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May 26

Mini-Comic Day 2012 follow-up

Today I took part in the Mini-Comic Day challenge ( that was held at the Cartoon Art Museum with the museum’s bookstore and inkDrinkDraw (both which I have relationships with). The goal was to write, draw and print a mini-comic by the end of the day.

Mini-Comics (and zines too) have been democratizing publishing since the 1970’s when copy machines were first introduced and all of a sudden we had new ways to cheaply produce a book of our own making. Even with the internet there is a power in a physical object that can be given, traded, and sold by anyone who want’s to make one. Anyone can make a comic and reproduce it for just a few cents to share it in a tangible way.

The challenge is you have all day to make a comic with the length, theme, media, etc up to the creators discretion. ¬†We worked on our comics (including lunch breaks) from 11 am to around 5:30 pm with the standard length for all participants at 8 pages. My comic’s leed character is inspired by Bunraku puppets with their bulky bodies and tiny hands and feet. The title is translated by a web service and the characters loosely represent concepts like calm and relaxation.

Below is my final comic in convenient (flash based) format from Notes on the challenge and creation follow below. Click the DIRECT LINK.

In the past week I have been thinking about what I wanted to draw for my comic and was inspired by Bunraku puppets with there bold proportions and personalities. I did some sketches ahead of time so when I did the challenge I could focus on telling a half-way decent tale. I also was inspired by a story I heard while at the Big Wow convention the previous weekend about an artist who did his rough layouts for his comic with a blue highlighter pen and then directly inked over them. I did some tests with the character I was thinking of using and the technique and found it intriguing so I decided to give it a try. About 2/3 of the comic was done this way.

testing drawing over blue highlighter pen

I got into the city and swung by Copy Central to copy some templates for the challenge today and then headed to the museum to set-up. By 11am artist were showing up and we started fairly right away with most artist using a template that was pre-printed. (note: we will have a PDF available on-line with the templates in the following weeks). Some artist worked with the smaller ‘pocket’ zine size while others did a quarter sized layout that broke a double sided 8.5″ x 11″ page, both ended up with 8 pages.

I knew that I was only going to get a fairly gag oriented story, so I started with a simple premise; the hero is trying to meditate and he gets attacked by the minions of an evil wizard. The layouts are drawn in either color-erase light blue or blue highlighter pen with most details being added with the pens I was using. The pages were drawn out of order for reading, but appropriate for when they would be cut and folded together.

Fun-fact: The design of the big-baddy creature at the end of the comic was inspired by a person dressed like a Carrot mascot outside while we were creating our comics.

That is all the info for now, but more will be on the way in the following weeks, so stay tuned for more.

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  1. […] Brian Kolm has posted the mini-comic he did at the event at the Cartoon Art Museum Bookstore in San … This entry was posted in Mini-Comics Day Comics. Bookmark the permalink. ← Action Athena Wins the 2012 Stapler Award […]

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