As it turns out, the entirely imaginary Victorian Land Octopus makes an excellent pet. He's fiercely loyal, knows how to lace up a corset, is a master behind the sewing machine, and plays a mean game of hide and go seek. (The camouflage helps with that one.) Brian Kesinger's Otto and Victoria illustrations bring us sweet scenes between a not-so-proper steampunk lady and her true blue (or red, or translucent) pet octopus.
Kesinger has a particular talent for steampunk. We adored his sepia-toned cast of Disney-style steampunk heroines, and he's added a touch of English class to the Transformers as well. But, like so many artists, he's at his best when he's building his own characters. Otto and Victoria inhabit a world that is recognizably steampunk, but beyond that, they also inhabit the sort of secret world that only a pair of close friends can—one filled with ice cream and carousel rides and occasional detours under the sea. They would be the perfect subjects for a picture book or a series of animated shorts.