Welcome back, I love the name.
Hi! My name is John. I've actually been a member for some odd years but due to real-life, I wondered off course, so to speak.
Well, now I'm back and ready to get cracking! I'm still undecided whether I should jump into the long learning curve of a computer program such as Gimp
( I can't afford Photoshop ), or just draw by hand and scan to computer. I'm most assuredly better at the latter. Plus, I need to learn each technique for mountains, forests, coastlines, etc., not to mention picking from the infinite number of styles which are used. That's a lot of learning to face for one so inexperienced, but I look forward to the first step of a long journey though, and just browsing the forums, I can already tell it's a friendly and helpful community.
Thanks for looking.
Welcome to back John! Well there's no reason why you can't do both. That is, keep up your hand drawings and scan them in, and try experimenting with GIMP to touch them up digitally. You are right that there is a learning curve with GIMP, but you can actually learn quite a bit about how to use the program just by doing a few of the tutorial walk-throughs here. At any rate, you don't have learn it all at once either, just play around with it when you have the time.