Category Archives: work

Time For Vacation

I know this week’s new Dustinland comic can come off sort of first world problems / mo money, mo problems, but that’s how I feel. It’s like at every moment my job is to appease one person or several people, possibly with competing demands, and there is no end and no way to make everyone happy. And forget about what I want. Although you can say ostensibly that in doing what I want in the bigger scheme of things, I subject myself to this lifestyle where I am subservient to the wants of others. Which is probably correct. But still, even if you have it good, relatively speaking, you can still feel stressed out — and do.

It’s time for vacation.

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The Meeting

This week’s Dustinland comic is one of my favorites out of everything I’ve done over the last year or so. I finally had some time to sit down and really work on a strip because my kid was over at his buddy’s house all day on a Saturday afternoon. And that let me really go to town on this one. I like when I can really push it far and take the joke not just to the next level, but to increasing levels of unpredictable absurdity. Just when you think you’ve got the joke, it twists on you, many times in a row.

Maybe I like it more than everyone else will. Who knows. But it was fun to draw, and that’s all that matters.

Single Malt Problems

This week’s Dustinland comic is a fast and cute first world problems sort of deal about something that happened to me late night in the office the other day. No big deal. Just a cute little one. I did draw it in colored pencil though, so that’s different. I’ve been doodling with my kid so I figured why not try his art supplies on my comic just to switch things up. Plus I was too lazy to go downstairs to get my felt-tip pen.

You’re Garbage

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, being a sanitation worker is probably not the horrible future you were meant to believe it would be as a child. I think I read there is a 5-year waiting list to get the gig in NYC. Or that they only hire 500 new people a year, meaning that statistically it’s harder to get into garbage than Harvard. It does look rough though, physically speaking. I would imagine these dudes are pretty broken by the time they retire. Which is probably at a relatively early age but still, hard to factor in that kind of wear and tear into your salary and benefits. Also it’s probably pretty stinky and dirty. But you know, until Scott Walker has his way with the rest of the nation, it should be a nice blue collar union job that lets people support a family. Imagine that.

PS I shouldn’t always say dudes and men since once I saw a woman sanitation worker. Seems pretttttttty rare though.

A Week In The Life of A Modern Parent AKA Why I Don’t Work Out

I didn’t have much time to draw this week’s Dustinland comic, which is why I drew a comic about not having much time—although drawing this comic may have taken me more time than a regular comic would have anyway. But I didn’t have any brain power left. That’s another thing that comes along with lack of time. Lack of mind. You just hit a wall sometimes. There’s only so much you have left after work and parenthood. Sometimes you just want a beer and a Netflix.

But yeah, the whole AKA Why I Don’t Work Out part of this comic is a bummer. When could I exercise? Basically if you’re not one of those 5:00 AM types, forget it. And that’s not me. And even if it was, you have to go to sleep earlier, so really it’s a trade off, staying in shape vs not hanging out with my wife or ever doing anything I want to do for myself.

Yes, I know, it’s all very first world problems, but so is 95% of what all comedians talk about, so yeah, bite me.

Departnering

As you may gather from this week’s Dustinland comic, advertising is a weird business. Sort of a relic from an earlier era in terms of how we still function via partnerships. Now, not every art director or copywriter has a partner, and some agencies function in a more fluid way, but overall, creative partnerships still run pretty rampant in this industry. And there’s a lot that comes with that. I mean, you’re staking your career on this other person. It’s a really big deal with huge stakes—as people who have had unsuccessful partnerships can probably attest to even more so than people with excellent partnerships.

Well, for me and my partner it’s been four years. It’s tough to see it end. Totally on good terms, but still, it will be hard to get used to it. Professionally, we were on point, trusted each other, knew exactly what our strengths and weaknesses were. Personally, well, we “hang out” a lot. Probably see each other more than we see our families, at least during the week. Hell, it’s nice just having someone around who can tell on those days when I woke up in a bad mood and to just leave me alone for the morning until I snap out of it. But hey, it’s work, not play. Business. And, well, I guess… this.

Great Job

This week’s Dustinland comic compares two different states of mentality regarding the workplace. Or careers really.

When I was young, I was aimless. I didn’t care about work, and I had a pretty easy dead-end job, 9-5, in and out, no stress. So on the day-to-day side of it, life was great. No worries. No nightmares about looming presentations. No fear of layoffs. But in the grand scheme of things, it was stressful. Now, I was getting paid peanuts, which was fine at the time, since I was young and didn’t really need much besides money for beer and rent. But looking toward the future, I knew that would be a problem. And even worse, the bigger picture… there was really no place to go, no “up.” Just a steady dull career of churning out the same thing for a barely increasing wage. No pressure, but no future. And that was it’s own kind of long term awful stress.

These days, I take work a lot more seriously. It’s my career. My life. I have a family to take care of. I have pride in what what I do. And I have a career where there is a lot of potential for success. So looking forward, things are much improved. And in the wallet area, that too. But now there’s a different kind of concern. A day to day creeping. A consuming stress. Even physical pain. Yes, it’s that cliche career stress you heard about all your life, growing up, watching TV and movies, reading books, seeing the stressed out fat, balding out of shape white collar father with an ulcer in a migraine. Lying in bed, thinking about work, even dreaming about it. Checking your email while on vacation. Ah, mo money, mo problems. And freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. There’s got to be a reason they’ve been writing song lyrics about the same subject for 50 years.