662-843-3432       MAILING: PO Box 117, Cleveland MS 38732       OFFICE: 125 S. Court St., Cleveland MS 38732

April 17, 2024

Melvin Parks

Delta Arts Alliance student 

to be featured in a new magazine

By Faith Strong

The Bolivar Bullet

Jackson Comics is a new magazine that was first published in 2022 as a celebration of Jackson’s 200th anniversary. The magazine is brought to life solely by Mississippi artists and writers. It showcases the talent that the state has to offer. A part of that talent is Cleveland’s own Melvin Parks, a 15-year-old Cleveland Central High School student who does storytelling through the form of comics.

Lauren Powell is the executive director of the Delta Arts Alliance. Powell said she was personally familiar with the comic book.

“I reached out to the editor, Blake Barnes,” said Powell. “I asked him if they would ever feature a Delta Arts Alliance student in the magazine and surprisingly enough, I found out that Issue Two would be a student issue, featuring young artists. I was ecstatic.”

Powell explained that Melvin Parks was a Delta Arts Alliance student in ‘Art With Allyson’. When Powell first saw the comic book, she thought of Melvin.

“Melvin does very cool work and storytelling through the form of comics,” she said. “We are thankful to creative projects like Jackson Comics that are open to learn about students and give them a platform to do their thing on a larger scale. We are so happy that the Delta Arts Alliance could connect Melvin with this opportunity. It’s a perfect fit and we look forward to seeing his work in Issue No. 2.  People can see Melvin’s art work from “Art With Alyson” at our annual student exhibition that will be held in June 2024. You can visit www.deltaartsalliance.org to learn more. His deadline for the magazine is December this year.”

Melvin Parks is in the ninth grade at Cleveland Central High School and has been doing his artwork since he was around seven years-old. Parks said that he loved being a part of the magazine which focuses on Mississippi’s future.

“It’s great. I got into the magazine thanks to Ms. Lauren and the Delta Arts Alliance,” he said. “She connected me and my work with Jackson Comics. I’m doing a drawing and writing a short story. It’s about the future of our state, but there are no boundaries. You can have as much freedom as you need. I have to be finished by December 24.”

Parks said being a part of the Delta Arts Alliance program is great for him. He loves expressing himself in his form.

“Since second grade, I’ve been doing my artwork,” he said. “Which I started out doing comics. But, I also love doing cartoons. I think caricatures are pretty cool too. I’m really thinking about pursuing this avenue in college. It’s going to be a long-term career.”