Steamcon IV

The theme of this year’s Steamcon was “Victorian Monsters.” I have to lead with these guys because it was Girl Genius that got me started with steampunk.

Jagermonsters

Jägermonsters!


If you are stout of heart,
click here to witness the rest of the horror.

SPG Cavalcadium Safari Day

Last summer when they had their ever-single-day-in-the-blazing-hot-sun gig at the San Diego Zoo, Steam Powered Giraffe held their Cavalcadium Safari Day for their fans: picnic, crazed photo scavenger hunt through the zoo, watch the band perform a few sets. Let me be completely upfront about our performance. It would not have been possible without our third teammate, Natalie Brodie.

Natalie

Knowledgeable Natalie


To cavort through the cavalcadium with us,
click here.

Comic Con 2012

Every year I grouse about the crowds and lines, but every year I sign up to go back. That’s right. We’re talking Comic Con. Since we started writing and cosplaying D&McT, it’s become a special kind of fun. Even though I get my photo taken if I happen to be walking around by myself, it happens a lot more when the two of us are walking together. I’m still waiting for the day when a total stranger comes up to us and says, “Hey, aren’t you Drake & McTrowell?” A girl can dream.

Sepia
It’s Them…in Sepia


To see more Comic Con steampunk sightings,
click here.

San Diego Automotive Museum

The local San Diego steampunk community acquitted itself with valor by providing the curation and content for the marvelous Steampunk Exhibition at the San Diego Automotive Museum. And, to get it off to a rousing start, the community had a picnic for the grand opening! I think Drake looked particularly dashing in his picknicky best.

Picnic Drake

Drake Dines Al Fresco


To see some of the actual exhibit, click here.

Gaslight Gathering 2012

Part of the fun of Gaslight Gathering is that it’s in our own backyard, so we get to hang with all our local steampunk friends! The League of Supremely Evil Revolutionaries was there.

LOSERS

LOSERS


For more disreputable miscreants, click here.

LoS Season Two Wrap Picnic

As you may recall, we had the honor and delight of serving as extras in the League of S.T.E.A.M. season two episode, “Curses!” In addition to earning ourselves IMDb credits, we also got an invitation to their wrap picnic at the Old Zoo at Griffith Park.

IMG_1694

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry


To see if you can spot other familiar faces and places, click here.

Short Hiatus

As you can tell from our last post, we have finally finished our third story. It was our longest and most ambitious to date.

We’ll be taking a short break from now until the end of January 2013 to catch up on other D&McT business including getting our Facebook page in order, posting all the bloops about 2012 events, and recording a demo for
Krypton Radio. In case you haven’t seen it on their web page, Krypton Radio approached us about a radio series (link is here). We are very excited and are in the planning stages of recording voice, music, and background sound effects. Wish us well! This is a real-life adventure!

Drake & McTrowell Icon


Folkestone

Because our trip to London coincided with my birthday, Drake planned an excellent adventure. We took the British Pullman from London Victoria Station to Folkestone. This train is the UK branch of the Orient Express and it’s appropriately posh.

Spoiled Sparky

Fine China and Mimosas


To join our adventure to the English seaside,
click here.

Comic Con Art 2012

It’s hard to thoroughly categorize all the awesomeness that is Comic Con, but one of our personal favorites is the opportunity to meet new artists and commission D&McT illustrations. We’ll do a full blown Comic Con bloop later (soon, really), but today I just want to share our two newest commissions.

To see the commissions,
click here.

Tour of London

Back in May, we had the good fortune to find ourselves in London on business. We took the opportunity to visit most of the sites in London where we staged many of our episodes. They don’t look quite like they did in 1851, but most of the buildings have been there since then and many of them a lot longer. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese has been there since 1666!

Tour of London

Thanks to Google Maps for Making this Bloop Possible


To read further about our London tour, click here.

Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum

Okay, a Civil War re-enactment isn’t exactly a Steampunk event, but the word went out to the Steampunk community because it was held at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, which had been on our “must visit” list for quite some time.

IMG_1071IMG_0938

We Did Our Best to Look a Bit More American

To read further about our visit to the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, click here.

Milestones

A major milestone has been reached! Yesterday’s post was our 100th D&McT episode. Well, 100th “actual text” post, not counting the Airship Regatta Broadsheet, or any of our bloops on art or conventions, or announcements of new logbook entries. This has gone well past the “hey, let’s write an on-line story!” and into the “wait-a-minute, how many pages is this entire thing now?” We want to thank all of you readers that have given us feedback (interestingly, much more in face-to-face conversation than in our comment sections), and we also want to thank those of you who wait to receive our upcoming episodes with bated breath. Yeah, you know who you are.

But much like watching the odometer in your airship roll over to an interesting number, it’s a passing transition, a temporary fascination with digit-related repetition. We must continue on, telling the tales that must be told. Perils, in this case, in a postulated past.

How long, you might ask yourself, does it take to write 100 episodes? Well, we normally write an episode a week. By “normally” we mean that sometimes we just don’t always quite make it. Those pesky day jobs that pay the bills seem to get in the way periodically. So, the answer is that it took us 2 years, 1 month, 1 week, and 2 days. We started on July 5th, 2010 and finished yesterday. But that didn’t stop us from celebrating at the 2-year mark. Thanks to all our fan-friends who came out to help us celebrate by eating chocolate…yeah, we know, it’s a rough gig being our fans.


IMG_1151 IMG_1152

D&McT + Fan-friends + Eclipse Chocolat!


Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium

The inaugural meeting of Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium (whew, that’s a mouthful!) was the grandest event Drake and I have attended so far this year. It was held on the Queen Mary for four days, and was a non-stop steampunk party. For us, there were two really cool things about the symposium. First, the venue: it was on the Queen Mary(!), which is permanently docked in Long Beach. Perfect for such an event!

IMG_1321

McTrowell at the Helm of the Queen Mary


To read further about Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium,
click here.

Steamcon III

I was looking at the dates for Steamcon IV, planning flights, and then it hit me: I hadn’t pushed out a blog entry on our trip to Steamcom III yet! We did tell you faithful readers about our preparations for it (here & here), though. Well here it is ...

The theme for
Steamcon III was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and I was incredibly impressed by how many of the attendees enthusiastically embraced the theme in their costumes.

IMG_0769

Is That You, Captain Nemo?


To read further about Steamcon III,
click here.

Steam Man Band

I know it seems like I’m covering a lot of SPG these days, but what can I say? I’m a fan girl.

Just like last year,
Steam Powered Giraffe is going to be performing four sets plus a meet & greet photo op daily at the San Diego Zoo starting June 23rd and running through September 3rd. We only managed to catch one of their performances last Summer, but we stuck around and got this epic pic.

IMG_0687
D&McT + SPG

We’re hoping to make it out for a few more this Summer, including the day of our Second Anniversary Party.

By the way, check out SPG’s
new video, “Automatonic Electronic Harmonics.” The production quality is fantastic. Look for hats/glasses/goggles changes. And even more than usual, the robots are really cranking out their robotic movements!

Our Second Anniversary

I can’t help it. All those steampunk shades of brown make me think of chocolate!

It’s been two years since we started writing Drake & McTrowell, July 5th to be precise. That sounds like as good an excuse for a party as I can think of (and I can think of lots of reasons to have parties). Drake and I are hosting a chocolate party for the San Diego steampunks and any other SoCal steampunks who feel like making the trip.

On Thursday, July 5th, we’re going to catch
Steam Powered Giraffe’s last performance of the evening at the San Diego Zoo at 7:30 PM. We’re members of the San Diego Zoo and huge SPG fans, so what better way to start the evening. Please feel free to join us there if you’re so inclined. Please note: you’ll need to be members of the zoo or pay for daily admission to attend this part of the event.

SPG_promotional_photo


We will thence decamp to
Eclipse Chocolat at 8:30 PM. Our anniversary falls during their annual cupcake extravaganza, so Drake and I will be buying cupcakes and non-alcoholic drinks for all steampunks. Alcoholic drinks are also available for purchase as well as a multitude of amazing chocolate goodies.

EclipseChocolate_Logo
Eclipse Chocolat
2121 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92104
Ph.# 619.578.2984


Here’s the really important bit: RSVP to sparky@drakeandmctrowell.com so Eclipse can be certain to have enough fresh cupcakes on hand.

New Logbook Entry: Alastar Hyde!

Our little Logbook of Intriguing and Noteworthy Persons is growing!

The latest entry is Alastar Hyde, another person photographed by
Jerry Abuan at Gaslight Gathering 2. I have to mention (again) that Jerry is impressively omnipresent at almost all San Diego Steampunk events, snapping pictures. At Gaslight Gathering he took over 890 pictures! Well worth a look, I must say.

Alastar Hyde is a very interesting character, and definitely deserves to be in Chief Inspector Drake’s Logbook. The primary note regarding him is “Pleasant gentleman by day with a tendency towards sadistic pleasures after sunset.” Hmm.

Alastar_Hyde
Alastar Hyde


Additional notes in the margin indicate “Alastar has traveled throughout the world and time, experiencing many adventures. He spent a significant amount of time in the Middle East while he was waiting for authorities in London to lose interest in certain incidents of violence and mayhem which may have been associated with his presence. During that time he traveled with a band of wandering musicians and performers, learning the ways of the Bedouin.” This is followed by a hand-drawn arrow down to a rare photo taken in some god-forsaken desert, showing Alastar himself standing in the back row of a motley band.

Incredible bit of evidence!
See for yourself!

Want to add your character to the Logbook? Follow the directions on our Submitting and Terms of Use page. After it’s posted, your character will have its very own web page! A jolly good way to tell the world about your character.

Profiles in a Postulated Past

Last summer, a business trip took us to Orlando and we decided to go a few days early to spend some time at DisneyWorld. Jonathan Lord Ashleigh, I mean Ashok, has been a huge fan his entire life and has been many times, so he arranged everything. He even booked dinner for the two of us at the very posh Victoria and Albert’s. Super romantic!

On the day we did
Epcot, we discovered a silhouette artist in “France.” You may have noticed that silhouettes are making a comeback. I had always thought they sat you between a light and a blank wall, and used the shadow to create the outline. It turns out they have you sit in profile and cut out your silhouette free hand by just looking at you. What’s even more amazing is that we weren’t dressed as D&McT. We showed Bruno, the artist, a couple of pictures from our web page (love the iPhone) and he added all the costume details from that.

IMG_1054
Bruno’s Handiwork


I especially love that he made my nose and chin a lot cuter than they really are.

The silhouettes are now featured in our little steampunk gallery at home, beautifully displayed using our
victorian spring clips to hold them up.

Bludyanne Joins the Logbook

Katherine and I, dressed as our alter egos of McTrowell and Drake, attended Gaslight Gathering 2 with friends and had a great time. It was held the 11th through the 13th of May, and for us, it was wedged firmly within a very hectic month, making it a welcome break from the usual daily grind.

Jerry Abuan was the photographer for the Gathering, and has posted an excellent collection of his pics on his website (over 890 images). He has created a truly amazing gallery from the event, and it shows off his great eye for what makes an interesting shot. For example, take a gander at this.

gaslightgathering2-Sat-420
Picture from Gaslight Gathering 2

We teamed up with Jerry and offered that we would add a Logbook of Intriguing and Noteworthy Persons entry for anyone that wanted a web page for their steampunk character. Please welcome our first taker, Bludyanne.

Bludyanne Solo
Bludyanne


Due to Jerry’s fine work, we have five photographs in
Bludyanne’s web page, a few of which show off the finer details of her attire.

I’ll be adding more entries to the Logbook soon!

Want to add your character to the Logbook? Follow the directions on our Submitting and Terms of Use page. After it’s posted, your character will have its very own web page! A jolly good way to tell the world about your character.


Comic Con 2011

About every other year I swear I’m not going back to Comic Con because it’s just too crazy and I get tired of sitting in line for hours. And then I realize that practically everyone else in San Diego is going to the party (at least that’s what it seems like when we’re looking for parking). In the end, there are so many amazing things to see, do, and buy, that I give in. How can you resist a steampunk, TARDIS dress?

IMG_0674
Steampunk TARDIS Dress


To read further about Comic Con 2011,
click here.

King of Indie Animation

Surely you know that we mean Bill Plympton! We’ve been fans of his work for decades, so we seized the opportunity to see his panel at ComicCon last summer. (There will be a bloop devoted to the rest of ComicCon 2011 later.) All joking aside, he’s very animated in person and has lots of interesting stories to tell. He was there showing “Guard Dog Global Jam,” a remake of his Oscar-nominated short “Guard Dog,” but redrawn, shot for shot, by dozens of other animators using their own styles. It’s brilliant! See it if you get the chance.

But, I digress. He was also plugging his new book,
Independently Animated: Bill Plympton. The deal was that if you went to his booth and bought a copy, he would sketch a quick cartoon of your choosing inside the front cover. Previous bloops have highlighted some of the drawings we’ve commissioned of D&McT. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have one by Bill Plympton, plus we got the awesome book too! I think we look a bit like the grandparents in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Plympton Sketch
D&McT ala Bill Plympton




First Anniversary

When our buddy, John (who is the inspiration for the various, doomed incarnations of John Redshirt), “bet” us that we would only write about half a dozen episodes of D&McT before giving up, the gauntlet was thrown! We missed a couple of weeks that first year. Okay, we’ve missed a couple of episodes this year too, but who’s counting? But when we got to July 5th, 2011, we had 50 posts and miscellaneous other material on our website, and that sounded like as good a reason for a party as any.

IMG_0652
Mad Fondant Skills


To read further about our first anniversary,
click here.

Gaslight Gathering 2011

As we’re busily making preparations for the second Gaslight Gathering, we thought we would take a moment to reflect on last year’s Gathering, a wildly successful event right here in our own backyard, figuratively speaking. We don’t call San Diego “America’s Finest City” for nothing!

With two and a half days of events, we got to try out a few costumes (although I confess to devolving to my limited-edition D&McT t-shirt for the end of the last day out of sheer exhaustion from wearing multiple layers). Like this one where I’m wearing my John Bull topper and the cool, purple leaf vest my mom made me, but no leather duster. (It gets really hot!) Drake proves that he has more fortitude than I by wearing his.

McTrowell loves Drake
Oooo, McTrowell loves Drake


To read further about Gaslight Gathering 2011,
click here.

Curses!: in Which Our Authors (Nearly) Achieve International Fame

Surely all of our readers are familiar with League of S.T.E.A.M. We’ve been following them since McTrowell got to wind up the Crackitus Pottsplunger launcher at Steamcon II. So when the League of S.T.E.A.M. put out a call for local-ish steampunks to work as extras in a webisode for season two, we jumped at the chance! We packed the Dr. Sparky-mobile full of costume bits and headed up to South Pasadena early one Saturday morning. They provided coffee and bagels, and we provided our photogenic selves.

Hanging in the Alley


To read further about our being extras for “Curses!”, click here.

Golden Gears

Just about the time Drake said, “We shouldn’t let this thing take over our lives,” we strolled into our favorite jeweler’s, Charles Koll, and Drake asked one of the jewelry designers, David Armstrong, to make us a couple of lapel pins with our logo. Thinking such a design task would take quite a bit of time, we left and went on our merry way. David Armstrong is a jewelry design geek…and a steampunk fan. He called a week later, “Oo, oo, oo, you guys have to come in and see the design.” We were thinking it would just be a sketch or maybe the CAD.

Simple Dissolve


Okay, he had the CAD. But he also had the wax parts fabricated from their 3D printer. (Seriously, these guys are amazing designers!) Including, wait for it, the actual gears. The center of the gear with our faces is stabilized by the pin on the back. The outside of the gear turns…which turns three, tiny, gold gears in the back which counter rotate the bezel on the front holding the diamond!

Jewelry Wax Molds


And here are the results!

D+McT jewelry


Mine, on the left, also has a fold-down bail so I can wear it on a chain. And then I had to have matching earrings. Too. Cute! I just have to remember to wear them in the correct ears so we’re not backwards.

Many thanks to Charles Koll Jewelers and their incredible designers.


Steampunk Croquet

Way up at the top of our list of people to party with is The League of Gentlemen Adventurers. Last year we participated in their Second Annual League of Gentlemen Adventurers International Invitational Croquet Tournament & Symposium. (Okay, so that was way back in May of 2011 and we’re obviously running a little behind on our non-story posts.) These guys sure know how to cater an adventure! Here we are, defending the honor of D&McT and acquitting ourselves with valor.

testLGA croquet 2LGA croquet 3
Photo credit to The League of Gentleman Adventurers - May 2011

Inexplicably, we didn’t win. I think the fix was in. However, my wounded pride was considerably assuaged by the scrumptious repast and the perfectly executed kir royale. Oh yeah, I also got a story idea out of the whole affair. The tournament was the inspiration for an episode of D&McT, Pall Mall.

Steampunk Cufflinks

DandMcT Cufflinks1


To read further about these aged Drake & McTrowell cufflinks,
click here.

Lady Amethyst and Her Gentleman Admirer

Last weekend, Drake and McTrowell made their way up to Long Beach, CA, and attended the Steampunk Symposium, which was held on the RMS Queen Mary. It was one of the most ambitious steampunk conventions they have taken part in. It lasting four days and was filled with presentations, movie shows, musical acts, magicians, dancers, fencing instruction, a blue-bearded pirate, a fabulous vendor room, and a raptor (birds) show. Sparky’s favorite band was there, Steam Powered Giraffe, and they rocked the house, as usual.

At the masquerade ball, the adventurous pair met up with
Lady Amethyst and her mysterious gentleman admirer. They had a grand time, discussing past exploits and madcap heroic deeds. Lady Amethyst was kind enough to allow her image to be captured for inclusion into the Chief Inspector’s The Logbook of Intriguing and Noteworthy Persons. Luck would have it that the mysterious gentleman’s likeness was also recorded!

Lady Amethyst
Lady Amethyst and Her Gentleman Admirer


Sparky was thrilled to meet the noted crypto-zoologist. “I’ve read all of her published works!,” Sparky declared, “how wonderful it was to meet her!” View the new Logbook entry to acquire the particulars that Erasmus gathered about this couple.

Want to add your character to the Logbook? Follow the directions on our
Submitting and Terms of Use page. After it’s posted, your character will have its very own web page! A jolly good way to tell the world about your character.