Category Archives: internet

The Six Hottest Apps at SXSW 2013

This week’s comic-type object was inspired primarily by my Twitter feed. Maybe it’s just the mix of people and publications I follow, but the sheer amount of interactive jargon dropping Tweets I’ve been subjected to over the past two weeks has been incredible. And there’s a ton of smart stuff and a lot of interesting links and all that, but you also have to laugh at this whole thing in a Portlandia sort of way.

This whole interactive digital movement, it’s all very futuristic and sci-fi, but instead of a dark Bladerunner Matrix future starring badasses in black leather and trenchcoats, it’s a nerdtopia run by a bunch of 20-somethings. And that’s cool — I’d rather live in a world of happy nerds than grumpy badasses. Plus, these days, some of the nerds are a lot cooler than the nerds were back when I was a kid. But ultimately, there’s only so much global interactive social buzz panel tech meet-up network currency you can hear without thinking up Onion headlines.

In With The New

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.

April fools

In terms of this 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.

The Internet Crushes Dreams

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.



This week’s comic was sparked by the realization that nobody answers their phones anymore, yet everyone seems to text back within a minute. So people are there, they have their phones, they just can’t or won’t answer. Texting though… it’s so easy, so quick. Quick! That’s what it’s about these days. Hurry up! Stop wasting my time! There are so many other things I could be doing right now! If civilization doesn’t collapse and we actually keep progressing, I wonder what things will be like 100 years from now. Will everyone just be plugged into everything at all times? Will it just be one big hive mind, since we’re so interconnected? Maybe that would be better. It seems to work out pretty well for bugs. Sure, it’s boring, but it’s successful.

TLDR – This week’s Dustinland is about short attention spans.