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Speaking of being in it for the paycheck, there are now happle tea buttons and high quality prints available in the store! How exciting!

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Happy three year anniversary, Happle Tea! Now it’s just time to sit back and collect those fat paychecks! Yeah!

Okay, so technically the site is three years old in June, but the comic formerly known as Sacrilicious finished its metamorphosis from grubby caterpillar into slightly less grubby caterpillar in April, around the time of Anime Boston, three years ago. What’s Sacrilicious, you ask? Well let’s fill you in on some of the history of the comic!

Several years back, I had been trying to come up with a fun and interesting premise for a web comic with a friend of mine, a fellow by the name of Dustin. We had hit on this idea of irreverent comics, mostly about religion and politics, featuring cute chibi versions of ourselves called Sacrilicious. Like many comics, it did the goofy character paired with the more straight laced one and the two would get into ridiculous situations that would have no continuity whatsover. Unfortunately, Dustin and I never really got many comics done and it became clear after a short time that it wasn’t really meant to be. We stopped working on it and the idea slipped away.

A year or so after that, I started doing something similar with much less effort put into the artwork. You can see my first solo effort at a Sacrilicious comic here on the site: the very first strip where Lil K talks to God. The whole idea was that Lil K was supposed to be my inner child and God was this ridiculous version of the man upstairs that no true believer would ever like or identify with. I wanted to do something goofy and fun and not really worry about offending people. After a few strips, it became difficult to write on my own and I enlisted the help of my good friend Vic Balbian. Together, we wrote some truly weird comics (the one about pierogies was the first we did together, if I’m not mistaken) and things were good for a little while. It took us a lot of time to write strips, we had a lot of scheduling conflicts, and overall, the tone of the comic wasn’t entirely working for me. We eventually ceased to write together and the comic, once again, fell by the wayside.

It wasn’t until a few months before Anime Boston three years ago that I started writing comics about Lil K on my own again. I did a weird strip about him wanting to get coffee and finding a Sasquatch in the kitchen that I brought with me to the convention and received many positive responses from people there. I realized that I’d accidentally stumbled upon something that worked for an audience and for myself. People didn’t want to read strips that were intentionally offensive or mean, they didn’t want a character that they couldn’t really identify with and that had no personality whatsoever. They wanted Sasquatches.

I’d had more fun drawing the early Happle Tea comics (some of which aren’t up on the site because they aren’t very good) than I’d had drawing anything else in my entire life. Writing by myself was extremely hard work but I felt like everything had more personality that way. With the help of some friends, I managed to get the first version of the site up and I settled into writing and drawing two strips every week from then on. Happle Tea was finally on its way.

Nowadays, I look back and I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made. I’ve had a lot of support from friends and readers. The comic is still growing and changing, just like me. I’ve always worked hard at creating the strips, even when they may not look it. I appreciate the time everyone takes to stop by and read the comic and the blog and I want to make that time worthwhile. I feel like I go into every strip with the same spirit I did three years ago, but with more consideration for the art and writing than I had back then. I hope you feel that way too.

Thanks for making it a wonderful three years, everyone. <3

Special thanks to William, Coestar, and Matt for all helping me so much in the early years and thanks to Liz for helping me to write strips when I’m having a tough time every week! You guys are awesome!

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