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Apple Grove Times

Saturday, April 1, 2017 09:54 am

The Apple Tower's Brand Spanking New YouTube Channel

Subscribe! We don't entirely know what we'll be using the channel for, but we've posted the first video of Barnett working on the Sunday strip for April 8, 2017 (that's right, a week earlier than it will publish to the site.) Get on board now for peeks behind the scenes and other good things to come! The name of the channel is Appletower Comic. Copy and paste link below.




Apple Grove Times

Friday, March 24, 2017 09:29 pm

Back To Life!

We're now a week into the re-adopted daily publishing schedule here in Applegrove. Fresh, sparkly new strips appear with every turn of the planet at the stroke of midnight. Hope you're enjoying the ride, there's much more to come! 


Remember, every Saturday sees the arrival of the special full-color "Sunday strip, followed the next day by the original pencils. 


Ahhhhhh... smell that? That's the smell of fresh Apple Tower newspaper comic strips. 

Apple Grove Times

Saturday, March 4, 2017 01:39 pm

Regularity of strips

First of all, an apology. The Apple Tower has not seen any real regularity with its publishing these past several years, which is a direct reflection of a period of instability my life has gone through.


When I launched the strip in 2009, I was a married homeowner with a full art studio. I was also working full time as a professional Spanish interpreter on staff at a major hospital in Philadelphia. I sank every second I could find into delivering a quality, daily comic strip. After working sometimes ten, twelve hours at the hospital, I would come home and retreat to my studio where I would work on The Apple Tower until two or three o'clock in the morning, then up at 8am to be back at the hospital. Weekends were a refreshing time when I felt less pressure and came up with some of my better ideas. In the summer, I left the large door of my art studio open and the neighborhood kids often descended upon me Saturday mornings. I sat tables up for them where we would all draw together. They nicknamed themselves 'The Apple Tower Club'. I miss those times very much, and those kids are no longer little. 


At any rate, life was this way for me for about two years. Though all-consuming, I had the stability to make it work, and every second spent on my creative persuits with The Apple Tower were a pleasure (though I do remember the agony of some sleep-deprived, late, mid-week hours in the studio). I had deadline agreements I had made with myself, and I am my own most demanding boss with things like this. 


Life changed, a divorce, job instability, moves. I became a dad to a perfect little girl who will soon turn two! The stability The Apple Tower depended on vanished. I have been embarrassed by the lack of new material, the inconsistencies with the strip. It deserves better. I have entertained in my mind pursuing other creative ideas - efforts that seem like they might have more success in today's world. Podcasts, YouTube channels, these seem to be the things the world is hungry to consume these days. I listen to some podcasts, and I have followed a few YouTube channels, some of them are pretty good. People just don't read the comics anymore, do they? 


Well, fear not. My ruminations always lead me back to The Apple Tower. Frankly, I don't care if nobody reads comics anymore, or if the world's attention span has shrank to the point where reading a four panel black & white strip just isn't flashy and interesting enough. This isn't about them. It's about me doing the work that I love, with this world and characters that I've created that are uniquely mine - and yours. If you have grown fond of Norman or Orson, the town of Applegrove, then you get it. There is a broad undefinable message to it all, a message that is nowhere near being fully expressed. In the end, it won't only be an enormous portrait of who I was, but also a portrait of the world around me, and that portrait needs to be completed.  


So, with all of this said, I'm happy to announce that The Apple Tower will be returning to its daily publishing schedule starting Monday, March 20, 2017. We'll see if I can pull it off. I've already started the process and should have plenty of new strips in the bank by then. If life interrupts things during the following year, at least we'll have a good head start and more of the portrait completed, right? I hope you'll join me. 


Oh, and remember, The Apple Tower has its special exhibition coming up in September of this year in the town where it all started, so I'm also working to get that ready. This will be an opportunity for you to see my personal collection of thumbnail sketches, my method of writing the strip, originals, mistakes, corrections and all. Also, if you were ever curious about seeing the real apple water tower, this is your chance! It is prominently visible from the art house where this special exhibition is being held. 


Brian Barnett

Apple Grove Times

Thursday, November 17, 2016 04:37 pm




Coming Sept 29, 2017 - Oct 22, 2017


Special Exhibition of The Apple Tower comic strip by Brian Barnett at the Markay Cultural Arts Center, Jackson, Ohio, featuring Barnett's creative process, with personal thumbnail sketches, storyboarding, original finished works, and personal notes on display. 


Autographed posters, mugs, apparel, books and other Apple Tower merchandise items will be available for sale during this show, with all proceeds going directly to the Cultural Arts Center in support of its operations and activities. 


The creator of The Apple Tower comic strip, cartoonist Brian Barnett, will be in attendance for the exhibit's opening night. Plan now to be in attendance, meet Barnett in person, talk to him about his inspirations, his creative process and his techniques. 


Barnett will be sharing the exhibit with longtime friend, comic book artist Shawn Langley https://www.facebook.com/ShawnLangleyArt/ Don't miss this event! Mark the date on your calendar now!

Apple Grove Times

Monday, November 23, 2009 08:09 am

The Apple Tower Premieres!

It seems an oversimplification to say that today marks the official launch of The Apple Tower - a comic strip website. I have always considered The Apple Tower to be more than just a cartoon. Rather, it is a large-scale graphic work – and this website is your portal into its world. As the creator of this new world, my aim has been to make everything just right for you, the visitor. I hope you will let me know as to whether or not I’ve succeeded.

The Publishing Schedule

The publishing schedule for The Apple Tower – that is to say, the frequency with which new strips will appear is as follows: Every day.

The exception to this is the weekend. You can instead expect a great big, full-color, “Sunday” strip. It will appear Saturday and run through the whole weekend. As a special treat, I will at times run the rough penciled version of the Sunday strip on one of the two weekend days.

Gregory Haynes (gregory.haynes@verizon.net)
Let me take a moment to mention my friend, Gregory Haynes, the man behind the workings of the site itself. I am a perfectionist, and I made this aspect of my personality painfully evident over the last several months. Almost daily, I bombarded Greg with a steady and endless stream of miniscule change requests in my attempt to achieve perfection with the site. Greg not only endured it all with graciousness, but with enthusiasm.

I especially owe Greg a lot of gratitude for those aspects of the site which were his ideas alone. I’m talking about all of the really cool features here at theappletower.com that contribute immensely to the overall experience. Features that I would never have thought of by myself. Although the basic design of The Apple Tower site itself is mine, there are a great many elements that Greg can take full credit for. Much of this involves features and programming, but it certainly doesn’t end there. He’s responsible also for some of the color choices, layouts, etc.

When I started this project, Greg and I had never heard of each other. I had a sketch of my imagined site design on a scrap of paper. All I needed was somebody with the ability to make it into a reality.

I was given Greg’s name by a friend, and he’s turned out to be exactly the kind of guy I was hoping for. Working with Greg reminds me of Shawn Langley, an art buddy from back home. They’re both the sorts of people who are rare pleasures to collaborate with because of the enthusiasm they exude. The time involved with this project has sometimes been maddening, but I can say that working with Greg has made the whole development process a lot of fun. As I advance to what is now the upkeep stage of this project, I’m going to miss the journey that brought us here. Even so, Greg and I will keep in close contact, and I’m sure our work together isn’t finished.

The Store and Merchandise
The Apple Tower merchandise is meant to fuel enthusiasm for the strip, the characters, and the site itself. Plus, if you walk down the street wearing an Apple Tower T-shirt, it’s good publicity and we all win.

So it is with this consideration for fans of The Apple Tower, and consideration for the strip itself, that I have included a store full of character-related merchandise.

I will admit that some of the items in the store may seem outrageously priced, but it is the nature of the beast. I can offer the merchandise, but my control over the pricing is limited. I will say that my concern for quality always overides my concern for cost – so I scrutinized each available service very closely before settling on the current merchandise provider.

The Bulletin Board
The page you are currently on is the official source of all up-to-date notifications related to The Apple Tower. Publication news, merchandise news, awards, honors, appearances by the creator of the strip, delays, publishing schedule changes, etc. will all be communicated to fans of the site by means of this page. Check back in periodically so that everybody stays in the loop.


We have a long road ahead of us! A nice long, imaginative, colorful and fun road. I hope you stick around for the whole ride.


Brian Barnett

The Apple Tower
November 23, 2009