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Hourly Comic Day is an annual event that takes place on February 1st where participants draw one short comic for every hour that they awake.
On December 21st, 2005, John Campbell, who went on to create Pictures for Sad Children in 2007, kept a journal in which he made a comic for every hour he was awake, from 6:40 AM to 9:20 PM. However, these initial comics (shown below, left) were only composed of a talking stick figure. On December 28th, he did a second trial run and on January 1st, 2006, launched HourlyComic.com. In a LiveJournal post the same day, Campbell noted that two other LJ users himynameisjamie and Tundraboy had also attempted their own comics, referred to as “hourlies.”
On February 1st, 2006, the TenCentTicker Forums launched a section called Hourly Comic Day 2006, encouraging other artists to do an hourly comic that day. Some users came back later in the year and posted additional comics to this subforum, but most took place on February 1st. Additionally, artists began posting their hourly comics to their personal blogs, deviantArt accounts and Flickr pools.
In 2007 and 2008, Campbell continued to do his hourly comics throughout the month of January, inviting other artists to complete the task on February 1st. In 2008, other webcomic and graphic novel artists joined in, including Ryan Estrada, Kate Beaton and Jess Fink. The same year, Campbell began selling his hourly comics on eBay. Discussion and coverage of Hourly Comic Day stayed mostly within circles of artists on their personal blogs, social networking sites or via HourlyComics.com until 2011 when the hourly comics by Anthony Clark of the webcomic Nedroid were featured on Comics Alliance. In 2012, several webcomic artists featured hourly comics on their sites on February 1st including Someday I Won’t Suck, Burn the Internet, Kafka’s Koffee and Hejibits. On February 2nd, 2012, The Mary Sue compiled an editor’s choice list of some of the best hourly comics.
24-Hour Comic Day
In 1990, cartoonist Scott McCloud and comics artist Stephen R. Bissette challenged each other to create a 24-page comic book from start to finish in 24 hours. Over the years, many artists and authors including Neil Gaiman, Dave Sim, Erik Larsen and Chris Eliopoulos have created their own 24-hour comics but it was not open to the public until American writer Nat Gertler launched 24-Hour Comic Book Day on April 24th, 2004. By 2005, the event was drawing approximately 800 participants. It has since moved to October, and comic shops will often set up spaces for artists to work.
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