“How well do you know Street Fighter?” asked Sean Anderson, a friend and client with whom I’d previously worked on the Question Quest card game.
“Um… Not very.”
I’d played the video game from CAPCOM a few times. I knew there were comics (good), two live-action movies (bad), and a 1990s RPG from White Wolf (uh…what?) but had never really got into the Street Fighter universe. After all, it’s a story about people traveling the world to hit each other. How much could there be?
“But you write comics?”
“I’ve been known to do so from time to time, yes.”
“Then I could use your help.”
Two years later, I’m holding in my hand a rare hard copy of Street Fighter: The Heart of Battle. It’s a 300-page fan-created graphic novel packed with fights, drenched in Street Fighter lore, and showcasing the dramatic potential of a romantic relationship between two of the game’s most iconic characters: Ryu and Chun-Li.
This is Sean’s baby. It’s a freakishly big baby, which I helped deliver by revising and editing its original script to give it more focus. As a non-profit, fan-made baby, it’s also free to download if you want to check it out.
The Heart of Battle was a new experience for me. Aside from My Little Pony, I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a property that’s had such dedicated, passionate fans. And I’ve learned never to judge a storyworld by its primary product: “People travel the world and hit each other” is an accurate summary of the games’ plot, but one that barely scratches the surface of the deep and detailed world that CAPCOM has built.
Congratulations to Sean and the rest of the Heart of Battle team! What you’ve accomplished is truly impressive, and I’m proud to have played a part in it.