Statesboro STEAM Academy’s 2022 valedictorian has plans for an unusual future career: creating comics. Proficient in English and an avid reader, Abigail Cave has already started writing her own stories.
Her favorite class is English, but high marks in all classes led her to have the highest grade point average in her class.
“I love to write, and I love reading,” she said. Science fiction and fantasy novels are high on her list, but “I also like reading comic books,” she said. “They lend a nice visual aspect to a story, and it is nice to be able to see what is happening, the environment. I can see what the characters look like and they seem more real.”
She reads a lot of different kinds of comics, mostly fantasy or science fiction, she said.
“It’s fascinating to see how creators will use not only the genre, but the format of the panels to form a compelling story. A favorite of mine, 'Mister Miracle,' uses a consistent format of nine panels per page, each exactly the same and evenly placed, to convey a sense of monotony that the main character experiences in his day-to-day life. In another, 'Batman: Court of Owls,' there’s a section of the book where the reader is forced to actually turn the book around to view the page correctly, which showcases the maddening circumstances of the scene.”
While some may dismiss a comics as not serious literature, Cave disagrees.
"I think comics as a medium of storytelling have a lot of potential. I’ve grown up reading a lot of them by now, and I can say with confidence that many of them have taught me valuable lessons that made me the person I am today,” she said.
She has been working with her brother creating comics.
“I really enjoy writing," she said, which she adds takes up most of her spare time. “My oldest brother Brendan, my co-author/illustrator, and I have been working together on some stories that we’re incredibly passionate about … a sci-fi/fantasy surrounding an alien creature, and the human boy he’s sworn to protect. It’s a project we’ve been workshopping for years, but we’ve recently had to put it on hold due to one of Brendan’s solo comics gaining popularity.”
She is still working on her own, though.
“I want to make the kind of story that can make me happy, because if it can make me happy, then surely that would mean someone else out there might need it too,” she said.
The 18-year-old lived in Stillmore before moving with her family to Statesboro, where she began attending Statesboro STEAM Academy in sixth grade. Her parents are Doy and Jessica Cave. Doy Cave writes for Georgia Southern University Magazine. Abigail has three brothers: Brendan, who graduated last year from Statesboro STEAM; Caleb, who graduates with her this year, and Ethan.
Cave said she enjoys attending Statesboro STEAM Academy because, “There is a closer community feel. STEAM is pretty different because it focuses on kids being themselves.”
The school "offers a lot more freedom and chances to discover their (students’) interests,” she said. “Teachers work with students on a more personal basis since there are smaller classes. It is like a tight-knit community.”
Cave plans to attend Georgia Southern University, then “possibly transfer elsewhere and major in writing and linguistics.” Her dream is to write both novels and comics.
“Writing takes up most of my spare time; that and hanging with friends and my brothers, playing video games,” she said.
She offers words of wisdom to others working towards graduation.
“I am grateful for the people I am surrounded by. I would tell others it is OK to take your time because if you worry too much about the future, you may remain in the present. Be a kid while you can. Life moves faster than you expect,” she said.
Statesboro STEAM Headmaster Corliss Reese had words of praise for Cave.
“She has been a super student the entire time she has attended Statesboro STEAM Academy,” he said. “She exemplifies what a leader amongst peers should be. Abigail has always been the calm in the storm and voice of reason for all of those around her. While she has a quiet demeanor, her personality stands out. She is not only intelligent, but she also possesses a quirky wit that brings joy to so many."
Cave has been involved in various clubs including Beta Club.
“Being in Beta Club was such a blessing, and I can honestly say that I’ll miss it dearly.” She received many honors awards through school including citizenship award for having over 100 volunteer hours logged from working as a counselor in training for a summer camp.