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Newgrounds Wiki: Flash Portal History 2001

The year 2001 was an interesting time for Newgrounds. We saw the introduction of the Clock Crew, as well as the response to September 11th and the resulting War on Terror.

January

The year started well enough, with some genre-bending submissions to the Portal. The first episode of Stone Trek was released, with great production values and a novel twist on Star Trek and The Flinstones. Diego Zuberbuhler's "Neo Bender" series was also a treat for the eyes, with a great Matrix / Futurama crossover to boot.

I got a personal morale boost thanks to Will Stamper's latest submission, Keeblur. This had to be the best Newgrounds-themed submission yet. We were also introduced to Edmund McMillen, with his disturbing story, "Destination: Egg!" Edmund would go on to create the popular PC game, Gish. We both won prizes at the 2005 Independent Game Festival, although Edmund was the only one who used it as an opportunity to propose to his girlfriend. They're married now.

February

Things were really heating up when All Your Base hit the Portal. A parody of the poorly translated intro to Zero Wing on the Sega Genesis, the AYB phenomenon was one of our biggest "viral" hits to date, resulting in a collection of spoofs and tributes by other Flash artists.

Due to the large number of stick movies on Newgrounds, it was only a matter of time before someone took a stand. Ben Spurgin delighted audiences with his Stick Slayer movies.

We also saw the introduction of Eskimo Bob, a goofy series that I thought I would one day see on TV, but never did.

March

A lot of long-running shows got their start this year. Check out the premier episodes of College University and Soft Outer Crust!

"Hostage Situation 2" and "Out of this World" both raised the bar for visual presentation in a Flash movie!

While I can't really call it a Newgrounds classic, I still get a kick out of "The Final Dump." Submissions like that eventually led to the scat collection, which I imagine has chased a number of people away from NG over the years. Sorry.

April

Stick movies had always been popular on Newgrounds but they reached a whole new level with the arrival of Xiao Xiao from China. The fluid stick fighting raised the bar and set the standard for all future stick movies. Stick Slayer has his work cut out for him!

May

Neil Cicierega (aka Trapezoid, aka Lemon Demon) joined Newgrounds at the request of a fan who asked him to submit his Animutations to the site. "Hyakugojyuuichi!!" started the whole animutation phenomenon, but Neil didn't stop there. You would see his name again years later, with hits such as The Ultimate Showdown and his other Lemon Demon videos.

Jato got the ball rolling on his long-running "Kegel" series and "Kermit Kombat" made us all fans of Pinnicle, who has since created the Ask Al Pigeoni series.

June

PsychoGoldfish secured his role as one of NG's top game developers, with the release of Mini Putt! Talk about addictive! This was an early precursor to PG's now-defunct Mini-Putt Online.

Mario Twins proved that the best Mario movies don't need sprites, or even very good artwork.

July

The premier of Deep Fried Live, one of the more polished series on NG at the time, was released this month.

We were also joined by Matzerath, who remains one of the funniest artists on the site, IMO.

August

August 15th is a date that may sound familiar to regular NG visitors. That's because it's CLOCK DAY! Clock Day celebrates the events the unfolded as a result of this single submission:

That's right, the letter B. No one really knows HOW it passed through the Portal without getting blammed, but it was an inspiration to crappy Flash authors everywhere. Imitators soon began to spam the Portal under the Clock name and thus, the Clock Crew was born. At first annoying, then amusing, now cherished, the Clock Crew has an interesting history.

When you see a Mario vs Sonic movie, remember that it all started here!

September

September started off all well and good. "From my Room" was one of the best submissions EVER and EntropicOrder had just released Rooftop Skater, one of the most addictive games on the site. No one thought the world was about to change...

September 11

This was the year of the terrorist attacks in NYC. We've never seen a single event result in such an outpouring of submissions. Some of them were great, many were crap. They touched on a whole range of human emotions: sadness, anger and fear.

It wasn't long before anger became the prevailing emotion, and our War on Terror submissions rolled in. These are some of the highlights of the following months:

There was one upside to the bad situation... Newgrounds did happen to get some press! FOX News featured Diplomacy on television, while CNN had me appear live to discuss games and movies resulting from September 11th and Osama Bin Laden. Maybe I'll get that video on-line one of these days. :)

September wasn't all doom and gloom. It also brought the premier of Beebo, which quickly became one of my favorite movies and series.

Razzo, having redefined the Portal with Blanco y Negro the previous year, returned with another thrilling black and white film, Kong!

We also received another favorite submission of mine, Karma Ghost! KG is one of those movies that will always be great, no matter how dated Flash may some day feel.

October

I wouldn't have guessed that Broken Saints had started all the way back in 2001. Has it really been that long? Chapter 1 was the first of many episodes that would enter the Portal and would eventually lead to a Broken Saints DVD and a publishing deal with FOX.

"Field Guide to Snapping" was one of the hippest music videos on the site.

As Halloween approached, we were visited by some spooky-themed Flash. Among these was the introduction to the Joe Zombie series! Like the year before, we received a lot of great Halloween submissions, several with terrorism themes.

November

Ben Spurgin finally submitted his response to the Xiao Xiao craze, with Stick Slayer squaring off against the famous sticks!

December

"Excitebike - Trouble" continued the Newgrounds tradition of making violent spoofs from classic games and characters. It personifies the classic Newgrounds attitude, and I love it for that.

We were also accosted by Angry Bot, in the first episode of the We Are Robots series.

Finally, "Frosty, the Lost Footage" brought us some Newgrounds Christmas spirit.

Onward to 2002!