I was totally in my comfort zone. That’s not necessarily a good thing. As 1981 dawned, the new year found me deftly dealing with the dual deadlines of both Funky and John Darling, and, even though I was still a Swiss army knife doing everything but the art on John Darling, I was finally able to lean back a little and enjoy myself. I had completed the process of trying to assimilate my various influences, screwed it up, and was now left with the finished product, my style. It was a freewheeling, wide-open style that for the moment was serving me quite well. I had put in my 10,000 hours (I always wonder how that came out to such an even number) learning my craft and was now getting a chance to put those lessons to good use as I played with my characters for the amusement of my readers. I’m fully aware that hindsight is affording me a rather rosy view of that time and that deadlines once met are deadlines forgotten; nevertheless, I had rounded my learning curve and was happily cruising down the straightaway at the wheel of a pretty smooth-running machine. Which meant, of course, that I was about to enter the most dangerous territory of all.
From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Four