“Time-soaked venom chirping vile village chunks…”
“Still on anti-anatomical botanical garden warden gig March…”
“Like eat the baby sell the cow…”
Cannibalism aside, the work of poet, collagist and comic book artist Dustin Holland bristles with a snap-crackle-pop that electrifies. There’s nothing linear here. Cyborg courts collage. Poetry becomes punketry.
Mad-cap, zany and unpredictable, Dustin and company are a force to reckon with; from launching poetry slams, creating comic zines and collages, there’s no stopping this fanatical tour de force!
Who is this guy? Collage Corner sits down with the young gun to investigate:
VV.: Dustin, how are you? It’s exciting to have you here in the studio! I’d say it was a year ago that we first met. You’ve veered from making collages into writing comic books as your main impetus. Let’s start at the beginning: tell me about yourself?
DH.: “Well, I’m 24 years old. I live in Longmont, Colorado where I work at a bookstore and work on writing and art stuff whenever I can.”
VV.: Your collages reflected a machine aesthetic or “Exquisite Corpse” vintage appeal then. Is my reading off?
DH.: Oh man, I love making machine stuff! Cyborgs and useless pieces of pseudo-technical equipment are all I ever want to look at. “Exquisite Corpse” is definitely appropriate. Not all of my stuff is as spontaneous as a true game of “Exquisite Corpse“, but I really like frankensteining disparate images together to make one character or form. The vintage quality isn’t something I’m aiming for necessarily, but I agree that it is there.
VV.: I see you work with a minimal palette?
DH.: I like working in black and white because different materials blend together a little more seamlessly and it’s cheaper and easier to print. I think a lot of the best/most available source material in black and white ends up being older, so that’s a factor for sure.
DH.: Oh, absolutely! I love comics and cartoons. I’ve spent the last few years focusing primarily on writing, drawing, and collaging – is collage-ing even a word?! – a few different comics. A lot of the collages I do start out as character designs, many of which have been abandoned – haha! Years and years ago my older brother Nick showed me Max Ernst’s “Une Semaine de Bonte”, which is essentially a wordless graphic novel made up of one page collages. It’s beautiful and grotesque and all the pieces in it are pretty strong by themselves, but they’re really elevated in the context of the narrative. Ernst did at least two other books like that, and I can’t sing their praises strongly enough. They’re perfect. But American comics have been incorporating elements of collage for a long time too. Jack Kirby was really good at sneaking in mixed media work. Especially, in his Fantastic Four and New Gods books. All of which is to say that, my love of collage has always been wrapped up in my love of comics and sequential art.
VV.: What’s in the pipeline?
DH.: Well there are a few comics I’m trying to put together, and plugging away at. These have been a really good motivator. It is nice to have projects where it is easy to track some tangible progress, you know?
VV.: Oh, absolutely! Do you still collaborate with other artists?
DH.: Yeah! My brother Nick Holland writes and does a lot of really incredible print-making. He and I have a semi-regular zine we put together called The Holland Boys! We always try to collaborate on a few pieces of writing and some art when we can for each zine. We’re just finishing up a project called Machine Detective which is our love letter to Robocop and cyberpunk. Nick and I are also working on a comic called Minimum Rage that incorporates his prints and my collage in a really sensationalized version of Longmont, the city we grew up in.
My good friend Jared Romero and I have been working on a few comics projects as well. Two very scifi surrealist books that I hope will exist one day, and we’ve been doing some exquisite corpse style drawings together for an artzine.
And then my partner Madi Chamberlain and I draw together when we can. We made a bunch of “five minute zines” a couple years ago where we swapped drawings every five minutes. She’s been doing a lot of funny and beautiful claymation and pixel art stuff lately. One of these days I will trick her into letting me help out with that.