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Twenty Eighteen

Angela had heard about it on the radio while running errands. I did a quick google search and found an article about it immediately.

Two armed gunmen, robbed a cannabis shop in Mountlake Terrace. The owner had observed the robbery remotely from home over internet video and called the police. The robbers tried to escape through offices attached via a hallway in the back. One of those offices was my studio. Two desperate men, one with an AR-15, herded the pot store employees into our bathroom hallway and, in a panic, chose between two doors just slightly more durable than cardboard. They chose the other office. It was 11pm at night, so we weren't there. But I've been up there that late before. So has Cory and my wife. It freaked me out.

I called my landlord and TOLD her she would let me break my lease early. I'm starting 2018 working from a home office. It's cozy here, the commute is great, we can save money and not worry about the all-cash drug business that shares a non-bulletproof wall with us. Studio space is nice. it's good to separate work and home. But I felt pushed into that office by someone who no longer works with us. It was their idea and now that I'm home, I feel such a sense of relief to have vacated it. We'll use the money we save to make more content you want to read and to pay our creators to make it.

Dad came to visit for the holidays and our goal was to convince him to move here. We ended up with the opposite problem. He loved the first condo we showed him and he wasn't interested in looking further. We just wanted to give him an idea of what he could find here, and instead we found his dream condo with no hopes of being in a position to get it for him yet. He's back home now, packing up the house he's lived in for more than 30 years. Excited about the future.

"There are lots of memories in that house." he told me.

"Yeah, dad, but your family is here." I reminded him. "There are still people to meet, things to do, hobbies to explore. Watch your Granddaughter grow up. Don't sit alone in a house full of memories."

My oldest friend Rob came to visit right before Christmas, ostensibly to see Star Wars together. But he just lost his father, and my dad was in town and I think we all just needed to see each other. Rob reminded my dad that he's in much better shape than his dad was after his stroke. After some friendly ribbing Dad told Rob "Hey, I'm the only dad you have left." and Rob returned that serve with a "so take care of yourself." I think that helped motivate dad quite a bit.

PvP turns 20 in May. I started this comic strip in 1998 and I quit my day job to be a full-time cartoonist in 2000. I really don't have a sense of how important this comic strip is to anyone in comparison to previous years. All I know is that the correspondence we get lets us know that it still means a lot to many of you and that's the most amazing thing. I remember starting this comic strip. I remember being afraid to quit my day job. I remember Rich Stevens telling me over AIM that he was quitting his day job and how much that scared me for him. It all seems like a lifetime ago.

Look, 2017 was rough. Everything feels like it's burning. Probably because parts of the United States literally were burning. But we got through it. We banded together. We rallied. We marched. We spoke truth to power. We continued to create things.

Continuing to create saved 2017 for me. Hopefully it helped some of you too.

On to 2018!