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Artists document their lives for Hourly Comic Day

Three panel comic of woman waking up, eating breakfast and checking her phone

If there's one thing artists on the internet seem to enjoy, it's a challenge. We've already seen some stunning creations come out of artistic challenges like Inktober and MerMay, but whereas these events are spread over an entire month, Hourly Comic Day condenses the illustrative work down to just 24 hours.

The challenge can trace its roots back to a series of journal entries made by John Campbell on 21 December 2005. On this day the artist tasked himself with making a comic for every hour he was awake between 6:40AM and 9:20PM. These were simple stick figure cartoons, but subsequent runs would see his style develop and inspire other artists.

Shortly afterwards a section on TenCentTicker Forums called Hourly Comic Day 2006 encouraged artists to draw an hourly comic on 1 February 2006. The challenge then grew into an event that artists on deviantArt, Flickr and personal blogs would get involved with.

Fast forward to 2018, and Hourly Comic Day has become an event that artists on Twitter have fully embraced – or grown to dread, depending on how they're feeling.

The premise is still simple. On 1 February, artists push themselves to create a comic for every hour they're awake. Some create literal comics that document what's going on in their lives, while others use the challenge as an opportunity to get thoughts and issues off their chest. One common theme we've noticed though is cats. Internet artists love cats. (Who can blame them?)

As you would expect, the artwork is a little less refined than some of the illustrations to come out of Inktober and MerMay. Instead what we get are a barrage of raw, characterful comics telling stories from all walks of life.

We've rounded up some of our favourite comics from the day for your viewing pleasure below (plus one by Aoife Duffy, above). Hourly Comic Day is a great exercise in learning just to get art down on the page, so be sure to give it a go next year. You might even appear on our 2019 round up!

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