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Friday, December 19, 2014

Comic company creates community

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A local publishing company is moving forward by going back to 7000 B.C.

7000 B.C., a non-profit organization based in northern New Mexico, is working to keep a sense of wonder alive by providing local comic book creators, writers and artists opportunities to develop their own styles of storytelling while promoting the cultural significance of comic art.

Bram Meehan, 7000 B.C. founding member and secretary of the board, said the organization arose from a group of individuals passionate about creating comic books.

Their mission, he said, was to bring local producers and hobbyists together to share ideas and get their work out for the public to enjoy.

“Our main message is that comics happen in the gutters or in between the panels, when a picture is created in the mind of the reader,” said Meehan. “We try to teach people what it takes to create comics while providing support for local producers.”

Meehan is very passionate about comics, he said, and considers them an art form.

Spending hours illustrating, writing and collaborating with others to create such works as his “Raised By Squirrels” series, which is very popular among local enthusiasts, is a passion, he said

“Comics are generally considered a relatively low form of art,” said Meehan. “We’re trying to promote that it is actually a very unique art form, and that it deserves more respect from the artistic community.”

Through educational workshops and meetings Meehan hopes to create an environment for enthusiasts to develop their skills and pass on their excitement to a larger audience, he said.

John Myers, a professional writer, said he works closely with his wife Jennifer and other artists to chase their dreams of becoming well-known comic producers.

Both are members of 7000 B.C. and together they make a team, utilizing their particular styles to create great works of art and storytelling like the local favorite “All The Growing Things,” he said

“I’ve loved comics since I was a little kid, but it wasn’t until I saw Jenn creating her first webcomic that I really got into making them,” John Meyers said. “We started bouncing ideas back and forth and began working together to create comics.”

John Meyers said 7000 B.C. has been very helpful in shedding light on their work; he said it’s a wide group of passionate individuals who like reaching out to the community.

Finding an organization like 7000 B.C. brought Jennifer Meyers into a community of like-minded individuals, she said.

“When I started I was working full-time and needed a way to blow off steam. I started making web comics,” Jennifer Meyers said. “7000 B.C. has been great in helping us promote our work.”

John and Jennifer Meyers are both graduates of UNM. Jennifer Meyers received her degree in fine arts with an emphasis in studio, while John Meyers received his degree in journalism and media arts. Together they’ve participated in numerous events aimed at promoting this unique art form, he said.

“It’s like a support group for artists,” Jennifer Meyers said. “Often a lot of time is spent alone in the studio, so it’s nice to have that interaction with others who feel the same way about comic books.”

Jennifer Meyers said she and her husband are preparing for the upcoming Albuquerque Comic Expo in June and Bubonicon, a science fiction convention, in August.

Working closely with 7000 B.C., the two are confident they will be successful in the future and hope their work with the community might inspire young artists to pursue their dreams.

“My advice is: don’t wait for your artwork to be perfect,” Jennifer Meyers said. “It takes forever to get someone to notice that you’re doing something, so just do it and get it out of your system.”

Tomas Lujan is assistant culture editor for the Daily Lobo. Contact him at cultureassistant@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @TomasVLujan.