Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "ComicsPRO Opens Registration for 24 Hour Comics Day 2008". Comic Related. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  5. ^ "Pekankartun 2015 (cartoon town)
  6. ^ "Pekankartun 2017 (cartoon town)
  7. ^ "Taiping Zoo and Night Safari

External links


2004 in comics

Notable events of 2004 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

American Virgin (comics)

American Virgin was an American comic book series published by Vertigo Comics and written by Steven T. Seagle and illustrated by Becky Cloonan. The series launched on a monthly schedule in March 2006 and was canceled two years later. Seagle was able to finish his storyline.The story follows the life of Adam, a teenager who is a born-again Christian preacher, as well as his struggle with issues of his sexuality and faith. Adam's near constant companion is a stepsister, Cyndi, who is sexually liberal.

Andrew Foley (writer)

Andrew Foley is a writer and occasional editor and artist of comic books and graphic novels. Andrew Foley lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, graphic designer Tiina Andreakos.

Bob Byrne

Bob Byrne is an Irish comics writer, artist, and independent publisher, based in Dublin.

Comics Arts Conference

The Comics Arts Conference (CAC), also known as the Comic Arts Conference, is an academic conference held in conjunction with both the annual Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, and WonderCon in San Francisco. Founded in 1992 by Henderson State University communications professor Randy Duncan and Michigan State University graduate student Peter Coogan (author of the book Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre), the Comic(s) Arts Conference brings together scholars, professionals, critics, industry professionals, and historians who study comics seriously as a medium.

Edward J. Grug III

Edward J Grug III (born 29 May 1980) is the pen name of Robert Forrest, an Australian cartoonist and comic writer: he takes his pseudonym from Grug, the main character in a series of children's books by Ted Prior. He lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Grug's comics have appeared in Australian small press anthologies such as The Ink, Dreams of Tomorrow, and Something Wicked, but he is best known for his webcomics. He is the artist for "The Bizarre Life of Charlie Red-Eye," appearing at Modern Tales, and creates "If Nobody Likes Me, Why am I So Popular?", a collection of fiction and non-fiction comics posted to his Livejournal as part of the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge. His fiction comics tend to feature cute creatures involved in existential crises of various levels of severity while his non-fiction comics focus on his life and thoughts.

He is a proponent of the 24-hour comic as well and has participated in the 24 Hours in Oz Comics Challenge since 2003. His entry for 24 Hour Comics Day 2006 was chosen as one of the 10 printed in that year's collection, edited by Nat Gertler.

He was the regular artist on the 5-day-a-week series Sketchies, written by T Campbell and Phil Kahn.

His artwork appeared on the cover of The Holy Sea's 2008 album A Beginner's Guide to the Sea.

His story, Fertile Grounds, appeared in Tango Six, and was republished in the 2009 book The Tango Collection published by Allen & Unwin, edited by Bernard Caleo.


Elagabalus (), also known as Heliogabalus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy.

Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, lavishing favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers, and was reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard.

Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures and ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life".

Fiona Staples

Fiona Staples is a Canadian comic book artist known for her work on books such as North 40, DV8: Gods and Monsters, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Archie, and Saga. She has been cited as one of the best artists working in the industry today. She has won multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards.

God Hates Astronauts

God Hates Astronauts is an American science fiction/comedy comic book series written and illustrated by Ryan Browne. Originally released as a webcomic, it was later published monthly by Image Comics. The series depicts The Power Persons Five, a superhero team that does not fight much crime. Instead, they bicker, have extramarital affairs, and pursue personal vendettas. A satirical take on superhero comics, the humor in the series is sometimes referential, sometimes absurdist. Browne was influenced by other humor comics such as Scud: The Disposable Assassin, Milk & Cheese, and The Tick.

Happy Harbor Comics

Happy Harbor Comics is a comic book store located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Over the past few years, owner Jay Bardyla and his store have participated in the 24-hour comic day to promote comics in general and to raise money for the Alberta Literacy Foundation. In 2005, they raised more than $1600.

Jett Atwood

Jeanette "Jett" Atwood is an American animator and cartoonist currently living in San Francisco. A graduate of classical animation at Sheridan College, Jett has worked on numerous video games and short films as a storyboard artist, animator, and writer. Ms. Atwood has contributed animation to Smart Bomb Interactive titles such as "Pac-Man World Rally" (8/2006) and "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" (2006) in which was also the writer. Atwood is a successful cartoonist with numerous works, both online web comics, and in print.

She is the creator of "Red Sparrow", detailing the trials of a rookie super hero, the Battlestar Galactica parody "Frakkin' Toasters" and the "Xena" parody "Battle-On". Some of her strips from "Battle-On" have been re-printed and featured in the books "Lucy Lawless & Renee O'Connor: Warrior Stars of Xena" and "How Xena Changed Our Lives", both by Nikki Stafford.

Atwood is a regular contributor to Sunstone Magazine.In 2005 her comic "Puzzles" was collected in the Eisner Award nominated anthology, 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005. It was her first 24-hour comic. For the 2006 "24 Hour Comic Day" Jett created a sequel "Loose Threads". It revisits the characters approximately a year and a half after the events of "Puzzles," (that being the amount of time between the competition.) A year after that the final chapter "Word Games" was completed as part of the 2007 24 Hour Comic Challenge.

Jett Atwood collaborated on a comic book series, "iPlates", with writer Stephen Carter. In August 2012, iPlates Volume 1 was published and received largely positive reviews on various blogs. The book details the epic adventures of the main character Zeniff as he attempts to defend his city from an invading army, and is based on stories in the Book of Mormon. Volume 2 (ISBN 1503202224) was released following a successful crowdfunding campaign.In 2016 Atwood illustrated a book in the For Beginners series, Mormonism for Beginners (ISBN 1939994527), also written by Carter. Patrick Q. Mason, chair of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University, praised the Atwood's "clever illustrations."

Just 1 Page

Just 1 Page (J1P) was an annual charity comic, linked to the UK's Comic Festival (1999–2004) then Expo (2005–06) in Bristol, SW England.

Single page contributions were donated by a range of comics artists and writers.

Notable items were:

A picture of a race between DC's Flash, Marvel's Quicksilver and Road Runner from Looney Tunes, drawn by Alan Davis.

A page where Steve Gerber's Howard the Duck and Destroyer Duck appear at a comics convention. This was drawn by Phil Winslade and was used by the pair in preparation for the Marvel Max return of Howard The Duck in 2002.

Three statues by Jesse Farrell: one of Alan Moore & Kev O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; one of Paul Grist's Jack Staff and a third of Shaun of the Dead battling a zombie.Also under the Just 1 Page project, there have been two 24 Minute comics. This is a high-speed variation of the 24 Hour comic, where twenty four artists collaborate by drawing a page each during a twenty-four-minute period.

Kellie's Castle

Kellie's Castle (sometimes also called Kellie's Folly) is a castle located in Batu Gajah, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia. The unfinished, ruined mansion, was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith. According to differing accounts, it was either a gift for his wife or a home for his son. Kellie's Castle is situated beside the Raya River (Sungai Raya), which is a small creek to the Kinta River.

Mike Riley (cartoonist)

For other people named Mike Riley, see Mike Riley (disambiguation).

Mike Riley (born October 22, 1975) is an American cartoonist and comic book creator currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland. He is best known as the creator of the single-panel webcomic I Taste Sound and the comic series Goatscape.

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod on June 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist and comics theorist. He is best known for his non-fiction books about comics: Understanding Comics (1993), Reinventing Comics (2000), and Making Comics (2006), all of which also use the medium of comics.

He established himself as a comics creator in the 1980s as an independent superhero cartoonist and advocate for creator's rights. He rose to prominence in the industry beginning in the 1990s for his non-fiction works about the medium, and has advocated the use of new technology in the creation and distribution of comics.

Sean McKeever

Sean Kelley McKeever (born 1972) is an American comic book writer. Born in Appleton, Wisconsin he grew up in Eagle River.

Stephen R. Bissette

Stephen R. "Steve" Bissette (born March 14, 1955) is an American comics artist, editor, and publisher with a focus on the horror genre. He is known for working with writer Alan Moore and inker John Totleben on the DC comic book Swamp Thing in the 1980s.

The Ongoing Adventures of Rocket Llama

The Ongoing Adventures of Rocket Llama is a webcomic starring "a high-flying llama, a sword-swinging cat, and a rocket as loyal as a cowboy hero's horse." Created by Alex Langley while he was a student at Henderson State University, the comic first appeared in a comic book titled The Workday Comic.


Unshelved is a daily comic strip most notable for being set in a public library. Published by Overdue Media, the webcomic was created by writer Gene Ambaum (not his real name) and co-writer/artist Bill Barnes, and has been appearing at the rate of a strip per day since February 16, 2002, with a virtual circulation in excess of 45,000 readers and growing via RSS feed, website and email subscription. Beginning on February 29, 2016, Chris Hallbeck took over as the illustrator. Hallbeck had previously been a guest illustrator for over a year. On April 29, Barnes announced that he had also left as co-writer of the strip. It is part of the Create a Comic Project. On October 10, 2016, it was announced that the final comic strip would be released on November 9. Bill Barnes returned to draw and co-author the final week of strips.


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