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About "It's private (Damnit)!":

"It's Private (Damnit)!" was my first successful 24-Hour Comic, and serendiptiously it happened, quite by accident, during Scott McCloud's new "Advanced Comics Theory and Practice" class which he taught during August of 2004 at the Minnesota College of Arts and Design.

Scott reviewing one of the exercises - yes, he is genuinely as nice a person as he appears ^_^

One of the assignments in the class involved taking a 20-line script with three people in it (provided by Scott), and creating a comic of any length (two to four pages was the suggested length). Ages, appearance, and gender of the characters were all open, but the focus of the exercise was to match the body language, facial expressions, and lettering to each line of the dialog, and to create a convincing environment.

We got the assigmnent about 3 p.m. - I worked on some facial expressions during the work period in class, and then drove home (about 90 minutes away thanks to rush hour) and ate supper, did some work, and then around 10pm sat down to get going with the assignment.

My 24 hour comic: It's Private! (Damnit!) The script had been percolating in the back of my head all evening, and somehow it occured to me to do the script with only two characters, rather than three, and as I worked on the layout and pencils for the comic the dialog that Scott had given us flowed very naturally and easily onto the pages - the dialog was really spoke to me, or at least to some insane part of me that wants to scream at strangers in parks ^_^

Just for convenience sake (and because I've been reading a lot of Excel Saga and Aa, Megamisama lately), I decided to use the character designs for Rikdo Koshi's "Excel" character from Excel Saga, and Kosuke Fujishima's "Urd" character from Aa, Megamisama, but otherwise the layouts and pencils kindof did themselves - I could actually see the characters on the page before drawing them.

I guess I must have entered some sort of fugue state soon after starting, because I completely lost track of time or what I was doing, and honestly, I don't remember ever deciding to ink everything - I apparently stopped doing pencils half way through and had just been doing everything in ink. About three in the morning I looked up, finished and exhausted.

From the debris around my drawing table I could see that I'd torn up three pads of Bristol boards, so I thought that I might have done as many as 6 or even 8 pages. However, I quickly realized that I'd actually done twenty.

Whenever I've tried to do a twenty-four hour comic in the past, I'd always failed. This time, I'd nearly finished not even realizing what was happening.

I can't think of any better way to describe just how revitalizing Scott's classes are, or how much energy and excitment you can get just listening to his lectures.

My 24 hour comic is the wall of paper on the far right ^_^

Since the assignment was originally given us at 3 p.m. the previous afternoon, I had plenty of time to grab some sleep, and the next morning during lunch I finished the last four pages I needed (the pencils at the end and what is now the second page).

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