Arts Desk

Meet an SPX Cartoonist: A Chat With Dustin Harbin

Harbin's artwork for the Team Cul de Sac charity.

Dustin Harbin knows everybody in comics today because he was one of the organizers of Heroes Con in Charlotte, N.C, for many years, while working in the Heroes Aren't Hard To Find comics store. Dustin brought many non-superhero cartoonists into the con, setting them up at their own Indy Island section. A little over a year ago, Dustin quit his job to strike out on his own as a full-time cartoonist. In addition to doing his small press comics, he also letters Casanova for his former colleague Matt Fraction.

Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Dustin Harbin: I do mainly one-page humor comics, illustration work, and occasionally diary comics. Also a lot of character-design ephemera.

Unfortunately, I'm probably best known for my diary comics.

WCP: How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

DH: I use mostly analog tools, ink and inkwash and old tools, but I use a lot of digital tools as well.

WCP: Can you tell us a little about your books that you'll have with you at SPX?

DH: I'll be selling the second collection of my diary strip, Diary Comics #2, as well as Dharbin 1-2 Collected Edition, a collection of one-page strips. Plus a ton of different prints.

 

WCP: You've attended the Small Press Expo in the past—do you have any thoughts about your experience?

DH: I've been to SPX the last four or five years, and I love it more every year. It's like a big petri dish, all those cartoonists and readers mashed into one hotel for a weekend.

I'll be hosting the yearly Ignatz Awards ceremony this year, so I'm looking forward to that. Also just getting to hang out with friends from comics all that weekend is going to be amazing.

WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?

DH: We're in a weird spot, here between the decline of print and the advent of digital, but I think there will always be some spot for comics and cartooning, regardless of the delivery device.

WCP: Do you have a website or blog?

DH: I do! dharbin.com

The Small Press Expo takes place 11 am–7 p.m. Sept. 10 and noon–6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda. $10-$15. spxpo.com.

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