Tag Archives: money

What’s It All Worth?

This week’s new Dustinland comic is about the whole GameStop saga, which I find amazing and entertaining. Honestly I could write thousands of words about it, which made it extra challenging to distill my thoughts into a few illustrated frames.

Basically, the GameStop thing itself is a great story of regular peeps manipulating the market in the same way billionaire hedge fund assholes normally do, and in fact sticking it to said hedge douches. In the bigger picture, it really sheds light on how “fake” the market can be (not always, but sometimes, maybe even often). In the bigger picture, it shows how there is a system out there where, like Matt Taibbi said, Wall Street is just a giant vampire squid sucking money away from the rest of us. And in the really big picture, it shows just how unreal much of our modern civilization really is, and how dangerously close we can get to everyone giving up on the illusions and all of it falling apart — this last party really is attached to the whole Trump/Fox misinformation era as well, in that there seems to be an unraveling of what we all agree upon as “true” and “real”. There’s also a connection to everything laid out in the book Sapiens, ie there are no border, nations or companies really… just illusions and agreements.

So yeah, big topic, and as you can see by my comic, I sum it all up by saying that while none of this is “real”, it can and does affect us all in real ways. Pain, suffering, hunger, and the reverse — these things are real. And when you’re dealing with them, suddenly all your philosophical issues melt away and you just care about not dying.

Livin The Dream?

This week’s Dustinland comic is basically a combination of all the discussions I’ve been having in the real world. I moved to the burbs about 5 months ago and so now everyone wants to hear my take on it. It’s like when you get married or have kids or get back from a big vacation. Everyone asks you the same things—for good reason. But it does get tiring having the same conversation over and over again. Although there are some subtle nuances that can be more interesting if you really dig into them. Like seeing skunks and fearing ticks. That’s when I enjoy the conversation more.

And man, I really did see a skunk this weekend, crossing the street in front of my house. A skunk! I live 40 minutes from NYC! Later I showed my kid a picture of a skunk and told him, hey, if you ever see this animal, STAY AWAY. And then a neighbor told me, oh boy, coming out in broad daylight, could be a rabid skunk. Man, that’s not cool. Skunks are bad enough. Now it’s a rabid skunk!

But yeah, I do like it out here.

Rich Bitch

Between this week’s Dustinland comic and last weeks, you can kinda see where my head has been. Hmmm…. I’m too busy, do I even have time to draw this comic that’s not making money, man… if I could just win the lottery. But really, I would like to win it. I know it’s supposed to make you unhappy, according to all the stories you hear, but I just find it hard to believe that I would not be happy with even the exact same life as I have right now, but with the addition of millions of dollars.

After all, I just want the simple things. Bills taken care of. Good school zone, not a problem. College savings, no longer a consideration. Climate change, still a problem—but I can afford to go all green in every way, build my own geothermal house and buy some Teslas, grow my own everything on my own farm, complete with a bunker just in case bad things go down real life zombie style… I’d be set.

Plus I’d have time! Finally time to get into shape, in between my luxurious vacations and shopping trips. You know, trips to buy a few new guitars. So nice duds. A better entertainment system. Shit, I don’t even have Fios, now that I think about it. Oh, and I’d buy comics. Most of them. Why not? Hell, throw some original art in there. Some black and white Tony Millionaire prints. Chris Ware. Maybe even Wally Wood. Why not. 

And I’d STILL draw Dustinland. If anything, I’d draw it more. So yeah, there you have it. Want to see more Dustinland comics? Hook me up with a winning lotto ticket, and you’re good to go. Because really, I never do play. It’s statistically ridiculous. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Literally. Or not. 

Financial Douche Baggery

I think I covered this subject pretty well in my comic. It was heavily inspired by Griftopia by Matt Taibbi, which should be mandatory reading for everyone in this country. As for the research, yes, the dudes in the comic were real people. All friends of mine from childhood. There were actually four of them (the circle head guy is a combination of two dudes) and according to them, their positions can be described as: investing/asset management, back office functions, commodities trader, equities trader. So in case any haters wanna hate, no I did not make any of this stuff up—including the news clippings.

But yeah, basically, this is a big problem. We have a small percent of the population sucking up the money from everyone else, and the worst part is not that the government is mostly complicit—it’s that it’s all so complicated, most people will never understand what’s happening, so instead we run around yelling about gay marriage.

Tax Time

Yeah, taxes suck. Nothing new here. But as I say in this week’s Dustinland, they do pay for stuff. Really the big bummer, for me, is getting surprised with an April whammy. Next year I am going to fix my stuff up so that everything is taken out correctly beforehand, because I’d rather wind up getting a pleasant surprise than a sock full of bad news. And I think that goes for life in general really. I don’t know if that approach leads to ultimate happiness, but it certainly spares you major disappointment. Playin it safe! High five.