Thursday, August 25, 2005

Serendipity - Books: 24 Hour Comics
The anthology's breadth and variety is phenomenal - from established artists like Steve Bissette to respected author Neil Gaiman to unknown amateur Paul Winkler, the stories here show just what the human imagination is capable of. There's a comic about Zen; the day in the life of a cat; meditations on a Roman emporer; and tragic life which is also bizarrely comical.

Remember - these stories were conceived at the start of each 24 hour period. None of these were outlined and planned before the clock started ticking. These are not "polished" in any sense - these stories were written and drawn in an intense white heat of creativity that had to be sustained through exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and the like. What's amazing is that anything coherent - much less comprehensible and visually appealing and communicative - could be constructed in such a short amount of time. This is the free jazz of comics, and it's way cool stuff.

The 24 Hour Comic[s] has spawned some intersting variants: the 24 Hour Play, the 48 Hour Movie, and the 24 Hour Dot Com. It's also the subject of at least two documentaries (to my knowledge) and become an annual event. Nat Gertler, the publisher of the About Comics line and organizer of the first 24 Hour Comics Day (2004), has just announced the dates for 24 Hour Comics Day 2005. You can find out more details at 24hourcomics dot com.
Serendipity: the faculty of making fortunate discoveries of things you were not looking for

In general, serendipity is the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it. In information technology, serendipity often plays a part in the recognition of a new product need or in solving a design problem. Web surfing can be an occasion for serendipity since you sometimes come across a valuable or interesting site when you are looking for something else.

The term was coined by English writer Horace Walpole on January 28, 1754, in a letter written to Horace Mann. He credited it to a "silly fairy tale" he once read called 'The Three Princes of Serendip'.

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