Yup, this is indeed the 1,000th Dustinland comic. Actually, there’s been more if you count the ones I did in college, but I started numbering them when I first launched the site in 2000.
When this week’s strip ends with a big I DID IT, it’s not just referring to all the comics I made. It means I’ve defeated self-doubt. And that’s something we all deal with, I think. Artists and other creative types especially, but all of us really, especially in this digital world where everyone is on display, and we’re all able to rank and compare ourselves to everyone else at all times.
When you reach some sort of milestone, you can’t help but step back and look at your life and wonder if you’re a success. And that’s the problem — success isn’t a thing that’s clearly defined. I’ve seen some of the most accomplished people I know still be driven by doubt. You even see it with celebrities who’ve succeeded at the highest levels, still trying to prove something to the world, to themselves.
Since there is no end goal to success, what it really comes down to is not what you’ve done, but whether you’ve enjoyed doing it. And after over 20 years and 1,000 comics, I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve enjoyed writing and drawing Dustinland, and I can’t thank you all enough for reading along.