It was Thursday evening when I found a letter from the post office, asking me to pick up a package at their office in Soekarno-Hatta. That's quite far from where we live, so I wondered if it worthed my while to go there. The sender column said About Comics, USA. Ooh my 24HCD Highlights 2006 copies have arrived! Then I would go willingly to the post office at the soonest possible time, eventhough the post office charged extra for custom and repackaging (which mounted up to 94.000 IDR). Friday was a national holiday, offices were closed. Saturday morning, I waited until Syb came back from cycling, then departed to Soekarno-Hatta.
It was already late morning when I left and the post office closes at 13.00 on Saturdays. I decided to take a taxi, but everything was in a jam anyway, which is normal for a long weekend. I eventually arrived at the post office at about 12.00, looked for the package-pick-up section, paid and left. I took an angkot homewards (no problem: there was no time restriction and there's one that goes directly to Kanayakan - Dago, our nearest stop home).
Since it's a long way home, I got all the time in the world to unpack the package. For seven books (contributors of full comics receive 7 books each), the package felt light. I untied the sealed rope and pried open the Indonesian Postal Service plastic bag. The original package from USA (brown paper envelope on bubble-wrap plastic sheet) was already torn a bit at the corners, but no matter. I could easily rip a corner and pull one book out. Reading time! (Take my words: reading in angkot is not easy, but possible).
The texture of the paper is similar to those of newspaper, brownish, but thicker. The printing quality is average, or quite good compared to ours here in Indonesia. The contents are of course the most interesting factor of this book. 24HCD Highlights 2006 compiles a variety of how stories can be told through images - all done within the 24-hour deadline on October 7th, 2006. Next to the 10 full stories that got chosen, the Highlights also includes a number of excerpts that are thought to be representing the heterogeneity of submitted works during the 24HCD event.
For my story (pages 53-76), the editor wrote as an intro:
2006 was the first year that Indonesia had 24 Hour Comics Day event sites, but the country burst on the scene with 3 event sites hosting more than 75 participants... and Indonesian Tita Larasati (esduren.multiply.com) wasn't at any of them. She drew her story at the Lambiek comicstore in Amsterdam, which will make sense once you read her autobiographical tale.
After my pages come Alam's (another Indonesian), with the following intro:
Not all Indonesian participants were in The Netherlands, of course. Alam Muammar crafted "Ciuman Pangeran Bukan Untuk Permaisuri" at the Pengajian Komik DKV Community event, hosted at Institut Teknologi Bandung, West Java. (Alam's English translation was added for this book.)
(One of Alam's colourful pages is used as the back cover of this book.)
It is perhaps interesting for fellow Indonesian participants and organizers to read a remark about them at the introduction:
The 24 Hour Comics Day 2006 was amazing
... You can see it in the blogs and the videos that people made of the event, you can see it in how the town of Muhos in Northern Finland let students out early so they could participate, or how the Muslims in Indonesia kept energy up through the event despite it falling during the fasting month of Ramadhan, or how new comics creation communities have once again formed in the wake of the event.
Am I excited? Of course! I've been waiting for this publication with high enthusiasm, and now it's finally in my hands! Now if only I find a way to get this other one sent to me.. :)
The next 24 Hour Comics Day falls on October 20th, 2007. Any of you who want to participate (either again or for the first time), please prepare your gears and let's arrange another comics fever!
If you'd like to read about 24HCD 2006 in this blog, please click the tag 24hcd under this entry. You'll be directed to all posts related to this event. Other links:
- 24 Hour Comics Day (the event)
- About Comics (publisher)
- Nat Gertler (founder of About Comics, intiator of 24HCD and editor of 24HCD Highlights)