Ever have one of those moments where you fanboy? You fanboy, like, really really hard? I'm gonna tell you a story.
Y'see, I started up being in the spriting community... must've been 10 years ago now? Maybe more than that? Either way, I was a tiny wee Dreggles at that point, who could barely (ie. couldn't) even recolour a sprite sheet.
I was searching up Sonic Comics for whatever reason on Google - I had a bunch of the old Fleetway Sonic Comics and was a huge fan - and came across an unusual little comic series, run by a guy called 'Akuma'.
It was AWESOME. Like, this guy had taken images from the games, and made COMICS out of them! Not only that, he'd made his own characters, and there was flying, and lasers, and everything, and it was fucking SWEET! My young mind wanted in on that!
So I searched up 'Sonic Sprites' and low and behold, I found all sorts! Like Shadow. I hadn't played the Adventure games yet, so Shadow was NEW. Shadow was COOL. I was gonna make a character like him.
So I took the stripes off. That was it, that was my first character, 'Moonflare The Hedgehog' - Shadow with no stripes, he was all black and edgy and stuff. He was mine - my character. Now just to send him to Akuma to be in his comics!
So I e-mailed him. I sent him my sprites and told him how I was a huge fan and asked if I could be in Akuma The Hedgehog - or if alternatively, I could compete in the World Spriter's Tournament, or be in the Royal Rumble! I'd been reading the tournaments a lot recentally actually, and really liked the ideas of getting in them - hell, Moonflare might even win if I was lucky!
Alas, 'twas not to be. I was turned down - though not in any rude way. I was told I'd have to improve my sprites, improve my work, come up with a bit more to the character. Plus, Akuma's main series, well... that had a story, I might not manage that at all. Still, I could always keep trying for the tournaments - if I improved!
So I did. I kept spriting - started doing my own comics too. If I wanted to be in the tournaments, I would have to define Moonflare, so Akuma would be able to write him correctly! So I kept improving, and when I found oppurtunities to apply to be in Akuma's comics, I'd apply. First with Moonflare, then with Gem, then with The Dragon (or just Drag/TD for short), always falling short. Did other things to get noticed too, I believe Akuma still has some ancient sprites by me on a couple of his sheets - under entirely different names and e-mails of course.
Eventually one year I finally made it into the World Spriter's Tournament - with Vas. I was no longer as fanboyish as I once was, but this was what I wanted when I started out, and it was gonna be so gratifying!
The Tournament was cancelled that year, and every year since has run on the new format. That was somewhat crushing.
Still, I continued making comics - ran Bar'd for a start. And gained fans - including one fan by the name of Akuma. He submitted a character - a very important character that I was allowed to use for a few pages.
Then earlier this week, I was sent this; http://www.mgcomics.com/AkumaTh/Misc/Year13-4.png
It's not one of the main series, but it's one of Akuma's own comics. And not only did I get my stuff into the comic... those two panels are straight from the series itself. I didn't just 'get in' Akuma's comics - I -made- part of them.
...And wound up getting two of Exer's characters in it instead of my own. ...Ah well, close enough!