Hipster Picnic

In the summer of 2010 I started a challenge to myself to produce one comic a week for a year, or to complete the equivalent of that: 50 comics. Two years later, I completed that challenge. Hipster Picnic documents this artistic journey towards the first steps in my path towards mastering the independent comic arts. 

In pages 1-3, I remember I was attempting to grasp the footing of the comic. I originally called it Hipster Picnic because I believed I could write an action/satire comic that could capture the attention of the kids in the neighborhoods I was frequenting of the time (North Park, University Heights, San Diego Velodrome, etc) 

1-3

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I quickly realized I didn't have a clue about how to write an ongoing comic. I venture to the Center for Cartoon Studies to do a summer workshop. In the one week I was there I focused on doing a complete story from script to colored page. This assisted me in giving me the first understanding of what finishing a piece felt like. 

4-7

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8-12

After the 4-page project, I remember feeling energized, and I dedicated myself to working on the comic as a strip. For these pages I focused on writing each page as a completed piece of art, with a distinct punchline and closure for each strip.

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Determined, I decided not to give up. I wrote a mini-story that surrounded a supporting character, "Brian." I used it to develop my sense of pace and rhythm. During most of this process, I knew that I would probably never complete this story - but looking back, this was the most artistically rewarding work I did during the comic. 

16-30

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Disillusionment set in. I found that I absolutely hated the idea of staring a blank page each week with no idea of what to write. I started contemplating giving up on the project as a whole.

13-15

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I knew there wasn't much more of the project left. I was over half-way to my goal of 50 comics. I started writing the next set of comics as gag strips. I even had Ian Pike guest write a strip: "RacistMonopoly"

31-36

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On June 21st, 2011, one of my students, with whom I was very close, died tragically. I don't remember much of what happened in the following weeks - but I know it took me close to two weeks to produce this Hipster Picnic dedication to Sean based on John Romita Sr.'s cover for Spiderman #50 "Spiderman No-More"

37

The Union Tribune held a submission contest for a monthly comic strip that was locally based. I really thought Hipster Picnic stood a chance of winning. I assembled a writing team: Ian Pike, Ben VanRoy and myself to create four panels in the standard Sunday comic format and put my best foot forward. 

38-41

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After the Union Tribune submission, I realized I really liked the contest aspect of creating the previous four page, so with Ian Pike I worked on a 5-page mini for a submission to a comic anthology about childhood. This was completed in one week with the assists of my former student, Jonathon Wallach.

42-46

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With only three comics left, I decided to challenge myself one more time. I worked with Scott McCloud's "Infinite Canvas" as my format and I used a lot of the production process techniques outlined by Ryan Claytor. I attempted to use the comic to talk about my feelings as an educator, and the disillusionment I felt when, at times, when I was trying to connect to others about my ideas. I have reformatted the comic so that it can appear on your screen - however, it originally was a single page.

47

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In the spring of 2011, I actually was able to take a class instructed by Scott McCloud (I know, right?!). One of his assignments was to take 16 panels to tell the story of your life while not using words. Originally I set out to do this with 16 different memories - but the memory of my grandfather was so many memories, that I decided to tell his story and his impact in my life within the 16 images. This was completed in 12 hours.

48

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49-50

At the end of this two year challenge, I decided to use the influence of Brian Lee O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim" style to let the characters have a little nonsensical fun. I also think this was the first time that I used a brush.

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The End...?

Friends & fans that I gathered in the two years of production of Hipster Picnic have asked "When is it coming back?" or "What's next?" - the truth is that I was slightly relieved to be done with the challenge of the fifty when it was done. Each strip in this series served as a learning moment for me about the crafting of comics. In the end, I started moving towards understanding who I was as a comic artist and what I truly wanted from the process. 

 

That is what learning is all about, right?



-Patrick Yurick 
June 9, 2013



P.S. As I am looking at the saga of creating this comic,I realize that this could be a text book on what to do and what not to do in regards to comic creation.

Who knows? I've also considered doing a "Best of Hipster Picnic"  comic book hosted by a slightly older-looking Hawk & Steve. It would operate like those episodes of 80's and 90's sitcoms where they would do "clips from previous years "specials. All of these 50 pages would be highlighted as the best of the 10 year run of Hipster Picnic out from thousands of pages. 

I really like the sound of that. :)