November 10, 2008

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While I'm Thinking About It

I suppose "blame" might work here as well as "thanks" does. But it's the latter.

As the year 2000 began its inexorable slide to what would be the true dawn of the twenty-first century, I was reading a lot of webcomics. Even back then, nobody sane would even try to read everything out there (especially on dial-up speeds!), and I wasn't trying, either. I was, however, always on the lookout for something new and interesting, something to add to my growing list of bookmarks.

I was also pondering the notion of starting a comic of my own. I had spent much of the last year pondering the notion, and had very nearly filled up a small sketchbook with character designs and story ideas and the like. I wasn't ready to commit yet, though. There was a small voice telling me "don't bother", "you're not good enough", and all sorts of other negativities, and I was listening.

I can't tell you exactly how I found Jeff Darlington's General Protection Fault. If I had to hazard a guess, I might put forth that I had perhaps followed the infamous Keenspot Newsbox. Something about it clicked with me, though. Character-driven geek humor, combined with longer storylines of varying seriousness? Not only was it the sort of thing that appealed to me (okay, maybe not the Linux jokes quite yet), but by the time I finished the archives (a much less daunting task back then, let me tell you), something had become abundantly clear:

Replace "geeky" with "retail", and Darlington was doing the sort of strip I wanted to do!

And you know what? If he could do it, I could do it.

GPF had been running for a couple of years by the time I found it. That makes it ten years old, as of today. And still running.



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