Co Founder Interview - Nathan Vargas

A Little About Nathan...

Blitz Comics Co-Founder-Nathan V.

Blitz Comics: So, thanks for the interview and letting us get to know you.
Nathan Vargas: Of course. Hopefully I can put to rest the rumor that I'm a SpamBot. (smiles)

BC: So how did you become interested in 24 Hour Comic Day?
NV: Well, I've always been interested in comics. I'm proud to say that I've even written and drawn my own comic. That was way back in High School. I've always been too ambitious for my own good. Then I came across a book called Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. A short jump to his website and I saw the challenge and said (naively) "I can do that!"

BC: And when was that?
NV: Three years ago.

BC: Ohhh...Can I see your finished 24 hour comic books?
NV: Ask me again after this years challenge is done. I've never actually completed a 24HCD book. It's harder than people think! Well, at least harder than I thought...

[ BC Update: October 2, 2011 Congratulations to both Nathan and Anthony (co-founder). Anthony finished his 24HourComic and Nathan finished TWO 24 hour comics! The survival kit really does work! ]

BC: What was the hardest part?
NV: For me, not knowing what I was gonna draw beforehand. A blank sheet of paper is the most nerve wracking thing for me.

BC: So even after three attempts you face the same brick wall?
NV: Ya, that's why I helped create the 24 hour comic day survival kit. It's for me mostly.

BC: What can you tell us about the survival kit?
NV: Oh this thing is amazing! It has exercises, advice, pointers, and a whole lotta stuff anyone can use to finally complete their own comic book. It's based on all the failure experience I've gained.

BC: How difficult is it to use?
NV: Well like anything new, there's a small learning curve. But if I were to put it into a nutshell... Maybe start with the tips/advice page and mark the ones you want to follow. Then fill out the exercise sheets to build up a plot and set of characters. Next pin up the Timing Clock where you can see it. Then have at it! The kit was designed to be completed in under 15 minutes.

BC: Now tell us something you did that actually worked for you.
NV: Last year after I knew I wasn't going to finish I decided to browse the web for weird imagery. Yes, people still browse the web, stop looking at me that way.

BC: Sorry, go on.
NV: Ok, so when I'd come across a really weird image I'd do a quick drawing of it and then put my own caption to it. Now you gotta remember, the time had to be about 3am and I'd been up since 11am. So the captions were...shall we say...uncensored and uninhibited. It did get me through the next 3 hours though...

BC: Can you tell us alittle about what your story was before you cracked?
NV: Ha ha! Ya, the actual story was about how an ordinary girl survives a trauma that forces her to leave the big city and search for peace.

BC: That's deep but what's wrong with that? Why didn't you finish?
NV: It was based in New York City with crowds of people milling around and detailed alleyways with brick and trash and wires and dirt and plants and... and that was just on page two! Way too much detail for this type of challenge!

BC: Woah.
NV: Yeah, so one bit of advice. Avoid New York Cityscapes. And intricate costumes...

BC: Where will you go this year? Which venue?
NV: I love Mission Comics in San Francisco but I want to stay local to San Jose this year. Maybe someplace downtown. Know any good places?

BC: Not yet. Ok, so anything you want to add?
NV: Sure. 24 Hour Comic day is not about anyone else but you. It will test you. It'll try and break you. But don't let it. Some of my friends say that I take it so seriously. It's true. But for me, It's not about the comic book. It's about recapturing that feeling that I'm doing something worthwhile and not just watching TV or eating.I think of it like this. 24 Hour Comic Day is my Mt. Everest. Every year I learn how to go just a few more feet towards the peak.

The first year I started my climb, I tried without any gear, training, experience, guide, or plan. The second year I had a little experience, some better gear, still no guide, and still no plan. The third year brought more experience, way too much gear, a little training, still no guide and still no plan.

This year I'm taking my Mt. Everest...because I'm taking a Survival Kit with me!

BC: Ok! Thanks for your time. And everyone out there, make this year the one you say, "It is just better to be done! Bye!"