Since I went to the comic round table at the Forte Festival, I’m going to write about my experience. Prior to this, I honestly didn’t think there was a community of artists here. I appreciate Forte Fest helped me broaden my perspectives.
When I first arrived at the library, I was taken aback by the displays showcasing Alabama comic artists and their works. There were several comics I recognized but had not realized that hey! I know that kid! When I was walking passed one of the displays, I noticed a comic (the Adventure Time issue) with an art style that was familiar to me. When I got closer and read the blurb, I saw it was illustrated by Rina Abrego, a friend of mine! The amount of artistic talent coming out of the university is incredible.
too much time looking through the displays, I went to the round table on the floor above. The room was completely full when I got there so I had to stand outside and listen, but I was still able to understand and enjoy the panel. An interesting question someone asked the panelists was how (if at all) they felt living in Alabama shaped their creative process and views on topics. One panelist, whose name I believe was Chris, answered that living in Alabama gave him the mental space to create comics he wanted to that he probably wouldn’t have gotten in an area with more mainstream attention on comics. If he was in a larger city, he mentioned, there would be a higher population of artists, which would probably have swayed the way he told his stories. Living in Alabama gives him the breadth to tell the kind of stories he wants to tell rather than feeling the pressure to focus on what’s most popular.
The Comics of Alabama round table at the Montevallo Forte festival was an interesting and enlightening experience. I consider myself fairly well read when it comes to comics and visual novels and I was still quite impressed by the amount of talent from this state. The food was also delicious, 10/10 lemonade.