Beginning at 8am artists were busily drawing, inking, writing, painting, and eating boxes of pizza in an effort to complete a 24 page story in 24 hours. Forcing themselves to stretch the limit of their stamina, hoping to string comic panels into a coherent narrative without the benefit of preparation, pre-planning or a script.
If the artists complete their projects, they’ll earn the satisfaction of achieving something neither Neil Gaiman or Kevin Eastman (Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles) could in the 24 hour continuous time frame. Additionally, if they finish, they are given cover letters and invited to send a copy of their comic to the national 24-Hour Comic Book Day archive, which is hosted by the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
The 24-Hour Comic Day event began simply as an exercise in 1990 by Understanding Comics cartoonist, Scott McCloud, to challenge himself and his friend Stephen R. Bissette. With comic industry big names taking part and spreading the word, metamorphosising into an annual event in 2004. (You can read the history here). Meant to help artists shake off cob-webs, push through blocks, limber up their story telling abilities and push creativity. Examples Scott McCloud and friend’s own attempts at a 24-Hour Comics (including Eastman’s and Gaiman’s) are archived here.