Monday, September 13, 2010

CALL TO ARTISTS: Comic Book Challenge in Montpelier

Can you create a 24 page comic book in 24 hours? Thousands of others have!

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library has teamed up with the Trees & Hills comic group to host a 24-Hour Comic Challenge on Oct. 2. Participants will create a 24 page comic book – story, art and lettering – in a consecutive 24 hour period.

The event – which occurs on the international 24-Hour Comic Book Day – takes place at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier. Library staff will be on hand starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 and the challenge begins at 11 a.m. and continues for the next 24 hours!

“It may sound hard, but completing a comic book in 24 hours is an amazing and rewarding experience,” said Daniel Barlow, the co-founder of Trees & Hills and one of the organizers of the event. “We're really looking forward to seeing the halls of the library filled with cartoonists engaged in a creative marathon.”

The 24-Hour Comic challenge has a unique connection to Vermont: It was created two decades ago by cartoonist Scott McCloud (“Understanding Comics”) as a creative challenge for artist Stephen R. Bissette, a Vermont artist who teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vt.

“Scott invented the 24 Hour Comic as a challenge for he and I, a way of breaking logjams and freeing constrained energy by completing, sans preparation, an entire 24-page comic in a mere 24 hours, start to finish,” Bissette explained. “Whatever we did during that 24 hour stretch -- including distractions like eating, using the bathroom, napping, walking, whatever - in my case, it included making my two kids lunch and picking them up from school - the clock was still ticking.”

McCloud drew the first 24-Hour comic on Aug. 31, 1990 and Bissette created his days later on Sept. 5. Since then, tens of thousands of others have taken on the challenge, culminating in an official 24-Hour Comic Book Day. The Montpelier challenge takes place on this year's official global challenge.

The event is free and open to cartoonists and artists who are at least 16 years old. Anyone interested in participating is asked to preregister by e-mailing their name, address and telephone number to, or calling (802) 223-3338.

For younger cartoonists, NH cartoonist Marek Bennett will lead a three-hour interactive teaching session on comics storytelling. Bennett, the creator of the popular newspaper comic strip “Mimi's Doughnuts,” will end the lesson with each participant creating his or her own mini-comic book.

Trees & Hills is a social cartooning organization for comic book creators in Vermont, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts. Founded in 2006 by Barlow and NH cartoonist Colin Tedford, the group focuses on building and connecting communities via the publication of socially progressive comics.

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library is located in a large granite building in downtown Montpelier. The building, which has housed the library since 1894, is the state's fourth largest library and has the second largest collection of reading materials. Library offices are located at 135 Main Street in Montpelier and can be reached by calling (802) 223-3338.

Trees & Hills Comics Group, bringing together cartoonists in VT, NH & western MA


Daniel Barlow
(802) 224-6905

Phayvanh Luekhamhan
(802) 522-3973
P.O. Box 1224, Montpelier, VT 05601