Cranky Octopus: A Brief History
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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/crankyoc/public_html/crankyoctopus/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/crankyoc/public_html/crankyoctopus/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/crankyoc/public_html/crankyoctopus/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/crankyoc/public_html/crankyoctopus/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
Amazing as it may seem, neither Kostmeyer nor myself has ever met Gene, he lives in the US so it's not so surprising. In fact, I've only met Kostmeyer about five or six times since he lives on the opposite side of England to me. If you're wondering how three people who have barely met made this website come to be, then allow me to take you on a little journey into the past! (insert wibbley lines here) I first heard of Kostmeyer or "Joe" as I call him, back in 1999 when we both contributed to a small press Liverpool based anthology comic called Killer Bunny Comics. It only lasted two issues but that's beside the point. Joe drew the art for a one-off story called A Day in the Life, written by our mutual friend Geoff Pearson and the very first part of a serialized Sci-fi story called Vindicators which he and Pearson created together. I drew the first two parts of a story called Jo Trent about a dyslexic PI from the future (it's complicated) created and written by my good friend Halquin or "James" as I like to call him. Incidentally most of my friends have pseudonyms... something about protecting the innocent? Vindicators was the very first time I saw the character of Vigil, although it was more Joe's sickeningly talented grasp of perspective, backgrounds and mega intense detail on one page in particular that grasped my attention. This guy was far too good. It wasn't until we merged with the creators of another small press anthology comic and formed Pulp Kitchen (which ran for five entire issues before it came to an end) that Joe and I actually met at one of the weekly meetings we used to do. Vindicators continued throughout Pulp Kitchen's short life. During the PK run I submitted two parts of my own would be serial, The Ten, which incidentally I hope to revamp for Cranky Octopus at some point in the future. It was also in the late 90s when I gained membership in an online art group called Café DNA which was then hosted by Wizard Magazine's website, so it was rather cool. There I met some great guys and gals including Tony Moore (Walking Dead, Battle Pope & Exterminators artist), Rus Wooton (Invincible letterer) and the multi-talented Gene Kelly. I can't say enough nice things about Gene. The guy can do it all! He's the prodigy of perspective! The wonder of web design! The ace of animation! And he can write and draw pretty good too! DNA kind of dissolved after Wizard threw us back to sea. Even though we moved to a new online home things were never the same but I'm pleased to say that Gene and I kept in touch via email. Around the Summer of 2000 I was invited to a new online community called Next-X. It was an X-Men fan site based on the premise of "What if the X-Men had children?" So it was set some thirty years into the future. I made some cool new friends there and posted up artwork for their original characters. It wasn't until the end of the year when I submitted my own story idea, The Extremists. The Extremists were a selection of my original characters that I'd created back in the mid 90s and it was the first time I'd ever thought about putting them into a proper story. I'd had some experience writing stories before so it was quite fun. This is the first time Maverick or "Mavryk" as she was called in Next-X, appeared on the internet. She was immediately the best liked character on my team with her sarcasm, sense of humor, and short fuse. I think I'd been involved with Next-X for about a year when Joe got interested in it and submitted his own story, Spitfire. It was immediately a hit with a great flowing narrative, really well paced plotlines and fun dialogue. A little while after, Gene, interested in what I was up to got involved in Next-X himself drawing cover art and then taking up the mantel of the Website Guru (which we still call him today) and eventually writing a limited series of his own entitled Genosha. Towards the end of 2006, Gene, Joe and I started meeting up on instant messenger every Sunday to do twenty minute art jams where we took turns choosing a subject, mainly comprising of our favourite comic characters, and each drawing it for 20 minutes. At some point in the Spring of 2007 we began to discuss the possibility of drawing comics together and having our own website. We all got very excited at the prospect and every time we met up we talked about it. The first hard thing was coming up with a name. I'd been toying with the idea of renaming my own website named vigilantevale.com with crankyoctopus.co.uk before this came up and eventually after much debating (seriously we spent months on this) we went with Cranky Octopus. If you're wondering where Cranky Octopus came from, it's my Metal Gear Solid name. No, seriously. Then we had to figure out what stories we wanted to tell. I think Joe went for Vigil straight away but Gene and I took much longer deciding. I had three stories I wanted to do and it wasn't until earlier this year when I finally made the decision to run with Maverick (pun not intended). Gene had several ideas of his own but created brand new characters Rocket and Bounce, the super hero siblings, for his Cranky debut. It wasn't until around early 2008 when we set ourselves with a Summer 2008 launch date in mind which was when I christened 2008 as the year of the Octopus and with a stroke of genius, Gene chose the date 8-8-08. Octo-riffic, Batman! The moral of the story? Get involved in communities and meet people! It might've taken me a decade or so but if it wasn't for all that stuff I just wrote, I never would have met Joe or Gene. I love you guys! -Angie August 2008
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