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Up for a challenge?

October 20, 2009

The world needs new characters…Sootch30Characters

When I was a kid, I’d create characters left and right, filling up sketchbooks, notebooks- hell, even napkins, with new creations.  Some I’d never develop any further than a rough sketch, while others I’d flesh out and make the stars of my comics.  Today, when I work with kids in the creating comics classes I teach, they have no problem spontaneously churning out quirky new characters with very little prompting.  Creating new characters is a lot of fun.

And I realized I haven’t been doing enough of it lately.

To address this situation, I’ve decided to set an ambitious goal of creating a new character each day for the month of November.  30 days, 30 new characters.

Challenges can be a lot of fun.  October saw another successful 24 Hour Comic Day challenge.   While I didn’t partake this year, I had a great experience completing “Grudge” during it a while back.  And so, I’d like to invite any creators, writers or artists to join me as I give this new challenge a shot.

This blog has been created to share new character creations created during this month of November.  Here I plan to post:

  • A newly created character, one for each day of the month of November.  This could take the form of a character sketch, a profile, a paragraph description or a comic strip.  No limitations- any genre, any style, anything goes, as long as it is a new creation the world has yet to see.
  • Quality articles and writing resources dealing with the process of character creation.
  • Positive comments and constructive feedback on the new characters created by others who join me.

If this challenge sounds like one you’d like to take up, send me an email @ or comment on this post.  Brave creators who join me will get access to this blog site to post their creations each day, will get their own bio page under participants, and get a nice shiny link to their webcomic, blog, or site of their choosing on the front page.

The challenge begins November 1st.

New characters are calling you.

-Tyler James

22 Comments leave one →
  1. artgeekzoo1 permalink
    October 21, 2009 4:04 pm

    Excellent idea. I can really use the practice and your challenge makes for a great goal commitment.

    Also, the confident kid in your illustration is wearing a DBZ shirt. That speaks to me even though I don’t connect with his “piece of cake” stance. To me it sounds like more of a do-able-stretch of a challenge. 🙂

  2. October 21, 2009 4:36 pm

    Anything goes?
    Illustration OR Prose?
    I’m down, sign me up…

  3. Monolith permalink
    October 22, 2009 3:54 am

    I’ll do it! If it’s prose, I will do it with a passion as I have a couple sketches down already.

  4. October 22, 2009 5:51 pm

    What a great idea! Back when I was a kid I did the same thing. I came up with new characters all the time. I’de even write profiles next to their illustrations. (like Marvel’s Handbook & DC Who’s Who.)
    I’ve been doing a daily sketch challenge of established comic characters on my own blog. But this sounds like a really fun challenge. I would love to participle and let the imagination go wild! Shazam!

  5. October 22, 2009 7:19 pm

    Glad to have all you guys aboard. I’m really seeing this being an open challenge…prose, profiles, pin-ups, napkin sketches…what I’m really hoping to promote here is a sense of that free-wheeling compulsion to create.

    November is going to be a fun month!

  6. October 23, 2009 4:23 pm

    I’m down. I have a few worlds that I need to populate.

    Hell, I may even double up. It’s not like I’m not ALREADY busy…

    You suck. 🙂

  7. October 24, 2009 6:42 pm

    Alright… I’m in. I could use some characters that I can implement in tertiary instances. Plus I’m always sketching in meetings at work so I might as well give it a TRY!

  8. Javen Ackerman permalink
    October 27, 2009 5:30 pm

    Love the idea. I can use the extra motivation to actually design a character before including them in a story.

  9. October 27, 2009 5:51 pm

    I’ve been debating this for a week. Your damn tweets I blame.

    I am up for this challenge, then I can skip nanowrimo this year.

    This should make for an interesting creative push. Great idea Tyler.

  10. John Lees permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:14 pm

    I don’t know how successful I will be in this challenge, but I want to give it a go. I’m IN!

  11. October 28, 2009 7:37 pm

    Phiiiiissshhh… 30 Characters in 30 Days. I saw that movie and it wasn’t scary at all – oh, wait. That’s something else, isn’t it?

    Okay… like the Capes & Babes Universe doesn’t have ENOUGH odd ball and weird characters already…

    Count me in Tyler. I’ve been itching to use the new internet capable camera on my new phone so uploading new characters shouldn’t be a problem now!



  12. October 29, 2009 6:39 am

    Wow, this sounds super dope and I’m definitely down for it!
    – zak

  13. October 29, 2009 5:48 pm

    I may regret this given my project load, but I love the concept and idea…and well I love challenges.

    I’m in.

    I already feel the ulcer welling.

  14. Doug permalink
    October 29, 2009 8:47 pm

    I have three stories I need to populate with no less than 10 characters each. Thank God this challenge was not in February or I’d be screwed!

  15. October 29, 2009 8:50 pm

    Legal Disclaimer: The 30 Characters Challenge will not be held liable for any ulcers, bouts of indigestion, or for fatigue caused by loss of sleep.

    Welcome aboard, Dan! I’m sure you’ve got plenty of characters you need to come up with for Azure, anyway. (You can always cheat and start naming the fish.)

  16. October 30, 2009 12:05 pm

    Straight! I’m looking at this as a way to flesh out some of the characters and concept stuff for Season 2 of Azure…. 30 in a month hunh? No prob!

    And I promise not to do any fish illustrations and pass them off as characters…THIS time 🙂

  17. Crash! Landen permalink
    October 31, 2009 11:15 pm

    If anyone can try, I’ll try this… Don’t know if I have the time, but I’ll try. I do have had an idea for an entire world revolving around my greatest creation yet, Captain Stick Figure… So maybe, it’ll be a chance to populate that world and to unleash my bold new stick figure style upon the internet populace. (evil laugh)!!!

    No seriously, I’ll try this. Day 4. I’ll get to day 4. AT LEAST.

  18. johnlees permalink
    November 1, 2009 12:05 am

    Yay, we start tomorrow! Looking forward to it.

    So how does it work? Do we have posting privileges to just post our characters as new posts each day? Or will Tyler create a new character thread for each day, and we post our creations for each respective day in there?

  19. Kate permalink
    November 1, 2009 2:17 pm

    Wow everyone! Day one is off to a terrific start. This is going to be awesome to watch. I get all the excitement with none of the anxiety (not an artist, just an observer). Enjoy the challenge!

  20. November 1, 2009 9:41 pm

    Throwin my hat in!

  21. November 2, 2009 11:34 am

    I’m in.

    I could use a nudge like this.

    A day late already but I should be able to catch up quick!

  22. Eric White permalink
    November 2, 2009 4:40 pm

    I am so in!!


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