The 2008 30 Second Recap Contest!

Well, it’s the end of December, and as is my custom around this time, I’m taking the next few days off so that I can get tore up from the floor up without having to make a joke about ROM properly ring in the New Year! I’ll be back on January 6 to celebrate the ISB’s fourth Awesomeversary–jeez, have I seriously been at this for four years?–but until then, you’re on your own.

Never let it be said, however, that I took off without offering a little something in return, and while there’s plenty of fun to be had at the Action Age if you haven’t been there already–with more stuff coming soon… like, tomorrow soon–it’s also time for the traditional year-end 30 Second Recap Contest!

Here’s how it works: Pick a comic story and do a condensed version in the style of the 30 Second Recap posts I’ve done for stuff like Infinite Crisis, Civil War, Secret Invasion, and of course, Bring It On! Then just post it on your own blog, website, Flickr account LiveJournal or whatever and leave a comment on this post telling folks how to find it, or email it to me if you don’t have one of those fine, free services. Just make sure you get it to me by Midnight Eastern time, January 5 (Sunday night/Monday morning) so that I can read over them on Monday and pick the one I like the most for the return on the sixth.

The winner will get a “Fabulous” Prize Package consisting of stuff that I have laying around here, including a signed (by me) copy of Teenagers from the Future, a terrible drawing of a character of your choice (also by me), and other random delights that I haven’t quite settled on. Rest assured, though: There’ll probably be a Cobra Commander involved.

And now…


1. Artwise, your entry doesn’t have to look good, because lord knows mine don’t. It won’t hurt if it looks nice, but shoddy art is both accepted and encouraged. Along the same lines, you don’t necessarily have to use crayons (MS Paint has a similar effect), but you have to draw your entry yourself.

2. For lettering, you can do it by hand if you can write legibly, but feel free to head over to Blambot and use one of their free comic book lettering fonts! As always the use of Comic Sans will result in an immediate disqualification.

3. Content is up to you: Despite me calling it the year-end recap contest, your subject does not have to be a story from this year. The only restriction is that it can’t be a story that hasn’t finished yet. By the nature of the contest, spoilers are par for the course, so if you’re planning on spectating this year, take that into account. Otherwise, go nuts. Heck, you can even go after a 22 year-old classic of comics literature if you want!



4. The key factor here is brevity, so entires should be no longer than ten panels. I’m not going to throw out something that has eleven or twelve if it’s funny and well-done, but try to keep it short.

5. If you post your entry somewhere, make sure that there’s some way for me to contact you if you win.

And that’s it! If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the previous contests, 2007 and 2006, and I’ll see you in 2009!

56 thoughts on “The 2008 30 Second Recap Contest!

  1. Can it be one I’d created and posted on my blog earlier this year, but haven’t entered in a recap contest yet? There’s one from April 1st that I’m really proud of.

  2. I’m declaring “I’m angry with rage!” to be my new catchphrase.

    Expect your royalty checks to start rolling in any day now.

  3. A rather wistful year, combined with my continuing desire to avoid any comic that anyone in their right mind would summarize, has led me to go off-format a bit with this year’s entry:

    The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition, In 30 Seconds.

    I call it my “Adaptation” because the story, for me, is not the reference guide itself, but what my friends and I went through while it was being published. So instead of Charlie Kaufman, you get me, and instead of Meryl Streep, you get crayon drawings!


  4. To Brian Smith:

    Your story speaks to us all, my friend. I remember thinking the same thing, once upon a time.

    I showed that comic to my best friend, and he recounted his own memory:
    “Whatever Reed was doing with that arm was going to be a giant let-down, I just knew it.”

  5. I’m barely into working on my project, and I’m already feeling inadequate about my chances of winning. And I can’t pull out something like Hitler getting kicked in the face for the second straight year.

  6. Go ahead, Jason. Sure, it’ll be lame this year, but when you do it next year, it’ll be a running gag!

  7. Haerandir…right now, I have to come to grips with the fact that I can’t draw a gorilla’s head. My original plan called for three gorillas. On the bright side, I’d like to think I’m making progress with human heads, even though they’re basically circles and other shapes. And I will be bringing Ryan Choi back, as well as Head.

  8. PS everything posted so far is diabolically genius! I love Martian Manhunter! In…a…friendly, non-threatening unimposing manner, of course

  9. I finished this over the course of this weekend. Penciling and inking… man, what a chore. But anyways, have at an old 1986 Marvel comic that only had six issues!

    The Comet Man!

    I condensed six issues into FOUR pages. Don’t blame me if it only makes a sliver of sense.

  10. Jason: I go back to work tomorrow, and I know I can work “Mon dieu! Save me, French Jesus!” into a conversation.

    Thank you, sir!

  11. PS & OT:

    Just finished the January Previews.

    Has Marvel publicly announced that they’re designing covers for Chris Vs Previews columns?

    (Yes, I mean Daredevil 117.)

  12. Crud, I didn’t finish before the midnight EST deadline. I guess I’ve got a jump on next year’s, then. ;)

    I love the entries so far!

  13. bookrats…glad I could make an impression. And I’m at the point where I’m looking over other entries and wondering what to do next. After reading chris heimpel’s take on All Access, I keep imagining what I’d do with the superior Unlimited Access, featuring great finds like Captain America Jr. (aka frail Freddy Rodgers) and Thor-El.

  14. Hey Jake, I loved your recap of The Dark Knight Returns; in fact, I liked it better than the real thing, but don’t tell Miller…

  15. the last line of “the Dark Knight Returns in 30 seconds” had me laughing like crazy. kudos, sir!

  16. All right, entries are closed! Since I was asleep when the actual deadline rolled, I’ll count everything up to this point.

    Thanks, everybody! Great jobs!

  17. Curse you, Tim, that was spectacular the way you worked in some Eisner style page layouts. I wanted to put in Gibson’s 9-panel grids but I felt that I would push the boundaries of the recap size a little too hard that way.

    Looking over my own compared to the other public entries I definitely needed more action. It’s my own fault for taking a very talky storyline and stripping out the action bits to make it flow in a minimal number of panels (which is also why there’s no Mars, Silk Specter past panel 2, or flashbacks).

    Unfortunately I also now kind of have myself locked into a story that’s even more talky with less action for next year so that I can complete a set (and I’m all about obsessive completion of sets) but at least there I have an artist I can parody better.

  18. JSG…maybe Miller didn’t know how to pronounce “P’Gell.” I usually go with “Puh” or “Peh” in a short burst, but I might be wrong on that.

  19. As long as we’re bemoaning our artistic limitations — the original plan for the portrayals of my old junior high school was a 3-point perspective aerial shot, like a camera on a crane swooping in at the beginning and the end. Then I thought, “Oh, right, I can’t draw,” and I just colored in a rectangle.

    And Danicus, thanks for the support! I found out that there was some discussion of the panorama of covers on John Byrne’s board — it ranged from people who’d never really seen the handbook covers all together, to one guy who stopped collecting the series when the Byrne covers stopped. So I’m glad to know at least a couple of other people went through what my friends and I did!

  20. By the way, JSG — loved the Watchmen parody, in part because you *did* strip out so much. You did a great job hitting the high points, and the corner newsstand was a great touch…and if I wanted something that focused on the action in “Watchmen,” I’d buy the video game.

    I don’t know how many years these contests may run, but I don’t see myself ever doing anything from the DC universe because you summarized the entire thing to perfection already.

  21. Thanks, Ubernerd! You know, I had the exact same fight with myself about nine-panel grids. In a contest with a suggested panel limit of 10, it eats up too much space, but so many people have used it over the years, its almost as integral to a parody as the writing! For my part, I figured I would probably be out of the running anyway, since I didn’t actually recap anything, I just threw some burns at Big Frank. So since I had to have at least a title page and a “gimmick” page anyway, I’d go all the way and do a nine-panel fight scene too.