Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

When the Creator of a Beloved Game Sees Your Fan Art

Life is funny. If you had told 8 year old me that someday she would get to have a personal email exchange with one of the co-creators of Toejam & Earl and ask him questions about the game, she would have been excited at the idea, and hopeful probably, but wouldn’t have thought it was possible.

Well 8 year old me, it happened, it was awesome, he’s super nice, he likes your art, AND you got one of your burning life-long questions answered: Are they saying, “Whoa, shit!” when they’re about to fall off the cliff?!

Sadly, no.

But onward to the story!

Some photos from a recent play through of Toejam & Earl for the Sega. 
Some photos from a recent play through of Toejam & Earl for the Sega.

In January of this year (fabulous 2014) I completed a Toejam & Earl paper art piece. I was proud of it and thrilled to have made it. Toejam & Earl is a childhood and life-long favorite game of mine and my sister’s. If two video games defined my early years, they would be Mario 3 and Toejam & Earl. There were other games of course but those two were played the most, and they continue to be played by my sister and me even to this day. The first time we beat Toejam & Earl I was about 18 years old; we had been whole hog dedicated to that title for a solid 10 years!

The week before Thanksgiving I had a day like any other day. That is until I received an email alerting me to the presence of a new comment on my Toejam & Earl paper art photos. I checked it out and discovered that someone claiming to be one of the co-creators of Toejam & Earl had found my art and really liked it, and posted it on their official Facebook page. He invited me to check out the page and to e-mail him if I liked.

Now, I like to think I’m optimistic but I also don’t like to be fooled, and the internet is chock full of liars. So, I proceeded with caution. First I looked for the Facebook page, which I found, and sure enough there was my art! I scrolled for a bit and discovered that it was totally legit, and then I may have cried a little? But then I got it together and sent him (Greg Johnson) an email expressing my thanks for the comment and his compliment, as well as my unending love of the game series.

What followed was a very pleasant e-mail exchange where I was able to tell him everything I loved about Toejam & Earl and I got to ask any questions that had been on my mind for the last 20 years. He told me about the most recent game he’s made, Doki Doki Universe, and even gave me a download code so I could play it on my PS3. On top of that he offered to send me some signed Toejam & Earl art as a token of appreciation. Talk about a crazy nice guy!

(Note: I plan on writing a little about my experience with Doki Doki Universe once I've had a chance to dive into it!)

He had such wonderful and encouraging things to say about my paper art, and it was a wacky ass dream come true to get to talk to one of the people responsible for SO much happiness and gaming in my life.

A nice shout out to my sister from an email exchange from Greg.
A nice shout out to my sister from an email exchange from Greg.

Greg is currently working toward a new Toejam & Earl title and personally I could not be more excited. His Facebook page is promoting interest in the quirky series and he’s also hosting a lot of game-based quizzes with signed art up for prizes! He wants to hear from people on what they love and hate (who could hate any of it?) about the games, and what they hope to see in a new release. Any Toejam & Earl fans owe it to themselves to get in on the fun and have their voices heard!

So that’s my story. It was an honor to hear from him and a total thrill to have my art seen by one of THE creators of the game. He was also so kind and genuine, which is a rarity in my experience. I’m thankful that the internet exists and allowed this crazy thing to happen!



This is so awesome! Congrats:)

Thanks!! It was all so exciting :D

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