Propaganda: Gran – Andy Luke’s 24 Hour Comic
by Andy Luke
Generally I don’t much like 24 hour comics. They’re fun sometimes & terrible others but more often than not they just end up being an exercise in technique, in making a comic as fast as you can. It’s all rather self indulgent and rarely does a 24 hour comic have anything to say except for “look at me, I’m making a 24 hour comic”.
Which brings me to Andy Luke and his 24 hour comic. This is no exercise, no part of it is showing off, nothing in these 24 pages is self-indulgent.
Except I’m wrong. At least on that last point. It is self-indulgent. And rightly so. Because Andy sat down on Saturday 20th October 2007 to write and draw 24 pages in 24 hours just a few hours after the death of his much loved gran, Eileen Lucas. So of course it’s self indulgent. It’s every right to be.
What it doesn’t have every right to be is incredibly good as well. Sure, the art is scratchy, raw as anything and terribly rushed, but it’s the story that sold it. To attempt a 24 Hour comic at any time is a test, but to utilise it as an expression of your grief at the loss of a loved one? That’s something else.
The reason this 24 Hour Comic works is the lyricism of Andy’s writing. He takes the great grief of his Gran’s death and expresses it in a stream of conciousness outpouring of memories and recollections of a well lived life. Alongside this he presents an intimate study of his own reactions to his loss and the grief he’s feeling. Occasionally he retreats into the safety zone of any 24 hour comic maker and does a page or two on the trauma of the process itself, but everything else is pure gold. It’s heartbreaking at times, laugh out loud funny at others and often manages both in the same page. Quite unlike anything else you’ll read this year.
In the end I think Eileen would have liked this, which I think is just what Andy was aiming for.
Andy Luke can be found all over the Internet, but mainly his Live Journal & the regular Sheridan Cottage articles he writes on the Comic Village site. To have a look at some of the things Andy has written see his LJ user page. Gran is available in either pdf or print versions direct from Andy. Details on his LJ page.