The Beginning

This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by a recent blackout my neighborhood experienced. Only for a few hours too. But it got me thinking… well… one day it’ll start just like this, but things just won’t come back…

Escape

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about escaping. Literally and physically. Physically, leaving the city, or even your own cramped four walls you’ve been seeing over and over for so long. Mentally, escaping the same confines but in a different way… but also escaping what’s in your mind — Covid, Trump, all of it. But it seems that no matter what you do, something follows you. You can’t fully escape. You can’t just leave the world’s problems to everyone else. But how do you find the balance? How do you do what it takes to stay sane, but stay involved enough to make a difference?

I’m New Here 8-12

This week I was a bit too busy for a new strip, but here is a collection of my last five strips for The River Journal. They’re meant for an audience of a few towns in Westchester, NY, but really I think anyone who moved from the city to the burbs will appreciate it. Hence the title.

These will also be a nice break from all the misery in the news today since these are all pre pandemic and non political. So take a break and enjoy.

1 Crazy Summer

This week’s new Dustinland comic is not really a guide to staying sane this summer, but rather a way to vent about how incredibly boring and frustrating it is to stay home with your family for weeks during 90-degree heat. There really is just nothing to do, and the days of “yay let’s do a puzzle” are far behind us. But while I complain in the strip in what I hope is a wacky relatable way you’ll all appreciate and share with your friends on your 78 social media accounts, in reality, I do try to have little things — little routines with kiddo especially — that keep things interesting and keep us from going nuts. My favorite is our weekly “snack attack”, where we go to 7-11 or CVS and I simply let my 8-year-old son buy whatever he wants. It’s good times — although it does result in what I mention in #2 of this week’s strip. Oh well, gotta give ourselves a break this year!

Tolerants

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about a lot of things — mainly the debate on race we’ve all been having lately. Actually we’ve been having it for decades now, but the Trump era has really brought it to the forefront, which is probably the one thing we can thank him for.

So on one hand, it’s about our conversation on race and equality. But it’s also a conversation about the conversation, and how who can and can’t say what. Because I think ultimately, it’s hard to say what’s more frustrating: That we’re still debating what seems incredibly obvious (everyone should be treated equally in the U.S. and yet this still isn’t the way things are) or that we can’t even talk to each other anymore without being attacked, trolled, berated or cancelled.

Nation Without A Care

This week’s new Dustinland comic pretty much says all I have to say about the matter. I mean, I don’t think EVERYONE in the U.S. is like this, but enough people are to ruin everything for the rest of us. I don’t think it’s necessarily their fault — even the idea of something being anyone’s fault is a whole other philosophical wormhole. It’s really more about human nature combined with the American experiment leading to this current state of ignorant nightmare. Good times.

Cracks

This week’s new Dustinland comic is obviously about the stress caused by months of quarantine. For me personally, it’s less about the fear of getting sick and more about dealing with the monotony and frustrations of day to day existence right now. In particular, balancing work and parenting. Of course I am grateful for my awesome life etc… it’s just that right now there’s a lot of bullshit going on and it’s hard to not let it slowly get to you. This past week I really noticed it creeping in.

As for the absurdist ending, that’s not meant to be something negative, but most people take it that way. Really it just means that life is meaningless is silly, so why stress over it. Just laugh and go with the flow and try to enjoy it, or at least “enjoy” it. Kind of like a dark version of eastern philosophy, but without the enlightenment or reincarnation parts.

What’s The Difference

Some people may have their feelings hurt by this new Dustinland comic, but that was not my intention. I’m simply bringing to life the inner dialogue that takes place within the mind of cynical folks like myself, whose instincts are to expect the worst from most people and scenarios. And at times like these, while it may be natural to scoff at people simply posting on social media as if that’s going to change the world, it’s important to realize that EVERYTHING helps. You need all the things. Yes, of course action is more important than likes and shares, but that doesn’t make social media posts bad or useless, especially when they are well-intentioned expressions of honest frustration that the world just won’t seem to change.

Now What

This week’s new Dustinland comic? Well, you know, right in the middle of an awful pandemic I thought we needed U.S. racial issues to finally boil over completely. Perfect timing for that. So here we are?! What to say? Well you can say a lot. And we do. We talk and talk… we type and type… But we can we do? What will we do and where will it get us? Those are the questions, and I don’t have the answers.

Pandemicemonium

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how we don’t really know anything about the pandemic. I mean, we know a lot, but compared to normal life, we don’t know anything. Never have I felt so at a loss for a plan. What happens next for how long? Don’t know. And I sort of always knew we didn’t know what was going on, but this really sheds light on to just what extent we are all making it up.