INTERVIEW: CAT AND MERINGUE 1000 DAYS OF ADVENTURE
The Adventures of Cat and Meringue began over 2 years ago on a little boat in a big ocean. Created by comic book artist, Nich Angell this charming odyssey is 1000 strips long and follows the twists and turns in Cat and Meringue’s journey through time, into parallel universes, onto small islands meeting friends and enemies along the way. They steal diamonds, fall out of the comic strip frame into the unknown, hallucinate, lose each other, travel through portals and much much more! The story is a great read that has resulted in a loyal fanbase of online readers and supporters.
In creating the characters and getting to know the quirks in their personalities Cat and Meringue take on a life of their own for Nich – they began to write themselves and address “the artist” to help them out of dangerous situations and maintain their universe with daily updates.
A few months ago Nich posted a Kickstarter pitch to raise £2000 in 1 month so he could turn his web comic into a real, printed book. The support was phenomenal and resulted with Nich raising a massive £5000 over the target! We caught up with him on the adventure so far.
Did you expect the kickstarter campaign to literally “kickoff” like it did?
Haha! No I entirely did not. I mean, I kind of secretly HOPED it would go a bit beyond the target, naturally, but I couldn't have dreamed of this much support. Amazingly, even though the fans were all there to support it, nearly 50% of the pledges were from people who had never heard of Cat and Meringue before and had just stumbled across the kickstarter and fallen in love with it. I never realised before but these 2 characters do seem to stimulate a 'love at first sight' sort of reaction which is really cool!
What was the inspiration behind Cat and Meringue? What were the events leading up to their creation?
I literally just pronounced 'Catamaran' stupidly one day. A lot of my comic story concepts tend to grow from one word. I'll say something strange and then immediately want to know what it is and what it looks like! Then my mind goes into overdrive to create it and flesh it out. I was at my dayjob when Cat and Meringue popped into my head and I drew the first strip in biro on a notepad not even thinking it would become a daily comic at all. Then I just kept drawing them and before I knew it, they were ALIVE!
So how big has the story become? With raising £5k over your target will you be distributing the story abroad?
I haven't thought about abroad yet but I certainly haven't written it off. A huge amount of my backers on the Kickstarter were from other countries though, nearly 25% were American, so some books will be flying their way once they're printed! The comic certainly seems a lot bigger now. When I finished drawing it I kind of thought that it was all over. Then the idea of collecting it into a book hit me and then the kickstarter EXPLODED. I feel like the duo have had a second wind, a huge new lease of life and the fanbase is bigger than ever before! At the moment the plans for the extra money are just to have a huge UK print run and to get it into loads of stores nationwide. First Britain... THEN THE WORLD!
What is your personal favourite Cat and meringue storyline?
Oooo that's a hard one. As you'll see from the book when its out, I have added a directors commentary as you go through all the strips. Every now and then I say 'This is definitely my favourite strip' then 30 pages later, I'll be like 'NO THIS ONE!' Truly though, my favourite few strips are when you see them go downstairs in the boat and its like a TARDIS. There's loads of rooms and awesome places. Then Cat reveals to Meringue one final room, a boathouse. There's another boat in there! Meringue is bemused enough by this but then Cat opens the doors of the boathouse to reveal a whole new ocean, INSIDE THE BOAT! Quite a few strips after that take place in the ocean WITHIN THE BOAT. Its ridiculous but sums up exactly what C&M are all about. Crazy, meta, laws-of-physics-bending silliness!
When will cat and Meringue’s new adventure start?
That is a secret that is revealed somewhat by buying the book and staying til after the credits!! I can tell you though... there are plans...
Do you think cat would be pleased to receive a Cheshire & Wain collar? Can you ask him?
I'll just get him... hold on.... CAT? CAAAAATTTT? He's just coming....
Cat: What? A collar? Lets have a look... hmmm... they are pretty nice. Thing is the Artist didn't see fit to grace me with a neck. I'm just a big shape. If you think you can get one round my big shape though then yes... I'll take 35. The Artist will pay... good day.