Monday, August 29, 2005

An afternoon update on the Brattleboro Museum 24-Hour Challenge:

I've queried Scott McCloud and About Comics 24 HOUR COMICS anthology publisher Nat Gertler, and it's still a bit up in the air:

Nat wrote:
"The record for the most participants is held by Austin Books
in Austin, TX. They counted 70 participants this year, although
that includes some folks who just hung for a while drawing then

HOWEVER, in the end they had complete just over 900
pages of comics (I think the number was 911), which is a
hearty amount of comics but I suspect your event had more.
Brattleboro may have the highest number of comics pages
produced at a single location in 24 hours."

Well, OK... the page count is underway! Will report back with more info as this develops. Of course, all this quantitative measuring (of participants, of pages) doesn't alter the fact that this weekend's event was a stunner. As Scott wrote, this only bodes well for the upcoming Oct. 7 24 HOUR COMICS DAY events, as critical mass and interest continues to build.

What I find most interesting is the fact that clearly the MEDIUM of comics is appealing to more people than I ever imagined possible -- the 'democratization' of the medium to all ages, gender, and classes was never more apparent to me than it was yesterday. I mean, these weren't boys and men, girls and women, turning out to READ comics -- these were men and women of all ages turning out in a small rural community, from all demographics, to MAKE THEIR OWN comics! And yet it seems that the INDUSTRY of comics has never been more constricted. What a curious juncture we're at.

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Blogger ADD said...

It is indeed a strange time for comics, Steve -- public interest is on the rise, as seen in mainstream bookstores all over the country. A very few -- probably less than 50 -- comics shops in North America are taking advantage of this resurgence of the artform, while the majority of retailers are so heavily blinkered that they don't even know the revolution is underway, never mind have any sort of plan for getting out in front of it. And if you dare to suggest that they try to sell something in their alleged industry other than boy's adventure comics to their established male clientele, watch out as the kneejerk accusations of elitism and lack of understanding of the industry fly fast and furious.

Meanwhile, manga and true mainstream creators like Marjane Satrapi and R. Crumb continue to make new inroads and gain new readers. The glory days of the superhero-driven comics industry are over, but comics are alive and well, as we both saw this past weekend.


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