Let me back up a bit. Licensed Heroes is a webcomic about jumping into the wider world and trying to land your first job after graduating hero academy in a market that's swamped with heroes. Essentially it's the millennial experience in an inoffensive fantasy coating. I related to it a lot. As a wannabe artist with a physics degree I was overqualified for a lot of jobs. I've worked as a temp, I've had food stamps, I've tried to sell bodily fluids. Watching these heroes struggle through the same things made all that easier. Watching them succeed made me look forward to my own success one day.
I should also mention that I attended college with the comic's artist, Elaine Tipping. She and Licensed Heroes' writer Ben Hsu made several comics over the years, and I guess without them I wouldn't be here today. Before knowing them I had no idea this was a career one could even do. It put the seed into my brain which slowly grew from hobby to back-up career to full-time career. The employment theme of Licensed Heroes even helped inspire my own comic, How We Stay Sane @ Work.
The final post hit me hard, so I felt compelled to make this. It's crazy how all these thoughts cemented themselves as I did. And for the first time in a while I felt myself sucked into an art piece, wanting to render these precious characters on paper and pixels not because I had to, but because I had an emotional connection to them. I didn't want to see them go, but I know they'll live on in my mind forever. (Which means there WILL be a fan-canon at some point. Don't try to stop it.)
Thank you, Ben and Elaine. And best of luck in your future ventures. If you put even half of who you are into these guys, I know you'll be fine.
Everyone can enjoy a high-res download of this image by clicking the link below.