For decades, Nat Gertler of About Comics has been publishing blank comic books. Entirely blank, for people to create their own comics with, and they are very popular for use on 24-Hour Comic Day, where around the world, people try to complete an entire comic book in one 24-hour period. We have mentioned this before.
Cartoonist Scott McCloud came up with the challenge in 1990 as a creative exercise for himself and fellow comics artist Stephen R. Bissette. But in 2004, writer Gertler helped organizing annual 24-Hour Comic Days for everyone to have a go.
I did one myself, later published on Ninth Art. The current archive was maintained by About Comics, now by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
Well, DC Comics have clearly seen a gap in the market. And they announced at San Diego Comic-Con that for 24-Hour Comic Day this October, DC Comics will be creating their own blank comics, 16 pages inside, featuring the same uncoated 80-pound paper used on DC’s blank variant covers.
Except — there’s a problem here, The 24-Hour Comic Day challenge demands a 24-page comic book. Nat Gertler’s Blank comic is 24 pages long — DC’s is only 16 pages long, breaking the rules.
Here were Scott McCloud’s full rules: it must be begun and completed within 24 consecutive hours. Only one person may be directly involved in its creation, and it must span 24 pages, or for an infinite canvas format webcomic, 100 panels. And nothing can be planned, plotted ahead, sketched in advance.
What have DC Comics done? Have they destroyed 24-Hour Comic Day? Hopefully, Nat Gertler will try and keep it pure… and his Blank comics can be ordered in advance of October’s 24-Hour Comic Day.