Crazy 8 Press traces its origins to a chance encounter with Mike Friedman as he exited the Men’s Room at Shore Leave in 2010. A gaggle of fellow authors began lamenting how traditional publishing was increasingly closed off to ideas they couldn’t immediately fathom how to sell.
We decided to band together and support one another’s efforts in a communal effort. At Shore Leave a year later, we announced our existence and did so by writing a round-robin story in full view of the public. Working from a line suggested by Kevin Dilmore, we created a brand new fantasy world set within the stonewalls of the Crimson Keep. The finished effort was a novella, “Demon Circle”, which was our first item for sale (doubling as a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).
In 2014, we decided to revisit the world of the Crimson Keep with a full-fledged anthology as each member of the team, which now included Paul Kupperberg, wrote their own story. Tales of the Crimson Keep debuted at Shore Leave, of course.
Just as the Keep grows and alters its interior configuration with surprising regularity, so too has C8 changed. We welcomed Mary Fan last year and we’ve been together for seven years now. That’s cause for celebration when most bands don’t last that long. As a result, we agreed to write a brand new round-robin story, with Mary and Paul included, and wanted to announce our newly renovated edition.
We needed a new cover, one that more accurately reflected the whimsical tone of the world. It was agreed few were better for the assignment than Ty Templeton. He flipped through the first edition and readily agreed, whipping up a variety of sketches.
Here’s the finished result, which we think is lovely. The book itself will be out in August and the various contributors will be chatting about their contributions in the weeks ahead.