Net Gertler reports:
It will be a while before we have the most complete figures on attendance at the event sites, but all told 24 Hour Comics Day 2007 was about as large as the record-setting 24 Hour Comics Day 2006. Despite last-minute event cancellations, there were 80-some 24 Hour Comics Day events in 18 countries, with an estimate of more than 1200 cartoonists taking part. Not all of them completed the challenge to create a 24 page comic book in 24 hours – but what good’s a challenge where everyone succeeds?
Hundreds of cartoonists did reach the 24 page goal. We cannot make a precise estimates until some more page counts come in, but it’s clear that more than 10,000 pages of art were created at these events. Of course, additional stories were created by folks celebrating the holiday at home rather than at an event site.
Several factors kept the event from continuing its significant year-to-year growth. Participation at individual events were limited by severe weather, including snow in some locations and the 65 mile per hour winds around the Jorg’s Coffee event location in Fontana California, which blew out the power repeatedly during the night. Colds run rampant in some communities, understandably discouraging involvement in round-the-clock activities. Perhaps most significant is that this was the first year with no 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights book planned; some event hosts saw the chance for inclusion in that Eisner Award-nominated anthology series as vital bait for bringing in participants.
This holiday has grown impressively in the four years of its existence, and may be hitting the limit of what can be achieved by the strengths of About Comics, the one-man company that founded 24 Hour Comics Day and built it to this point. There are clearly a lot of opportunities left for growth; consider, for example, that in all of New York State there was only one official 24 Hour Comics Day event with space for just 8 cartoonists (although that event, at the Manhattan branch of Jim Hanley’s Universe, was quite an affair, with guest-appearances by 24 hour comics inventor Scott McCloud and by Neal Adams). Contrast that with individual events elsewhere that had as many as 70 people, and its clear that there are enough willing cartoonists out there for many more venues. There is also still much that could be done to better publicize the event and build interest in the cartooning community. As such, About Comics is very interested in hearing from groups that may want to take over the organization of the event, to grow it while maintaining its spirit.
Still, that’s a small matter compared to what has happened this weekend. Please head over to the 24 Hour Comics Day blog to see plenty of pictures, videos, and descriptions at what went on at event sites around the globe. The blog’s sidebar has links to the blogs of individual 24 Hour Comics Day sites and participants, as well as links to some of the 24 hour comics drawn this weekend.