Illustrator & Animator
Matthew Bustamonte was bitten by the bug seemingly at birth: he can’t stop drawing, concocting elaborately strange stories, or exploring weird corners of culture and consciousness. These obsessions began with exposure to Jim Henson, 80s Nickelodeon programming, Saturday morning cartoons, sci-fi movies, and Shel Silverstein books; the mess has evolved over the decades to include pop culture oddities, video games, art history, comic books, esoterica, psychedelia, fantasy worlds and all magic that can be conjured with paper and any mark-making talismans.
Now, armed with a BFA from SVA’s Cartooning program, he wants to make sense of this muddled madness through a combination of emotionally-resonant narrative themes and irresistible graphic images, dressing thoughtful & urgent observations of empathy and compassion in a shell of silly fun. To make matters more precarious, he wants to do it through stories for younger readers. Can it be done? Can the world bear the fruit of such strange experiments? Or will it all go up in some glorious pyre as a warning to future romantic weirdos who refuse to stop dreaming? Well, let’s hope not.
The Holloways of Hollow Earth
Serial comic strip for Instagram in the style of classic newspaper serial adventure strips. Crackpot conspiracy theorist Louis Holloway drags his family into an underground world, convinced that the Earth is hollow. Subterranean hijinks ensue.
Proposed graphic novel series. The young mage Wizard Feathers abandons the safety of his castle and his prescribed lessons to capture the legendary and elusive moon fruit. Magical hijinks ensue.
The Dark Universe of Baba Yaga
Proposed graphic novel series. Gretl Nitestryker pursues the Queen of Witches, Baba Yaga, across the galaxy to exact revenge for the murder of her family at the witch’s hand. Cosmic hijinks ensue.
Suspended in Ecstasy, She Seemed to Float
Body of work combining traditional cartoon semiotics and Christian stories of mortals and heavenly powers colliding. Ecstatic hijinks ensue.
An Unexpected Exorcism
20-page Risograph-printed black-and-white minicomic. An erroneous, if well-intentioned, exorcist attempts a rescue after hearing pleas for help. Demonic hijinks ensue.