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Steampunk Digest - February 19, 2021

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

Friday, February 19, 2021

Editor’s note: Due to an issue with our email provider, we were unable to send out Steampunk Digest via email on Thursday morning. We hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Organizers of the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention announced on Facebook that “in light of recent and ongoing events,” steampunk artist and personality Thomas Dean Willeford “will not be joining us” at the WWWS online event in March. The Feb. 10 announcement followed public allegations by two women that Willeford engaged in abusive and manipulative behavior while in long-term relationships with them. The women, Sarah Hunter and Amy Wilder, posted the allegations on Facebook, and their statements were later published as posts on the Owl Eye View blog.

A third woman, Faith Roswell, posted her own allegations of impropriety by Willeford. Roswell, who is based in the UK, said she was recently in a long-distance relationship with the artist.

The allegations against Willeford prompted singer/songwriter Unwoman to state on Twitter that “I will not be performing at any event he’s involved with in the future.” She often performs at steampunk conventions.

Willeford did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the allegations and subsequent fallout.

Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Willeford is a well-known personality in the steampunk community. He’s written two books on steampunk design and was a judge on Steampunk’d, a reality TV series that aired in 2015 on Game Show Network. He has frequently appeared as a speaker at steampunk events. He also produces handmade corsets, props, and accessories through his company Brute Force Studios.


TDW (from SH) (Owl Eye View)

TDW (from AW) (Owl Eye View)

TDW (from FR) (Owl Eye View)

TDW update from FR (Owl Eye View)

Note: If you visit the Owl Eye View links, you may be directed to a Blogspot page cautioning you that the blog contains sensitive content.

Green Fairy on screen

COGS Expo has joined other steampunk events in postponing this year’s convention until 2022. It was scheduled for May 14-16 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. “After consulting with professionals regarding the event, and the Township that the hotel resides, a conclusion has been made that restrictions for health and safety would prevent a proper event from being held,” the organizers announced Feb. 15 on Facebook.

In its place, they plan to produce a series of online gatherings, beginning the evening of March 20 with the Green Fairy Party. It’s described as “a celebration of Absinthe and other green things” with hosts Tobias McCurry and The Baroness Alexandra. It takes place 7-9 p.m. Eastern time on the expo’s Twitch channel. Registration is free.

Next up will be an online version of COGS Expo 2021, May 13-16, also on Twitch. See the website and Facebook page for more info.

Steampunk maker Wheeler Stone has his eyes on a Glowforge laser cutter, and he’s seeking donations on GoFundMe to purchase one. “I’m looking to take my work to the next level,” he explains in his pitch. “Each donation can either go as a discount on Doc Stone Studios stuff or I will make you a special gift.” He’s hoping to raise $3500.

Stone specializes in custom leather goods and wearables. You can see his work on his Etsy and Facebook pages. He also co-produces the Key City Steampunk Festival. To donate, head over to the GoFundMe page.

The Alienist scene
Photo: Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl, and Luke Evans in The Alienist. Photo by Kata Vermes.

HBO Max, which launched last May in the U.S., is set to make its initial foray overseas. In late June, the streaming service will launch in 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, followed later this year by parts of Europe, including the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal. Users of HBO-branded services in those countries will be automatically upgraded to HBO Max, according to a press release from parent company WarnerMedia.

In addition to HBO programs such as Game of Thrones and the forthcoming sci-fi series The Nevers, HBO Max features content from other WarnerMedia properties, including Warner Bros., New Line, DC, TNT, TBS, and Adult Swim.

Last December, WarnerMedia shook up the entertainment industry by announcing that all Warner Bros. films slated for theatrical release in 2021 will appear the same day on HBO Max, at no additional cost to subscribers. The films will be available on the streaming service for one month after their release. They include Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, The Suicide Squad, and (possibly) Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated remake of Dune, which is scheduled for release Oct. 1.

TNT programs on HBO Max include The Alienist, a series based on Caleb Carr’s mystery novels set in late 19th-century New York City.

In the U.S., HBO Max also includes a channel dedicated to Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio best known for the acclaimed films of Hayao Miyazaki. However, Netflix has streaming rights to those films in most countries outside the U.S., the main exceptions being Japan and China.

In addition, HBO Max currently offers a selection of anime films and series distributed by Crunchyroll. But in December 2020, WarnerMedia parent company AT&T agreed to sell Crunchyroll to Funimation Global Group, LLC, a U.S.-based anime distributor owned by Sony. It’s thus unclear how much longer the Crunchyroll channel will remain on HBO Max. If you’re an HBO Max subscriber and you’ve been putting off watching series such as the steampunk-themed Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, now might be a good time to start streaming.

The BlueStocking, a rock band from Moscow, has released “Never Ready,” a music video of a song from its 2020 debut album Algedonic. The band describes the video as “a look at our personal stories through the prism of magical surrealism - with a tinge of steampunk and a dark, Burton-esque fairytale.” The song itself is described as a “bluesy cabaret blockbuster.”

Lyrics are in English. The album is available on Bandcamp.

New Fiction

Richard Levesque has released The Blacktop Blues, Book 1 in a dieselpunk series dubbed The Crossover Case Files. It’s set in an alternate late-1940s Los Angeles “where killers lurk in the shadows, where a wealthy ex-actor leads a cult of people who believe in alternate worlds, where an old inventor has infinite tricks up his sleeve, and where Jed Strait just wants to find a way to stop feeling like such a fish out of water in a world that won’t let him forget he doesn’t fit in.” It’s available from Amazon in e-book and paperback formats.

Links: Author | Goodreads | Amazon

Alexia Purdy is out with The Storm Glass, Book 1 in The Glass Sky YA series. She describes the series as retellings of fairy tales “for those who love magic, steampunk, and urban fantasy.” The Glass Sky of the title is an underground city populated by “a dying human race where females are scarce and controlled with an iron fist.”

Links: Author | Goodreads | Amazon

Alex Raizman has released The Motors of Keldora, Book 3 in his Factory of the Gods literary RPG series. This is a revised edition after the author confessed to editing glitches as he rushed to publication.

Links: Author | Goodreads | Amazon

Quick Hits

What Does The New Showrunner Mean For The Nevers | Part II (HBO The Nevers fan site)

HBO Received ‘No Complaints’ About Joss Whedon Before He Exited ‘The Nevers,’ Casey Bloys Says (The Wrap)

For ‘Buffy’ Fans, Another Reckoning With the Show’s Creator (The New York Times)

Steampunk Inspired Bar Cabinets Handcrafted Upcycled Furniture Range Launched (Newswire)

Why’s there a steampunk robot in my Hermès? (GQ India)

Curtiss Motorcycles ‘The One’ Is a Steampunk Electric Cruiser From the Future (Maxim)

Bugatti Chiron Replica Made From Scrap Metal Is Automotive Steampunk (Motor1.com)

In The Middle Of The Mojave Desert There’s A Gigantic Megaphone, And Nobody Knows Why (IFL Science)

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue, Day Seventeen (The Mary Sue)

Africanfuturism or Afrofuturism: What’s The Difference? (Tor.com)

“Van Helsing: Steampunk” Comic Among Zenescope Entertainment’s May Releases (Bleeding Cool)

Eva Green and Vincent Cassel Will Star in a Pair of Three Musketeers Films (Tor.com)

From Nausicaa to Earwig, Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked (CBR)

Greenwich transformed into alien invasion for Apple TV show (News Shopper)

Michael Almereyda’s “Tesla” biopic now on DVD and Blu-ray (The Wrap)

Shadow & Bone Images: First Look At Ben Barnes As The Darkling (ScreenRant)

Harvest Moon: One World DLC Packs Revealed (The Gamer)

Volcanoids Preview (Capsule Computers)

Harvest Moon: One World’s DLC announced and detailed (Nintendo Wire)

Limited Run Games releasing Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon 2 in standard and classic print (Nintendo Wire)

10 Best Steampunk Games You Should Check Out (Cultured Vultures)

Slay The Spire Meets PT Barnum In The Amazing American Circus, Coming This Spring (The Gamer)

Cheap old homes draw U.S. millennials escaping pandemic cages (Reuters)

A hatful of horror: the Victorian headwear craze that led to mass slaughter (History Extra)

Victorian pet cemeteries: animals in the afterlife (History Extra)

Arty exposure for disused train tunnels beneath St James (The Sydney Morning Herald)

LOOKING BACK: How Tesla’s experiments plunged one Colorado city into darkness (OutThere Colorado)

The Truth About The Tragic USS Akron Crash (Grunge)

Stained-glass ‘graphic novel’ reveals miracles of Archbishop of Canterbury (Live Science)

Original ‘Stonehenge’ discovered, echoing a legend of the wizard Merlin (Live Science)

Stonehenge Was Not Originally Built In England, New Research Suggests (IFL Science)

Jewel-Capped Teeth and Golden Bridges: 14,000 Years of Dentistry (Ancient Origins)

Obscure Bay Area: The fairy-tale village hidden off a busy Berkeley street (SFGate)

San Francisco’s rowdy and racist chicken-themed restaurant: Topsy’s Roost (SFGate)

Oldest sequenced DNA belonged to 1 million-year-old mystery mammoth (Live Science)

Researchers Create Neanderthal “Mini Brains” By Altering A Single Human Gene (IFL Science)

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