I actually tackled the topic of this week’s Dustinland sometime back in 2007. Of course I didn’t realize that until after I finished drawing this latest strip. But I really do think this is a much improved comic so I took down the older one. Why did I wind up touching on the same topic twice? Well, for one, it’s a pretty universal truth that has most likely been going on for thousands of years, and probably will continue on into the future unless we evolve into higher beings or destroy ourselves (Doomsday Dusty at your service once again). But what really got me thinking about this again was a conversation I had with a cab driver. Who knew?
* Can anyone recognize what movie inspired the drawing in panel No. 3? Bonus points if you do!
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think this week’s Birdy comics (this one, this one and this one) are pretty damn innovative. Birdy just does not get the props he deserves. Half the comics out there today feature stick figures, and here you’ve got a bunch of strips that really break the boundaries of what defines a comic, and guess what—the stick figure strips will continue to get more recognition.
And I’m not just talking about xckd here—I mean, I’ll give it to that guy, I may not love his stuff but who can deny that they are really smart and well-written. I’m talking about the many, many web comics out there where people don’t even bother trying to draw more than the bare minimum, or use the same image on each frame and just change the dialog. This stuff brings up a lot of questions. Ultimately, it’s all about content. If you can relate to the ideas, then you’ll like it. But as someone who appreciates comics as an art form, I don’t know if I can truly consider some of these things comics, or even if I can, are they good? Are they good comics, and are they good for comics as a whole? It’s ironic that I use Birdy to bring this point up, since Birdy is clearly not where I focus most of my artistic efforts most of the time, but at least Birdy is an actual drawing.
You may say I’m over-thinking. You can call me Andy Rooney. But I’ve drawn comics for most of my life. I’ve interned at Marvel. I’ve been publishing Dustinland weekly since 1997. I truly love and respect comics as an art form. Now when I see so many popular stick figure comics out there… part of me just feels frustrated. Not just from a hater sense, although jealousy does play a part on occasion, but from the perspective of someone who wants to see comics move forward, push ahead, become art. And the xckd guy, he’s got a book in the MOMA, so good for him. That really is cool and good for comics in general. But for most of this other stuff… well, I just don’t know. I’m glad people are reading comics, but I wish people would read more Chris Ware and less rage comics.
Posted in art