Sketches Abroad: Hourly Comic Day 2023

I present to you this year’s diary comic, chronicling the 1st February 2023 in celebration of Hourly Comic Day (in spirit if not timeliness*). It features a nice change of scenery (and excuse for the delay), as this year I was on holiday! South Africa, visiting family and seeing the sights!

After last year’s rescheduling, cancellations, and test requests, it was nice to actually get out there in the sun! Until the flights were delayed, and our luggage went missing for a few days… it all worked out in the end! *forced grin*

This year’s diary comic can be viewed through the link below.

Hourly Comic Day 2023 - click to read

Diary Comic – Hourly Comic Day 2023

*Usual HCD disclaimer: These are not drawn on the hour, every hour, on the day itself. I don’t know how some people ever do that.

Instagram: #HourlyComicDay


  • This is the trip that I was supposed to be going on last year, (to see Ex-Pat family), before all the semi-Covid delays, cancellations, tests and rules broke me down.
  • Dassies (AKA Rock Hyrax) are little Groundhog / Meerkat / Guinea Pig things.
  • The gallery paintings / sculptures were by Ken Maloney. While very impressive, they wouldn’t fit in my suitcase… especially not when many of them cost four figures.
  • “Load Shedding” is their term for “scheduled power cuts”. Not great, but you get a schedule app so you can prepare around those couple hours a day.
  • I read Anansi Boys in ‘record time’ (under a month)! Set in the world of American Gods, but with more levity and less road trip padding. They’re making a TV series too… let’s hope it actually gets finished, unlike the American Gods show.
  • Peppermint Tart is a delicacy that’s hard to come by outside of SA, because primary ingredient Peppermint Crisp falls foul of the dairy export ban.
  • Yes, Midsomer Murders ended with a big explosion. The Lions of Causton. Look it up.
  • Post-credits reference: I’ve still not watched Wednesday yet. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Half Locked (Down): Hourly Comic Day 2022

HCD blindsided me a bit this year, so I didn’t book the day off work to go and do something exciting for you… It was also a Tuesday, one of the worst times to get a comic drawn up over the working week afterwards. Regardless, I made the notes, then I got the tablet out again and got to it…

Click this link or the image below to read!


  • Extra grouchy this year, as I was going to be on holiday this January/February until Covid ruined all plans (again).
  • I’ve not been in my overdraft for a long time! Too much Xmas excess, remedied by transferring funds in from elsewhere to last until payday.
  • Dawn FM is smooth. This is the Weeknd song featured in the comic.
  • Keeping me company on the TV today once again was TripleJump: The “Knight Rider the Game” episode of Worst Games Ever to be precise.
  • Smug Mode resembles Kryten from Red Dwarf (because that’s where the phrase comes from).
  • I’ve not even met my Aunt’s dog or Cousin’s son yet (both 2020). Both are growing up fast!
  • This year’s end card is based on that there Wordle. I’ve not jumped onto this trend.

Remain indoors: Hourly Comic Day 2021

Well this year’s not going to be very exciting… apologies in advance.

The Coronavirus pandemic kicked off in the UK mid-March 2020. I’ve been working from home since then. We’re currently in our third nationwide lockdown. At least a vaccine’s being rolled out, although it’s currently at the 60-70 year olds and working down the demographics.

February 1st was also a Monday. All this means no gallivanting off to nearby towns or nights out on the tiles in this year’s diary comic.

Without further buildup, click the picture or link below to read this year’s comic!

Carl’s Mitchell’s Hourly Comic Day 2021

Better late than never: Hourly Comic Day 2020

So, here we are. A new decade, which brings my tenth entry to the annual Hourly Comic Day!
Two months late.

Two things happened this year:

  1. I went on holiday for 2½ weeks on February 2nd. So I didn’t have the time or inclination there. Also, no ‘scurrying around airports’ diary comic for you!
  2. I lost my drawing mojo. While ideas can still come and go, it’s a great effort to actually sit down and sketch. It’s been a whole year since I last updated this blog as well, never mind overhauling the site itself.

Anyway, there’s nothing like a nationwide lockdown to make you sit in front of a lightbox…

Click below to read this year’s diary comic!

Then he scribbled away (Scribble scribble)

This is my ninth entry to the annual Hourly Comic Day. Friday February 1st, diarised into panels over the weekend (about 11 hours total of cranking out drawings). Be OK with going at your own pace – the point is to create and have fun!

I took the day off work, because who needs to see that again… but by making my day more ‘exciting’, various small events wouldn’t fit into 2 panels per hour:

  • Silently judging The Blanket art in the Piece Hall.
  • The ice cold tap and freezing hand dryer.
  • Peering through the Kitty Cafe windows to see a kitten.
  • Someone writing chord letters onto a public piano’s keys.
  • Wondering why Lego Spiderman has a giant robot, and Batman… and Poison Ivy?!
  • Trekking to the toilet in the restaurant, then realising I’d left my bags at my table. Still there when I got back.

Click below to read this year’s diary comic!


The hours go so slowly…


February the first was Hourly Comic Day 2018. Another trip around the sun, another day to make a comic for every hour awake.

I point out every year that mine aren’t done in real-time: That’s just silly, even on a weekend, and this was a workday! While people on Twitter were apologising for posting theirs “late” on February 4th, here was I… this time, my “hourly” comics took 8-10 days. I can offer you a range of excuses, from a couple of freelance project deadlines, overtime at work, and even having a cold. But here we are: It’s good practice, and I can look back at previous years.
As this involves taking notes, then drawing onto paper, inking, scanning, arranging and uploading, maybe I should try going purely digital… I bought a stylus to use on my touchscreen laptop at Xmas.

Click below to read this year’s comic!



  • The Springbok is a symbol of the Friendship Associations (and the South African Rubgy team). I’m off on to visit family in South Africa at the end of the month!
  • I’ve nothing against Owain the Weatherman, but he’s no Lisa Gallagher. Well, to his husband, I guess he is.
  • I actually own a top hat and tails. That’s a story for another time.
  • We bought a new smaller and simpler 4G Hub from EE that afternoon. It arrived in less than 24 hours.
  • The main topics at the retirement do were ‘criminal capers’ and ‘vintage cars’.
  • Bruno Mars’ Finesse is the 90s resurgent.
  • Did you know that Outlook bases its webcode off Microsoft Word? It needs so many compatability workarounds, it should really be retired / rebuilt.

Sketch around the clock


In this post i’ll cover this year’s Hourly Comic Day entry, a few tidbits of extra info, a handful of examples from other partakers, and bring up a hithero unmentioned comic batch I did…

Let’s jump right in, and elaborate after: Click the image below, or this link right here, to check out my diary comic for 1st February 2017!

A Stack of Seasonal Sketches

Kate Beaton, Canadian comic artist extraordinaire, regularly doodles diary comics when she goes home to the family for Christmas. They’re all very charming – when it comes to family, you just can’t write this stuff. Click the example below to visit her full gallery, around 40 comics strong!

Beatonna Xmas 2016 comic (sample)
Judging by the frames, I think she draws them digitally.

So last Christmas (2016), laying about with time off and laid up with a wonky hip, I had a go at my own Christmas comics. Same rules as the hourlies – Take notes, draw later.
My final count nearly matched Kate’s: I completed 35 festive comics!

A small sample of six (click to view):

Click here or the image below to go and have a gander!

A cover image lovingly prepared in under half an hour.