Comics join campaign for literacy

September 08, 2001|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Garfield and Luann tackle the subject of literacy on today's comic pages.

The two nationally syndicated comic strips are marking International Literacy Day by participating in Cartoonists for Literacy's attempt to raise public awareness on the importance of reading.

"I believe literacy is a fundamental human necessity," Greg Evans, creator of Luann, said in a statement.

"Having the skill to read and write enhances life, not just economically but emotionally and spiritually. But more important than that, literacy provides the ultimate gift: the ability to read the comics. No one should miss out on that!"

Sept. 8 has been designated as International Literacy Day since 1966 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, but this is the first time the comic pages have gotten into the campaign.

Besides Garfield and Luann, three other nationally syndicated comic strips published by some newspapers other than The Sun also are participating - Agnes, Frazz and Potluck Parish. The five comic strips appear in almost 2,600 newspapers worldwide.

The effort to encourage cartoonists to use their strips to promote reading was organized by California Literacy Inc., the nation's oldest statewide nonprofit adult literacy organization.

To raise money to promote reading, the original artwork for today's comic strips of Agnes and Frazz will be auctioned online by California Literacy. The two comic strips can be seen at www.caliteracy.org; bids can be submitted to the Web site through Oct. 27.

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