Karstein Volle’s 24 hour comic strip challenge resulted in this brand new and deeply personal strip, Wires.
The 24 hour comics challenge is pretty straightforward, but to actually follow through is more tricky: Make 24 pages of comics in 24 hours. The 24 hour comic challenge was initially instigated by Scott McCloud and Steve Bissette in 1990 and has since grown to become a worldwide phenomenon.
This specific comic was done in conjunction with the Oslo 24 hour comic challenge, instigated and organized by Jens K Styve , supported by and in conjunction with Oslo Comics Expo.
In Finland the 24 hour comic challenge is arranged by Sarjakuvaseura on 24 Hour Comics Day, held every year on the first Saturday in October.
My own motivations for participating are plenty. The 24 hour comic challenge frees you up to work spontaneously and gives you leeway to experiment. If the comic ends up bad, you can always blame the conditions it was made under. This shakes things up and makes them more interesting.
For this year’s challenge, I wanted to approach the craft and get out of my own comfort zone. To leave my usual tools behind and trying something that might personally feel embarrassing afterwards.
I have usually been playing around with all kinds of surreality , postmodernism and humor with a bit of a cynical slant. This time around I wanted to feel nervous while working and convinced I’d fall flat on my face. So, no humor, no surrealism, no ironic distance. Instead: Sincerity, openness and allowing your more vulnerable and ugly bits to show.
This time around I wanted to feel nervous while working and convinced I’d fall flat on my face. So, no humor, no surrealism, no ironic distance. Instead: Sincerity, openness and allowing your more vulnerable and ugly bits to show
So I did a story about my own private struggles. When I was younger, that’s exactly what I disliked in a comic book – the confessional. I assume my own private troubles gave me the desire to see escapism in stories, rather than open nerves. I had enough of that already.
Not to go too deep into the details, I have some PTSD issues and a mild anxiety disorder, so I wanted to do an honest account of living and dealing with that . I am perfectly aware that I am doing great compared to what other people have to contend with. I still wanted to try to express this and maybe normalize the struggle a little bit. I didn’t want to stop and wonder if my problems warranted a comic of its own. I tried to achieve something honest.
The 24 hour comic challenge allowed me to go there and try it out. I’m pretty happy about the attempt. I by no measure claim perfection in any way, but I love these extreme outbursts of creativity and what comes from it. Everyone should try to spend 24 hours non-stop not knowing what the result will be. It’s massively liberating.
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