[TMPL page.setTitle=" - Spiels: One Year? How Long Have I been Asleep?!"]
[TMPL page.include file="/include/banner_ad.html"]

This is absolutely crazy. A few weeks ago, I look at the calander and notice that November 15th wasn't that far away. And I got to thinking - how the hell have I gone for a YEAR?! I never honestly expected to last more than a week or two, but now, a full year later, here I am.

Last year, when I started doing Real Life, it was nothing more than the thought of "Hey, this would be fun to do!" I didn't have a scanner, so drawing it by hand was out of the question. I had a copy of Adobe Illustrator from work, but I really didn't have any idea how to use it...I had played around here and there, but nothing much. So, I sat down and taught myself.

The first thing I ever did was a sheet with just three characters..Me, Dave, and Crystal. Under it were the words "Real Life", looking absolutely nothing like the logo eventually did. It took me about a month to come up with 2 weeks worth of strips, and looking back, my methods of drawing them were quite antiquated. The same thing that would have taken me 2 hours back then, I can now do in 30.

The first day RL went online, 150 people visited the site. It never once went below that. And, since going online, I've actually gotten three hate letters. Two of them later aplogized, and are now daily readers.

So, what's in store for Real Life? Who knows...I sure don't. I just take this stuff as it comes. I've got a few special projects in the works, but beyond that, I really don't know. All I can say is I plan to be doing this for as long as my brain keeps giving me ideas. I've been coming up with ideas for strips no earlier than the night before posting them for almost 10 months straight out of this whole year.

Anyway, the whole point of what I'm trying to say here is that it's been a helluva ride, and I mean that. And Thanks to everyone that's helped me get started and kept me going... there's too many of you to even name, but you all know who you are. And as for you, the readers, nothing has made my day more this past year then when I open up my inbox and find a letter from one of you who just started reading, or from someone who's had the same experience as me. It's amazing how many people there are out there who understand where you're coming from, and to be able to give you all some humor that's up your alley is the greatest thing I've got going right now. Thanks for reading, everyone.

-Greg Dean