Category Archives: philosophy


This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by my last trip into the city for work. I was walking to the office when I had this realization that I could be unfairly assuming everyone is awful. I mean, they could be, but is that the best way to live? I remember this graduation speech that David Foster Wallace gave, where basically he said sure, we can assume the worst of everyone, we may even be right about it… but we should strive to not see the world that way. After all, will it make us happier to live in protective bubbles of cynicism and disdain, or will it make us hate life and everyone around us?

Now, I’m not saying I live in the happy rainbow world either. But we’re always evolving and I think at least I’m more and more aware of my thoughts and sub-thoughts, and all I can do is strive to be better and happier.

Also weed girl in the comic is not a real person. I just thought it would be a funny way to end the strip so I made up this stoner friend. I do actually know someone like that but he’s a pretty normal looking dude and I didn’t feel like drawing that. High five.

Last Laughs

This week’s new Dustinland comic is a pretty dark one about the dread many of us feel — I certainly do — regarding the future of mankind. I know some people are simply blissfully unaware or capable of denial to an OJ level, which I guess is nice for them personally, although also part of the reason we are where we are. But as for me, well, I’ve been reading and learning and talking about this stuff for so long, it’s hard to not see the writing on the walls. Maybe I’m wrong. I would looooove to be wrong. But it just feels like the clock is running out on us and the problems are simply too big for us to solve considering the dysfunction inherent in being human.

Sometimes I wonder if we’d be better off with the minds of ants. Just serving the hive, following along. Sure, it would be way less interesting and “fun” but at least we’d be able to accomplish things and serve a greater purpose. Now we can’t even agree on what’s real and what isn’t. Oh well. We had a nice run — except for that part when we killed all the other lifeforms on Earth. That part was bad.

But yeah, it’s depressing and ridiculous to see how everyone runs around pretending things will just “work out” when we are headed for the ultimate disaster. I do it too. I live my life. What else can I do? I really don’t know at this point.


This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion, although amazingly enough, the court already, in just one day, snuck another shitty decision in there. Who knows what today will bring? Is fun, yes? No. Is not fun. Is depressing.

And that’s what I’m saying with the comic. Not that it’s good to respond to bad news with inaction but that when you truly believe mankind is doomed to repeat the same mistakes forever until civilization crumbles and the planet is unlivable… well it’s hard to get motivated to “fight back,” if you will.

Yeah, we’re screwed. There really is no way around it. But you know, like they said at the end of Don’t Look Up…. “We really had it all, didn’t we.”

Clean Thoughts

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about compulsive cleaning as a sort of therapy. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but in some ways, if you think about it, it’s kind of like what monks do. Chores… constant chores, almost as a meditation. So yeah, despite my cynicism, maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all.

I actually do kind of enjoy vacuuming. It’s very before – after. Also weeding. That’s 100% my favorite chore. How bout you?

Mr Brightside

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how kids can really come right out and state the harsh truths about life, and yet how as a parent it’s not your job to agree with them, but rather help them feel optimistic and give them mental ways to take on life in the face of, well… humanity’s frequent shittiness. Now, this is probably easier for some people than others. Some people seem naturally positive and happy about life. Me…. not so much. It’s an effort for me, work. Always has been. I think I figured out how to cope pretty well over the years, but you know… my life is based on a more eastern style acceptance of life’s unfair crappiness and then a love of the simple things built on top of that. But you can’t tell a kid to live that way. They need a bit more of a positive method for coping and thriving.

So I try… it just ain’t easy. But what is, right?

Advice Advice

This week’s Dustinland comic is about unwanted advice. And you know, I don’t mean casually saying “oh, when I grow this flower I use extra peaty soil.” I mean when people tell others how to live their lives with a big SHOULD. There’s a huge difference between you could and you should. I personally lean toward could. I don’t know what the answer is. I can only recommend. But man, some people just think everyone else should replicate their life, and that’s weird. I get it — you’re theoretically happy and you want your friends to join you. But do you really want to be responsible for their decisions, especially if they don’t work out?

The Point

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the point of life, more or less. I think when you’re a parent, these sort of things take on a new urgency, because it’s one thing to stumble through life believing whatever you believe, doing what you can to stay sane, but it’s another thing to teach a new human what to believe and what ideas should guide their life.

As I say in the comic, I don’t really know what the point of it all is, obviously. I’m not religious, so I don’t have that to guide me. And I try to be a good person and all that, I try to live in the moment. It’s just hard. These days, the more information I receive, the more depressed I get. And yet a life of blissful ignorance also feels irresponsible. So I’m really not sure what to do or think these days, and that certainly makes it hard to be responsible for someone else’s life. But kids grow up and figure things out and adopt their own beliefs. The best I think we can do is make sure they turn out to be good people, kind, nice, grateful, insert positive adjective here, you get the picture.

Man, now I’m bumming myself out as usual. Sorry! Next week I’ll go back to wacky zany honk honk clown horn.


This week’s new Dustinland comic is about purpose, and it’s a very New Yorkery style strip. Partially because I was busy, partially because I was too depressed to spend serious energy drawing an 8-10 panel strip this week. But I did draw you three new Birdys, so at least there’s that!

As for the strip, just in case you need it explained — which you don’t, but I’m going to anyway — the joke is that most people are soul searching for purpose in their lives, while I am telling a therapist I actually have too much purpose. Which is probably not true, I’m likely just substituting responsibility for purpose, but either way I don’t go to therapy, and nothing matters.

Happy Monday!

Bad Thoughts

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how kids’ naive yet very real (in their minds) fears can uncover adults’ more “realistic” and depressing anxieties. It’s actually very reminiscent of an early Matt Groening Life In Hell strip that may have even led to an eventual bit on the Simpsons. Do you know what I’m referring to? I tried to find it via Google image search but couldn’t and stopped looking after about 14 seconds. But yeah, comics. Depression. Hopelessness. Nightmares. Good times.

Bad Idea Genes

This week’s Dustinland comic is based on a true story. This all really did happen on a camping trip I took this past weekend. The main idea of the comic is that sometimes I feel tempted to pursue what I know to be a bad idea. In the case of my camping trip, that involved a large, heavy axe known as a maul.

Fun fact not included in the comic: I did briefly faint in real life after this event! No idea why, it didn’t even really hurt that much. I mean, it did hurt, but more like stubbing your toe really badly or standing up and hitting your head on the corner of a cabinet. But I did feel quite light headed and had to sit down. Gave kiddo quite the scare too! I do feel bad about that but hey, at least he got to try a real axe.