Friday, June 30, 2006

One Day to Go

Tomorrow, July 1, 2006, the A Comic A Day challenge begins. What have I done to prepare for this momentous pursuit, you ask?

Absolutely nothing.

I've begun to associate this project with the highly regarded "24 Hour Comic Book Challenge," in which participants create a comic book, from the notes-on-a-napkin stage to the post-production folding and stapling stage within a solid 24 hours, without forethought or arduous planning. I'm just reading comics, a far cry from producing them, but because I acknowledge that this goal is more difficult than it seems, I want to experience every snag that threatens the integrity of the process during the process, as a part of the process. That's what makes this a challenge.

So, no, I haven't purchased any comics yet. I haven't perused the library's listing of graphic novels. When the challenge begins, the challenge begins. Now, I may purchase a few days' worth of comics tomorrow, to assure my daily dose during the holiday weekend. And, yes, I have an idea of what kinds of comics I'd like to read to kick off my annual epic, but if I cannot find them through conventional means, the challenge, and my strategy, will adapt accordingly. I'm looking forward to what the year offers, for better and for worse.

Again, feel free to offer any strategies or ideas you may have to maintain the A Comic A Day challenge. I may be shouting in a canyon here, but my inner geek would do well to hear an echo back from time to time. Three hundred and sixty-five comics is a lot of paper, and three hundred and sixty-five days is a long time. I'll see you then.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What is "A Comic A Day?"

Welcome to "A Comic A Day," a personal challenge to test the bounds of my fanaticism for comic books. Comic books inspire a loyalty from their fans unlike any other medium in entertainment. I've been a "fanboy" since childhood, and my tastes (not to mention my comic book collection) have grown and matured exponentially since those early days spent clamoring for Venom's latest appearance in Darkhawk, or something. I'm always looking for something new and interesting to read, something that speaks to me on a literary or artistic level. (As part of a small press publishing team, K.O. Comix, my journey through the world of indies and zines has only heightened this hunger.) So, I've come up with "A Comic A Day," one-part experiment in dedication, one-part indulgence in obsession, in the hopes of satisfying (and maybe smothering) my inner fanboy once and for all.

What is "A Comic A Day?" The challenge: Beginning July 1, 2006 (the first day of the fiscal year), through June 30, 2007, I will read one complete comic book every day. Further, I will chronicle this exercise by posting a daily review of the comic book I've read, including a brief synopsis of its story to assure that I didn't just "look at the pretty pictures." Incidentally, one day constitutes the time between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., at least on my watch, so the issue must be read by then.

I know what you're thinking. "A comic a day? Not only can I do that, I do do that!" Hey, I do, too, so this wouldn't be much of a challenge if I didn't establish some restricting guidelines. Check this out:

1. I can only read one issue from any given series throughout the ACAD year. Therefore, if I read Action Comics #1, I cannot attribute any other issue of Action Comics to the challenge. (However, in this instance, other titles featuring Superman would still be in play, if only for one issue each.)

2. I cannot attribute any comic books or graphic novels from my current collection to the challenge; my daily dose of graphic goodness must come from a comic book that I have never read before. I can attribute future issues of titles I currently collect to the challenge, but only under restriction of the rest of the rules on this list.

3. A maximum of four out of my seven weekly reads can come from one of the "big two" publishers, DC and Marvel Comics. This limit guarantees exposure to several other, potentially independent publishers at least three times a week.

4. As long as the selection contains a complete original issue's worth of material, my daily dose can come from a graphic novel or serial collection, possibly read at a bookstore or a library. This stipulation offers potential exposure to a variety of comic book eras, styles, and creators despite any given issue's limited availability -- not to mention my financial, ah, restrictions.

5. I must post a daily review of the comic book I've read, unless something dramatic occurs to my computer or Internet access, in which case I will post all unpublished reviews as soon as technologically possible.

6. I reserve the right to add to or edit the contents of these restrictions, as long as these additions maintain the integrity of the "A Comic A Day" challenge.

These restrictions are open to suggestion; if you can think of a way to make this challenge more productive, please respond to this post. I guess this personal challenge implies some commitment from you, as well; if I'm updating daily, I assume someone is reading just as frequently. I'm looking for a challenging, entertaining, educational exercise in comic book fanaticism here . . . and I hope you'll come alone for the ride. I have less than a month to prepare. See you next year!

Coming Soon