by Sleepy John.

The Secret Origins of the "Cross Time Cafe:"

It started with a hug...

     O nce upon a time, in the the "FreeFall" forum, a forumite called Mlle. Miaou asked people to post Hug pictures to celebrate love and affection.  Pictures were posted of loving couples: Mlle. Miaou and Dark Ferret, White Pony and Florence Ambrose.  (Note: some images in the thread are no longer available.)  However, the course of true love never runs smoothly, especially in the "FreeFall" forum.  Mark Stanley was challenged by Hortmage, the Magic Gardener (another "Freefall" forumite) to draw a hug picture of Sam Starfall, a squidlike alien.  The forum members decided that Hortmage was asking for a face-hug from Sam, an idea firmly rejected by Hortmage.  The thread went on to love poems, and the face hug was forgotten.  Or that's what everyone thought...

...And it became a joke...

     The "Cross Time Cafe" was originally a six-part series, planned by Mark Stanley, Scott Kellogg and White Pony; and posted in the "FreeFall" forum.  The goal was to bring Sam and Hortmage together for the long-promised face hug.  So the "Cross Time Cafe" was created, a place where webcomic characters and forum avatars could get together and socialize, without affecting the storylines of their own strips.  Hortmage did receive his face hug, and his daughter was there to tell her mom-- which is another story.

...Then it got weird...

     Of course, having given Florence and White Pony a place to play, the ideas and the strips didn't stop there.  White Pony started hosting the strips on his own web site, "White Pony Productions."  Scott Kellogg added some drawings of his own.  The three artists had created a sandbox where they could be silly without affecting their real stories, and took full advantage of it.  The forumites dove in and started posting filks of their own.  Bill Redfern joined the party, adding Mzzkiti from "Freighter Tales" to the cast.

...Then it got weirder...

     The "Cross Time Cafe" moved into the Construction Period.  Robots from FreeFall came in to begin remodeling the site, with their own attitudes, tools and rotten puns.  With occasional breaks for holidays, painting and inspections were completed.  A side jaunt into the world of "21st Century Fox" and "Carry On" began, as Kathy Garrison joined the artist pool, and Kathy Grrson joined the cast.  Side jaunts for conventions and hurricanes diverted the artists from the storyline for a time, then the focus returned to the CTC as the cast members began to work together (more or less) to open the "Cross Time Cafe" for business.  Of course, nothing is straightforward where Mzzkiti is involved.

...Then it got even weirder...

     The "Cross Time Cafe" has continued on its unpredictable way, adding more artists: Roy Calbeck, The Feychild of "Stick Figure Dragons" and Maniac Wolfman of "Hellbound."  A new main character, KY was introduced.  Forumites becoming employees, exploring caverns, falling in lakes, surgery, more cameos and the magic of unicorn boogers.  Story arcs intertwine, blossom and disappear, as the artists pursue the goal of maximum fun.

The Philosophy of the Cross Time Cafe:

The Cross Time Cafe artists' collective was described by Kathy Garrison as:

     The reality of the CTC is that several artists who started out as colleagues and ended up as friends began contributing cartoons which built on a single idea--what if there was a place at the nexus of everyone's comic worlds where their characters could interact without messing up the established plots of their own strips.   Additionally, the artists of the CTC have tacit permission to draw and use each other's characters, so long as they don't do anything very outrageous to them/with them.  So far it's been pretty productive and fun, mainly because we're nice people who respect each other's talents and creativity,

For the CTC fans, it has been described as:

     It's kind of like watching a bunch of artists standing around a big drawing board giggling, and one of them grabs a pen and says, "Wait, wait, I got one, this is great, hold my beer and watch this!"

     The show goes on.  Pull up a barstool, order a cafe mocha, and watch the show.

2/15/07 Sleepy John

<< Beginning Present  >>
Cast of Characters
DISCLAIMER:   What you see and read inside the "Cross Time Cafe" here in no way reflects or affects what is happening inside the Official Online Canon of anyone artist's currently running storyline.  What takes place inside the "Cross Time Cafe" is all in fun and silliness; and should not be taken seriously.
Copyright and Credit:
  · Florence, Sam, Robots and Dr. Thurmad from "Freefall" © Mark Stanley.
  · Jenny and Jack from "21st Century Fox" © Scott Kellogg.
  · Kathy from "Carry On" © Kathy "Garrison" Kellogg.
  · Mzzkiti from "Freighter Tails" © Bill Redfern.
  · KY/Kyota © Maniac Wolfman.
  · Roy Calbeck © Scott Malcomson.
  · White Pony © S.Kidwell.
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