David Chelsea is currently working on his TENTH 24-hour comic. As far as anybody knows, that’s a world record.
For this one, he’s drawing on isometric graph paper, which gives his panels a nice visual style – like old-school video games, or some Chris Ware. “I like isometric … as a visual motif. It basically represents looking down on things from an infinite distance. All the faces of the cube are foreshortened equally.”
“Of course, I’m a great believer in the importance of perspective… but I’m also a great believer in straight parallel lines. … What I’m trying to approximate here is the view of a stage production from the perspective of a patron in a high balcony watching through opera glasses. … It imposes some restriction, which is nice — nothing so far that I haven’t been able to work around.”
The story he’s drawing tonight is about a couple who purchase a sex chair [no link for that one, you can google it yourself]. It was actually suggested by his New York Times “Modern Love” illustration assignment this week — he’s hoping that spending a day (and 24 pages) with the concept will be good preparation for when it comes time to do the piece
Does David, the world champ, have any tips for 24-hour comickers? Brother, you asked for it.
Go off caffeine, then go back on. I take my first cup of coffee about 1/3 of the way through. I also brought some chocolate-covered espresso beans for later.
Triage. Don’t take on too much. This sex chair thing was a last-minute substitute. I had an earlier idea that grew into a story too large for 24 pages. Stories never get smaller.
6 panels a page is a lot easier than 9. The first 24-hour comic I did, the pages were basically three panels. It’s perfectly legitimate to cheat and take shortcuts. This is kind of a holiday from taking it seriously — of course, I haven’t done a “serious comic” in about twelve years.
If you come in with a predetermined story, you can wind up finishing the story with extra pages to go. Build a little flexibility and air into the story so you can end on a really nice note.
Some of the best pieces of advice I ever got: If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly. And furthermore, creativity precedes inspiration. You have to develop the ability to produce competent work efficiently, so that when that great idea finally does strike, you can make it happen with the execution it deserves.
[quotes are reconstructed, not exact.]
[also: this Mad parody of Chris Ware? Hilarious.]