Dustinland hits No. 2 on Digg despite haters

Oh boy. This is going to take a while to address. First, the good news: Dustinland reached No. 2 on Digg.com today with just under 3,000 diggs as of right now (April 8, 7:10). So that means I got a ton of hits today, which is great. Oddly enough, the Dustinland that got all this attention is pretty old. It’s a strip from 2003 that addresses the anti-marijuana commercials airing on television at the time. I guess someone was looking though my archives and found that one and liked the message and posted it. Now, it’s about five years old and definitely not my best strip, but I’d like to think that the message is still a pretty good one. To sum it up, I was making the following points regarding the anti-pot ads in question:

1. They severely exaggerated the effects and ramifications of smoking marijuana

2. They unfairly equate the smoking of a relatively harmless substance with murder and rape

3. They seem hypocritical when aired back-to-back with beer commercials, considering that alcoholism has ruined and continues to ruin many more lives than weed ever will

4. They are also hypocritical in that I assume they are paid for by the government (with our tax dollars), yet our current and past presidents (Bush and Clinton) have both admitted or are known to have smoked marijuana

I think those points are made pretty clear in the comic, but since the internet is open to users of varying IQs, I just want to lay it all out there in the clearest way possible.

Now, I normally don’t address comments on message boards since you have to assume that whenever you create something and put it online, someone is going to say you’re wrong, you’re unfunny, you suck ass, you’re an idiot, you deserve physical pain and/or death, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Hell, I know I’ve ripped on plenty of bands online — just check out my “articles” on Cracked.com. However, in this case there were some comments on Digg that really got to me, and I feel the need to respond.

Comments like this really infuriate me: “They had 6 frames in that comic and they forgot to get to the Punchline WTF!”

Just because you’re reading a comic, doesn’t mean it has to be funny. There are comics about the Holocaust, Hiroshima, child abuse, rape and pretty much every serious subject matter you can imagine. Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Keiji Nakazawa, Art Spiegelman… read their work. It’s brilliant and yes, sometimes funny, but usually pretty serious. That’s because comics are a form of expression just like any other. Don’t assume that when you set your eyes upon one, its intention is to get you to laugh. If you want a punchline every time, go read Marmaduke.

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22 responses to “Dustinland hits No. 2 on Digg despite haters

  1. Agreed. Comics aren’t all meant to be humorous. Yours was poignant, funny, and didn’t need a punchline. I’d say it was a success.

  2. Michael Waskosky

    Huge success to make it so high on digg. It is a point that has become all to clear to those who know anything at all about marijuana. I would only recommend encouraging a discussion of the WHY… http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6088660614617317202#18m28s

  3. Great comic strip! I don’t usually do pot, but I support its legalization. Big cheers from Beirut! 🙂

  4. great. it shows that at least among the diggers, this is an important issue of the day. Your comic must be syndicated. go for it!

  5. …Marmaduke has punchlines?

  6. So… wait… those comics about Hiroshima and rape and murder aren’t funny?

  7. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  8. No punchline? Finding out about these unvoluntarily funny American ads made me at least giggle. So your government is actually still using the same tragicomic anti-cannabis propaganda as they did in the forties? Reefer Madness, anyone?

  9. Found you on Stumble… great comic, and I agree with you 100%. Rock on, man.

  10. I love art and social commentary like this but when the f*ck is it going to matter. Anyone with a brain can see the point here and it’s a good one. When will people start with the listening???

  11. just stumbling through but wanted to give props on the comic

  12. Whilst I agree that such advertisements are greatly exaggerated, the first two panels seem to refer to drugs overall rather than just marijuana. If that is the case, then panel two is not entirely without basis- the illicit cocaine industry in Colombia and other Latin American countries has led to a great deal of death over the amount of money that the industry rakes in.
    However, it may be true that if cocaine was legalised, then the problems associated with it in the countries where coca is grown, would decrease.

  13. I love you. (-tokes one in dedication to you-)

  14. Singapore has no drug problem to speak of. This is because they execute drug dealers. It is worth noting that Singapore is far being from a totalitarian state.
    What a wonderful world it would be if we all had such backbone! Of course, this would never happen because of the number of liberals who will always put the human rights (and bank balances) of drug dealers before that of their victims.
    Let’s execute drug dealers. All drug dealers. 1st offence, no appeal. Lethal injection, electric chair, gas chamber, hanging. It doesn’t matter how we do it.
    Unless you consider that such parasites have any reason or right to exist. Which they clearly don’t.

    • When I was younger I had to live rough for a while, and dealt cannabis for about 6 months to support myself. I’m now studying for a degree in nursing, dedicating my life to saving others. Do I have no right to life because I fell upon hard times? I couldn’t go out and get a ‘real job’, I was just turned 15. Noone would employ me, noone would help me. In fact, I think it’s my past that has made me want to help other people.

  15. If we had the backbone to execute fascist idiots, first offense, no appeal, then we wouldn’t have to suffer obnoxious assholes like small penis Mike imposing their sociopathology on intelligent humans.

  16. Mike,
    have some respect for human life, you bitch.

  17. Right, Mike, because killing more people is the answer to the Prohibition problem. Why don’t you go read a fucking book, douchebag?

  18. The way you break into wordy panels (like in that strip and some others) reminds me of the sainted George Herriman sometimes (although I don’t remember any message strips in Krazy Kat, naturally).

    Naturally as a subscriber to the same core beliefs as the late lamented Bill Hicks I think you’re bang on with that one.

    As for executing drug dealers and so on, perhaps the lives of the saints (Sunday school, ugh!) should be taught a bit more widely. Some of those guys would almost certainly have been strung up by the Mike Hamiltons of this world – after all, not like they went on to heal the sick, sacrifice their lives for others or anything like that, is it?

    I’d also argue that the death penalty makes things worse, rather than better. It doesn’t act as a deterrent, it shows that the system treats people with contempt. To misquote “The Green Mile”, it shows you can’t ever “pay what you owe” or “be square with the house now”.

  19. Of course comics are meant to be funny, they’re meant to be “comical”, you pretentious cunt. Still, good work.

  20. Mike, I think you completely missed the point of this comic, obviously.
    If only someone in Singapore had a backbone to admit and stand up to the fact that not all drugs are inherently evil.

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