First ever Non-fiction Comics Festival in Burlington

Published: Oct. 15, 2022 at 10:13 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - “Read some comics, appreciate comics, learn from comics,” said Co-organizer Teppi Zuppo.

Learning from comic books was the idea for this convention at the first ever Non-fiction Comics Festival in Burlington. The Fletcher Free Library hosted the event. Organizers from the Vermont Folklife Center say there are lots of comic book lovers in Vermont.

I’m really interested in what this group is doing, this collaboration of people, and it’s super exciting. I’m looking to get inspired to do some more work, and see what other people are doing,” said cartoonist Leah Wittenberg.

Leah Wittenberg has been doing comics for thirty years and has been to dozens of comic book conventions. She says it’s a great way to learn from others, especially when it’s all non-fiction.

“So I think this is very good for networking. You know just looking for other people to collaborate with and have a community,” said Wittenberg.

The festival was filled with different kinds of work. Comic creators set up tables for community members to see their illustrations. Isabella Rotman traveled from Maine to be there. She creates sex education books and a few other pieces of art. She says it’s exciting to go to a non-fiction convention. That’s not something you see every day.

“Comics are an incredible teaching tool. The way you can convey information with words and pictures is so valuable. They’re innately non-pretentious, and young people seem to like them. So, the more non-fiction comics the better I think,” said Rotman.

The Folklife Center says this is something they are looking to continue doing for all the comic book lovers.

“There’s so much beautiful art everywhere. I was really excited about the first couple books. I opened it and I already bought one called ‘Quit Your Job.’ Which felt like a sign, hahaha,” said visitor Nicole Cohen.