Above: David Steinlicht and Zander Cannon work on their comics in the gallery space at MCBA. (David is doing a 24-page in 24 hours; Zander is doing a 12-page in 12 hours.) Click on the image to view an enlargement. It's only 7 p.m. on Saturday. Look closely at the Pictionary box. I have more to say about that!
On Saturday night a friend and I stopped in to see David Steinlicht at the 24 hour Comic Day being held at MCBA. (Be sure to check out the other links on David's site—to his own comics All Small and In This Corner, as well as other related sites of interest.)
While we were joking with David about the progress of his 24-page comic I asked him if, like the 48-hour film project everyone was given a topic, a line of dialog, something everyone had to include. (You're supposed to create the 24-hour comic with no prep work or pre-planning.) He said no. Zander Cannon, who was working at the same table, then explained that he uses Pictionary cards to get the story plot points for his 24-hour Comic. His card's first word was "skeleton" and his comic was called, "The Mysterious Skeleton."
Zander went on to explain that he then drew a second card and used it to inspire character names.
I think this is a brilliant idea. I got so excited about it I asked to take photos of Zander's page with the "character names" card. The idea just makes me smile.
I love the "keep working" aspect of it, the "no agonizing, just plow forward" approach. How many times have you been writing a story and stopped and puzzled and lost your forward momentum because you were thinking of the perfect character name? And what a great device for creating plot points you have to identify in your story!
It's like Comics Improv—instead of an audience yelling out words and situations to actors the card is giving you the elements.
Visual journal artists can use this technique as well to spark ideas to write about, or to pick themes to observe in their surroundings. So go get a Pictionary game today and challenge yourself to work under deadlines and with limits. Discover new connections!
David told me 25 or so people showed up at the event and the resultant comics will probably be available in box form at local comics stores. I'll try to find out and keep you posted. I've purchased these collections from past years and they make for fun reading, presenting a variety of artistic styles and approaches.