24 Hour Comic #14: The Crumb Bums

Last weekend, for the second year running, I accepted an invitation to spend 24 Hour Comics Day as a guest at the Imagination International event in Eugene, organized by Ken O’Connell of The University Of Oregon. This year’s event was bigger than last year’s, with about twenty participants, and it attracted the attention of local TV outlet KVAL.

Here’s a story from the KVAL website- there was also a report on the 6 O’Clock News, but they don’t seem to have posted the video.

David Chelsea is listening to:
True Believers: A Novel
by Kurt Andersen

Like many of my 24 Hour Comics, story #14 is on the slight side. My main intent was to resurrect the 60’s by doing a comic about a band like the Monkees in the manner of R. Crumb, but I did include a number of autobiographical elements as well; incidents involving a clogged vacuum cleaner and a stopped-up bathtub come directly from my grubby New York apartment days, and I used dreams written on strips of paper and pulled from a sack as a randomizing and surrealizing element. One surreal detail not taken from a dream is that one character has a double penis, which I borrowed from an obscure Jodie Foster movie, Beach House.

With three main male characters (the fourth member of the band is a monkey), things are pretty testosterone-heavy, but I was careful to have the story pass The Bechdel Test by including a sequence in which two named female characters have a conversation about something other than a man.

(However, Judi and Robyn’s talk does nothing to advance the plot, and since this story is something of an homage to Crumb, both girls inevitably wind up in an utterly gratuitous threesome).

Eugene 24 Hour Comic Day Participants (me on left in black sweater)
Eugene 24 Hour Comic Day Participants (me on right in black sweater)

Many thanks to Ken O’Connell and everyone at DIVA.

Girl With The Keyhole Eyes alert! You can see a has a preview of the current issue of Dark Horse Presents, including a page from the aforementioned story, at their website here.