72 Hour Comic

Ryan Estrada finished his 72 hour comic project and you can see some of the results on his site (although he has not yet posted the finished pages).

A 72 hour comic is the Ironman version of the 24 hour comic marathon created by Scott McCloud. Let’s hope the madness of endurance comic-making ends there or we’ll see a rash of zombie-cartoonists roaming the streets in 2005.


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. Actually, after 72 hours it wouldn’t be too hard. You get this bizarre euphoria and you actually feel a little energized. You’ll crash pretty hard after 96 though. Your comic probably won’t be very coherent though because you get pretty damned loopy and your creative energy isn’t going to be at its best.

    When I was in the armed forces during GMT they worked us hard (and I mean hard) for 5 days straight with no sleep and no stims. At the end of the 5th day we were finally given a chance to sleep. At the end of 48 hours I thought I was going to die. After 72 hours I thought I’d never need to sleep again in my life. After 96 hours I just thought whatever I was told to think. You become very pliable and compliant and your ability to make any sort of rational judgement is severly compromised. They’ve found that 8 days hard work is the most they can get out of a body without the use of stims and the soldiers are damned near insane by the end of it. With stims they can get a hell of a lot more work out of a body but again mental stability is highly compromised. I think they can get 15 days of hard work and no sleep with the use of stimulants.

    Anyways, my own sleep deprivation story. We worked hard for 5 days and it was late the night of the 5th day. We’re out in the bush but as a present for getting through the 5 days without killing anyone (who wasn’t supposed to be killed ~_^) our CO had a mess truck come in with hot food. I went to the mess truck, got my food and then started walking back towards my gun position with it. I got partway down the road when I just collapsed falling face first onto the road (and my tray of hot food, never even got to taste it, damnit). A short while later some of my buddies were coming back from the mess truck and they see me laying on the road. Well 5 days no sleep, loopy as hell, they decide to have a little fun with me (no! not that kind of fun). They tied a sack over my head, hog tied me and then rolled me into the ditch. Pretty extreme but at the time it just seemed like a prank. I was so out of it I didn’t wake up through the whole thing.

    The next morning I wake up. I’m in intense pain, tied-up, wet, and there’s a god damned sack over my head. This was during a milcon so my first thought was “Holy freakin’ christ! I’ve been captured by the enemy!”. Well I try not to panic. I’m testing my bonds and trying to see if I can get a hand free. I’m moving around and one of my buddies sees me awake so he disguises his voice and says “Sarge, it looks like the enemy prisoner is awake now. Should we interigate him or just fuck him up the ass first?”

    Needless to say there was much panic and struggling on my part and laughter on there’s. I was so relieved when they took the sack off my head and I saw it was all a joke that I laughed my ass off too. I was good to go after a few hours once I had gotten cleaned up and some dry clothes on. Our number 1 did give them shit though for rolling me into the ditch explaining that it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of water for a person to drown when they can’t move. The hog tieing and head sacking he was fine with, and the threats of forced sodomy, well, that’s just comedy gold.

    It was nice thought, I suppose, that they didn’t leave me laying in the road where I could have been run over by a jeep (we didn’t have humvees in my day) or a duece 1/2. Didn’t catch a cold from sleeping in the wet ditch either.

    All in all, I think given the choice to go through that kind of sleep deprivation again drawing a comic or doing hard work like I did in the army, I’ll choose the comic. Less chance of that ending with the threat of forced sodomy I think.

  2. I guess it really depends on who you’re doing the comic with, I suppose…

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