I receive from time to time requests to see the first actual story arc I drew in "9 Chickweed Lane," which began on August 25th, 1997. The idea for it began as a reverie on how Juliette would react upon hearing that her daughter had been accidentally shot as school. The idea generated from there. I considered and reconsidered it a lot, because "9 Chickweed Lane" had always been pretty much a gag-a-day strip, and never particularly dramatic. This idea was a definite departure. It was not intended as a social polemic or a political diatribe, but as soon as it hatched in the papers it was taken as both, and it made a lot of readers mad at me. Most of their ire was caused by where they thought I was going to go with the story (not where I ultimately went), and I asked them to reserve their anger until the story had played out, then tell me what they thought. I did not ask my editor at the time (not to be confused with my editor now or my editor previously) for permission to draw these strips. The answer would have been "no."
You will see, of course, as you would with any strip that goes through an evolution over the course of years, that Edda, Amos, Juliette, et al., have changed in appearance. You will also see Sister Aramus, who has since become Diane, wife of Francis Durly. You will also see Amos and Edda's first definitely serious kiss. They were 15 at the time.
Anyway, here are the strips. If you click them, you should see a larger view. I hope.