Tag Archives: aging

Blah Whatever

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how life is telling me to slow down, but the rest of me is fighting the urge, even though I know it is the most beneficial approach. You know, in terms of happiness. But sometimes I think happiness is boring. Not happiness, but rather contentedness. You know, meditation, quietness, simple things — it’s just been done before.

I don’t know what I am talking about. Sorry for rambling. In other news, I drew this comic last week when the government was taking babies from their parents. But you know, because they’re immigrants, it’s okay. That’s America! Can you believe it? Who’d a thunk it would get to this point, where each day they trot out a new moral outrage just to see what they can get away with. How far can they push it and have us still take it, or even worse, enjoy it! Well, you can see why I made the new comic I just did.

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20 Years

This new Dustinland comic is not so much about my new book (which you can now buy here at Amazon!) but rather inspired by it. It’s about the thought process behind it, and the hopes, fears, dreams, and paranoia brought on from discussing it with people in the real world. So really it’s more about success, as an artist and as a human.

It’s a topic I’ve touched on before and probably will again, but I felt that this 20-year milestone was the right time to dive into it.

Also, I was inspired by my trip last night to the Society of Illustrators for a goodbye party for MAD Magazine, as they are moving from their classic NYC home out to the west coast to join the rest of their DC Comics companions/overlords. As an occasional contributor, it was an honor to be among great like Al Jaffee, Tom BunkHermann Mejia and basically a huge room full of some of the world’s best cartoonists. I’d like to thank all the awesome MAD editors and staffers (especially Jonathan Bresman and Ryan Flanders), who were so kind to me over the years, and who brought me into this amazing family of talented artists and creators. It’s a bummer to see the gang split up and such a NY institution leave town, but hey, the times they are a changin.

Arm Hair General

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, I’ve recently sprouted two strange arm hairs. They are all tough and black and bristly and I don’t enjoy them. I can’t imagine what they are or what purpose they could serve. In fact, I don’t think arm hair in general can serve much of a purpose at this point. I imagine they’re some sort of leftover from an earlier point in our evolution from ape thing to man. Because they certainly aren’t keeping me any warmer when it’s 18 degrees out in New York in February.

I tried to Google my way to an explanation but couldn’t find anything. I guess it’s like that Louis CK bit where he asked the doctor why his leg hurt and the doctor said “You’re old and your leg is just shitty.” You get older, weird stuff happens. Welcome black arm hairs. Let’s hope you stay as a couple and don’t invite any friends over for a party.

Old Friends

This week’s comic is not about right and wrong. It’s about friends and time. It’s about taking different paths and growing apart. It’s about getting older.

Now, clearly I’m on the family side of this strip. That’s the route I went. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it leads to happiness for everyone. In fact, I think it’s better to be single and happy than to get married and start a family with the wrong person. What does make me sad though, is watching friends who seem stuck in a rut—eternally in college, just without the classes. And it’s not about money. I wouldn’t have double majored in art and philosophy if I cared about that. It’s about direction and meaning. Can you spend your whole life living only for today? And when does the sex and drugs lifestyle go from fun and exciting to routine and empty?

But ultimately, the saddest thing is that even if both sides are completely happy in their lives, there’s still a disconnect once marriage and children enter the picture. As a parent, it’s not just the loss of free time to do fun adult things. It’s about a sudden change in your priorities. Life begins to move in a much more “serious” direction once you have kids. And suddenly you just don’t see certain friends very often. You find yourself spending more time with people you would never have hung out with if you weren’t both parents, while those some of those long-term friends you share every interest with—who you speak to in a language of in-jokes based on years of good times—start to fade away. But what’s hard from the parent point of view is that while you still can appreciate the things your old friends do—the stories they tell, the lives they lead—they are at a loss when it comes to your new life. Not only do they not understand it, most of it doesn’t interest them. And it’s to see why, since parenting can sound awfully mundane to the uninitiated.

Yup, not the funniest comic this week. But a true one.

The Next Phase

Yup, another parenthood comic. I think this is my favorite one yet. Mostly the fifth panel, where I’m just standing there with my wife and kid, stuffing my face full of cupcakes on a Friday night while young chickies walk by blabbing and checking their phones. Just that drawing alone could have been the entire comic. The girls are young and excited, all dressed up to go out, probably to some awful crowded place with shitty music where they’ll get hit on by an endless array of douche bags and bro dudes. But they’ll have a great time! And even if they don’t, they’ll pretend to. Or at worst they’ll just get tanked. Meanwhile, us slightly older folks have been there, done that. We’re onto the next part of life, where an exciting night is Netflix and dessert (this really goes for married life even without kids). And we’re fine with that. We accept it. We even enjoy it. Because while we may not have the potential for ZOMG crazy stories for life, we also don’t have the potential for a really shitty time surrounded by way to many awful people. And we have cookies.

So yeah, the cycle goes on. It’s just crazy getting to the next phase and looking back at people who are so pumped to be doing what I did, ultimately not too long ago.

When You’re Older

I was inspired for this comic by my realization that I hate most teenagers. Not teenage Dustinland fans of course. You guys are awesome. I mean the random teenagers I see on the subway, being loud obnoxious dicks, or the teenagers who cross the street in the middle of the block, leisurely strolling in front of my car as if I wasn’t even there. But funny enough, I used to be one of those little bastards myself. And I remember what it felt like. When you’re young, you just don’t care, because EVERYONE is stupid. Especially boring adults with their lame lives and corny problems. Of course now I am an adult and now I appreciate things like a nice, newly painted garage door.

Well, at least some things never change, as shown in the final panel.

Forever Young

I’m sure this week’s Dustinland about how I look really young is going to draw some educational comments from older folks. But that’s okay. There are a lot of Dustinland readers who are 10-15 years younger than I am, and I’ve certainly given them advice, so there you have it. From one generation to the next, nothing wrong with that.

But yeah looking young sucks at work because people treat you like you’re just out of college and then you have to prove yourself or walk around showing off your wedding band until someone asks you about it and says “How long have you been married?” even though what they really are saying is “Aren’t you too young to be married?” and then I can tell them how old I really am.