Unstoppable Squishing

I had a tough time coming up with an ending for this week’s Dustinland comic about how kids are fun to hug, yet they are powerless to stop us from hugging them, which is probably annoying for them. I had the first five panels down, then drew a trippy weird sixth where adults were like Godzilla in some sort of pseudo hug monster movie poster. That looked cool but wasn’t really working so I did another panel that was basically a cop out saying I couldn’t think of anything else. That approach works sometimes but it just didn’t feel right in this situation—it’s better for those Tim & Eric random humor moments. This one came to me on the subway ride home tonight, and I’m pretty happy with it. Loving the hashtag too, even though I know it’s been done, just like anything you can every come up with ever.

But yeah, it’s fun to hug your kids. It’s sad that some kids don’t get hugged. I’ll save that subject for another more serious comic. Sorry to bring the party down like that. Go hug someone if you need to feel better now.

A Fatherly Moment

I’m not sure if my son was purposefully making fun of me in the events behind this week’s Dustinland comic, or just confused by my long hair and his new understanding of gender differences. But he seemed to be sort of smirking a little when he said it so I think it was intentional. Man! Dude is two, already making fun of the old man. Is it me? I mean, I’m not the manliest dad but come on, cut me a break here.

2014 Midterm Elections: A Tough Climate For Positivity

I have to tell you, as I said in this week’s Dustinland comic, after last week’s midterms, I was ready to blast voters for being dumb enough to vote Republicans back into power, but then I realized there’s no point in that. Sure, I could make fun of brainwashed Fox News watchers who ignorantly vote in corporate puppets that will do more to benefit the Koch brothers than the people voting for them, but why bother? I’d preach to the choir, get a bunch of angry liberals to forward something around to their friends, and maybe rile up a few people who disagree with me, who will them flame me in comments. Basically it would achieve zero thoughtful dialogue and contribute further to the current state of cynicism on the left, and rage on the right.

So I tried to stay positive. It’s hard. It really easy. Like I said, I’m more or less a one-issue (climate change) voter at this point, and since the people who were just voted into office don’t even acknowledge that the issue even exists, it’s easy to get depressed. And worst of all, we can’t even hold solace in the fact that one day we’ll be right and we’ll be able to rub it in. But what’s the fun in rubbing it in when you can’t eat, it’s 100 degrees out every day, the world is fucked, life sucks and the future of the human race is at risk. HAHA I WAS RIGHT! Yeah great.

But anyway, yeah, think positive! I for one am pretty positive the only solution will come from science in the form of a miracle technology. If that doesn’t happen, well, we’re probably screwed. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to cash in their chips. We still need to try. Fight. Make a difference. Do what’s right. I only wish I could do more—and I don’t mean moving off the grid and eating what I hunt. That’s the fallacy conservative climate deniers go to every time. “You’re so worried about global warming, well how come you use hot water to wash your hands! You should clean them in a river!” Always black or white. That’s the way to win the argument. Mock and exaggerate. Stoke fear and anger. By the end, facts and reason are out of the picture and we’re left with what Stephen Colbert once referred to as truthiness.

Wild Expectations

Don’t get me wrong, despite this week’s Dustinland comic, I really did have fun at the zoo with my toddler. It was just a different sort of fun. I mean, I get it. He doesn’t understand why a tiger is a big deal. And without that knowledge, when you see one from a relative distance and it’s just sitting there in the grass doing nothing, it’s not that exciting. And if you think about it, most of the zoo animals are just sitting there. Or sleeping there. Bears, hippos, giraffes. Most of the time, they graze at best. Maybe the seals make some noise, maybe the monkeys even chase each other. But really, when you’re two and you read books and watch TV shows where the animals sing and drive trains and solve mysteries, real life zoo animals are not that special.

Maybe that’s what the comic should have been about.

Hotel It Like It Is

Hotels are weird, like I say in this week’s Dustinland comic. On one hand, they’re really fun and awesome — at least, the nice ones are. Everything seems fresh and new. You never have to clean. The beds are huge. The pillows are nice. There’s free cable. The curtains keep it darker than a cave on a moonless night. And people bring food to room and you can eat it in bed.

On the other hand, there’s grossness. The grossness of the unknown. Who was here? Who did what? In this very spot? Just last night? And who’s next door? What’s that sound? Who is doing that all night? Does anyone else have the key to my room? Can the maid just bust in at any time? What are these weird scratches on the door? Why is the food so shitty if it’s this expensive? How come the NY Post said the hotel pools in NYC are dirtier than the public pools in the parks?

Hotels. Love em or hate em or both at the same time. Either way, it’s always nice to come home.

Look At Me AKA The Selfie Stick

This week’s Dustinland comic is about the selfie pole, or what I call, The NarcissiStick. Now, of course I get what they were invented for. We’ve all seen videos of people snowboarding or surfing or jumping off cliffs, and in those cases, I get it. If you’re that hardcore, you deserve the right to make awesome videos of yourself, especially when those videos can actually be quite entertaining to the rest of us. It’s when tourists are walking around NYC capturing themselves as they engage in the most mundane of activities that it becomes ridiculous.

Can you imagine how much horrible footage has been captured with these things? WOOOOO LOOK AT THIS WIDE-ANGLE SHOT OF ME STANDING IN FRONT OF A FAMOUS PIZZA PLACE!!!! Eh, I guess people have been taking bad pictures and home videos forever. Now you just don’t need to give your camera to a stranger if you want a crappy shot with you in it.

The Best Comic You Ever Wrote

Man, this week’s Dustinland comic! I really wonder if people are going to submit their own strips. Will you? (That would be awesome.) That wasn’t the original goal of this strip, but I like where it’s gone. It sort of evolved. Basically I realized I would rather:

1 – Put out a strip without ANY words, rather than put out a strip I don’t like

2 – Put out ANY strip rather than no strip

So logically, I really didn’t have a choice. At first I was just hoping it would be some sort of avant garde statement or puzzle for people to solve. But quickly I realized it could be much more than that. Even if someone just uses this framework to brutally mock me, I would really enjoy that. Hell, in college I used to get attacked all the time. I would say fan mail was something like 70-30 maybe? But man, the haters definitely had more time! WOW people be hatin. I remember when I was working for Cracked.com when they first sort of relaunched online, and after this one article I wrote about bad rapper names or something like that, some random dude had a blog post titled “Fuck You Dustin Glick of Cracked.com.” I know this because I Google my own name—I have for years—and so do you.

Maybe I should run some hate mail next week. That would be fun. But perhaps too self-referential. I’m leaning toward the latter. You know, if I had time for more than one strip I week I would TOTALLY do that. That’s the kind of things you’re missing out on, folks.