Steampunk Digest - March 18, 2022

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

Friday, March 18, 2022
Little Beard and the ScallyWags
Little Beard and the ScallyWags will perform at the new Time Travelers Convention Spring Faire in Quincy. Photo by Curt Knapp.

The organizer of the Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri, has announced plans to produce a steampunk gathering this year in Quincy, Illinois. The event, dubbed the Time Travelers Convention Spring Faire, is scheduled for May 20-22 in the city’s Washington Park, along with nearby indoor venues.

Tammy Riley, who assumed ownership of the Big River festival in 2020, told The Steampunk Explorer that the program will include a parade, live entertainment, a costume contest, vendors, and a demonstration of Highland games. The festival received a $20,000 grant from Quincy’s BET on Q (Bring Events to Quincy) program to fund the new gathering.

Meanwhile, Riley is also preparing for the larger event in Hannibal, which is held over Labor Day weekend. The program, she said, is about 90 percent set and will include the return of TV personality Doc Phineas, who did not appear at the 2021 festival.

Read the full story: Big River Organizer to Produce Spring Steampunk Fest in Quincy, Illinois

Professor Elemental has announced his “Sunshine Tour 2022,” which will take the chap hop maestro to festivals and performance venues across England between April and August. The tour includes appearances at Steampunk Filey in North Yorkshire (May 14), Splendid Essex Steampunk in Langford (June 12), 3 Wishes Festival in Cornwall (June 17), Glastonbury Festival in Pilton (June 24), Papplewick Pumping Station Steampunk Weekend in Nottingham (July 9), and the Fantasy Forest Festival in Winchcombe (July 16). He’ll also perform in a double bill with Madam Misfit on May 6 at The Yellow Book in Brighton.

In case you missed it, the Professor is also out with “I Love Libraries,” a new music video from last year’s album Nemesis!

Learn more on his website.

Paris-based steampunk band Victor Sierra is set to perform online this weekend at “On Darker Tides,” a virtual music festival presented by Empire of Beat. They’re set to take the virtual stage on Sunday, March 20 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. Eastern Time). The festival, which kicks off on Saturday, will stream on Twitch. See the Facebook page for more info.

WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. are set to merge later this year, and it looks like this will lead to a big change for subscribers to HBO Max, the WarnerMedia streaming service. During a recent investor presentation, Discovery Inc. executive Gunnar Wiedenfels revealed that the new company, to be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, intends to bundle HBO Max with Discovery+, a recently launched streaming service that includes content from Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, and other Discovery properties.

In the short term, this means that customers will be able to subscribe to both services at a discount. But eventually, he said, the company plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single service. It’s not yet clear if this will result in a price increase.

HBO Max offers a huge selection of movies and TV series, including HBO’s entire library as well as content from Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Studio Ghibli, and more. The service also produces “Max Originals,” which consist of exclusive programming such as the new pirate comedy series Our Flag Means Death.

Many series and movies on HBO Max are favorites among steampunk fans, including HBO series such as The Nevers and The Gilded Age. In the U.S., the service also carries animated films from Studio Ghibli such as Castle in the Sky and Howl’s Moving Castle. But HBO Max is also one of the pricier streaming services: In the U.S., it costs $9.99 per month with limited advertising or $14.99 with no advertising.

Related: HBO Max, Discovery+ to Combine for “Blowout” Product, CFO Says (The Hollywood Reporter)

Events

Nerf Duel
From left: Shannon O’Hare, Kij Greenwood, Lee Presson

Two years ago, Clockwork Alchemy was one of the first steampunk events to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Now it’s back with the same “Marvelous Makers” theme and many of the same special guests who were slated for 2020. The convention is set for March 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel in Burlingame, California.

Special guests include Shannon and Kathy O’Hare of Obtainium Works along with Fashion Guest of Honor Kij Greenwood and Author Guest of Honor Patricia Wrede. Musical guests include Aurelio Voltaire, Unwoman, Strangely Doesburg, The Forgetmenauts, and Lee Presson and the Nails.

The 2018 Clockwork Alchemy was where we introduced The Steampunk Explorer to the world, and editor Stephen Beale will discuss the site’s evolution during a panel session on Saturday at noon.

Read the full story: Clockwork Alchemy Returns to SF Area With ‘Marvelous Makers’ Theme

Nerf Duel
Photo by William Cardwell

The International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati was another early casualty of the pandemic, and that, too, is back the following weekend, March 25-27, with a “Weird West” theme. It comes as founder Jason Dean is handing the reins of the convention to two local steampunk enthusiasts, Jennifer Noran and Michael Gruen.

Dean, previously known by his stage name Aloysius Fox, now resides full-time in the Chicago area and said he plans to focus his efforts on the Chicago Steampunk Exposition, which is set for April 14-16, 2023.

Special guests at the Symposium include author R.S. Belcher, maker Brett King, Author in Residence Leanna Renee Hieber, and MC Emilie P. Bush. The entertainment lineup includes The Nülydedz and Scott Helland of Frenchy and the Punk.

Program highlights include the Steampunk Olympiad, which will feature a steampunk rodeo (on hobby horses), and a weekend-long LARP (live action role-playing game) with an Old West zombie theme.

Read the full story: Steampunk Symposium Returns With New Owners, ‘Weird West’ Theme

East Coast Steampunks UK are hosting another free social event this weekend at the Bull Hotel, Restaurant & Tapas Bar in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. The nautically themed Steampunk Ahoy! will include a “Bring and Buy” table where attendees can offer items for sale. Debbie Dee of Dryadula Couture will have steampunk accessories for sale, and The Curiosity Band will provide live entertainment. It takes place Saturday, March 19, beginning at 7 p.m. See the Facebook page for more info.

Oddball Newt will present Twisted in Wonderland, an Alice in Wonderland-themed buffet lunch, tea, and photo shoot at the Twisted Vine Restaurant in Derby, Connecticut, near New Haven. It takes place Saturday, March 19 from noon to 5:30 p.m. This is a new time and venue for the event, which was originally set for the Lighthouse Inn in New London.

Tickets without the buffet lunch cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets that include the lunch cost $30 in advance or $40 at the door. They’re available on Eventbrite. See the Facebook page for more info.

PJ Shultz and Sarah Lash, the self-described “steampunk geeks” who owned the White Lake Beach Resort in Montello, Wisconsin, have sold the resort to the families of Wanda Behling and Kaitlin Nezda. The resort is the site of the Cog County Faire, a steampunk event featuring live music, a merchant bazaar, steamboat regatta, carnival games, and Victorian swimsuit competition. Cog County Faire VIII is set for June 2-5 with a “Road to Oz” theme.

Shultz and Lash plan to stay on until the end of the year to help the new owners get acclimated. After that, they plan to sail the world in the Star Dogged Moon, a 40-foot catamaran. But they tell us they’re hoping the new owners will continue to host the steampunk gathering.

Crowdfunding

Looch Labs, a one-person indie video game developer in Trenton, New Jersey, is on Kickstarter with Alchemical Inc., a steampunk deckbuilding card game. The title refers to a factory in the fictional New Folk City, where you use an alchemy kit to challenge various characters and accumulate cards that serve as currency.

The game is set for delivery in January 2023 in a version for Windows PCs. The Kickstarter page includes links to game demos on Steam and Itch.io.

The campaign launched March 15 and seeks US$12,000 by April 14. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Updates: Frenchy and the Punk have reached about 75 percent of their US$11,777 fundraising goal for Zen Ghost, their forthcoming album. As of early Thursday, they had raised close to $9,000. As we reported last week, the album is set for release in July. The Kickstarter campaign runs through April 7.

Meanwhile, Peter Miriani is nearing the first stretch goal for his graphic novel Aldous Spark And The Feast Of The Unspoiled. If he raises US$7500, backers will receive a personalized masquerade invitation with original art by Mauricio Alvarez, the lead artist for the series. That campaign runs through April 7.

And Ernoldas Pocius has met his modest £250 (US$328) funding goal for his latest set of steampunk jewelry and accessories.

Quick Hits

Our Flag Means Death Creator David Jenkins On The Freedom Of Not Doing Research (Slash Film)

Rhys Darby Talks Captaining ‘Our Flag Means Death’ (Nerdist)

Photos from the Goulburn 2022 Steampunk Victoriana Fair (Goulburn Post)

Magic and Mad Science: All You Need to Know About Gaslamp Fantasy Genre (News 18)

From ‘Downton Abbey’ to ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘The Gilded Age,’ historical drama is having a renaissance (Toronto Star)

A historical narrative of survival paints a quasi steampunk portrait with airships over the arctic (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

The 15 Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made (The Wrap)

Out Now: Ghost Returns with ‘Impera’: A Captivating, Victorian-Era Glam/Metal Musical Adventure (Rock Cellar Magazine)

Rat’s Hole Bike Show Celebrates 50 Years at Daytona Bike Week (Cruiser)

Raves, Satanic rituals and a journey into the 130-year-old tunnel at San Francisco’s spooky Sutro Baths (SFGate)

6 Groundbreaking Women You Didn’t Learn About in History Class (Atlas Obscura)

Meet ‘Horridus,’ one of the most complete Triceratops fossils ever found (Live Science)

World’s oldest mummy found in Portugal (Live Science)

Earliest Armored Dinosaur From Asia Discovered, And It’s A Hella Punk (IFL Science)

Octopuses Are Reusing Human Trash as Shelter (Smithsonian Magazine)

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