A day in the life in comic form
By Bex Peterson, Editor-in-Chief
This past February 1, artists all over the internet and beyond once again took up their pencils and inking pens to participate in Hourly Comic Day (also known as 24-hour Comic Day). The challenge is simple: Artists are tasked with completing a single comic once every hour, often documenting tidbits and slices of the artist’s day or their life in general.
According to KnowYourMeme.Com, the first documented “Hourly Comic” responsible for the movement was created by artist John Campbell on December 21, 2005. Campbell used stick figures to journal the day, creating a new short strip every hour. On January 1, 2006, Campbell created the website HourlyComic.com to share his work (though the website does not seem to be active anymore). A few other LiveJournal artists started their own hourly comics as well, inspired by his work.
The first official Hourly Comic Day was hosted by TenCentTicker Forums on February 1, 2006. Campbell himself repeated the experiment in January 2007 and 2008. By 2008 many prolific and well-known online webcomic artists—including Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant fame—started joining Campbell, adhering to the February 1 “deadline” set by TenCentTicker Forums. The Hourly Comic Day challenge was initially a largely personal thing, meant as a fun way for artists to push themselves rather than with the express purpose of sharing these comics with the public—aside from Campbell, who started selling his “hourlies” on eBay in 2008. The day really only started gaining traction outside of niche artist circles and forums online after the Mary Sue covered the challenge in 2012, posting a compilation article of their favourite hourlies.
If you missed the Hourly Comic Day challenge this year, no need to worry—the challenge seems to only be gaining in popularity, with tons of recognized artists on Twitter and Instagram sharing their hourly offerings under the #HourlyComicDay hashtag. You’ll have a chance to try your hand at it next February 1. In the meantime, the hashtag is chock-full of this year’s hourlies to give you some inspiration, as well as an insight into the lives of your favourite artists.