Andy Luke (andyluke) wrote,
Andy Luke

24 Hour Comics Day Belfast

The morning before #24hourcomics I had 8 dreams, the first 5 each in an hour before awaking. It better not start that again. Nighs day all! Catalyst Arts are fairly central to Belfast: their 2nd floor offices behind the remains of a bag lady and a crap of graffiti. Large cold concrete exhibition room. Off to that, the meeting room - sofas, throws, comfy cushions, a hot pot of coffee. Artbits on every space of wall, one of the couches partitioning this casual living room from the table in the other half. It felt very much a safe space.

I usually do my 24 pages in 24 hours alone. People will be distracting and I still get uncomfortable with people looking over my shoulder while drawing, pangs of not being a real illustrator. (Possibly just schizophrenia, or other socially created condition) Mark de Connik, Nathan Crothers, Kat and Charlie (Catalyst) had talked about a barbecue: where would we get the time? Then there was Ann Harrison, chatting incessantly and asking about putting on some music! Oh Jesus, woman! A few pages in, I diplomatically took my work outside to the roof, surrounded with oil drums and a vegetable garden. Richard when he appeared with crisps spotted the wheelbarrow. A grill was placed on top of this for the fire, and he commented on what an ideal spot it was for parties.

Paddy Brown Stole My Crown.

Kyle Rogers calls in via Skype from the Dublin 24 Hour Comics group. Many fine artists are there racing the clock, including the shouty woman who has adopted me as her arch-nemesis. What the fuck did I do? Paddy tells Kyle he's doing his comic in full colour, with pastels, markers, tippex paint. "You're a damn fool man!" yells Kyle, and I quietly smile, he's right. God love Paddy for setting his sights so high. Of course the *********** ********** ********** ********** fellow goes right at succeeding tremendously. Bold expressionist images, awash with the most gorgeous colours esp. purples, on giant A3. Every so often onlookers gather and when he can get out past them, he goes for a walk. Because of course, he's two to three hours ahead of the clock from the outset.

Kat is our assistant for the duration and volunteers a 24 hour professional service. I drink tea and coffee like a junkie and she never fails. On the other side of me, Charlie is pouring through an Argos catalogue, the source of her narrative; an instruction manual thing. It makes me smile to think of it now. I can't spend too much time because I've been planning my comic for years. It's based on my own experiences as a secondary survivor of sexual abuse. Very tasking yes. In envisioning it, memories of stop-starts and painful struggles, breaking down in tears in front of these people or the stress triggering a seizure. Hard-going, becomes no survivor's guide, just a very dark place which, perhaps because Catalyst was such a safe space, I felt I needed to re-visit. A tall baldy fellow shows up with rollerskates. We're invited to take a break dancing around the exhibition room outside. Kat serves up barbecue. Guacamole marriage.

Day turns to night

The long night of my soul. I'm taking my reader to a very dark place and unable to see if there's anything functional they can use. Stephen Downey announces I'm drawing a page with 28 panels and everyone laughs. I ignore them and re-enter total immersion of everything is fucked up. I am dangling my reader over the edge of the abyss. In making up spare pages I just can't bring myself to drop them. In the toilets someone has scrawled "rawls sucks cock" on the wall. During another of these 24 breaks, Stephen offers to publish it on Talesofthe though by 5am he seems to have gone home. Oh, no, there, under all those coats. Stephen is so wee. Ann and Glen are slaving away over an A3 board with their running commentary on..oh I wasn't paying attention.

At the table with me are Nathan and Mark, who I'm also ignoring. I must be missing some good banter, as every so often, everyone else breaks out laughing.  Mark is working on a comic about the experience of paying his parking ticket.

When I do draw a page were my eye elicits a tear, it's one of love and Charlie tells me I've the happiest smile on my face.

Selected Tweets from After The Event

Nathan Crothers, name to look for. His 1st, about 24hourcomics is monastic ralph kidson-jeff lewis. I nearly weed my socks. Fionnuala Doran's history of ireland: classically beautiful figure work - part documentary, part batshit insane. #24hourcomics Hotly tipped as yesterdays best cartoonist in the world is @paddy_brown "best thing i've ever done" he says. Awe! #24hourcomics Four of the belfast #24hourcomics cartoonists are now roller skating around the arts centres large concrete arena. Thanks also to Forbidden Planet Belfast co-sponsoring #24hourcomics - You should the books I've mentioned there in a month or two Mixing genre jazzy @stephenmdowney - His collected #24hourcomics from last night now up on - well drawn, lots of colour! Anyone else come out of #24hourcomics and reality changes to suit their art style - right down to everything turning to pencil lines?

Other post: Episode 7 of the Alex Jones cartoons. "BioChemical Solution: Rise of the Child Slave State"
Tags: "24 hour comics"

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