Each year there’s a “Watson” strip that symbolizes, in part, the end of Winter, and I think this is it. Looking back through the Watson archives, the “Spring” strip is usually a good litmus for how the strip will fare for the next months. Each year, there are 4-6 strips that mark distinct turning points for either the look or the writing of the strip, and the Spring strip is usually significant in that regard. I never plan it that way. It just happens. That said, this strip was quite unusual in that I did no penciling on it and just dropped everything down, free-hand, with no outlines at all. Not only was it fancy-free, but it took significantly less time than previous strips; it took about 10 minutes, which for me is quite amazing. I’m not sure if this strip will usher in a whole new look: a total Renaissance, or was just a fluke. It was certainly fun to draw and felt quite good, so we’ll see what kind of road map that offers up. Two things I’ve learned about making art in my day: #1) If it feels good follow it. #2) If you know where you want to end up just start doing it badly and keep doing it until you’re good at it. Oh…! One more thing I’ve learned. #3) If there’s something you hate doing do the complete opposite and make that work. — These three rules have been extremely useful for me while drawing the strip, all of which I learned one strip at a time. They’re by no means infallible, but certainly better than having no rules at all. Take ’em for what they’re worth. And, again, they’re all free.