To put into words what comics mean to me is a series of old, fuzzy memories. I was making comics before I could even read or write. Filling in panels with bright colors of crayons, word balloons that were either empty, or filled with scribbles. I tried to emulate what I saw in the Sunday paper. Later, I would pick up every vibrant issue released by Marvel, DC, and Image that I could get my hands on. In my teens, I worked in a comic shop every summer. I kept drawing, every bit of spare time that I had.

I went to conventions and met my idols as a stammering fanboy. They changed over time. One year I was nearly speechless while meeting Erik Larsen. Then, I was stunned at what a nice guy David Mack was. Chynna Clugston made me believe that I could make stories that weren’t like the ones I grew up with. I was too nervous to talk to Josh Lesnick at an anime convention. Randy Milholland is the nicest person I’ve ever met in comics, and one of the most prolific. Erika Moen remembered me from the start of my comics. I could have fainted. Lucy Knisley made the art that became my wedding invitation.

I don’t mean to name-drop, because I don’t know these people. I met them, briefly, and passing, and followed their works passionately. They just kept on making comics, and showed the world that any number of stories could be told. We didn’t need the old publishing methods, and comics could be whatever we wanted. Their comics helped shape me as a cartoonist.

I neglected Deckle Fetish for a long time. Nearly two years. Comics have been a constant in my life that provided more than I can even put words to. It means a lot to get back to making my own.