Dina Kelberman lives in Hampden and works at Atomic Books. She emigrated from Purchase, NY with a group of friends who became what the outside world recognizes as Wham City, and if anything Dina embodies the principles of Wham-City-ness as much as any of her more outgoing peers. She draws a serial Important Comics strip for Baltimore Citypaper because she won their comics contest in 2009, regularly releases The Regular Man and Aperiodic Comic, creates posters and album artwork, designs websites & t-shirts and frequently exhibits her bold non-sequential work in group shows. Her website Important Comics is a cavalcade of varied, exciting work in a wide array of fields and a spectacular archive of her work over the years.
What do you do? What are you doing the most lately? I make comics and draw stuff and paint and update websites. I am always mostly updating websites, presumably because I enjoy it, although that seems retarded.
How long have you done these things? How have the things changed?
I've been drawing comics for about 10 years, not that seriously for most of that time. So I've gotten more "this is what I wanna do" about it, and I've definitely gotten WAY looser about it, I used to spend forever just drawing boxes that were perfectly square. Now I just slosh shit on the page as fast as I can. It's all gotten way more "painterly" if I can get away with saying that without sounding like a douche. (I can't.)
Someone got a tattoo of one of her comical characters!
Why do you do these things? What's it like when you are unable to do these things?
It's really fun. I like to write down the stupid tiny conversations I have in my head constantly. It makes me feel triumphant. I love looking at colorful shapes.
It is rare that I am unable to draw comics. If that's happening it's probably because i'm updating a website. There is never a time when making things is not an option, which is the best part of making things. I don't know if this is relevant, but i thought this might be a good time to mention that I love office supplies SO MUCH.
Have you ever had an epiphany about your true purpose?
Ummm, no real epiphany i guess . . . but going to Purchase College definitely changed me, in that I realized there were other people who were total weirdos and I could actually be myself around them, and we all fell in love with each other. Also I learned there that dancing however you want feels great.
Album artwork for Ed Schrader, The Choir Inside
How has your work affected your life in return?
It makes me feel awesome when people like my comics. It makes me feel awesome to look through my sketchbooks at all the shit I've drawn over the years. Making things makes me feel awesome. There is no single better feeling than making things. Are these answers?
How does your location affect what you do and who you are these days?
Baltimore is the best because of all the reasons everyone knows: supportive awesome community of crazy dickweeds doing things. My house is very comfy and my landlord accepts most of my interior designs. Sometimes I think I should leave and go somewhere by myself, cause i'm too addicted to my friends. But fuck that.
Part of the Wham City Paper
What do you think of the future?
Who knows? Hopefully good. Can't wait for nothing to happen at 2012!
Do you have anything you'd like to ask me?
How'd you lose that tooth?
It fell out when I bit a piece of bread because it was still a baby fang I had since my first teeth. The adult one is there now, but more crocodile style.