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24-Hour Comics Day Inspires Academy of Art University Students and Alumni

Walking into Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration is an intense experience in art. Digitally created character designs, detailed hand-drawn illustrations and bold line drawings are displayed throughout the entire building.

Winner – Matt Harding

For 24-Hour Comics Day, that inspiring artwork combined with the hum and buzz of over 50 intrepid Academy of Art University students and alumni working to bring their ideas to life. The event ran from 11AM on Saturday until 11AM on Sunday and marks the third year the school has participated in the event as a host site.

The 24-Hour Comics Day event calls for artists across the country to create a 24-page comic book in 24 hours. Since its inception in 2004, the event has attracted the participation of such comic icons as Scott McCloud, Rick Veitch, Neil Gaiman, Erik Larson and Kevin Eastman.

Artists at the Academy of Art University site drew feverishly to complete their pages. As they completed a page, they posted it on the bulletin board to share with the rest of the room. The plotlines ranged from the Halloween experiences of a group of children to the questionable adventures of a character named Young Nick. 

Winner – Guillem Ruiz

To encourage participants, Michael Moses, manager from University Art, donated three $50 gift certificates to the art supply store to award to the best in show. The winners were Matt Harding, Guillem Ruiz and, in a collaborative effort, a team including Enrique Quintero, Johan H. Friis, Sueann Williams and Sindre Opsahl Skaare.

Student winner Matt Harding appreciated the extra motivation. His comic chronicled the tales of a scrap yard that comes to life. “It’s a fun environment, but there’s a lot of competition,” he said. “That always inspires some good work.”

Comic by Diane Pascual

As a former graphic designer, Diane Pascual was accustomed to working on computer. Now an Animation student at Academy of Art University, she feels participating in 24-Hour Comics Day helped her experiment with working quickly. Her comic envisioned an alternate world where jellyfish creatures took over the bodies of humans.

“For me personally, I really felt like getting my ideas out on paper and laying out the panels on paper instead of on the computer was much more creative and felt more freeing,” she said.

The desire to learn to complete drawings more quickly was echoed by several students. As Illustration student Laura Lombardi put it, “The goal is to try not to be a perfectionist because that’s been my main downfall.” Committed to finishing her comic despite aching tendons in her wrists, Laura strove to stylize her drawing so that she could move swiftly through the panels.

Student Working on Comic

Daniel Cooney, School of Illustration instructor, agreed that 24-Hour Comics Day helped to teach students to better manage deadlines. “Most students come away feeling liberated from attempting perfectionism while staying loose with their line work and narrative composition to get the job done,” he said.

Academy of Art University would like to extend special thanks to Clif Bar and Company, Monster Beverage Company and University Arts for their donations sponsoring the event.

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