It’s amazing to think that I’ve been doing Ctrl+Alt+Del for a whole year already. Sometime it feels like I only started it yesterday. My good friend and all around awesome guy, Brian Carroll sure hasn’t forgotten how old we are though. Thanks Brian.
The concept of the ‘web comic’ seems so simple, doesnt it? I mean, the internet is such a powerful tool. Such a wonderful opportunity for anyone at all with an idea. Especially artists. It used to be that you would have to cross your fingers and hope that you were discovered, or hope that a newspaper would deem you worthy of syndication. You had to compete with everyone else in the field just for a chance to express yourself.
The internet changed all of that. Now, with a little motivation, an artist can put his own work out there, can take take a shot at success all on his own.
That’s what I did a year ago.
I had been sitting in perhaps the most boring graphic design class imaginable. Knowing that I had no desire to participate, I had taken my usual place at the computer that was the farthest away from the teacher, and dove right into my regular ritual: surfing the internet for an hour and a half while the teacher droned on about page numbers and typesets.
Now at this point I had been reading PVP on and off for about a year. Yet for some reason the concept of the ‘web comic’ had never struck me. I was entirely unaware of the possibility that there might be more comics out there, on the internet.
Until that day.
I forget exactly how I found them. It might have been a message board, it might have been a link button. But I stumbled upon other web comics, such as Little Gamers and Megatokyo. For some reason, the realization that there were a bunch of artists out there, financing and publishing their own work, without censorship, and without the need for a larger corporation or newspaper, just hit me really hard.
I knew right then that I thought I could do that. That I wanted to do that.
I had a couple of hours of break before my next class, so I got some food and spent it sitting in my car with my sketchpad, laying down the first drawings of Ethan and Lucas, and the first incarnations of the style I would use for Ctrl+Alt+Del (which was almost called Overclocked). After a lot of work and preparation, the comic went live about a month later, on October 23rd, 2002.
And now, here we are a year later. Ctrl+Alt+Del has become more succesful than I ever could have hoped, to the point where it is now my full time job. It has been my life-long dream to draw for a living, and now that dream is a reality.
And none of it would have happened if it weren’t for all of you. Because of your donations and your support, I get to do what I love for a living. There is no way I can thank you enough for this.
I actually almost lost the strip once, right as it was beginning to really take off, in early December of 2002. I was driving home from my ex-girlfriend’s house at about 2am, and I hit a patch of black ice. I lost control of my mustang and struck a telephone pole head-on. I was pretty banged up, but my car was totaled. There was no way I was going to be able to afford to pay for the increasing hosting costs the comic was generating.
You guys stepped in. You pitched in and picked up hosting costs for a couple of months, long enough for me to get back on my feet, and the comic never skipped a beat.
That is a perfect example of the type of support you all have given me on the road to realizing this dream of mine. And it isn’t the only time its happened. Every time I’ve needed advice, my inbox has been flooded with emails from readers who want to help. I wish there was some way I could just thank each of you personally for making Ctrl+Alt+Del what it is today. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.
I’ve been drawing Ctrl+Alt+Del for a year now, which makes it one of the longest jobs I’ve ever held. And I love it now more than ever. I love every single time I sit down to draw a comic, I love every single email I get from people telling me how much they enjoy what I do. I love that I’ve made something that can bring people even a small bit of amusement.
So to wrap this up, I just want to say, with much sincerity and gratefulness, thank you. Thank you supporting me and what I do, thank you for laughing with me, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Thank you for making this artist’s dreams come true.
You are the best fans anyone could hope for.
Here’s to many more years of Ctrl+Alt+Del.