Why

This week’s comic is not a solicitation for props or support. I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m just working out some issues I’ve been having lately. You know, it takes a lot of time and effort to draw comics. Well, at least some comics (don’t worry, I won’t get into that whole thing again). And for me personally, I have been struggling to make time lately. Between parenthood and holding down a career, finding a few hours a week to spend doodling can be difficult. And when you’re watching your traffic slowly wane away, you start to wonder… is there a point to all this? 

Now, I don’t have an answer. And there’s no reason to repeat myself here. Basically, I’m just trying to work it out. And maybe that’s what my comic is for after all. Maybe that’s what all true art is for. Not expressing yourself, but understanding yourself. Figuring out what matters, what drives you, what you really care about and enjoy. And if other people happen to enjoy watching you do so—hell, watching me do so—then great. Even better. 

Call it what you will. Psychological crutch. Fantasy world. Pipe dream. Therapy. Whatever it is, I’m going to keep doing it, whether Reddit likes it or not. Maybe the time will come when I call it quits, but I’m going to try to put that off for as long as possible. Preferrably as long as Charles Schulz did, even though we work/ed under somewhat different circumstances. 

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10 responses to “Why

  1. you mentioned traffic possibly being a factor in keeping on drawing. dustinland is not commoditized and that i find refreshing as original is becoming rarer and rarer (and I hate that part of the last 25 yrs).

    too many people do things that don’t speak to them. if drawing is what gives you meaning then by all means I hope you do it as long as you are physically & mentally able.

    I can’t say I relate to every strip but I do find meaning in most of them, reading them every week. I appreciate your talent. and I agree 100% with you on creativity (which is the greatest gift humankind has).

    • Thanks man – I appreciate it. And I hear you about waning originality. At least in the webcomic world, it seems like most strips have a “thing,” an angle, some sort of hook that is contrived to appeal to a certain demo. It’s the dad comic, the nerd comic, the sci-fi comic, the gamer comic, the comic that is basically Buzzfeed in comic form… I don’t have a thing, and maybe it’s not marketable, but screw it. At least I’m not bored.

  2. Pipe Dream! Heh!

  3. You could always change the name of the comic.

  4. You’ll do what you gotta do, but I hope you keep doing Dustinland, for the simple reason that I like it. You really do have a gift.

  5. I’ve been reading your stuff faithfully since Rainy Days and love the weekly update. Having gone through a similar life trajectory, it’s great to see your perspective and get some laughs. Keep it up!

    • Rainy Days! Ah, that was 2001 I think. That was my first “viral” strip. I don’t think the word viral even existed back then. I mean, that strip spread through chain emails. I remember my parents started taking my comics a lot more seriously after that one, especially when someone sent Rainy Days to my dad without knowing we were related.

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