You’re probably thinking “Come on Blake, not another cartoonist working out their craft with a daily comic....” While I suspect some of the initial impetus behind the daily comic project was to advance the cartooning skills; it didn’t take long before Dustin caught his stride, producing amazing work with consistency.
I’ve known Dustin for a while as an acquaintance. Before breaking out on his own this summer, he spent many years working at my favorite comics shop, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, in Charlotte, NC. More recently, he was a major component of the success of the Heroes Convention. It is through this connection that I’ve been able to experience Dustin “live and in Technicolor.” You see, Dustin has one of those personalities you just can’t get enough of, a certain Southern charm that is pure magnetism—you can’t resist offering your undivided attention. Dustin has learned how to channel this charm into his comic work.
In DIARY COMICS Dustin cracks open his world a bit: a mid-thirties, aspiring professional cartoonist and illustrator, complete with the obstacles that are all too familiar. Like a good perzine, Dustin warms up and with an expressive style. Being a diary, he’s recording the exciting and happy moments in his life but with this comes periods of loneliness and depression. There aren’t as many of the latter—leaving room for some of the most masterful selfdeprecation in the business. You have to be careful when reading his work—a spewingbeverage eruption can happen at any moment! You share his exuberance, you feel his pain, and you find yourself pulling for the kid in times of need.
DIARY COMICS #1 collects the first six months of Dustin’s daily diary (January 01 – June 30, 2010) into a sweet format that suits his layout very well. After working out the kinks the first few weeks, he settles on a four-panel-per-day layout offering just enough room to capture an eventful day, yet, on the days when things are quiet, no one is wasting any time. by the time you get to his March entries, you’ll be hooked and hoping that plans for issue #2 are in place.