Yesterday was the second Comic Jam that I arranged at the Cartoon Art Museum, CAM JAM 2. The event was nothing like the first one we did in May 2009, but it was very successful.
My main goal for the event was to create jam comics and then publish them as a zine the same day. You see last time we did some amazing work with a lot of people, but we did not get it finished and so lots of folks are still waiting to see what we came up with. So I was determined to have us complete comics and have everyone take a copy home with them the same day if possible. The amazing thing is that we did accomplish that goal, but if we had the number of artist drawing that we did on CAM JAM 1 then it would not have been possible due to the sheer amount of art produced.
We had six artist show up from my invitation, but that did not mean that we did not have others participate in our madness. Joe did an amazing job of inviting folks visiting the museum to come and draw for our contest. You see we started the event by doing a drawing warm up and contest with the prize being 10$ to spend at the museum bookstore. Artist had to draw their interpretation of a villain from a Disney animated feature and boy did we get some awesome work. CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME OF THE DRAWINGS I will be posting the drawings after I scan them, so stay tuned.
So after the core artists finished their villain drawings, we kept it going with a Speed Jam. That is we had each artist take turns to create a comic story by only spending two minuets per comic panel. I had pre-printed zine size pages with box printed on them taped to sheets of news print on the window of the bookstore. Then it was a matter of someone keeping time while artist jumped in and drew. One issue that always pops up with Jam comics is that ending them is a lot harder then starting them. So the cleaver artist at work went in and added not only an ending panel, but a few intermittent panels as well. So as we then moved forward again we had certain locked in elements that we had to make the work flow into. The result was a simple story, but a story none the less. CLICK here to see a picture of Joe in front of the speed jam pages. We ended by creating a title page with Chris doing pencils for five min and then Jeff inking it for five min.
Now all the while we had guest artist doing their villain drawings too which Jason in the bookstore tallied which ones the visitors liked best. Thanks Jason.
So next we tried to start a jam comic, but it ended up with us just doing our own thing. The art was again drawn on the pre printed zine size pages (5.5″ x 8.5″) The amazing Romy finished a short piece as well as our new artist friend Chris. Meanwhile Jeff started a beautiful piece with a group of nuns and I worked on a story of Pinocchio in the old west. Sadly my story was too long for me to finish at the jam, but it was still going pretty well.
So around 4:45pm I started to paste the pages into a dummy of the completed zine. I then ran over to Copy Central on Market St. and first made copies of the pages then fed them into the copy machine to make booklets. I had brought some card stock from home for the covers since the cost is usually less then buying it at the copy store. We finished the zines by bringing them back to the CAM and every one helped to staple them. So most everyone could bought a copy of the book (for only the price of printing) and take it home with them the same day. Copies of the book might be available at ZineFest SF next weekend, I am working on it.
So then everyone helped to clean up the space and then another Comic Jam had ended.
What did I learn? That the number of people changes what can be accomplished. That we can have a better understanding of how we work as artists and that others will jump in and help when you need it.
A big thanks to: Joe, Chris, Romy, Jeff, Audry, and all the visiting guest who participated.
I know there will be another event like this in the future, but who knows what form it might take.