Speed Comic Jam
History: First done at the Cartoon Art Museum Comic Jam on May 31, 2009
Idea: The idea of this jam is to work fast. Some of us artist have a habit of getting stuck on our comics projects and spending too much time. The jam produced interesting results and has some different variations. I could see this being a way to develop an idea with out getting stuck. You sort of just try to draw in ‘real time’.
How does it work: The idea of the jam is that each artist only takes a minuet or two to draw each panel We recommend that artist draw with pen since it forces us to not get too careful and work faster. We worked in a format based on Darwin Cookes’ “New Frontier” which features 3 CinemaScope panels per page. The wider panels requite some more details and storytelling sometimes, but also make the project go faster. We made copies of the template and then tapped them up on an easel.
We did the first jam in pencil with four artist, but that seemed to make it harder to follow, but it might be worth a try. See the variations below.
- Printed comic templates. You can use any format you like or none at all, but we are not experience with it that way.
- Art materials, we recommended pens. Sharpies work well.
- Two artist at least
- Someone or Something to keep time. Watch, iPhone, Clock Watcher, etc.
- Easel or wall to put up the pages on. I think it’s better to stand and get lots of energy flowing.
- Way to get a random idea. We had printed slips of ideas generated from the website http://seventhsanctum.com/
- Tape up 2, 4 or more of printed templates on the easel or the wall. Make sure you won’t damage the wall with your pens of choice.
- Pick one to a couple of random ideas, or just pick them from the audience or non-participating artist.
- Pick who goes first.
- The first artist draws for two minutes (one minutes is harder) the first panel.
- The second artist continues in the second panel.
- The first artist draws the third panel etc.
- Continue to the last panel on the last page. Can you have the story end on the last page?
Here is a sample of some of our jams by way of Flickr.
• This is my Mike Hales and Roberto who alternated panel by panel…
photo by Rick Lucy
• Variation: (below) Each artist drew their panels at the same time, but only on two pages per person. The theme was “Glam Rock Beach Party”…by Brian Kolm and Mike Hales.
photo by Rick Lucy
• Variation: Lots of people.
More then two people draw. One person per panel.
• Variation: Faster or slower. Use less time per panel or more time.
• Variation (not tried yet): Layered.
One person draws on the panel with a light pencil for one/two minutes. Then another artist goes over with ink for one/two minute. Then another artist adds the word balloons. Another adds the background. It really can be any variation mixed with the ideas above.
and You can have it so one artist starts with the first step and goes panel by panel at one/two minutes of time each and then the second person does not start till the first person moves to the next page.
– by Brian Kolm
P.S. please let us know if try this type of Jam and how your experience was.