I remember when I first started making comics for Gary Groth and Kim Thompson back in 1994. It is a very fond memory, as Kim and Gary helped me to get my start in the world of comics and shaped me as a bonafide cartoonist. At the tender age of 23, It was a big thrill to have such an important publisher like Fantagraphics believing in my work and it helped that Gary was always encouraging. Kim was less of a cheerleader and more of a critic of my cartooning. In every aspect of the form--art, color, design, production and writing, Kim was tough one to please. And to be frank, a lot of the time, his criticisms got on my nerves. But without his blunt critiques I wouldn't have pushed myself--not only to be a better cartooinst--but also just to please him. I can't tell you how pleased I was when I showed him a hardcover dummy of my Sam Hill: The Cavalier Mr. Thompson comic at SPX in 2011, which had only since been posted here online at the time. He held out his hand in delightful recognition saying, "Oh, cool! Sam Hill!" His best reaction to my work since Clover Honey, my first graphic novel published by Kim and Gary. Every time I think about submitting new work to publishers, I always think of Kim's approval. "Would HE like THIS one?" is a question that pops up in my mind and is reserved for very few people in the world. Even though Kim has passed away I will always be looking for his approval.