Each February 1st, comic creators, both amateur and professional, from all around the world spend their entire day drawing one comic for every hour that they are awake. They don’t have to be fancy or complicated, you’re just supposed to make draw something each hour. Sometimes these comics describing what the person did in the past hour are exciting – maybe they proposed to their girlfriend or they rescued a cat that was stuck in a tree. Usually, however, they’re filled with the usually minutiae of daily life. Instead of making these comics boring, that gives them a fun uniqueness. While diary comics usually include a punchline, poignant thought or other notable moment in every comic, these are sometimes just a drawing of the artist hitting the snooze button or drawing hourly comics for the previous hour. Although not every artist completes their goal, the results are always fun. Since this is such a big event in the comic community, I decided that this week I would highlight some of the hourly comics done by creators that I’ve featured previously here in Drawn to Comics.
The first artist whose hourlies I’m featuring is Solomon Fletcher, the editor of Every/Body. In these comics we get a really intimate look into Fletcher’s life. We mostly see little comics that deal with their relationships and do simple things like sit in a waiting room, eating eggs and constantly wanting to take naps. These hourlies really show off the sketch style that a lot of artists go for in order to make sure they have time to get all of their comics done in time while still managing to live a normal life. Seeing Fletcher’s repeated attempts at trying to get some rest made these comics some of the most relatable of all the ones I read.
Aliza Layne’s contributions are some of my favorites. Layne is the artist who brought us Demon Street and while her comics start off being simple sketches involving alarm clocks and Downton Abbey DVDs, by the early afternoon, she’s back to drawing in a style that looks a lot more like her webcomic. She’s also great at infusing a lot of humor into her comics, talking about everything from the strange swearwords her dad uses to memories of Harry Potter ship wars. Layne really succeeded in making a normal day filled with some pretty average seeming activities into some really interesting and fun comics.
Melenie Gillman, the creator of As the Crow Flies, really went all out, going as far as coloring her entries. Her hourlies include stories about cute waitresses, pretending to be a witch and waiting in the snow. Her comics are really a treat to see, as she was able to keep her distinctive colored pencil style when many comic creators go to a more sketch-like style during Hourly Comic day in order to be able to draw the amount of comics that are necessary. Gillman even takes some time out to wax philosophical about how different her reactions to women servers and men servers are.
Sfé Monster (the creator of Kyle and Atticus) was also able to stick to eh’s distinctive style in eh’s comics. Even though the hourlies are a lot more simple than the average Kyle & Atticus page, you can still very much tell who drew them. Sfé’s day was filled with what looked like some great time exploring the outdoors, meeting some cute dogs and drawing dragons. When it’s all said and done, all of these comics are definitely worth taking a look at if you want to get to know some of your favorite creators a little bit better.
One of the things that I really enjoy about Hourly Comic Day is that you get to see more simple, almost elemental versions of some of your favorite artists comics. They don’t put days into crafting perfect stories, they don’t spend hours making sure their drawings are just right, they just draw whatever they did during the previous hour. It’s like a fun, artsy twitter. For artists who normally write story-based fictional comics, this can be a way to get to know them a lot better. Other artists that I’ve featured here in Drawn to Comics like Blue Delliquanti and Molly Ostertag also participated and made some pretty great comics that you can find on each of their tumblrs. If you want to be able to see dozens of more examples of Hourly Comic Day comics, there’s a forum where people upload their comics for all to see.
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.
Header by Rory Midhani