Spotlight: Hiphop Is the Future

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FeatureThough Matt Dojny has become known primarily as a novelist since the publication of The Festival of Earthly Delights this past June, he’s been making comics since his earliest childhood: his first collection of single-panel drawings, Frankenstein’s Book, was visited upon the world (or at least upon his parents) when he was five. “My parents didn’t know what to make of it, I think,” Dojny says. “It was drawn on a stack of McGraw-Hill stationery my dad had brought home from his publishing job, and it basically just detailed various aspects of Frankenstein’s day-to-day life. I guess their interest in Frankenstein wasn’t quite as far-reaching as mine.”

Born and raised in suburban Connecticut, Dojny went on to study art at Oberlin College—where he drew a much-beloved strip, “Making Choices,” in the campus paper—then made the requisite pilgrimage to New York City to try his luck selling his paintings. He quit in disgust a few years later, in spite of finding a number of devoted collectors, among them the painter and sculptor Red Grooms. He never stopped drawing, however, and this past year, finding himself with some free creative energy for the first time since beginning his novel, he began, almost by accident, making comics again, and posting them daily in his Tumblr, hiphopisthefuture. “I got an iPad for Christmas, and for the longest time, I couldn’t think of what I could possibly use it for,” he said in a recent interview. “Then I found a great, simple art app called ‘Paper,’ and started doodling on it while I was hanging out in my three-year-old son’s room, keeping him company and waiting for him to fall asleep. Now he’s come to expect a drawing from me every night. It’s kind of like the situation with my parents, actually, way back when—I’m not sure what he makes of them. He falls asleep, though, so I can’t complain.”

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