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Steampunk Digest - June 12, 2020

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

Friday, June 12, 2020
Asylum Steampunk Festival
Photo by Lara Ra / Shutterstock.com

The Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln, UK has joined the long list of events cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Festival director John Naylor announced the news June 10 on the Welcome to the Asylum Facebook page. He said it will return next year on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Indomitable Tickets purchased for this year will be automatically transferred to 2021.

Past festivals have drawn upwards of 100,000 visitors, making it the largest steampunk gathering on the planet. Cosplayers from 2019 are shown above.

Whitby Steampunk Weekend, scheduled for July 24-26 at the Whitby Pavilion in North Yorkshire, UK, was also cancelled for this year. It will return in 2021 on two weekends, Feb. 12-14 and July 24-25.

The Society for the Ethical Treatment of Kraken (SETK) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is hosting “Tea in the Clouds,” a virtual steampunk convention set for Saturday, June 13 from noon to 6 p.m. Central time. Free activities will include online seminars; a reading by author Victoria Szulc; a “Martian Mummy Unwrapping” with Thessalonica Jones; and a dramatic presentation by Ethan Radstrom, aka Charlie Creeps. Frenchy and the Punk will stream a 40-minute musical performance at 2 p.m. Central time.

All presentations except the Frenchy and the Punk performance will be archived in the members’ section of the website. Registration is free. To register, visit the home page and follow the log-in link.

Registered members will receive an email on Saturday with instructions for accessing the content.

In addition to the free activities, attendees can sign up for half-hour online tea parties, which will be presented via Zoom. They will feature a sitar performance by Jozetta Stych plus a trivia game, raffle prizes, a “best teacup” contest, and opportunities to chat with other steampunk fans. Each session is limited to six people. Tea party tickets cost CA $8. Follow this link to register.

The online event replaces an in-person Steampunk Tea and Bazaar that was set to take place on Saturday. It will return June 12, 2021 at the Canad Inns Destination Centre in Winnipeg.

Also this weekend: Electro Swing Thing will present ”Streampunk,” a free online music festival featuring performers from Europe and the U.S. Scheduled acts include Mr. Harvey Miller (Vienna), Tallulah Goodtimes (London), Wolfgang Lohr (Berlin), Kumiho (San Francisco), Justin Fidèle (Berlin), Emma Clair (Manchester, UK), and Duke Skellington (Los Angeles). It will stream via Twitch on Saturday, June 13, from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. GMT (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pacific time).

The Brass Screw Alliance (formerly the Brass Screw Confederacy) announced on June 8 that it is postponing the virtual steampunk festival that was set to take place on Saturday, June 13. The decision was made “in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the national need to focus on social justice,” the organizers stated on their Facebook page.

“This is not a political statement, it is a human statement,” said festival director Nathan Barnett in a Facebook video. “If some of us are suffering, if people are afraid or hurting, the rest of us can’t pretend that everything is normal. The best a lot of us can do right now is pause and consider where we are, how we got here, and how we move towards a world where our kids can live safer and happier lives.”

The organization also announced that it had replaced “Confederacy” in its name with “Alliance.”

“The name, ‘Brass Screw Confederacy,’ reflected a conglomerate of groups and reclaimed a useful word from an ugly era of American history,” they wrote. “Today, that could be misconstrued, so we fixed it. We reserve the right to change names again.”

The in-person Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival was originally scheduled for this weekend in Port Townsend, Washington. The organizers announced in April that it would be cancelled and replaced with an online event dubbed the “Ineluctable, Ultra-Telegraphic Virtual Screw.” There’s no word yet on a new date for the online event.

Chap hop artist Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer has released his latest album, A Thoroughly Modern Existential Crisis. He produced it while “hunkered down” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of the 14 tracks have lockdown-related themes. He presented the album in a June 4 launch event on Facebook Live, and performed several tracks a few days later in a “Thoroughly Modern Little Home Recital” on YouTube (see above).

It’s available exclusively on Bandcamp as a digital download. There’s no word yet on when a CD version will be available.

Adventureman

Image Comics has released the first issue of Adventureman, a new comic book series inspired by World War II-era pulp fiction. The “Adventureman” of the title is the pulp hero of an old-time story within a larger contemporary tale. The publisher promises “high-octane pulp action, low-flying dirigibles and more art-deco rayguns than you could shake a walking stick at.” The first issue, selling for US $3.99, is triple the normal length at 64 pages.

The story was created by Matt Fraction, an Eisner Award-winning writer whose credits include Marvel’s The Invincible Iron Man, The Immortal Iron Fist, Uncanny X-Men, and Hawkeye. Terry and Rachel Dodson contributed the artwork.

It’s available at comic book shops and on digital platforms including ComiXology. See the website for more info.

Mojo’s Collections, an affiliate marketer in the UK, has launched Steampunk Stuff, a “blog shop” focusing on steampunk fashion, accessories, art, and other items. It presents steampunk-related items from affiliate partners including Etsy, Amazon, and Open for Vintage, and earns fees from qualifying sales. It’s led by John Watkins, a designer in King’s Lynn, England.

Crowdfunding

The Fantasy Network is seeking Kickstarter funds for Outlawed Faith, a steampunk/sci-fi/western comic book described as “Hell on Wheels meets Firefly.” It set on a backwater planet where Celine, an orphaned girl with mystical powers, seeks the help of a reformed gunslinger against the Galactic Federation and their local prefect, Barnabus Klinkerton, who happens to be her uncle. The company has also created a 14-minute film based on the story.

The story was written by Ron Newcomb and Jay Lowe, with Salvatore Tabbi handling the artwork.

The Fantasy Network is a video-on-demand streaming service and online community focusing on science fiction and fantasy. The company is teaming with CoNZealand to produce an online version of this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in August.

The campaign launched June 5 and seeks US $5000 by June 14. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Pride Animals

Kaylee Thomas of Colorado Springs is on Kickstarter with a collection of dragons and other creatures with color schemes based on LGBTQ pride flags. Some will have steampunk and dapper themes. The figurines are made from Sculpey polymer clay.

The campaign launched on June 4 and seeks $100 by June 30. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Quick Hits

Mr Fogg’s may use mannequins and bee-keeping uniforms to ensure social distancing (Evening Standard)

BioShock: The Collection Review (Nintendo Insider)

Disney’s Cancelled Atlantis Movie Sequel Plans Revealed (Screen Rant)

Moira steampunk skin idea looks ready to be unlocked (Dextero)

New Zealand gallery hosts Marvellous Machines exhibition (NZ Herald)

SteamDolls Kickstarter hits funding goal, officially heading to Switch (Go Nintendo)

HBO Max temporarily removes ‘Gone With the Wind,’ will add context (The Associated Press)

‘Gone With the Wind’ will likely be back on HBO Max next week, with an African American scholar at the front of it (The Washington Post)

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