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HOLYOKE — Never heard of Hourly Comics Day? You’re not alone, but thanks to the Holyoke arts community efforts, those interested in trying out a fun art project — specifically related to comics — are invited to the Print Shop on Jan. 27 from 12-2 p.m. for the in-person event.

The Hourly Comics Day event will be a low-pressure environment where participants can learn about Hourly Comics Day, how it got started and why people partake in the fun creative process it is.

Hourly Comics Day is a longstanding tradition in comics where on the first of February you draw a panel or a couple of panels for each hour you’re awake and post them either all at once or throughout the day. The opportunity to embrace and participate in a unique form of artistic expression like Hourly Comics Day was the perfect event for the Holyoke Cultural Council according to Co-Chair Anne Thalheimer.

“I think the opportunity to get people drawing in a space where they can also learn about how to print their comics if they want is neat and a good way to get more people into the Print Shop. It’s not just printing t-shirts and stickers, but also printing comics and zines and other artwork,” Thalheimer said.

Thalheimer said as a lifelong reader of comics and lover of minicomics, zines and self-published work, she users her membership with the Print Shop to print her own minicomics.

“That’s also why it seemed like a natural choice to have the Print Shop host the event. Folks can come and get some ideas and try out some new drawing tools and then come back after Hourly Comic Day and print their work to share if they want,” Thalheimer added.

Print Shop Managing Director Jeff Bianchine told Reminder Publishing he is always happy to partner within the city’s arts community to offer unique events such as this. He added he hopes to continue the Print Shop’s partnership with the cultural council and wishes to host more events this year.

“The Holyoke Local Cultural Council is helping fund a number of various initiatives through the Print Shop as well as other arts and culture projects throughout the city this year,” Thalheimer said. “We are also planning a 24-hour comic project through the Print Shop in October, which is a similar challenge where participants think of, design and create a 24-page comic all within the span of 24 hours.”

Registration is limited to 15 people due to shop capacity. This session and the materials are made possible through support from the Print Shop, Holyoke ART and the Holyoke Local Cultural Council — a program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. All ages are welcomed, and families are encouraged, though adults are asked to stay with their children as there is no child care on site and there are some sharp objects in the shop.

Thalheimer expects a fun day and hopes it will spark creativity for all interested.

“Art should be fun,” Thalheimer said. “It’s also a way to spark creativity and lose the fear of making things perfect — it’s a chance to try a new medium, or a fun drawing challenge, or even a new drawing tool. It’s also fun to see what other people can create and what stories they tell.”

tlevakis@thereminder.com | + posts