First-ever non-fiction comic book festival in Burlington

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – “Read comics, enjoy comics, learn from comics,” said co-host Teppi Zuppo.

Learning from comics was the idea behind this convention at the first-ever Burlington Nonfiction Comic Book Festival. Fletcher Free Library hosted the event. Organizers at the Vermont Folklife Center say there are plenty of comic book enthusiasts in Vermont.

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

Leah Wittenberg has been doing comics for thirty years and has attended dozens of comic conventions. She says it’s a great way to learn from others, especially when it’s not all romance.

“So I think it’s very good for networking. You know, you’re just looking for other people to collaborate with and have a community,” Wittenberg said.

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

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

The Folklife Center says it’s something they’re looking to continue doing for all comic book lovers.

“There are so many beautiful works of art everywhere. I was really excited about the first two books. I opened it and I already bought one called “Quit Your Job”. Which looked like a sign, hahaha,” visitor Nicole Cohen said.

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