DDS Attack


My store has some new signed prints and signed posters you should entirely check out. Signed books as well!

This comic is sort of a  pre-follow up to THIS comic. I used to be really ashamed to tell people what I did for a living, even though it provided my wife and I with a bunch of money and all the material attributes of “success.” Now that I have what is, for me, the perfect job, I rarely want to talk about it with strangers because I feel like it requires an hour long lesson or backstory in order to comprehend it.

Anyway, that’s basically my intent for the flashback comics: To show how Joel’s life pre and post “Experiment” parallels even when it drastically contrasts. I was always the type to think, “I can escape this problem IF I can get a new job/move to a new place/make new friends/etc.” Adulthood and parenthood and Leprechaun: In The Hood have taught me that I bring most of my problems with me wherever I go. They are literally inside me; inside my brain. I cannot outrun them any more than I can outrun the contents of my own skull. Stupid brain. Always full of conflicted thoughts about stupid stuff.

Funny story: I wrote this comic, laid out the text and sketched all the way to the last panel before realizing that smartphones didn’t exist back then. The idea that I would reach into my pocket and Google something is so ubiquitous now that I completely forgot that there was a time in my adult life when I was unable to do that. I decided to settle on comic Joel owning a pre-smartphone (a Palm Tre0 650), which did have basic internetting and emailing and such. In reality, at this time I believe I would have had a Motorola Razr, the semi-functional fashion statement of mid 00’s mobile communication. Before that I did own a couple of rather pricey Symbian OS phones that had access to a mobile-friendly, text only version of the internet via Edge or sub-Edge speeds. Looking up ANYTHING AT ALL via these devices was an exercise in self loathing.

Comments (36)

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TJ "Kiltman"Anderson's avatar

TJ “Kiltman”Anderson · 84 weeks ago

Was googling even a thing? Alta vista or maybe yahoo? Heh… technology..There was a lot more ohh gee back then.. my first palm pilot was a signing gift for a sizable advertisement in the …get this… Yellow pages..
Stranger's avatar

Stranger · 84 weeks ago

Would that last one be dentists who exclusively works on MMA fighters, or dentists moonlighting as MMA fighters?

3 replies · active 84 weeks ago

I’m enjoying this storyline. It’s really hitting home.
Joel, I love the new direction. I look forward to each new comic. I appreciate that you are “exposing” more of your personal life in comic form and with pics of your family life. That can be a tough call to make but I believe you are doing it well.

Also, that’s a Treo isnt’ it? Yeah.. I’m suddenly nostalgic for a resistive touch screen and super-slow mobile internet. Good times…

5 replies · active 84 weeks ago

Thanks! That is a Treo. I never really owned one personally, but my boss did. I remember the 600 being a total piece of shit, the 650 being marginally better, then the 700 blowing it out of the water. Then the iPhone bankrupted palm. All within like 3 years.
Tim from Radio Clash's avatar

Tim from Radio Clash · 84 weeks ago

I owned…and still own…a Sony p990i. Probably be a museum piece soon…and yes I was sloooooooooow but I used to browse and email with it. It’s why I never understood the Samsung vs Apple vs The World patent war when it’s obvious touchscreen phones with apps were around pre-all that.

My habit of copying all posts before sending comes from that – quite often you’d lose *everything* when the post failed. Still do it today… even on Wifi. Don’t truss it.

Apple’s patent war with Samsung was over the concept of “multitouch,” not just touching a screen. Specifically pinching to zoom, swiping, 2,3 and 4 finger gestures, etc.
That wasn’t all they sued over, just what stuck. You’re talking about the States only – Apple and Samsung (and Google for that matter) sued and countersued all over the world, including Europe. Some of the ‘look and feel’ patent legals did cover stuff that I’m pretty sure was prior art – ‘square phone with rounded edges?’, apps, touchscreen, etc. Thankfully most of these were thrown out, because they were pretty silly, apart from the US oddly. But it did mean sometimes the imports were stopped, which I’m guessing was the main reason.
Hmm. MMA dentists? Pretty cool.

Still not as cool as pay-per-view nun fights, though.

1 reply · active 84 weeks ago

Lurkie's avatar

Lurkie · 84 weeks ago

YES! I had not only a Treo, but it’s predecessor, a Handspring (which was basically a palm pilot in pretty colors with an expansion slot I could never afford to insert anything into).

1 reply · active 84 weeks ago

I thought Handspring was the coolest thing in the world. I loved the Springboard concept. I actually owned one WELL after they were obsolete. I got it for free when cleaning out an old boss’s junk storage unit. I was going to hook it up to an old PC and use it to control WinAmp via serial cable. Never got around to actually doing that project though. I had hoped to put it in a car, but iPods came out almost immediately and made that plan obsolete.
Cate's avatar

Cate · 84 weeks ago

Question, I really like the new direction of the comic as well, but I noticed something. I’m not sure if its because its a “Flashback” or if its part of the change in art style, but it seems a lot more Pastel heavy than before? Hoping its just for the flashbacks, because for some reason it kinda hurts my eyes a little. Just my two cents, will still keep reading and supporting regardless! Keep doing what you love Joel!

2 replies · active 84 weeks ago

Lurkie's avatar

Lurkie · 84 weeks ago

Yes, Joel has said that the pastel look is part of the flashback.
The washed out colors denote a flashback, since I only post how long ago it was in the first comic of the flashback. When the full colors come back, you’ll know it’s present day.
Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 84 weeks ago

When I was in Jr. High, my dad got me a Palm Zire 21, because he had used Palm devices for a couple years and I thought they were the coolest thing ever. No internet, no mp3 player, nothing that I even needed as a Jr High kid. I think I had a Bible application on it that I used in Bible class. And I had games on it. And it was awesome. Now, only 10(ish) years later I have an iPhone 5s that scans my fingerprint every time I unlock it and can browse the internet faster than my home internet could back then. I love technology.
Love the facial expressions in this comic. Keep up the awesome work, Joel!

PS – I’d love to see other flashback storylines, like when you first met Josh and Eli, your first date with Emily, when you found out you were going to be a dad, etc. The stuff you mentioned about your strict religious upbringing sounds like it would be interesting.

1 reply · active 84 weeks ago

I plan to keep the flashbacks as an ongoing thing. Im sure we’ll get to some of that stuff as the story progresses.
Dave's avatar

Dave · 84 weeks ago

My bank changed its website recently. It was a major overhaul, and we had to have all our bill payments entered by some date, or wait until the new system was up a week later. Sure enough, on the day after the deadline I remembered that I had some one-off bill sitting around. For a good while I thought, “What the hell am I going to do? It’s due the day after the new system is up.” Actually, I went to the biller’s site to pay it before I remembered that I can write a check and mail it in with the forever stamps collecting dust on my desk (and thank God for them, I had to buy 3 sets of 1-2 cent stamps before I used up the last of the stamps that had a fixed value).
Bron's avatar

Bron · 84 weeks ago

I think I must be a bit of a luddite (actually if you read up on them an interesting group who were not actually technophobic they just really hated the people who were screwing them over who happened to own mills) becuase I haven’t actually got to the point where the internet is completely indespencible to my life.

I only recently got a smart phone and eventually gave up on using the internet features as I found them slow and awkward, I now use it as a phone/contact book/clock/texting device much like I used my old nokia. I actually plan to downgrade when it dies as I find the lower battery life especially annoying. This phone cost me $125 Sing while my old one cost 4.99 GBP and came with a 15 GBP top up (basically they gave me 10 GBP of service to take it away), I remember being excited because it had a colour display….

2 replies · active 84 weeks ago

I feel like, for me, instant access to all of the knowledge in the world and constant contact with my friends/family/fans/etc enriches my life. If you don’t feel the same way, then perhaps you aren’t missing anything.
Bron's avatar

Bron · 84 weeks ago

Thank you for the reply.

That is the thing, I feel sometimes like all of this would just make my life so much better but that the technology is both too high in cost and too awkward to use. I’m not sure if it is because I have my experience of the internet through computers is just so different to the mobile internet that it just throws me off. My family were early adopters of the PC and later the Internet and because I touch type (I’m dyspraxic so I’ve used computers for pretty much all written communication since I was about 10 due to my cack handedness) I just find that with the keyboard its pretty much like a direct link between my brain and the internet. With mobile devices (especially those with a touch screen) it just feels odd and alien and very clunky and slow. I’m not sure if I’d be right with you if I’d been on this journey from the start rather then coming in part way through. I hope that when Singapore comes out with this free wireless network they’ve been talking about I can get a cheap iPad or something and join you guys in the better future that seems to be coming.

Candace's avatar

Candace · 84 weeks ago

Nice catch on the Palm Treo. I used to have a Palm Pilot, which I loved, and a Fujitsu pseudo flip phone, which was a piece of junk. (I had major Motorola flip-phone envy. So Star Trek.) I was so happy when Palm came out with the Treo, so I could have my PDA and smartphone all in one.

Of course you’re right, Apple trumped Palm with the iPhone, which I can’t live without. (Or at least, wouldn’t enjoy having to do without.) I have a terrible memory, and used to have to carry a purse calendar and pen with me everywhere so I could record and keep track of my appointments, etc.. Of course, I still had to exert the mental discipline to remember to record every appointment when I made it, and look at my calendar every day.

Nowadays, if I can just remember to get the appointment into my iPhone calendar in the first place, the phone does the rest for me. So much easier, and far fewer missed appointments. And if you break your phone, you can just go to an Apple store and get a new one. How cool is that?! (And I don’t have to carry paper around anymore!) The future is now, and it’s great! (Well, mostly.)

1 reply · active 84 weeks ago

i do the same thing. I free up so much space and so many mental cycles in my brainspace by only having to remember “Check your todo list often” instead of the 400 individual things on said list.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 84 weeks ago

Graphic Designer… for dentists.
Dishwasher… for dentists.
Veterinarian… for dentists.

Now it’s starting to sound like a save the dentist charity.

1 reply · active 84 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 84 weeks ago

Now all it needs is a commercial with Sarah McClachlan in it.
Kaidah's avatar

Kaidah · 71 weeks ago

Hey, my uncle and cousins are dentists and they’re pretty fun. Or maybe it’s just all the cool stuff they bought with their dentist money that’s fun. At any rate, the parties they throw are definitely fun. 🙂

Fun fact: When I was a kid I used to think my uncle had a Scrooge McDuck type vault hidden the basement of his house (which is three times the size of mine btw) because he was rich (well, richer than us anyway) and in my addled kid logic all rich people had huge vaults for thier money. Discovering the reality of stock portfolios and retirement funds was a huge diappointment.