This week’s Dustinland comic turned out way more depressing than I intended it but oh well! Definitely don’t have time to take another shot at it. In fact, I’ve been so busy, I had to draw all the characters as shapeless blob things to save time. THE SECRETS OF A WEB CARTOONIST—EXPOSED!
The strip was inspired by two things. 1 – an article in Esquire that I read a while back. It hit on some of the same topics. Not the fatherhood part but the part about grown men just not really having friends in the same way that women do, and the way society seems to accept that and even possibly encourage it. 2 – a conversation I had with another dad in the office the other day. Turns out we have very similar experiences during the weekends when we’re off with our families, doing mom-organized excursions. It’s just so weird. All the dads get along really well, we just never hang out outside of these outings. Maybe we’re just too busy. Maybe it’s weird, like I say in the comic—against man code. Who knows. I just know we all like to drink beer, so at least that part of the cliché is real.
As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, man, toys are expensive. Not all of them. Some are still cheap and plastic. Others are expensive and plastic. And others are expensive and wooden. They’re all probably horrible for the environment, but so is everything we do in this awful capitalist materialist nightmare culture we’ve created. WOAH—don’t know how we just went down that road. Because really I love going to Toys “R” Us. I think I wanted more stuff than my kid did. Man, Legos rule these days.
Drinking and dadding (or momming). I don’t encourage it, but man, just a beer, just a glass of wine… sometimes you need it. Like I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, I never get wasted anymore—it’s just not possible these days. And that’s good, because as a parent, you probably shouldn’t be tanked around your kids. Anyway, I don’t think I can say more than I already did in the comic, and I feel like most parents are probably in the same situation I am. Oh how the days of partying are way behind us, only to be replaced by a tired one-beer Wednesday. Or maybe two.
Oh by the way, I relaunched an old Tumblr site I had going a while back as a Birdy side project. You know, since Tumblr is sort of the most important thing right now, figured I’d have some sort of presence beyond my four year old hipster comic.
This week’s Dustinland comic is about nurturing your creativity. That means giving it love and helping it mature and develop. This is not about “making it.” It’s not about success or any of that. It’s about having something you enjoy, a creative form of expression, and figuring out how to give it the time and attention it deserves despite your busy life.
I know as well as most people do, that between work and family, once you have a few free minutes to yourself, it’s hard to use that time to be productive and artistic. Play music? Write? Draw? How about Netflix. But if you care—and a lot of people do—you have to try. That’s why I drew this week’s comic. It’s for all the people out there who have asked me how I do it. Week in, week out. 15 years. I draw comics. Why? I don’t even know anymore. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just part of my life. A part I couldn’t imagine leaving behind. You don’t have to be as devoted as I am, but if you enjoy photography, go take pictures. If you like to sew, go sew. It doesn’t have to be every day. But it has to become a routine. Otherwise all the distractions of modern life will eat away the few minutes of free time you have and one day you’ll wake up and the decades will have gone by and you’ll wonder why you stopped _______.
As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, my nearly three-year-old child openly mocks me on a daily basis. Maybe he’s still too young. Maybe it’s me. But certainly there is no part of my life that involves being a respected father figure. Loved? Yes. Exciting play companion? Correct. Funny wacky guy? Certainly. Kingly lord not to be trifled with? Never.