Intro, setup, gag
March 1, 2005 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge. How hard could it be to post a comic every day, 5 days a week. How long could you keep it up. How about for a $1000 prize? Some big names are playing. (because they axed)
posted by Capn (15 comments total)
Jeff Rowland draws two comics every day.

I'd like to see a contest where everyone tries drawing as many daily comics as possible at the same time.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 2:57 PM on March 1, 2005

Oh heck, I bet these guys could go for decades.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 2:59 PM on March 1, 2005

Doesn't seem like it'd be all that hard . . . ? Especially when you're drawing like you have a crippled hand.

Could you do this on a cocktail napkin every night at happy hour and snag a cool K? Interesting promotional dealy, tho.
posted by undule at 3:12 PM on March 1, 2005

Speaking as one of the daily grinders, let me say that this event mutated into something huge rather quickly and unexpectedly. Originally it was a very casual affair in which some (generally) slack comic crafters were given some incentive to get off their asses and create, competing for a (then) small prize. It was more a form of mutual encouragement than anything, for people who weren't comic-making factories.

And then for better or for worse, the deluge of pro and semi-pro cartooneers descended upon the sleepy messageboard and upped the ante considerably. There's a mix of people from different approaches to comic-making in there. Many are speaking different artistic languages which has caused a smattering of internecine strife on the boards, but it's starting to settle down. Hopefully we can all benefit in the end, prize money be damned.
posted by picea at 3:29 PM on March 1, 2005

How about "just stick to your schedule" webcomics?

Also, I'd love to see some sort of chart of longevity vs. constancy vs. quality. Like undule brings up, random cocktail napkins can win the grand, but they're likely not very good.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:47 PM on March 1, 2005

presumably this is a contest by people who care for the work and their craft. I don't think any of them would want to win with crap on cocktail napkins. I know that the introduction of Scott Kurtz to the contest in particular has caused some strife. All of a sudden it looks like the pros are going to drag this contest on for years.

I'm not a cartoonist and certainly not a part of this contest, but since they all keep insisting that the whole purpose is to provide some impetus to really work at making a daily comic, wouldn't having pros as part of it just provide a further impetus? I mean, sure it'll be a lot more difficult, but that's only more reason not to accept any excuses from yourself.

my $.02, take it for what it's worth.
posted by shmegegge at 4:04 PM on March 1, 2005

Good idea, r.i.b. I propose we judge quality using a system of heuristic features:

Uses sprites ripped from NES game -10
Characters' hands in pockets throughout -20
Characters stay in same position in each frame -50
Last-panel "Joke" is hipster sequitur referencing trivial notion of some flash-in-pan indie rock group -500
Is by John Allison +5000
posted by neustile at 4:07 PM on March 1, 2005

Gleeful snark aside, I love webcomics and wish there were more of them every day. I've seen some beautiful comics (like the recent Bee ones and the guy that did the Flight book and Copper) but they only update monthly or weekly. It must be so hard to make gorgeous engaging comix every single day. I think John/Scary-go-round is the best thing we can hope for at this point-- each of his strips is worth 5 or 10 'newspaper-style' strips. Does anyone know if that's his fulltime job?
posted by neustile at 4:10 PM on March 1, 2005

Good thing Tayler isn't in on this. I don't think he's ever missed a comic, and he does 7 strips a week.
posted by ulotrichous at 4:29 PM on March 1, 2005

But don't many comic authors have flurries of creativity and then the work is just released one day at a time? I think especially when there is a theme it would seem likely.
posted by geekyguy at 8:16 PM on March 1, 2005

Right, geekyguy, but the rules don't say anything about disallowing a buffer. I see that Chris Crosby is in on it, too. It seems kind of shitty for guys who have been meeting this challenge without fail for years to jump in with the newer, less experienced artists who may have gotten into this chasing some self-discipline and creative stamina. Now, I'm sure it seems to some of them like they might as well give up now. Crosby hasn't missed or repeated in 5 years, I think.

too bad they don't have a 'getting around to announcing the winners of your trivia contest' pool
posted by ulotrichous at 8:39 PM on March 1, 2005

On the upside, the inclusion of some of the more professional types gives the little guys incentive. If someone can beat proven iron men like Crosby, the publicity and attention it will attract could be worth well more than a thousand dollars.

Honestly, I think that while the big guys have some unfair advantage, I definitely don't mind seeing some of the two-panel MSpaint quality comics get stomped. I know not everyone can draw really well, but there needs to be a modicum of effort as well.

I dunno, I just hear "Iron Man" and think Cal Ripken Jr. when he was nearing Gehrig's record. I remember him saying something about playing every game to the fullest, and he'd only take the record if he could do it as he always did, not just playing one or two innings a game to just get by.

As for the entry fee, I bet most of the little guys are getting more visitors than any $20 ad could give.
posted by Saydur at 10:23 PM on March 1, 2005

... don't mind seeing some of the two-panel MSpaint quality comics get stomped ...

Comics are not necessarily a smooth mixture of 50% words and 50% drawings. How else can you explain qwantz's hilariousness? Despite the fact that every comic starts from the same exact image, and any changes do indeed look like MS-Paint jobs.

Inspiration is the magic ingredient that blesses any good webcomic.
posted by breath at 11:57 PM on March 1, 2005

How else can you explain qwantz's hilariousness? Despite the fact that every comic starts from the same exact image, and any changes do indeed look like MS-Paint jobs.

It's like a comedian who stands there in a plain suit telling a series of jokes. The visuals don't necessarily matter except as a frame in which to tell the jokes. (Though the current quantz visuals work very well with "I was like, Aaaaaahhhh!")
posted by pracowity at 5:44 AM on March 2, 2005

What if I just draw 10 - 20 small comics at a time, upload them to a buffer and rig a cron job to update my site daily? All I'd have to do is check up on the server every once in a while to make sure it's running, and occasionally upload new content.

Given that the entry deadline is already passed, I'm saying this in theory.
posted by tomorama at 3:22 PM on March 2, 2005

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