I’m relatively new to Instagram, so perhaps this week’s Dustinland is a bit late to a subject other people have already touched on. Or maybe it’s totally original. Either way, I actually love Instagram and I’m not trying to poop on it. It’s just fun to find trends and patterns that people seem to obsess over—or really ways people game the system. I feel like everything about the Internet / social / mobile today is about gaming the system. “Best practices.” Tricks to get more followers. Maybe I’m just too cynical but it seems like for so many people, the fun is not in the doing but in the receiving of approval. I’ve touched on this before, and I’ll probably touch on it again, maybe because I feel the pull of vindication just as much as anyone else does. Otherwise I’d be drawing comics in a sketch book instead of posting them online, right?
I think everyone has a little Andy Rooney in them. That’s the subject of this week’s comic. Well, the subject is really our tendency to dismiss things that are new and different before truly giving them a chance and taking the time to understand them. I think whenever there’s a major change out there, whether we’re talking art or technology, for many of us, we want these things to be bad because we deep down inside, we don’t want to have to change. We’ve been doing something well for a long time, we’re used to it, we’re comfortable, and it works really well. Now all of a sudden some jackass has to come along and change everything! Well, I hate it!
And like I said in this week’s comic, the success of Twitter is what opened my eyes to this trend in myself. Musically, I’m pretty open minded, but I guess with technology it’s a different story. I’ve always been a late adopter, and now I realize why. With Twitter, I judged it without understanding how people use it. Now, it’s one thing to understand something and pass judgement. But I was truly ignorant about it. And once I realized how it works, I realized it’s a very valuable tool. Not a necessity for everyone, but something that can be really fun and useful.
Another personal example was Kid A. When it came out, I was pissed. I loved OK Computer. Then they follow it up with some bleeps and bloops. What is this pretentious crap? I want more Pink Floyd stoner rock opera! But then I took a step back, listened to it without comparing it to its predecessor, and grew to love it. But first I had to understand it. And that’s the key. You can go through life trying to understand things so you can appreciate them, or finding excuses to hate things so you never have to change.
In terms of this Dustinland.com satire site, I would just like to say this: I think it’s great when anyone is able to make a living through comics. Good for them. However, I also think that the comics is a great art form with a lot of potential— as well as a medium that’s been slow to get its due respect. So I find it frustrating to see so many popular webcomics featuring stick figures, sometimes without even facial expressions. It brings up the question: What is a comic?
Again, nothing wrong with presenting a good joke online. I think a lot of people have been thinking up some pretty funny stuff and are just trying to express themselves in a more visual manner. After all, content is king. But it also seems to me the word “comic” is being thrown around pretty easily these days, and that saddens me since I know just how amazing comics can truly be.
Posted in art, internet
I guess I’m being a little bit negative in this Dustinland about how the Internet can suck when it comes to making it big. I mean, obviously, it’s a bit ironic, since I’m using the Internet to make this point. Plus where would I be without the web (which is basically what I allude to at the very end of the strip)?
Well, for one, only bad things are funny. If I did a strip about how great it is when you get rich off the Internet, it probably wouldn’t go over very well. And second, it’s not necessarily the Internet itself that crushes dreams. It’s the Internet that lets people discover their dreams have already been crushed without them knowing. It’s really just the messenger. In many cases.
Also, I know that Angry Birds is significantly better than some of its predecessors for a variety of reasons. However, that doens’t make it any less frustrating for the people who made those other games that were so similar in so many ways.
And lastly, what do you think about the vertical format? I think I like traditional Dustinland more but it’s fun to experiment. I know a lot of people are doing vertically scrolling comics these days. It does allow for a surprise at the end, which is nice. But then it wouldn’t work at all outside the Internet. You know, like on paper. That stuff made from trees.
Posted in internet