Category Archives: art

20 Years

This new Dustinland comic is not so much about my new book (which you can now buy here at Amazon!) but rather inspired by it. It’s about the thought process behind it, and the hopes, fears, dreams, and paranoia brought on from discussing it with people in the real world. So really it’s more about success, as an artist and as a human.

It’s a topic I’ve touched on before and probably will again, but I felt that this 20-year milestone was the right time to dive into it.

Also, I was inspired by my trip last night to the Society of Illustrators for a goodbye party for MAD Magazine, as they are moving from their classic NYC home out to the west coast to join the rest of their DC Comics companions/overlords. As an occasional contributor, it was an honor to be among great like Al Jaffee, Tom BunkHermann Mejia and basically a huge room full of some of the world’s best cartoonists. I’d like to thank all the awesome MAD editors and staffers (especially Jonathan Bresman and Ryan Flanders), who were so kind to me over the years, and who brought me into this amazing family of talented artists and creators. It’s a bummer to see the gang split up and such a NY institution leave town, but hey, the times they are a changin.

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Coming soon… Dustinland in book form

I’ll make it short: I’m coming out with a book. A compilation. Best of 20 years. Trying to get it out before 2017 is over so…

Back to work!

Stay tuned!

Color Therapy

Despite the feel of this week’s Dustinland comic, I love the whole adult coloring book thing that’s been super hot the last year or so. It’s like monks making those sand tapestries or whatever they’re called. Very eastern. Mindless meditative art is awesome. Hey, that’s one of the things I love about drawing comics. Yes, the first part of it is anything but mindless. But once it’s written and pencilled, the inking and coloring is relaxing. And mindless doodling, that’s even better. Just getting lost in your art… I love that more people are doing it, even if it’s “just” coloring.

But it is funny to see my wife using coloring books more than my kid.

Off Color

This week’s comic is not really a comic. Just a drawing. Sunday night I just wasn’t in the mood to espouse about anything, probably because I was hungover after a night out with some dudes (and dads) seeing High On Fire and Pallbearer (metal—lots of metal). But I did feel like drawing. So this is really just an exploration of color and mood. I figured I’d try drawing something intense and coloring it in cool blues, then draw something mellow and color it in firey reds. It’s interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing. It would be fun to really go to town on something like this and make it super detailed but I think my days of super detailed art are behind me at this stage in life. I mean, it’s hard to ever believe I had that kind of time. That would be my advice to young people. If you have a hobby, totally commit. Because you’ll have less and less time over the years to spend on it. Maybe one day when you’re old you can come back to it but that’s different.

Pages From My College Philosophy Class Notebook

I was lazy on Father’s Day and didn’t feel like drawing comics, so I dug out these masterpieces. Honestly, I could spend days going through my old college textbooks. They are so intricate in their doodles and little jokes… I wonder how I was inspired to work so hard at not doing what I was supposed to be doing. Maybe class is just that boring. Maybe that’s how I learn. I was actually a pretty decent student. Not always A but not too far from it. Solid B+ for sure. Sometimes A if I really cared. It was hard to care though. School… you know, it can be interesting with the right teacher/professor, but so often it felt like being forced to sit in a room for no reason. It really could be torturous at times.

I did have some great teachers though. And once I took a course called The History of Sequential Art. AKA comics. A class about comics! Amazing. Believe it or not, the guy teaching the class (grad student) probably taught me more about writing college papers than anyone else. We were all freshman and we gave in our first papers and he handed them all back and said they were too bad to grade, and he spent a whole class explaining what a college paper really should be. Nice guy. I wonder what he’s doing now.

But yeah, anyway, my notes are ridiculous and there are zillions of hidden gems in them — jokes and drawings — so maybe I’ll edit it down and publish some highlights one day. High five.

How To Nurture Your Creativity

This week’s Dustinland comic is about nurturing your creativity. That means giving it love and helping it mature and develop. This is not about “making it.” It’s not about success or any of that. It’s about having something you enjoy, a creative form of expression, and figuring out how to give it the time and attention it deserves despite your busy life.

I know as well as most people do, that between work and family, once you have a few free minutes to yourself, it’s hard to use that time to be productive and artistic. Play music? Write? Draw? How about Netflix. But if you care—and a lot of people do—you have to try. That’s why I drew this week’s comic. It’s for all the people out there who have asked me how I do it. Week in, week out. 15 years. I draw comics. Why? I don’t even know anymore. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just part of my life. A part I couldn’t imagine leaving behind. You don’t have to be as devoted as I am, but if you enjoy photography, go take pictures. If you like to sew, go sew. It doesn’t have to be every day. But it has to become a routine. Otherwise all the distractions of modern life will eat away the few minutes of free time you have and one day you’ll wake up and the decades will have gone by and you’ll wonder why you stopped  _______.

Draw The Line

This week’s Dustinland comic covers my thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo killings. The comic is pretty much an illustrated op-ed piece, and I think I covered all my thoughts in there, so I’ll leave it at that. It’s a sad, scary world we live in, and I don’t see it getting any better, at least in terms of this issue.