NORMAN — Comic book artist Paul Milligan has on four occasions completed the 24-Hour Comics challenge. 24-Hour Comics Day is an annual challenge for cartoonists to produce a 24-page comic book written, drawn and completed in 24 consecutive hours. Comic book artists, whether professional or amateur, young or old, are invited to check out a local venue or try the challenge on their own.
Milligan, of Norman, has completed the challenge multiple times by writing and drawing a comic based on his “God of Rock” character. The first three “God of Rock” stories have been collected in a “God of Rock” trade paperback, available at local comic shops and online via indyplanet.com. The fourth “God of Rock” story, completed last year, is viewable online at space-gun.com/godofrock/.
“Originally it was a whole band, and then I realized it would hard to draw the whole band,” Milligan said.
In the comic, the blond-haired god of rock is forced to take on the forces of anti-rock to make the world safe for rebellion.
This year's 24-Hour Comics Day will be held on Oct. 20, and host sites and individual participants can sign up at www.24hourcomicsday.com. The comic book specialty retailer group ComicsPRO is organizing the event, and host sites that sign up by Aug. 31 will receive a packet of support materials.
Milligan offered some tips on successfully completing the challenge.
“You've gotta take a lot of breaks,” he said. “Don't just sit there the whole time, you'll get sick of it.”
He also said the halfway point is a particularly relevant moment.
“If you make it past the 12-hour mark, you can finish it,” Milligan said. “It's kind of that panic moment, because you've been there so long and you've been doing it so long already. But once you make it past that, it starts to get a lot easier.”
He also says 24-Hour Comic Day is a good excuse to try wild ideas.
“Don't try too hard, because you can't,” he said. “You can't get stuck on stuff. At some point you just let weird stuff happen.”
And his final tip?
“I drink a lot of coffee, too,” he said.
ComicsPRO's Executive Director Amanda Emmert said the all-volunteer project is free to participants.
“We get to work with creators from many different countries, and the main thing they have in common is a love of comics,” she said in a 2011 interview with The Oklahoman. “Many hosts use this event as an opportunity to teach their communities about comics and about how anyone can make them. And making comics, or comic strips, or mini-comics, or Web comics, even at an amateur level, increases your understanding and appreciation of this amazing medium.”
You can see more of Paul Milligan's art, and order prints, commissions, and comics at www.stumblebumstudios.com.
Find out more about ComicsPRO at www.comicspro.org. Find out more about 24-Hour Comics Day at www.24hourcomicsday.com.