Oh boy. This is going to take a while to address. First, the good news: Dustinland reached No. 2 on Digg.com today with just under 3,000 diggs as of right now (April 8, 7:10). So that means I got a ton of hits today, which is great. Oddly enough, the Dustinland that got all this attention is pretty old. It’s a strip from 2003 that addresses the anti-marijuana commercials airing on television at the time. I guess someone was looking though my archives and found that one and liked the message and posted it. Now, it’s about five years old and definitely not my best strip, but I’d like to think that the message is still a pretty good one. To sum it up, I was making the following points regarding the anti-pot ads in question:
1. They severely exaggerated the effects and ramifications of smoking marijuana
2. They unfairly equate the smoking of a relatively harmless substance with murder and rape
3. They seem hypocritical when aired back-to-back with beer commercials, considering that alcoholism has ruined and continues to ruin many more lives than weed ever will
4. They are also hypocritical in that I assume they are paid for by the government (with our tax dollars), yet our current and past presidents (Bush and Clinton) have both admitted or are known to have smoked marijuana
I think those points are made pretty clear in the comic, but since the internet is open to users of varying IQs, I just want to lay it all out there in the clearest way possible.
Now, I normally don’t address comments on message boards since you have to assume that whenever you create something and put it online, someone is going to say you’re wrong, you’re unfunny, you suck ass, you’re an idiot, you deserve physical pain and/or death, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Hell, I know I’ve ripped on plenty of bands online — just check out my “articles” on Cracked.com. However, in this case there were some comments on Digg that really got to me, and I feel the need to respond.
Comments like this really infuriate me: “They had 6 frames in that comic and they forgot to get to the Punchline WTF!”
Just because you’re reading a comic, doesn’t mean it has to be funny. There are comics about the Holocaust, Hiroshima, child abuse, rape and pretty much every serious subject matter you can imagine. Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Keiji Nakazawa, Art Spiegelman… read their work. It’s brilliant and yes, sometimes funny, but usually pretty serious. That’s because comics are a form of expression just like any other. Don’t assume that when you set your eyes upon one, its intention is to get you to laugh. If you want a punchline every time, go read Marmaduke.