This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by my last trip into the city for work. I was walking to the office when I had this realization that I could be unfairly assuming everyone is awful. I mean, they could be, but is that the best way to live? I remember this graduation speech that David Foster Wallace gave, where basically he said sure, we can assume the worst of everyone, we may even be right about it… but we should strive to not see the world that way. After all, will it make us happier to live in protective bubbles of cynicism and disdain, or will it make us hate life and everyone around us?
Now, I’m not saying I live in the happy rainbow world either. But we’re always evolving and I think at least I’m more and more aware of my thoughts and sub-thoughts, and all I can do is strive to be better and happier.
Also weed girl in the comic is not a real person. I just thought it would be a funny way to end the strip so I made up this stoner friend. I do actually know someone like that but he’s a pretty normal looking dude and I didn’t feel like drawing that. High five.
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about voting. Not to ruin it for you, but it uses the ritual of stomping spotted lanternflies as a metaphor for the act of participating in a democracy alongside hundreds of millions of people. Yes, it feels like your one single act is pointless. Statistically, one could argue it is. However, each vote does matter, just as each dead spotted lanternfly does.
Now, some may wonder what I’m saying with the final frame. Well, it’s simply — you wouldn’t just let yourself get covered in spotted lanternflies, would you? Even though killing them feels hopeless when you look across the street and see them blanketing a tree, you still do your best. And that’s voting. No matter how sorry the situation is, you still go out and do it. Even if you hate the candidates, vote for a write-in.
Or just give up and let the swarm take over. (And no… please don’t hijack this metaphor and make it a real obvious one about immigration. That is lame and unimaginative, but I could see someone easily taking it there, so let me head you off at the pass.)
And hey, for the record, I’m in the same boat as Bill Maher. I think we’re pretty fucked as a country. But I’m still gonna go out there and do my thing. That’s where I don’t agree with George Carlin, even though I see where he was coming from.
This week’s new Dustinland comic is about sports fandom. It’s pretty long and wordy — I haven’t done one this long in a while, mostly because no one has an attention span anymore, unless it’s for a video. But that’s another rant. We’re here to talk sports.
Now, I am posting this comic on Sunday, which is maybe not the best time, but it is right after the Mets lost two games to the Braves, and this is my way of processing that. Maybe they’ll win tonight and then I can feel at least slightly better tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
Posted in New York, sports
Tagged braves, fan, knicks, mets, mlb, nba, new york, nfl, NYC, playoffs, sports, yankees
This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by my recent trip to Long Island. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not ALL like that — aka full of Trump trucks driving around with giant flags as if it’s still the summer of 2020. But there is quite a bit of that and it’s pretty depressing. And not only because I disagree with their politics. I think the real depressing part is that so many people are that angry all the time, that they need to literally drive the streets with flags designed to anger and intimidate their fellow citizens.
But yeah, we’re screwed. I actually drew a different final frame originally but edited it out. The original frame had a flag attached to my car, that said 1. You’re wrong 2. I don’t care 3. We’re all screwed, just deal with it quietly like an adult. Which is pretty much how I feel, although that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make the world a better place. It just means odds are we’re doomed and for your own mental health, accept that. We’ll all be a lot happier, and maybe even pleasantly surprised.
Posted in politics
Tagged america, conservative, democrats, jeep, long island, maga, new york, NYC, politics, republicans, truck, trump, trump flags, uspolitics
I can’t believe it. I really can’t. In fact I did a whole new Dustinland comic on it, but I decided to run this one instead because I became more fascinated with the first frame of that one, and turned that into this comic.
Man, I guess if it were ever high time for a change, it would be these days.
Here’s a collection of comics I drew for Westchester’s River Journal, starting with the latest strip appearing in this month’s issue! This strip is called I’m New Here and it’s written from the perspective of someone new to living in the burbs. However, during COVID it sort of thematically morphed into more of a pandemic comic, albeit with a bit of a suburban feel. Normally I post a brand new strip on Monday or Tuesday night but sometimes quarantine living just sucks the inspiration out of you. Glad I’ve got a bunch of other strips lying around!
Posted in health, parenthood, school, work
Tagged depressed, depression, irvington, new york, NYC, pandemic, parenthood, parenting, quarantine, sleepyhollow, tarrytown, westchester, wfh
This week’s comic is my latest work for The River Journal. If you live in a suburban town, I think you’ll be able to relate — even if it’s not Westchester. That being said, there is a certain New Yorkness to this comic. This town always has had a bit of “if you’re not here, you’re nowhere” to it. One thing I don’t understand is why so many people can’t except other people’s choices. It always has to come back to a subconscious defense of their own lifestyle. Why? Why can’t we like different things?
Posted in home owernship, New York
Tagged buying a house, house, im new here, irvington, moving, new york, new york city, NYC, sleepyhollow, suburbs, subway, tarrytown, westchester
I’ve been drawing a new comic called I’m New Here for a local newspaper called The River Journal. They cover a bunch of towns up here in Westchester, including mine. I say up here because Westchester is north of NYC, and that’s sort of where everything is judged by around these parts. Anyway, you can see the first four strips here. There’s certainly a theme, as you can tell from the title. I grew up in an apartment in Queens so being new to the suburbs provides endless ideas. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Hudson river town, you get the printed version delivered right into your mailbox. Good times.
Posted in home owernship, marriage, New York, parenthood
Tagged deer, dobbs ferry, garden, home ownership, house, im new here, irvington, lawn, marriage, mulch, new york, new york city, NYC, parenthood, sleepy hollow, suburbs, tarrytown, ticks, westchester
This week’s Dustinland comic is about how the MTA and Metro-North just erected a 150-foot cell tower right next to a low income housing community’s playground in Tarrytown, Westchester, where I live. I don’t live in that community, but I do live close by, and I thought I was pissed when I could see this huge ugly pole out my window. I can’t imagine what these people feel like, having this thing looming over them.
I’m actually part of a grassroots movement that’s trying to get this thing moved, but I think it will be a tough fight. I’ve been looking into it and it sounds like these things go up all over the country and no one wants them but basically it’s like, tough shit, losers. But it’s at least worth fighting it. I know these things have to go somewhere, but why there? I mean, the town isn’t even getting paid! It’s on MTA property, tax free, so they can rent it out to phone service providers and keep all the profit, and we get nothing except an eyesore and maybe some radiation. Now that’s America.
Posted in New York, politics
Tagged catherine rinadli, cell phone radiation, cell phone tower, cell tower, cell tower radiation, cuomo, irvington, metro north, MTA, new york, protest, tarrytown, westchester
Let me get into the interesting details behind this week’s Dustinland comic.
See, I drew the first half based on my daily annoyances that are pretty well spelled out in the strip. But then, after it was all done and even uploaded, this morning I listened to an episode of This American Life, which I never do on my commute, because I never do the podcast thing, always opting for music instead. And this episode, it was about a French comedian trying to make it in America. At one point Jeff Garland is critiquing his set, and just goes off. “He’s a craftsman, but he’s not an artist because I don’t care about what he’s talking about. He doesn’t care! Talk about what you care about! That’s interesting!”
And I was inspired to go deeper with this strip. Because as you can see, I do care. It’s about the principle. Not just the bag, not just the minor inconvenience. Every time this happens, I think about all this stuff, all this human nature misery. It riles me up. That’s why I care. And now you know. Thanks, Ira Glass!
Posted in New York
Tagged commute, commuter train, commuting, hudson valley, irvington, metro north, MTA, new york, new york city, NYC, river towns, subway, tarrytown, train, trains, westchester