I joined and lost a contest again, the next year. It was Comic Quest's fan art contest. But even then, I knew that there were more deserving artists. I didn't mind losing; heck, I was just happy to have joined. (I drew the X-Men in black and white.) I think I had more luck with inter-school contests, where I was pitted against people my age. So yeah, you win some, lose some.
Through it all, my love for comics--the medium, the art form, the stories and characters--kept growing. It continues to provide me an escape now, as a reader, and as a creator (I'm working on my own comics again, after work). So it was cool, seeing something from so long ago, from a time when I was sort of being prepped for life's more serious disappointments. My, how I've grown.