Well it’s been One Year… whew, I made it. Wow, I can’t believe it.

A year ago with no plan and no direction I started this strip. I hadn’t drawn in a few years and was very rusty. It was serendipity really. I went to my brother’s church and after the service was over, I was talking to him telling him that I wanted to start drawing cartoons again. That was it, I went home, forgot about it, whatever, it was history. Then Monday night rolls along and my friend’s younger brother Brian calls me out of the blue, and asks me if I’d ever thought about doing a web comic, and that he would be happy to help me with the computer side of things.

Now I’d only had a computer for a year and half at that time. I never used much, it was for my wife’s work really. So when Brian starts telling me about all these web comics that are out there and some of his favorite ones I really knew nothing about it.

So I just started. I grabbed my 4″x13″ aluminum template my friend Ben made for me in the mid-nineties for my comic strip Castor, and started drawing. Since then I have experimented with different sizes, gradients, and colours. In February I discovered Chris Baldwin’s Little Dee and was impressed with his use of Zip-a-Tone patterns. So when my Helmet story arc finished I created some of my I own and began experimenting with them. I now also draw bigger having found the 4″x13″ too restrictive, and have been drawing mostly at a 5″x16″ size. I did draw the peanuts tributes in 4″x13″ and when I was in rush like the Sneak Attack strip, but that is rare now.

All in all it’s been a blast! I have never talked to another cartoonist before starting this strip and now I have been blessed with great Internet buddies like David Scott Smith and Juanele. I got to see drastic changes happen in my writing and drawing, something that only a deadline can do. I was able to let go and not be afraid to change character design and let the characters voice come through (this is still an everyday challenge). I love everything about comic strips, but it’s tough sometimes. I get up for work at 5am, get home at 3:30, play with the kids and care for them till their bedtime, and by 9pm when everything is settled down I draw. Sometimes I just want to sleep and I do, and sometimes I just want to hang out with my wife. Most strips have been written on my lunch break at work, some have even been inked on my lunch break. Whatever it takes I guess, and that’s one of the reasons I try to keep my style simple.

Thanks to my wife for her support; I love you Pauline.
Thanks to Brian for guiding me through this Internet world, I wouldn’t have started this without your help.
Thanks to everyone for reading and giving supportive feedback. Let’s have a fun year two on Road Apples Farm.

Don Ahé