Let’s get this out of the way quickly: Comic books are for kids. But they’re not just for kids. They’re also for adults. And seniors. And teenagers. In India, a nation plagued by a 35 percent adult illiteracy rate and 22 official languages, educational comic books are used to teach everything from health to science to contemporary culture. In Japan, phone-book-sized weekly manga entertain salarymen on their long train rides to work. Around the world, cartoon-illustrated tracts are employed to convert nonbelievers to the born-again teachings of Jack Chick. In Hollywood, popular graphic novels are used as fodder for just about every big-budget movie that hits theaters. Comic books are for everybody. That’s one of the messages the New Mexico-based arts organization 7000 BC is trying to get across.
“Man, I love 24 Hour Comics Day!” Those are the words of Enrique “Ryk” Martinez, who has participated in every 24 Hour Comics Day since its inception in 2004. “It's like extreme cartooning. For my style, it's perfect. I just pick up my pen and go for it.”