Tag Archives: life

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.

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The Straggle

I don’t know what to say about this week’s Dustinland comic, but I do like how weird it gets at the end. Well, not weird, but let’s say I think it doubles down nicely on the concept of the strip.

Kevin

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, my son really did ask me about “Kevin,” confusing it with heaven. I didn’t explain things to him in real life like I did in this comic though. Not yet. I’d rather have him naive and happy for now. Because once you know, you can never unknown, so why not let the innocence go on a little longer.

Not that it’s bad to know about these things. But hey, if it’s confusing/depressing to me, I don’t know how helpful it will be to him, or any little kid for that matter. But I do know that when you try to explain things to kids, sometimes it makes you realize how silly or weird a lot of these ideas and rituals actually are.

Happiness

I could go on and on about the subject of this week’s Dustinland comic. After all, happiness, that’s a big issue. In some ways it’s THE issue. But I just spent an hour and a half on the subway due to signal problems, and then another 30 minutes on hold for customer support after I couldn’t sign into my server to up date the site. So now I’m grumpy! Oh the irony!

I do think there’s something to the eastern approach though. Simple pleasures. Low expectations. That’s the way to go. Then you are easily appeased, rarely disappointed and occasionally pleasantly surprised. Easier said than done of course. And that whole meditation thing, man that’s hard! And time consuming. It probably works but it’s hard to get around to it. And even 15 minutes of sitting in silence feels like 60 minutes, so it’s not something I look forward to. Probably just something to suck up and get over. I think it’s proven meditation is good for your health. Eh, I’ll put it on the new years resolution list, just like I did last year.

If I had the energy, I’d go into the whole first world problems, it’s all relative thing here, but I won’t because I don’t feel like it. Actually, ending this post now makes me happy, so there you go.

Why

This week’s comic is not a solicitation for props or support. I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m just working out some issues I’ve been having lately. You know, it takes a lot of time and effort to draw comics. Well, at least some comics (don’t worry, I won’t get into that whole thing again). And for me personally, I have been struggling to make time lately. Between parenthood and holding down a career, finding a few hours a week to spend doodling can be difficult. And when you’re watching your traffic slowly wane away, you start to wonder… is there a point to all this? 

Now, I don’t have an answer. And there’s no reason to repeat myself here. Basically, I’m just trying to work it out. And maybe that’s what my comic is for after all. Maybe that’s what all true art is for. Not expressing yourself, but understanding yourself. Figuring out what matters, what drives you, what you really care about and enjoy. And if other people happen to enjoy watching you do so—hell, watching me do so—then great. Even better. 

Call it what you will. Psychological crutch. Fantasy world. Pipe dream. Therapy. Whatever it is, I’m going to keep doing it, whether Reddit likes it or not. Maybe the time will come when I call it quits, but I’m going to try to put that off for as long as possible. Preferrably as long as Charles Schulz did, even though we work/ed under somewhat different circumstances. 

Life

Hahaha! Isn’t it funny that most of us never achieve our hopes and dreams?! Whew! What a knee-slapper!

Really though, just the fact that we live in a society where you can have food, shelter and safety, and be able to raise a family and live to a ripe old age, and actually be able to contemplate the thought of preferring another profession is something to be infinitely thankful for.