This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the nervous polite chit chat that most meetings begin with. This is not limited to remote meetings, although they seem to make it a bit worse. But even in the office you have it. There’s that silence when everyone is just filing in and the first attendees feel the need to fill the void with something, but we’re not all friends so we all just wind up talking about the most nothingness of nothings. It’s honestly not even talking, it’s more like a ritual of politeness, like bowing.
I think the most painful for me personally is people from warm sunny places like LA talking about the weather. Either that or “got any weekend plans?”
Posted in work
Tagged career, cubicle, job, meetings, microsoft teams, office, office humor, office job, office worker, slack, work, working from home, zoom
This week’s new Dustinland comic is a true story about what happened when my son joined me for a work meeting a couple of weeks ago. It’s funny — he really did a great job and enjoyed it… so I’m trying to encourage that initiative while simultaneously ensure he doesn’t follow me into advertising (in case you weren’t aware, that’s what I do to make money because it sure am hard paying the bills with comics).
Not that marketing hasn’t provided me with a wonderful life I appreciate every day. It’s just that the kid has his whole life ahead of him. I think my reco for him — or any young person — is to strive for a career where you care about the end result. And I mean you care because it means something to you as a person, your values, your artistic sensibilities, your vision of how earth and mankind can be — not because you want to succeed or make money or you simply have self-respect that requires you to do a great job at whatever you do. Now, of course most of us don’t get to do what we want and get paid for it… but that’s what being young is all about. You have the chance to strive for something special, and if that doesn’t pan out, you can fall in line like the rest of us and still have a satisfying life.
Posted in parenthood, work
Tagged advertising, children, dad, fatherhood, fortnite, gaming, job, kids, marketing, parenthood, parenting, parents, raising kids, roblox, work
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how it feels to scroll around on Linked In. I mean, sure it’s definitely a useful tool for connecting, filling positions, theoretically finding a job (so I hear)… but it also has the negative affect of taking everything shitty and anxiety-provoking about social media and points that toward work. It’s odd because when you see that need for validation combine with very real career goals, it just gets icky. And then you’re like, well how much of this is me just projecting… I mean, it just sucks.
I don’t understand people who go on there regularly, to be honest. I just use it when I absolutely need to and that’s it. I even feel bad posting the occasional humble brag on there. It just feels gross. But again, maybe that’s just me.
You know, I had a boss once, who, after hearing me complain about the industry said, “Dustin, you can’t hate the game. You have to play the game.”
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the current debate on whether we should all start going back to the office or not. And in this strip I literally debate myself, because I do see both sides of the issue.
All joking aside, if you ask me — which nobody will — I think what people want is freedom. They want to be treated with respect and given the ability to make their own decisions about how to be successful at work. For some people, that may mean 5 days a week in the office. For others, 1. Or zero. Of course, that is a very difficult thing for a large organization to achieve. Big groups thrive on order and routine, so it’s unlikely there will be a lot of “do whatever you want.”
But I think frame 7 of the strip really nails it — no matter what, you still won’t be happy.
Posted in work
Tagged career, commute, commuting, covid, covid-19, cubicle, job, office, office humor, office job, office worker, pandemic, post, post quarantine, quarantine, white collar, work
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how sometimes the weekend feels like an endless routine of chores, which is disappointing after looking forward to it all week.
Of course sometimes the weekend is super fun. But not always. This comic is about the not always times.
Also it is annoying to have that “how was everyone’s weekend?” conversation, especially when it’s with people you barely know, because if you went to the beach, sure, that’s fun to share, but if your kid had a fever or if you played roller hockey in an abandoned corporate park… then it’s weird.
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about The Great Resignation — the crazy time we’re in, where everyone went from the 2020 approach of “I’m just so thankful I have a job” to “FUCK THIS I quit.”
First, you need to know this comic must be sung to the tune of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
Second, I think it’s pretty clear I’m a bit cynical about this whole trend. However, I’m not THAT cynical. I genuinely do hope the workers of the world can use this opportunity to better themselves, to push for better wages and policies, collectively or as individuals. And I am part of this movement, I did just find a new job, and I’m enjoying it! So don’t take this strip the wrong way — I truly wish you the best of luck in changing your situation for the better.
That being said… I do think that COVID has uncovered something much deeper in our society. A more philosophical discontent that will not be fixed by simply switching jobs or even careers. I also don’t think we’re at the beginning of some mega change in capitalism where employees have all the power to demand whatever they want. And that’s sort of what I’m warning against in this strip. Basically — do you, but do it now, while you still can.
Posted in work
Tagged 2020, 2021, career, covid, great resignation, job, office, pandemic, philosophy, quarantine, work
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about what it’s like to start a new gig during a pandemic.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love working from home. But I love the freedom to WFH when I want or need to. What is wearing on me is the need to WFH all the time. It just starts to get depressing being in the same room all day, every day, and then even when you’re in this sort of life-changing situation, you’re still there, and the feeling of newness that usually comes with a new job is muted.
Have you experienced this? That would mean you’re part of The Great Resignation — the huge amount of people getting new jobs during 2021. Hence the title. See what I did there?
Posted in work
Tagged career, covid, covid-19, depressed, depressing, depression, job, jobs, office, office humor, pandemic, quarantine, slack, wfh, work, working from home, zoom
This Dustinland comic is about my recent experience of going into the office for the first time in 15 months. It was actually kind of nice after the weirdness wore off. But the night before, the morning of, and about the first few hours — basically up until lunch — all super weird. Just hard to explain. Crazy to think one day we’ll all look back at this as some wacky time. Just kidding, we’ll look back at this all fondly as our robot overlords whip up with old iPhone charging cords. Just kidding, AI will exterminate us. Just kidding, climate change and global resource wars will have finished us off first. Just kidding, everything is gonna be great!
PS Did you catch the Bo Burnham reference in the strip?
Here’s a collection of comics I drew for Westchester’s River Journal, starting with the latest strip appearing in this month’s issue! This strip is called I’m New Here and it’s written from the perspective of someone new to living in the burbs. However, during COVID it sort of thematically morphed into more of a pandemic comic, albeit with a bit of a suburban feel. Normally I post a brand new strip on Monday or Tuesday night but sometimes quarantine living just sucks the inspiration out of you. Glad I’ve got a bunch of other strips lying around!
Posted in health, parenthood, school, work
Tagged depressed, depression, irvington, new york, NYC, pandemic, parenthood, parenting, quarantine, sleepyhollow, tarrytown, westchester, wfh
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the steady devolution of my wardrobe during pandemic quarantine times. I do like the title quite a bit… in case you don’t get it right off the bat, the classic illustration of ape evolving into man is called “March of Progress” and it’s March, but the progress I’m talking about is not quite as positive. More like, progressing into extreme comfort yet ultra-laziness.
Additionally, the strip is in a bit of a different format than my usual downward scrollers, harkening back to the olden days of horizontal comics meant for the desktop. However, in this case, it’s more horizontal than ever before… one long image, scrolling left to right. I did this really to test what’s possible on mobile (sorry desktoppers). I’ve been looking at a lot of comic art lately and feeling a bit constrained by the tiny boxes we have to fit our art into these days in order to be seen, since most people are looking at everything on their tiny phones. So everything is a square. Content for squares. Which is fine. I like being read. And easy — just cut and paste a ton of square templates and go to town. But it certainly does limit storytelling. In some ways, it would be like telling a cinematographer you can only use one lens for an entire movie.
We’ll see how this works. If people enjoy it, maybe I’ll try a few more experiments in the coming weeks.