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Steampunk Digest - August 21, 2020

Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world

Friday, August 21, 2020
Abney Park, Frenchy and the Punk

Abney Park and Frenchy and the Punk are among numerous bands that will be performing this weekend at Faerieworlds Live from Home, an online version of a fairy festival held annually near Portland, Oregon. In addition to musical entertainment, the program will feature artist/author presentations, workshops, a costume contest, and a fashion show.

Special guests include artists Brian & Wendy Froud, who designed creatures for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch, who is best known for the 1960s hits “Sunshine Superman,” “Mellow Yellow,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” and “Atlantis.” The musical lineup also includes Beats Antique, Songleikr, Zirp, Guilhem Desq, Martine Kraft, Delhi 2 Dublin, Oliver S Tyr & Adaya, Seamus Egan, Woodland, Stellamara, Rosamundi, Priscilla Hernandez, Luosia John-Krol, Casey Neill, and Brother Angus.

The event will consist of a free public stream plus VIP programming with exclusive premium content. VIP tickets, which cost $50, also include post-event access to all streaming content as well as discounts on instructor fees for workshops. The festival runs Aug. 21-23. Learn more on the website and Facebook page.

Update: Here’s the line-up for the main stage. Friday’s program runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time (we originally reported that it would start at noon). It kicks off with a performance by Roger Daltrey. Frenchy and the Punk will take the virtual stage later Friday afternoon. Saturday’s program runs from noon to 5 p.m. Pacific time. Abney Park will be the 11th of 14 acts.

Meanwhile, Frenchy and the Punk have released “The Storm is a Call for Rebuilding,” a new single they describe as “a commentary on the cultural and socio-political climate we are in with a message of unity.” It’s “been on the back burner for a while,” they told us, but extended time at home gave them a chance to arrange and record the tune. You can order it for $1.50 from their website, but they welcome additional donations to cover recording costs.

Samantha Stephenson and Scott Helland, the musicians who comprise the duo, have also released “Jumping Jacks,” a single and music video from their new side project, Drawing Hands. They describe the sound as “a hybrid of bright electronic and acoustic sounds with a touch of menace.”

Theatre Off Jackson and Pork Filled Productions will present The Clockwork Professor, a streaming performance of a steampunk adventure play. The professor of the title is a “humble inventor” who must deal with political unrest and buried secrets from his past. Following the performance, writer Maggie Lee and director Amy Poisson will participate in a short Q&A.

It’s set for Friday, Aug. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time. See the Facebook page for details.

Fans of DC Comics and related media properties will want to check out DC FanDome, a 24-hour virtual experience taking place Saturday, Aug. 22, beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The centerpiece will be the Hall of Heroes with panels and other content about films, TV series, and games. The event will also feature screenings, fan-generated content, behind-the-scenes content, and kids’ activities. Participation is free.

Featured media properties include Aquaman, The Batman, Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doom Patrol, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Lucifer, SHAZAM!, The Suicide Squad, Superman & Lois, Watchmen, and Wonder Woman 1984. Learn more on the website and Facebook page.

Coming up next weekend is Sanctuary, an online gathering that replaces the huge Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln, UK. The event will also have a scaled-down real-world component with a socially distanced outdoor market, picnic, and promenade at Kelham Hall near Newark, Nottinghamshire. The online event happens Aug. 28-30. See the Facebook page for details.

Our Online/Virtual Events calendar has listings of other upcoming happenings in cyberspace, as well as ongoing and archived events. Find it here.

Paul and Annie
Photo by David Taylor

A few weeks ago, we told you about Outrageous Bride, a new UK-based magazine for couples planning weddings with unusual themes. The first issue is out now, and it includes a story about the “Steampunk Gothic Elopement” of Annie and Paul, shown above.

“We love weddings and felt that we’d just heard too many tales of couples feeling pressure to have a traditional wedding, not the wedding they would have chosen — or sometimes not actually realizing there was any option other than traditional,” explains editor Grace Davis. “We love creativity and individualism and believe that everyone should get to celebrate their love and commitment to each other in a way that truly reflects who they are.”

In addition to steampunk, you can expect to find weddings with gothic, dieselpunk, pirate, fantasy, and medieval themes. It’s “for all couples, inclusive of LGBTQ+, any gender, any background, any age, size and shape,” the publisher states.

Outrageous Bride is available in print from the website and in a digital format from Issuu and Readly. You can buy individual issues from Issuu, or get access to hundreds of magazines for a flat monthly rate from Readly.

Our recent movie update offered a look at upcoming films likely to appeal to steampunk fans. Not surprisingly, some of the releases have been rescheduled as COVID-19 continues to throw a monkey wrench into studio distribution plans:

The Personal History of David Copperfield, originally slated for theatrical release on Aug. 14, has been pushed back to Aug. 28.

Antebellum, scheduled to hit theaters on Aug. 21, is now set for a premium video-on-demand release on Sept. 18, Deadline reported. The “premium” designation means you’ll likely have to pay $20 or more to rent the film at first. It may also get a theatrical release in some overseas markets.

Bill & Ted Face the Music has been pushed back one week, from Aug. 21 to Aug. 28.

Tesla, the unconventional biopic directed by Michael Almereyda, appears to be on target for Aug. 21. Distributor IFC Films is planning a simultaneous theatrical and video-on-demand release.

See the original article for trailers, descriptions, and other details about each film.

11 bit Studios has released Frostpunk: On the Edge, an expansion for the Frostpunk video game. The original game, released in 2018, was set in an alternate-history 1886 England beset by extreme cold. The expansion serves as a sequel, in which a scouting party aims to set up a remote outpost at an army warehouse exposed in a storm. It’s available for Windows PCs via Steam, GOG, and Humble Store. See the website for more info.


Steam Rollin’, an indoor steampunk gathering set for Sept. 3 in Manchester, Connecticut, has been cancelled due to COVID-19. In its place, event organizer Oddball Newt will host the Silk City Steampunk Picnic and Railroad Photoshoot on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. It takes place on the Cheney Rail Trail in Manchester. See the Facebook page for more info.

The Compass Rose Steampunk Festival in Woodstock, Connecticut, is still a go, but with a modified socially distanced format. The program will feature a sit-down outdoor tea with a live performance by Frenchy and the Punk. Tables will be sold as complete units with six or four seats, priced at $225 and $150 respectively. Attendees at each table should be within the same “isolation group,” meaning they don’t have to socially distance. The event will be held rain or shine. Canopies will be provided for each table. Special pricing will be available for members of Historic New England.

It’s scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the historic Roseland Cottage. See the website for more info.


Studio Foglio is in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign for Girl Genius: Sparks and Monsters, the latest in their popular series of steampunk graphic novels. This one serves as Book Six of The Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne and the nineteenth in the overall series.

Creators Phil and Kaja Foglio publish the comics online three times per week and then periodically compile them into a collection. The series won the first three Hugo Awards for Best Graphic Story in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The project launched Aug. 5 and surpassed its $50,000 fundraising goal within six hours. It runs through Monday, Aug. 24. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

José Plácido Martínez Aguado is on Kickstarter with Tour d’ Flick, a steampunk-themed print-and-play board game. He describes it as a “flicking race simulator, where two teams of three riders compete in a cycling style race. The riders are divided into three different specialties, Sprinter, Climber and Team Player. Each kind will have different abilities and respond differently to the terrain conditions.” It can be played by two, three, or six players.

He’s set a modest goal of raising £50 (US $65) by Oct. 6. His goal, he writes, is to gauge interest in the game. Because it can be downloaded, he expects to offer delivery “almost straight after the pledge finish.” See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Quick Hits

30 Best Steampunk Books: The Ultimate List (NerdMuch?)

10 Awesome Examples of Alice In Wonderland Cosplay (ScreenRant)

Steampunk ‘Help is coming’ Raspberry Pi alert system (Blogdot.tv)

Katalis EV 500 is a Steampunk Electric Moped Looking all Kinds of Vintage (Auto Evolution)

BMW R100 Good Ghost Gets a Steampunk Look (Drive Mag)

Assemblage art the ultimate in recycling, reusing, reducing (Herald Times Reporter - Manitowoc, Wisconsin)

3 Reasons Why The Legend of Korra Is Just as Good as Avatar: The Last Airbender (iO9)

’The Legend of Korra’ Is Good, But More Episodes Would Have Made It Great (Thrillist)

The 10 before Tenet: The ultimate ranking of Christopher Nolan movies (Stuff)

”What Would David Bowie Do?”: How Ethan Hawke and Michael Almereyda Shed Light on Nikola Tesla (The Hollywood Reporter)

Fullmetal Alchemist: 10 Anime Characters Who Are Actually Stronger Than Wrath (CBR)

Online performances the latest trick from local master magician Lawrence Larouche (The Review)

Iron Harvest Preview – A Brutal War Worth Fighting For (Cog Connected)

How to Amuse Yourself Like a Victorian (Lifehacker)

Freemasons: Behind the veil of secrecy (Live Science)

Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts May One Day Be A Thing (IFL Science)

Sly fox steals 100 shoes in Berlin, and he’s not the first (Live Science)

Massive ‘Darth Vader’ sea bug pulled from waters near Indonesia (Live Science)

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