Steampunk Digest - September 10, 2021
Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world
Friday, September 10, 2021
Lady Mechanika creator Joe Benitez is planning a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next installment of the popular steampunk comic series, to be entitled “The Monster of the Ministry of Hell.” His plans call for a 48-page deluxe Kickstarter exclusive that will include all of Chapter 1 plus behind-the-scenes art, pencil sketches, and homages to the founders of Image Comics.
As we reported, Image Comics acquired publishing rights to the series in March, and this will be the first new Lady Mechanika series under the new publisher.
Benitez, who previously self-published the comics, said the deal will provide an opportunity to reach a wider audience while allowing him to focus on the creative aspects. But Image doesn’t provide funding up front, “which means we need a little bit of help with cash flow to pay the creative team,” he said. That’s where the Kickstarter campaign comes in.
He hasn’t announced when the campaign will launch, but you can visit the Kickstarter page and ask to be notified when it happens.
Image Comics also plans to reprint the entire Lady Mechanika backlist. The publisher released a trade paperback edition of Lady Mechanika Vol. 1 on Aug. 11 followed by a hardcover version Sept. 1. Image plans to release a trade paperback of Vol. 3 on Sept. 29.
Learn more on the Benitez Productions website.
September will be another busy month on the UK steampunk calendar with two events scheduled for this weekend and three more the following week.
Crich Steampunk Weekend returns to Crich Tramway Village, an open-air transportation museum south of Sheffield. Activities include tea dueling and live entertainment with Lonely Mister Punch, a Ceilidh barn dance ensemble, and Steve Bliss One Man Band. The event is presented in conjunction with Steampunks Always Welcome, a steampunk group in Lincoln. It happens Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the museum website for more info.
The Museum of Power near Maldon, Essex will host Steampunk Essextraordinaire VI, featuring live music, burlesque, tea dueling, teapot racing, umbrella fencing, a steampunk magic show, a steampunk market, and miniature steam train rides. Victor and the Bully will perform on Saturday. The venue is an industrial history museum that occupies the former Essex & Suffolk Water Pumping Station. It takes place Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get the details on the museum website or Facebook event page.
Next up: Fantabulous Steampunk Weekend, Sept. 17-19 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, will feature a Wild West theme. Cobbles and Cogs, Sept. 18 at the Milestones Museum of Living History in Basingstoke, will have performances by The Filthy Spectacula, Victor and the Bully, Rapscallion, Madam Misfit, and Buskers Bandstand. And Heskin Hall Steampunk, Sept. 18-19 in Lancashire, will feature free daytime activities and ticketed entertainment on Saturday night.
Read the full story: Another Big Month for Steampunk Gatherings in the UK
Whitby Steampunk Weekend is one of the larger steampunk events in the UK, and thanks to Paul Harrow and Kelly Robson of P & K Making Memories, we just posted a gallery of attendees in splendid imaginative outfits. WSW Events, which organizes the gathering, also announced dates for next year, including Whitby Steampunk Weekend XI in February, Scarborough Vintage & Steampunk Fair in May, Race The Waves & Steampunk Weekend in June, and Whitby Steampunk Weekend XII in July.
Read the full story: Whitby Pavilion once again hosted steampunks in costumed splendor
The Key City Steampunk Festival happened last month, but the organizers are already planning for next year. The convention is set for August 12-14, 2022 at the Wyndham Gettysburg in Central Pennsylvania, which also hosted this year’s event. “Stay tuned for our theme announcement,” they advised. You can follow them on Facebook for updates.
Time for another book roundup. We skipped a month after posting our last compilation in June, so now we have a new roundup overflowing with books released in July and August. They include:
• The Thaumagician’s Revenge, the sequel to Gareth Ward’s Brasswitch and Bot;
• Jeannie Lin’s novella Big Trouble in Old Shanghai, now available as a standalone digital edition;
• Jessica Lucci’s Salem Switch, in which a 19th century professor is transported to Salem, Massachusetts in 1690 and finds herself accused of witchcraft.
Plus new books from Noah Lemelson, Jonathan Fesmire, Robert Adauto III, Catherine Stein, Shane Emmett, D.N. Bryn, Jack Castle, and many more.
Read the full story: New Books: July/August 2021
Brian del Rio has released Chapter 1 of 20,000 Leagues Into Madness, a comic book adaptation of his podcast audio drama of the same name. The series tells the origin story of Captain Nemo with a Lovecraftian horror twist, as he “discovers that the imperialist powers he opposes are controlled by the monsters of the Mythos.”
Ghostfire released “Neptune’s Call,” a new single and music video that follows “Five Points West of Hell,” which the band released in July. Both songs have nautical themes. The band was active in the UK steampunk scene between 2008 and 2015, and as we previously reported, they’re making a comeback as a trio with vocalist Steven Sheridan, guitarist Andii Valo, and drummer Alan Mogg.
Unwoman released a cover of “The Tradition,” the opening track from Halsey’s new album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. In a message to her Patreon supporters, Unwoman noted that a friend recommended the song as being “very ‘me.’ I really liked it and it lends itself to looping, so I worked up a live version really quickly.”
If you’ve never seen her in concert, the video gives you a sense of how she performs live looping on stage. She wrote that she might record a more fully produced studio version for Patreon supporters.
The video follows the August release of her latest album, Of My Own Space and Time I Am Queen. Available on Bandcamp, it’s her eight album of original music.
Victor Sierra is planning a Sept. 11 release for “Just Another Sunny Day in New York City,” a single composed in remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “It’s dedicated to the families of victims, first responders, and all New Yorkers,” the band says. The song will be free to download on the group’s Bandcamp page. Listeners can “feel free to donate to any charity related to this infamous day.”
A most ghoulish story: Halloween supply chain nightmares (American Shipper)
Why William Gibson Is a Literary Genius (The Walrus)
London reawakens: lessons from ghost cities of the past (Financial Times)
Steampunk Festival canned for this year in Attleboro (The Sun Chronicle)
A Brief, Fascinating History of Ambergris (Smithsonian Magazine)
A Brief History of Pickles (Mental Floss)
Henry Every and the Pirate Heist That Rocked the World (Mental Floss)
Welcome to the Age of Wireless Electricity (Interesting Engineering)
Chain Mail-Inspired Fabric Supports 50 Times Its Own Weight (Interesting Engineering)
Amphibious Whale Fossil Discovered in Egypt (Ripley’s)