Clockwork Alchemy 2017

With Sometime Later and Kepler’s Cowboys just out, Clockwork Alchemy was mostly about vending for us.

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All the Vending


Fear not, dear reader, life in Authors’ Alley is not all commercial drudgery. The authors have their own tea service to keep up our energy.

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Very Civilized


This year, for the first time, we had a contest for table decoration. We won second prize for best use of banners!


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Best Use of Banners


And most everyone wanders through Authors’ Alley at some point, sharing their splendid costumes with us.


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Authors’ Alley Promenade


But, of course, there was Drake & McTrowell’s “Hot Potato School of Writing™!”

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Now with Actual Hot Potatoes!


Although we didn’t get pictures, we did run “There Was Once a Steampunk from Limerick™” for the second time. You can find the clever and hilarious results
here.

We did manage to conserve our energies enough to make it to the evening performances for our favorite steampunk circus,
Cirque Des Bêtes, and Strangely Doesburg.

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Look Ma, No Hands or Head


And what Clockwork Alchemy bloop would be complete without pictures of
Thena MacArthur in some magnificent costume, like this resplendent red number for the fashion show?


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Lava Red Thena


Remember that Clockwork Alchemy is earlier next year: March 23 – 25th. We’ll see you there!

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Gaslight Gathering 2017

It was so marvelous to be back at Gaslight Gathering! We pulled out all the stops producing new content. Sparky participated in the fashion show, “Victorians We Admire,” as the world’s first programmer, Countess Ada Lovelace.

Drake showed off his martial arts skills with the premiere of his tutorial on cane defense. There was much clamoring to repeat it at future events.

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Take That! And That!


We premiered “There Was Once a Steampunk from Limerick™.” You can find the first batch of results on the new limerick page on our new website page
Library of Limericks.

And there were old favorites. Drake & McTrowell’s “Hot Potato School of Writing™” was way off the hook this time with newbie
Cindy Diamond and repeat offender Kelly Varner. Plus, it was right after the absinthe panel, so it was more colorful than usual.

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Why Does the Green Fairy Make Hot Potatoes so Blue?


For “Theatre of the Historically Improbable™” we performed both “The Evil Cheesemonger” and “Green Grass, Brown Well.” We were joined by
Sage & Savant and Debra Brunner, all of whom contributed a significant amount of tomfoolery to the proceedings.

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Wall-to-Wall Tomfoolery


We found just a few minutes to look in on other happenings including a sighting of
Dyno Staats.

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Magic and Choo Choo, What’s Not to Love?


But our greatest achievement of the weekend was to cast, shoot, edit, and screen a video with a great amount of support from
Dreadfully Punk and L.O.S.E.R., the video “Hiring Day.”



Watch it Here! Flaming Pineapples and Whirling Blades of Death!


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Hiring Day Set

Hiring_Day_Screening
Audience Reaction


And in case you didn’t notice, we now have our own
YouTube Channel!

Be there at Gaslight Gathering next year to see what other tomfoolery we concoct.

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Sock Puppets!

Gaslight Gathering is only a week away, so this is our final reveal! Last, but certainly not least, we'll be doing Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. That means sock puppets and skits! So bring your inner vaudevillian and puppeteer; hilarity is bound to ensure.


D_McT_sock_puppets Drake_Puppet_Dressing Sock_Puppet_Dragons_Teeth


Now you have all our announcements for Gaslight Gathering:


See y'all there.

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Someone Say Hot Potato?


Flying_Potato_2


If you've seen us at a convention in the last few years, you've probably seen our improvisational, audience-participation, writing game show, Hot Potato School of Writing™. But just because you've seen it once (or twice) doesn't mean you've seen all there is. It's different every time thanks to the wacky input of the audience's "Hot Potato" plot points, the audience members who volunteer to play, and the creativity of our guest authors. We'll be joined this time by Kelly Varner (a notorious repeat offender) and Cindy Kinnard-Diamond. Come lob a few hilarious flaming spuds with us at Gaslight Gathering the weekend of May 12 - 14.

If you missed our first three announcements about other engagingly comical things we're doing at Gaslight Gathering, you can find them
here and here and here.

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There Once Was a Steampunk

The limerick form appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century and was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century, which totally makes it steampunk! Lear wrote 212 limericks, mostly considered nonsense literature, and now you can too. We’ll be premiering There Once Was a Steampunk from Limerick™ at Gaslight Gathering. Drop in to exercise those limerick-writing skills you haven’t used since elementary school and earn yourself a spot on the Drake & McTrowell website…and possibly wild acclaim, but we don’t guarantee that last point.

limerick

If you missed our first two announcements about other engagingly comical things we're doing at Gaslight Gathering, you can find them here and here.

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Gaslight Gathering Shenani-Plans: Part Deux

It's been a week, so you're probably wondering what other goodies we have in store for Gaslight Gathering. We all know that Chief Inspector Erasmus Drake is a man of action. And now he's going to teach you some of the tricks of the trade…rather like this.

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Take That! And That!


Are you planning a stroll in the darker corners of London at night? We'd advise a hour-long lesson of defending yourself with your cane or umbrella! The Chief Inspector will show you how.

And if you want to see our first reveal for Gaslight Gathering, you can find it
here.

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WonderCon 2017

WonderCon was all about the costumes this year! We saw this couple on both Saturday and Sunday. She makes all the costumes herself including the hand beading on the bodice of the Queen of Hearts costume. Gorgeous!

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Ursula and Neptune on Saturday
Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter on Sunday


There were several clever mashups including
Nikki Pardee and Krissy Stache as steampunk Cogsworth and Lumière, respectively. Plus, they're crossplaying both characters.

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Steampunk Cogsworth and Lumière


Speaking of crossplay, there was this stunning Joker. We don't know how she survived all day in those heels, but boy does she looking amazing doing it.

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Crossplaying the Joker


Okay, so Iron Man is a pretty serious warrior, so this makes a whole bunch of sense. It's another fine example of attention to detail.

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Samurai Iron Man


But this is the one that made us laugh.
Lonstermash does a canonical Wolverine most of the time, but he told us he does this for Sundays and WonderCon was pretty close to Easter.

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Wolverine Bunny


Although we laughed, we also ran. Those carrots are super sharp and pointy!

Our next event is Gaslight Gathering in San Diego! Come
join us for the fun!

Comment Request

Gaslight Gathering Shenani-Plans

Gaslight Gathering is coming May 12 - 14, 2017! In addition to some of our usual offerings, Drake & McTrowell has some new shenanigans in the works! We'll be revealing them over the next couple of weeks. As Chief Inspector Drake would say, "Oh my, I love a good clue!"


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Lights! Camera! Action!

In conjunction with Justin Andrew Hoke and L.O.S.E.R., we're going to shoot, edit, and screen a video over the course of the weekend. We'll be looking for performers on Friday for role assignment and then filming on Saturday. We'll announce later where to find us on Friday to sign up! Keep an eye on the Gaslight Gathering program for the location of the screening of our cinematic masterpiece on Sunday.


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Wild Wild West Steampunk Con 2017

Ah, Springtime, when the wildflowers bloom and we pack the Dr. Sparky-mobile to the rafters for the trek across the desert to Old Tucson Studios for Wild Wild West Steampunk Con! There were old friends and new shenanigans. Once again we shared an authors' table with David Lee Summers. Yes, we're adults and professionals.

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Vending Shenanigans


We had some new things for sale including
Kepler's Cowboys, an anthology of space western stories about planet discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope. The book is edited by David Lee Summers and Steve Howell, the Kepler project scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. Drake has a straight up science fiction story in the anthology!

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Be-Tentacled Sales Assistants


The adorable green and black octopus was custom-made for Sparky's Cthulhu Acolyte costume by David Lee Summers' daughter. And why was Sparky dressed thus? Because the theme of the convention this year was Cthulhu for President.

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Cthulhu and His Acolyte


This particular pic is by
Paul Davis who took a lot of amazing pictures at the convention. Everyone was wearing their best green and tentacles. Here's a link to more of Paul's pictures from the event.

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With Curatio and Debra


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Karina Representing


We had a prime location on the Bitter Creek Stage where the high winds made for extra interesting shenanigans during our Nerf™ gun dueling shootout. Yes, there was some attempts at Kentucky windage, not that it helped amidst the gusts.

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We Got Your Nerf™ Right Here!


The wind also made holding scripts for our Theatre of the Historically Improbable™ more than a little interesting, but our company persevered. Even Nessie approved, despite the presence of her election rival, Cthulhu, on stage.

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Theatre of the Historically Improbable™ in a Hurricane


Cirque des Bêtes was there and they were on fire! No, literally, they were on fire. They premiered their new nighttime fire show and it was great. If it was on fire, they could juggle, jump, or balance it.

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Cirque des Bêtes on Fire


One of the other new events this year was the Steampunk Vehicle Exhibition where the contributions were both varied and magnificent. This is what steampunk is all about! Check out these crazy conveyances.


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Oh, Those Steamy Machines


As Sparky rides off… well, okay, strolls off into the sunset, we say…


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See you again next year, amigos!



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Oxnard Steampunk Fest 2016

A number of cities in California are building heritage parks where they assemble historically relevant Victorian homes in one location and they're perfect for steampunk gatherings…like the Oxnard Steampunk Fest. We rolled out for the first day of the two-day event and it was non-stop shenanigans.

We went pirate. Luckily there was a
pirate ship for us to sail.

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On Deck


But we weren't the only pirates in attendance.


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Steam Pirates, Ho!


Nor were we the only ones in blue.
Doc Phineas was also rocking the cooler shades.

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Doing Blue with Doc Phineas


Friends were everywhere!

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Friends Galore!

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Um, What's Going on Here? The Usual Tossing of the Cephalopod!


We took a brief recess to grab a bit of lunch and we found this mural.

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Separated at Birth? This is Drake's Latest Acquisition, an Octopus Hand Puppet!


We met new folks and saw some amazing costumes.

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So, there's this thing that Sparky and
Molly Edison do. They dance…and dance…and dance.


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Dancing Machines! Ya Know, Machines with Steam and Gears that React to Music!


Who should be there entertaining the crowd but our favorite steampunk circus,
Cirque des Bêtes?

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They Fly Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease


And we even sold a few books with a little help from our friend, Colleen, at
Wyng'd Lyon.

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Commerce in Action


We strongly urge you, our steampunk friends in the southern California area, to put Oxnard Steampunk Fest on next year's calendar!

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Comic Con 2016

Despite being in costumes for most of Comic Con, this one felt a little like the old days. (Insert your favorite “we’re so old comment”: we used to come in the days when you could park under the convention center, walk upstairs, and buy a ticket for the day.) We went to a lot of panels for artists whose work we admire, like Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler. They have a new book, Apocrypha Now, which we bought.

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“Apocrypha Now” Panel


Bill Plympton’s working on a new animated feature with Jim Lujan called “
Revengeance.” Judging by the panel and the trailer, it’s going to be darkly hilarious…as we have come to expect from Bill.

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“Revenge is a Dish Best Served Animated”


Bob Mogg and Catherine Fisher graced the Cosplay 101 panel along with Birda Hussey Nichols and Melissa Gene Meyer, after which Catherine showed off her patriotic princess cosplay trio.

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Cosplay 101


Much to our surprise, we were able to get into
Adam Savage’s panel on Cosplay as Storytelling. It also turned out to be a master class in how to moderate a panel while participating.


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Cosplay as Storytelling


Our regular readers know that we’re fans and supporters of
The League of S.T.E.A.M. So, we were delighted to be able to attend screenings and panels for two of their video efforts to which we contributed our “acting” skills: “The White Wolf” from season 3, and the “Kali 47” music video.

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The White Wolf

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Kali 47

We found time to visit some artists whose work we’ve enjoyed for years including Travis Hanson who whipped up this sketch of the Evil Cheesemonger from Drake & McTrowell’s Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. Amazingly, he looked up to talk to us several times as he continued sketching. That’s some mad skills!

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Evil Cheesemonger


And Sparky got to the art show in time to nab this beauty by
Dan Jones. His work was selling like hotcakes (as usual), and he sold out before the weekend was over.

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Sir Franklin Java Bot, held by the artist, Dan Jones


And then there was that serendipitous moment when we borrowed a pen from a British gentleman at lunch who was dressed in a Star Trek uniform (original series). We asked what he was doing at Comic Con. He and his partner designed and built precise replicas of Star Trek communicators that pair with your cellphone. You know, the kind Kirk flipped open in the days before flip phones…actually, decades before the invention of the cellphone. Of course, as children of the 60s, we had to hot foot it over to the
ThinkGeek booth and get ourselves a pair.

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Beam Me Down, Scotty; I’ve Got Some Shopping to Do


Of course, no Comic Con bloop would be complete without coverage of the annual
Starburner Galactic Courier Service Awards. Several good friends received well-deserved awards including Joyce McCarthy, Christopher Hoage, Dude Vader (Chris Canole), and Doc Phineas. Congrats all!

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Starburner Galactic Courier Service Awards


Costumes, gotta do costumes. Judging by the pics we got, the ladies knocked this one out of the park.

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Costumes Galore

We once again had the very last time slot on Sunday afternoon for our panel. This year’s offering was “Steampunk as a Maturing Visual Aesthetic” with Andrew Fogel (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Bob Mogg (The Iron Tailor), and Rocky Olivares (Heroes and Bandits). You may recognize Rocky’s style because she was one of the illustrators for our first book, London, Where It All Began.

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Steampunk as a Maturing Visual Aesthetic


Thanks to Kelly Varner and JoAnn Onishi-Mogg for the pictures of the panel because we were too busy presenting to get some ourselves.

We proved once more that we can shut down Comic Con in style. Despite the lateness of the panel, we still had plenty of people in the room and got several very insightful questions. Exhausted, but content that this year was once again a success, we departed for a celebratory dinner with our friends, Kelly and Murray. Thanks to
Kelly for the departure pics.

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Until Next Year, Comic Con


Time to start making plans for next year’s panel.
Comment Request

Clockwork Alchemy 2016

It's Memorial Day Weekend and we're at Clockwork Alchemy again! Woohoo!

How about we start this convention bloop with costumes for a change? The first pic is of
Professor Pepper and his Musicalodium. It actually makes music! The next picture of the convocation of bobbies reminded Drake that he should always take his Mall Copper costume to Clockwork Alchemy so he can join in.


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So Much Costume Fun!


We've always wondered what one does with funky, old, out-of-fashion neckties… and here it is. So.Much.Silk. Next: There's a new marshal in town and he's making Sparky think twice about robbing the bank (you know…on purpose). That's Drake wearin' his new custom cowboy hat from
O'Farrell's in Santa Fe (the same nice folks who made the Sparky del Pecos hat). If the style looks familiar, it might be because this is the same style O'Farrell's designed for Sheriff Longmire. Of course, no Clockwork Alchemy costume bloop would be complete without at least one picture of Thena MacArthur in something magnificent. This regal purple ensemble was designed for the fashion show. After the show, she wore it around to make everyone in the Author's Alley jealous.

The really big news is that the Treehouse Writers released a joint anthology again this year,
Thirty Days Later! Twelve Hours Later was such a success last year, we decided to do it again this year, but with stories separated by 30 days instead of just 12 hours. If you enjoyed Twelve Hours Later last year, catch us at a con in the coming year and get a copy of Thirty Days Later.

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Thirty Days Later


A wise man once said that you have to celebrate the victories because that's how you differentiate them from the defeats. (Okay, Drake said that.) And the release of
Thirty Days Later was definitely a victory. The authors had a spectacular release party at Spencer's.

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Thirty Days Later Release Party


We first learned about
splendid teapot racing while researching our 2015 Comic Con panel, "Steampunk as a Global Phenomenon." Clockwork Alchemy was the second convention in the US where we saw it included. We're super excited to see this sport take off.

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Splendid Teapot Racer

Random diversion: a friend recently asked me if there are steampunk tattoos. He said he'd searched the web and hadn't found any good ones.

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Yes, Chris, There are Epic Steampunk Tattoos


Our regular readers will know that Clockwork Alchemy always coincides (more or less) with Sparky's birthday. It's become a delightful excuse for weekend-long celebrations with friends which are Sparky's favorite birthday present always. The Messenger-
Sikes Cabal organized a small soiree in their room complete with birthday wine (we swear that's a "thing"). Dover Whitecliff exercised her artistic skills to render this scene from "The Hawaiian Triple-Cross" on a birthday card. Vive la France!

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Birthday Fun


Dover's author table was one of the stops on the scavenger hunt. At some point in the weekend she switched from requiring the scavengers to read from the back of a book in Author's Alley to making them sing a birthday song to Sparky. This resulted in some truly interesting birthday tunes. Who knew there was an apocalyptic birthday ditty?

Okay, it really was a
real convention, where we did presentations, and some performing and everything.

Clockwork Alchemy 2016 Schedule Fancy


Our Busy Schedule


First up: Character Creation Laboratory with the Messenger-Sikes Cabal. A few of the teams wound up producing stories that integrated all their characters. Sparky thinks her team should actually write up their story and get it published.

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Character Creation Laboratory


What? You were thinking there was no Hot Potato School of Writing™? Oh, you read the schedule, so you know we weren't going to leave you hanging. The Messenger-Sikes Cabal is getting to be old hands at this, so we threw them a curve with new plot points. “We told you not to flush that cephalopod; they will just breed in the sewers.”

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Hot Potato School of Writing™


And last, but not least, we sat on
Anthony Francis' panel on writing Victorian science fiction. Although we've known these fellow authors for several years and written two anthologies with them, it's still interesting to hear how our perspectives on our chosen genre vary.

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Writing Victorian Science Fiction


You might have noticed that most of our pics were taken in Author's Alley. We spent most of our time going between our table and the Author's Salon for panels. So while we didn't get to see a lot of our friends perform, like the
Aether Brigade

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O Aether Brigade, Where Art Thou?


…our efforts did result in this.

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Sold Out!


By now we know that we don't have to say this, but - see y'all next year!

Comment Request

Wild West Steam Fest 2016

First, a big shoutout to Noelle Shannon for reviving Wild West Steam Fest at a beautiful new location, the Heritage Museum of Orange County. The whole place looked like this.


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View from the Porch of the Kellogg House

It was picnic perfect.


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Pickanick Basket Anyone?

Lots of friends were there, enjoying the programming and the shady elegance.


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Pausing for a Brief Respite on the Kellogg House Porch


The Wild West Steam Fest added regularly scheduled gun fights (wonderfully played by the
Guns and Garters Old West Reenactment group) that were sprinkled throughout the day.

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Look What You Done!


What’s that you say? Were there shenanigans? Really, do you even need to ask?


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Which One is the Sidekick?


Masks by the
Brass Wardrobe. Thanks to Bob Mogg for these comic pics of our masked heroes and for the cool panoramic view of the Kellogg House porch above. And speaking of Bob, also known as the Iron Tailor, he gave an incredibly educational bandolier workshop. It was really clear and informative. Even Sparky got to feeling like she might be able to tackle one of these projects.

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The Iron Tailor Explains Bandoliers


The
Star Wars Steampunk Universe was out in Force….ahaha. And Sparky won a patch by answering one of Dude Vader's trivia questions. It will straight onto her steampunk denim jacket.

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Star Wars Steampunk Universe


Deus Ex Vapore Machina was there playing sets in the gazebo throughout the day, so we stopped by several times in between shopping and panels to hear several songs.

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Deus Ex Vapore Machina


And you know we can't resist a few pics of cool costumes we spotted.


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New Costume Creativity


Because it was a one-day event, we had a short presentation schedule; we just did Drake & McTrowell’s Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. Thanks to
Debra Brunner for being such a good sport and participating in both the skit and the sock-puppet reading.


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“Green Grass, Brown Well” and “The Evil Cheesemonger”


Like many steampunk conventions, this one had a costume contest. What was special about this one was the number of girls in amazing adventure costumes. Seriously, doesn’'t the one on the left look like a young Sparky McTrowell? But they all looked incredible and steampunky.


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You
re Never Too Young to be a Steampunk Adventuress


Here’s hoping that the Heritage Museum saw the benefit of the event and lets Noelle do it again next year.

Comment Request

Festival of Fools 2016

As our regular readers are aware, we’re huge fans of the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum and the Dreadful Punks, so we were super excited when they came together to produce the First Annual Festival of Fools, and delighted to be asked to headline.

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Who's Ready for Some Foolishness?


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Festival of Fools Poster

We started the festivities by appearing on San Diego Living on the local CW station. We steampunked the hosts, Lynda Martin and Clint August.

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San Diego Living

Drake pitched in by creating the brochure and map.

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Festival of Fools Brochure

We thought we were in 2016, but it’s possible we were in 1885.

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Back to the Future

Because it was outdoors with lots of open space, we took the opportunity for some sporting and busking shenanigans. We broke out the croquet set.

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Extreme Croquet

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Let the Wookie Win

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Even Doc Phineas Paid our Pitch a Visit

We did lots of juggling; Drake even taught a few lessons. We spent so much time busking and performing that we didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures. We’re grateful to Bethany Jackson, Hybrid Realities Cosplay, Michael Watson, and Debbie Boyd for many of the following pictures.

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Juggling Fools

And another in our continuing series, “Separated at Birth…”

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Separated at Birth?


We ran not one, but two, full sessions of Drake & McTrowell's Hot Potato School of Writing™. The first one was on the main stage. Judging by the pics, it had more than even our usual level of shenanigans.

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Hot Potato School of Writing™ on the Main Stage

The second session was in the more casual setting of the Dreadful Lounge.

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Open Air Hot Potato School of Writing™

Of course, no convention would be complete without a little music and dancing, compliments of Frenchy & the Punk.

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Frenchy & the Punk

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Plus Dancing

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Um, Whats Going on Here?

We hope to see you all there next year!

FoF_Smooching

Until Next Year


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Iron Horse 2016

Con season is in full swing, so we spent Saturday in Perris, CA, at the Orange Empire Railway Museum for the Iron Horse Family Steampunk Carnivale. We were even on the marquee for this one!

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Our Names in Lights…Sorta


We were traveling light, so we only did a couple of things. First, we participated in Joyce McCarthy's “Over 30 Cosplay” panel. A lot of our favorite “usual suspects” were there and we had a lively discussion.

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Over 30 Cosplay Panel


We did another round of Drake & McTrowell’s Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. Even with a completely different company, it was completely wacky.

Sera_does_Sparky Bethany_and_Sera ToTHI_company_in_action CI_Drake_explains Do_not_mess_with_the_crew Separated_at_birth

Don’t Try This at Home, Kiddies; We’re Rank Amateurs
(Carol Silver, thanks for taking these pictures!)


Okay, we did squeeze in a couple of other shenanigans. We hung with the
Atlantean Foundation for quite a bit of the afternoon, complete with singing on the train because…Atlantean Foundation. It’s what they do. The other thing they do is set up an awesomely detailed encampment and bestow superbly gracious hospitality on their friends.

Atlantean_Foundation_IH1 Atlantean_Foundation_IH2 Atlantean_Foundation_IH3

Attending Iron Horse, Atlantean-Style


And it seems like it’s been forever since we managed to catch one of
Poplock Holmes’ shows. Sparky danced to her heart’s content, but skipped the "signing directly on the fans" fun at the end.

Poplock_IH1 Poplock_signing

#thesteampunkfestival


And it wouldn’t be one of our convention bloops without some nods to the costumes that really tickled our fancies.

Wired_hat Accompanying_octopus Steampunk_guard_dog Iron_Horse_family

It Wouldn’t Be Steampunk Without the Costumes


Comment Request

Wild Wild West Con 2016

If it’s March, the Drake & McTrowell roadshow must be hitting Old Tucson Studios for Wild Wild West Con! So much fun; so many friends; so many shenanigans! Justin Andrew Hoke of Dreadfully Punk joined us in the Dr. Sparkymobile and lent a hand all weekend with carting gear, taking pictures, and captaining the Blue Team for Drake & Mctrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing™.

The_Boys_Take_Old_Tucson

The Boys Take Old Tucson


We shared an author’s table with
David Lee Summers again inside the vendor’s barn. We had a great spot right in-between the refreshment stand and the table for the band “The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing.” David S. was selling his hot-off-the-press book “Brazen Shark,” which is the third in his steampunk series. You should definitely check it out if you missed picking one up at WWWC. Special thanks to his wife, Kumie, and his daughter, Verity, for keeping the commerce in action while we scampered back and forth to panels.

Shenanigans_with_Verity

Vending Shenanigans


It’s always fun to see our friends exercising their steampunk chops.

Cirque_in_the_Sun

Cirque des Bêtes in the Sun


Rock_Monster

League of S.T.E.A.M. with Their Rock Monster

DLS_Sheriffs_Office

David Lee Summers Does Victorian Astronomy


Lord_Powers_Penny_Farthing

Lord Towers Rides Tall


Thomas_Willeford_Ironman

Thomas Willeford is Hot, Literally


Leather_Sniffing

Dont Ask!
(Crackitus from League of S.T.E.A.M. lovingly wipes his nose on Erasmus’ leathers)

Tea_Duel_Stare_Down

Ice Cold Tea Duel Stare Down Cooling Off the Desert


We made some new friends including John Sprocket from
The Cog is Dead.

John_Sprocket

John Sprocket entertained with lively songs and panache


John did us the honor of captaining Team Red for Hot Potato School of Writing™.

HPSoW_at_WWWC5


Quick — have the story include “The look of love evaporated from his face when he saw his own reflection in the dead woman’s glass eye”


Trip Hope and Justin Andrew Hoke helped us reprise our presentation of “Steampunk as a Global Influence.”

Global_Phenom


Did Someone Say, “Стимпанк?”
( Russian for “Steampunk” )


There was some creative new costuming including the return of color, particularly in the ladies’ costumes.


Riddler Green_Lantern_Steampunk Mariachi Wolverine Lone_Ranger_and_Tonto


Lots of Crossovers


We got to see Splendid Teapot Racing live for the first time thanks to
Madame Askew, The Grand Arbiter, and Stephen Chapman. The Texas Terror made a exceptionally fine showing, particularly over the teeter-totter of terror, no surprise there.

Teapot_Racing Texas_Terror_1 Texas_Terror_2 Texas_Terror_3


Splendid Teapot Racing


Of course, we had a session of Drake & McTrowell’s Theatre of the Historically Improbable™. We continue to be amazed by the willingness of steampunks to jump in with both feet and exercise their campy acting skills.

Drake_Puppet_Dressing ToTHI_Demo


Chief Inspector / Director Erasmus Drake Shows the Company How It’s Done

OMG_Dr_Young Sock_Puppet_Dragons_Teeth Whazzat You_Dont_Say ToTHI_Thespians ToTHI_Shenanigans


Thespis Got Nothin’ on Steampunks


We saved the best for last. First, the League of S.T.E.A.M. screened the final
episode of season 3, “The Invitation to Armageddon,” the musical! We’re incredibly honored to be credited as associate producers on this episode for our contribution to the season 3 Kickstarter. You’ll have to settle for a picture of the audience for now because the episode isn’t online yet. “Why,” you ask? Because it’s having its theatrical “work premiere” at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival on April 4th!

LoS_Musical

The Audience for “Invitation to Armageddon”


And then there was this!
Oz Coppherchops proposed to Lady Ember Brennen Sparks with a little clandestine help from his friends. We love how verklempt she is in the first pic.

She_Said_Yes_1 She_Said_Yes_3
She_Said_Yes_2


She Said, “Yes”


Our regular readers will know that the two of us have a post-con “thing”; we go out for Mexican food. Apparently, we both crave chile after a busy weekend of vending, entertaining, costuming, and hauling. At other cons, it’s usually just the two of us, but for the second year in a row at WWWC we and a bunch of steampunk friends took over the basement of
El Charro. We drank a toast to Diana Given for putting on such an amazing con. Someone get that woman a foot massage and a libation; she’s earned them!

El_Charro_Chowdown

El Charro Chowdown


There were only about 20 of us; the wait staff says the basement will hold 70. Challenge accepted! See y’all next year on Sunday night after WWWC6 wraps!

Comment Request

Comic Con 2015

Sparky here as your intrepid reporter, covering our five days at Comic Con.

It started like this: getting in on professional passes (thanks to publishing our first book in
hardcover) on our 15th wedding anniversary. Yep, we were made for each other.

Pro_Passes

Pro Passes


We spent preview night shopping and planning, like checking on
League of S.T.E.A.M. appearances.

LoS_ad_board_a


Full Slate


And hanging with the
rock monster from season 3.

Rock_monster

A Rock and a Hard Place


Rocky Olivares, one of the illustrators for "London, Where It All Began" was there and had our book for sale in the small press pavilion.

Rocky_sells_LWIAB_a

Rocky Sells "London, Where It All Began"


The ladies from
Blonde Swan and Mad Girl showed us how to make steampunk eye-poppingly colorful.

Blonde_Swan+Mad_Girl_1Blonde_Swan+Mad_Girl_2

Steampunk Comes in Colors


Of course we saw lots of friends. This was really clever,
Joyce McCarthy and Christopher Hoage cosplaying Boston Metaphysical.

Boston_Metaphysical

Cosplaying Boston Metaphysical


We'd been wandering the floor for a couple of days before we finally made it all the way to
Fred Jeska's booth. Rumor has it he was doing a ripping business.


Fred_Jeska

Fred Jeska


Comic Con also had some really sweet, heartwarming discoveries. This woman's husband made her this fabulously detailed steampunk scooter so she can tool around in style.


steam_scooter_1 steam_scooter_2

Steam Scooter


True story: Drake has a weakness for Curious George. Okay, maybe Sparky does too. Suggesting that we're still 5-year olds at heart would not be entirely incorrect. At any rate, we spotted this guy with his toddler cosplaying the curious little monkey and his protector, the man in the yellow hat.


Curious_George

Curious George


But, the really big news was that our panel, "Steampunk as a Global Phenomenon" was accepted! Thanks to Colleen Kelly Burks for making it all happen for us through
ConDor Conventions. Yes, we totally owe you a return appearance as special guests; not that we mind because we had such an amazing time the last time.

SaaGP_title

Steampunk as a Global Phenomenon


SDCC_2015_panel

Our Intrepid Panel


In addition to moderating, Sparky covered Russia and Scandinavia. Don't believe her shoulders, she really did know what she was talking about. Who else would relate steampunk style to pre-revolutionary Russian baroque. That bachelor's degree in Russian has to be good for something.


SDCC_2015_Sparky

Sparky Scans Scandinavia

Justin Andrew Hoke, our very own steampunk Hawaiian cowboy from DreadWaves, did the honors for the Pacific Rim.


SDCC_2015_Justin

Justin Rocks the Pacific Rim



We were honored to have Trip Hope, producer of League of S.T.E.A.M. to do the heavy lifting on Europe and the UK.

SDCC_2015_Trip

Trip-ping Through the UK


Trip also helped us present a small gift to our favorite penny farthing rider, Jeb Haught, a tea towel from the inimitable Thomas Farthing that we picked up on our last trip across the pond.

SDCC_2015_Jeb

Another Penny Farthing for Jeb



Drake got the challenging task of covering South America and Africa, but he brought his usual enthusiasm to bear.

SDCC_2015_Drake

Drake Gets Tells it Like it Is


SDCC_2015_Africa

Drake is into Africa


Did we mention we had the last time slot on the last day? Despite people's flagging energy, we had a full house. Thanks for helping us close out Comic Con in style this year!

SDCC_2015_closing

Closing Out Comic Con


If you weren't fortunate enough to make it to Comic Con this year, or if your feet just gave out before the end, you can
hear the whole thing on a podcast over at DreadWaves.

Comment Request

Clockwork Alchemy 2015

This is how Clockwork Alchemy started. This young man walked by our author table. When Sparky squeed in delight, he gave her a Grape Soda ribbon for her badge.


Russell_Up
Russell, Is That You?


And speaking of author table, this was the first year where we had one at Clockwork Alchemy. Notice the spiffy new retractable banner behind us. Drake has been exercising his commercial illustration talents again to give us a mobile, professional presence.


Selling_at_CA
Commerce in Action


While vending is a lot of work, it has some delightful moments, like
Kaja Foglio buying a copy of “London, Where It All Began.” Those of you who know our history know that “Girl Genius” started Sparky’s interest in steampunk, so this was a huge fan girl moment for her.

Kaja_Buying_LWIAB
Kaja Bought Our Book!


We don’t have a picture, but
Dr. Brassy Steamington ran up during a rare spare moment in her busy schedule and blurted out, “I want a book! Shut up and take my money.” So we did.

Lots of our Treehouse Writers buddies were in the author’s alley neighborhood. A couple of our favorites were right next door.


Commerce_with_Sikes
Vending With the Messenger-Sikes Cabal

Speaking of the Treehouse Writers, we’re honored to be among them in “Twelve Hours Later,” an anthology whose net proceeds benefit literacy programs. We have two Drake & McTrowell stories in the book, “The Polychrome Wishing Jar” and “A Coincidental Theft.”

Twelve Hours Later
The cover of “Twelve Hours Later”


Several of the contributors read their stories at the opening night book release party.


Anthony_Francis
Anthony Francis


Here’s an unusual picture of
Thena MacArthur. No, it’s not unusual that she’s reading. It’s unusual that she’s not clothed in colorful magnificence. We think she was undercover like her character, Miranda Gray.

Thena_Reading
Thena Incognita


Lovely costumes abounded.


Sartorial_Magnificence Wonder_Woman Ship_Hats
Steampunk Wonder Woman Wonders, “Sartorial Splendor or Hats Aweigh?”



What’s that? You’re wondering if there were shenanigans? You’re wondering why we’re keeping you in suspense. Do not be disappointed, gentle reader. Drake lent a hand to Justin Andrew Hoke for Idea Men.

Idea_Men
The Idea Men


And there was this business at Sparky’s birthday party involving a Hookazoo from Belinda Messenger-Sike’s caterpillar costume. This isn’t what it looks like. This is the first two-person musical instrument that supposed to produce multiple musical notes. It didn’t really work, but that is how brilliant design starts. Okay, maybe you had to be there for this to make sense.


Hookahzoo
Hookazoo


That’s right; Clockwork Alchemy once again coincided with Sparky’s birthday. Yay! Thanks to the Messenger-Sikes Cabal for the awesome birthday party. As a present, Drake commissioned this caricature of Sparky in her Queen of Hearts costume from
David Mejia.

QoH_Caricature
Sparkys Army of Cards


Yes, we did Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing™. We don’t have pictures this time, but we do have sound, compliments of
DreadWaves, which is part of Dreadfully Punk.

On the drive home, Drake said to Sparky, “Are we stopping for our usual post-con Mexican meal?” To which Sparky replied, “Is that a thing? Our thing?” Yes, as it turns out, it is. Something about a full weekend of steampunking, vending, presenting, and propping up heavy costumes makes one really hungry for this…



Post_con_Mexican
Tamales! Eating at Chevy’s in Gilroy


Comment Request

Condor 2015

We have to start this bloop with a shout out to Colleen Kelly Burks for inviting us to be special guests at ConDor Con, San Diego's Longest Running Science Fiction Convention. We'd never been to ConDor before, so the weekend was a triple treat: new con, gracious treatment, and old friends.

The
Dreadful Punks were out in force and fine form.


Dreadful_panel

Dreadfully Punk Panel

And speaking of Dreadfully Punk, Bethany Jackson executed a most creative costume rescue for Sparky. Sparky lost one of the buttons from the blouse of her canonical costume. Bethany offered up an earring from her tea dueling biscuit jewelry collection as a replacement; so sweet and thoughtful!


Bethany_button
Bethany Biscuit Button (Earring)

There was a Starburner Galactic Courier Service induction ceremony where agents #32 and #33, Darren Wagner and Lindsay Rae Harold Wagner, were inducted and quite deservedly so.


Lindsay_Darren_induction
Inducting Starburner Agents #33 and #32

Starburner_induction
Starburner Induction Ceremony

Even though we were on a number of panels and had a successful signing with Mysterious Galaxy, we found plenty of time to just hang out with friends like David Lee Summers and Oliver Von Bremen. In case you're wondering, this threesome is getting ready to play a game of Martian Dice.


Martian_dice
Martian Dice


We met the Adventure Effect and Sparky got to join them on a panel on staying in character.

Adventure_Effect
The Adventure Effect

The highlight of the weekend was playing Drake & McTrowell's Hot Potato School of Writing™ with guest co-authors Sherwood Smith and Jefferson P. Swycaffer. We were fortunate to have an early evening slot when nothing else was going on, so folks came out in droves. We played a brand new set of plot points and the game was off the hook. Thanks to Kyla at Kyla's Keepsakes for the pics.

Lindsay_and_Kelly Sparky_loves_HPSoW Poplock_Jefferson Murray_Drake_Justin Dreadful_ladies Summers_Hot_Potato
Riotous HPSoW

Poplock Holmes was a contestant for one of our games. We don't remember clearly what happened at the end of the game, but he's definitely making a dramatic exit.

Poplock_makes_a_break0 Poplock_makes_a_break1 Poplock_makes_a_break2 Poplock_makes_a_break3
Poplock Makes a Break for It

Remember what we said about gracious treatment? ConDor comped us a lovely room. We all know what that means…room party! Fear not; we're not the rowdy type. It was just wall to wall friends eating and chatting.


Room_party
Room Party


Well, maybe there was music too. This was a particularly sweet moment,
Hannah and Poplock Holmes doing an acoustic jam on the balcony.

Hannah_Poplock_jam
Hannah and #poplockholmes


Needless to say, we're looking forward to next year. Colleen, sign us up!

Comment Request

Wild Wild West Con 2015

Who's up for a little wild west steampunk fun?

Tucson_MountainsStagecoach
Old Tucson Studios


We headed back to Old Tucson Studios outside Tucson for one of our favorite conventions, Wild Wild West Con. It featured some old favorites…like tea dueling!

But this was a new one on us. The dry desert air dried out the biscuits so much that they wouldn't crumble. So Madame Askew issued a challenge: sing and dance to “I'm a Little Teapot.” Hilarious!


Im_a_Little_Teapot
I'm a Little Teapot


Why yes, Madame Askew, The Judge would like to tea duel and take home the grand prize…again.

Judge_Dueling Judge_with_Prize
The Judge Dominates Tea Dueling


We're always on the lookout for clever new costumes and accessories like this parasol.

Release_the_Kraken_Parasol
Release the Kraken


And this adorable steam bee.

Steam_Bee
Steam Bee


Wait, is that a toilet float on that Rocketeer's jet pack? Clever makers!

Rocketeer_1 Rocketeer_2
Steampunk Rocketeer


It wasn't all “people watching” for us; we had two appearances every day. We premiered a new skit from Drake & McTrowell's Theater of the Historically Improbable, “The Case of the Competing Cryptozoologists.” We were graced by the participation of Wild Wild West Con's co-owner, Diana Given, in character as Lady Jane, the Butterfly Huntress.

Drake_and_the_Butterfly_Hunter
Lady Jane, The Butterfly Huntress


We shared a table in the vendor barn with David Lee Summers where we were vending our book, “London, Where It All Began.”

David_Lee_money
Maybe We Shouldn't Quit Our Day Jobs Just Yet

Our vendor table even hosted a Gamera vs Godzilla rematch.

Godzilla_Rematch
Gamera - Godzilla Rematch

More people are recording us these days. Our friend, Heather Bollman, shot this video of the audience participation part of our reading from our second book, “The Bavarian Airship Regatta,” … with sock puppets!


Interactive Sock Puppets!


And then Darren Wagner shot this video of Sparky dancing while
#poplockholmes serenaded her during his busking tour.


Pass the Tea, Please


Previously, Sparky lived in Tucson for a decade. One of her favorite restaurants was
El Charro. It was founded in 1922 and it's still there. A whole crowd of us from Wild Wild West Con went one night and chowed down on some authentic Sonoran-style Mexican food.

El_Charro
El Charro


Wild Wild West Con is always one of our favorites cons. We can't wait to see what they have in store for next year!

Comment Request

Steamathon 2015

We were tempted to just write, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” and leave the rest of this bloop blank. But then we wouldn’t get to share some really cool pictures, so these shenanigans aren’t going to stay in Vegas.

Four people in the San Diego contingent had birthdays that week, so we started the weekend with dinner at the steampunk-themed
RX Boiler Room in the Mandalay Bay.

Boiler_Room

Mixology
RX Boiler Room Birthday Cookies and Table-Side Mixologist


If you get a chance, definitely go. Not only is it visually gorgeous, but the food is delicious and beautifully presented.

Speaking of visually gorgeous settings, the
Main Street Station is a Victorian casino. We had several gatherings in the Pullman Lounge that contains an actual vintage Pullman railroad car. Yep, it’s a very big room.

Pullman_lounge

Sparky_in_Pullman Drake_in_Pullman
Pullman Lounge and D&McT in the Pullman Railcar


We were asked to contribute to the festivities on short notice, so we gamely threw ourselves in (to the deep end of the pool). We played Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing™ with
Kelly Varner and Justin Hoke as guest authors. D&McT is usually a pretty PG enterprise, but somehow the Vegas edition of the game was a little more colorful than usual thanks to these two madcap troublemakers. Drake as a Vegas showgirl? Need we say more?

Vegas_HPSoW
Troublemakers All


This was followed immediately by an impromptu book signing in the vendor room arranged by our friends at
Rae-Wolf Designs.

Steamathon_book_signing Vegas_signing_sign
Autographs Anyone?


Sunday was
Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, so there was, of course, a birthday party. It was also Lady Amethyst’s birthday, so Doc Phineas invited her to blow out the candles on the cake.

Lisa_and_Vernes_cake
She Doesn’t Look a Day Over 100


Doc Phineas invited Drake to discuss Verne’s literary contributions, an activity that culminated in a chat between the two of them while Sparky engaged in a
shameless plug for the hardcover edition of “London, Where It All Began.”

Drake_on_Verne With_Doc_Phineas
A Tribute to Jules Verne


One of the benefits of going to a con farther from home is that we get to see new people, costumes, and gadgets. We’ve seen a lot of steampunk wings, but none quite like these lovely brass ones.

Brass_wings
Brass Wings


We saw an amazing Las Vegas-based “hoop artist” (is that the right technical term?) named
Dizzy Hips. In this picture, he’s hula-hooping using a 120-pound truck tire. It makes my back hurt just to watch.

Dizzy_Hips
Dizzy Hips


Steampunk Buddy Jesus with a clockwork orange? Sure!

Buddy_Jesus
Steampunk Buddy Jesus


While Sparky was dressed as a steampunk Queen of Hearts, we spotted another steampunk Queen of Hearts with her own Alice. So obviously we had to throw down.

QsoH_and_Alice Battle_of_the_Queens
Off With Her Head!


This isn’t the first time we’ve seen
Lord and Lady Towers, but it’s always a pleasure to see their latest creations.

Lord_Towers
Lord Towers


Of course, no steampunk convention is complete without a fashion show / contest. Not only did Drake participate, but he was presented with an award by Queen Victoria for being the most dapper. At least that’s the way I remember it.

Fashion_Show_participants
All of the Fashion Show Participants

Victoria_awards_Drake
Dapper Drake Wins at the Fashion Show (Well, to be truthful, all the participants won something)


We had a great time and we were impressed with the fledgling event. We made the six-hour drive back to San Diego with the satisfaction of that only comes from shenanigans in Vegas.

Comment Request

HRM Steampunk Symposium 2015

If it’s January, we must be starting the con season with a partying good time on the beautiful Queen Mary. And what’s a party without a circus…

Cirque1 Cirque2 Cirque3
Cirque Des Betes


…and some magicians? These two happen to be our favorites:
Aiden Sinclair and Dyno Staats. Is someone eavesdropping?

Aiden_and_Dyno
Aiden and Dyno Exchange a Deep Dark Magician Secret


Surely there must be music and dancing.

LPN_at_HRMSS
Yeah, We Know - Swing is Only Steampunk if it’s Lee Presson and the Nails


Or maybe
Poplock Holmes serving up some chap hop with a couple of really talented young fans dancing off?

Poplock_Holmes_warmup Dance_off
Monster Hunting Dance Off

Of course, it wouldn’t be HRM Steampunk Symposium without an epic party or two (or three) hosted by San Diego Steampunk in the Eisenhower Suite including Jeff’s birthday party with Thee Bluebeard serving as cake messenger.

Jeffs_birthday1 Jeffs_birthday2 Eisenhower_Party
Now That’s a Birthday Party!


If you’re in the market for some improvisational hilarity,
Madame Askew is your go-to gal for serving as tea dueling ‘tiffin mistress. Are we right or are we right?

Madame_Askew
You Don’t Even Have to Know What She’s Saying to Know it’s Funny

Okay, maybe there was a serious moment or two. Aiden graced us with a private, Jack the Ripper-themed séance at midnight. It was brilliant and more than a little creepy.

Murder_at_Midnight Closeup 2 Murder_at_Midnight Closeup 1
A Murder at Midnight

And remember, Green Woman loves Cthulhu because it’s that kind of con.

Green_Woman_loves_Cthulhu Mask Up
Green Woman Loves Cthulhu & Preparing to go to the Masquerade Party


And lastly, it's good to be the queen, especially if it's the Queen of Hearts.

The Queen of Hearts
Yours Truly as the Queen of Hearts


Comment Request

Comic Con 2014

July has come and gone again which means that we spent four action-packed days with 130,000 of our closest friends at the San Diego Convention Center for Comic Con. Of course, there were oodles of steampunks (that’s an official, technical metric). There were several steampunk panels including “Birth of a Graphic Novel” with the Starburner Galactic Courier Service.

Birth_Graphic_Novel_Panel

Birth of a Graphic Novel Panel


Andrew Fogel led the lively “Is It Steampunk” panel with some well known steampunks you might recognize including Claire Hummel, Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan, and Thomas Willeford.

Von_Fogel_panel

Is It Steampunk?


Not all of Comic Con was steampunk. We attended “Full Time Creativity on a Part Time Schedule.” Gene Turnbow, who does a Herculean job at
Krypton Radio, invited us. This isn’t a very flattering picture of him, but I couldn’t resist the image of him looking like he’s living on caffeine to get all that work done.

Gene_Caffeine

Gene with Caffeine


Speaking of not steampunk, there were some fabulous costumes that caught my eye despite their lack of gears and leather. I probably would have stuck with scouting as a girl if it had been like this.

Ghoul_Scouts

Ghoul Scouts


And did someone say pirate? Yar!

Pirate_Harley_Ivy

Pirate Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn


I have to say that this year was easier on us than recent years. One reason was that our dear friends Jeff and
Lisa had onsite parking, and they shuttled us every day. We bumped into Camden Toy on the street. We met him a couple of months before at Aiden Sinclair’s show in LA.

Camden_Toy

With Camden Toy


We didn’t wear full costumes every single day.

Drake_at_LoS-booth

Going Casual the First Day at the League of S.T.E.A.M. Booth
(That’s Drake trying to escape the clutches of the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s mummy!)


We made time for low-key, relaxing fun like the
League of S.T.E.A.M. meetup.

LoS_Meetup

The League of S.T.E.A.M Meetup


We went to our favorite Comic Con dinner spot,
Café Sevilla, and restored ourselves with loads sangria and paella.

Paella

Attending Comic Con is Hungry Work


Of course, one of the high points is always the Saturday steampunk meetup.

Steampunk_in_the_Shade

Steampunk Meetup
Outside near the back stairs


There were women of action!

Women_of_Action

Steampunk Women of Action


Inevitably,
Bob Mogg debuted his latest creation. It’s a tradition.

Bob_Mogg_Exoskeleton

Bob’s Latest Constructified Confabulation


But we really get together to celebrate the annual
Starburner Galactic Courier Service Awards.

2014 Starburner Awardees

2014 Starburner Galactic Courier Service Awardees


Now, as awesome as all this is, the highlight of the weekend
Andrew Fogel’s proposal to his girlfriend, Kate Walsh. Can you tell she was gobsmacked?

Von_Fogel_proposes

She Said, “Yes!”


We wish them a lifetime of steampunk shenanigans together.

Lovers_of_Action

Steampunk Shenanigans


These Are a Few of Our Favorite (Clockwork Alchemy) Things

Clockwork Alchemy has become our favorite convention for a number of reasons. We’d like to take this opportunity to enumerate them.

Organization: this is hands down the best organized convention out there, primarily owing to the skills and attention of
Thena MacArthur and Sharon Cathcart.

Thena_in_Yellow

Thena in Only One of the Magnificent, Many-Hued Ensembles She Wore


Respect: this is somewhat related to the organization, but the fact that the literary events are all organized by authors means that the literary contributions of the authors are respected. One of the events they organized this year was a book release party where the authors all read from their latest books. And for all of you who were there, “Vive la France!”


Book Release

The Book Release Party

Tea: no beverage symbolizes steampunk like tea. Clockwork Alchemy hosts a tea room that is a delightfully sublime venue for resting ones feet while enjoying a refreshing cup’a tea. And it’s all powered by the almighty tea engine.

Tea_Engine

The Tea Engine


This attendee seems to have come prepared.


Too_Much_Tea_Woman

Too Much Tea Woman


Friends: we always make amazing new friends at Clockwork Alchemy. Last year we met the Sikes’. This year they brought along their adorable mini-mes. Dr. Messenger made their costumes.

Sikes_Mini_Me

Belinda Sikes and the Twins

They invited us to participate in their Mad Scientists’ Character Creation Panel. We brought our own lab coats.

You_Say_Mad

You Say “Mad” Like It’s a Bad Thing


Drake played the dead-ish monster.

Im_Not_Dead_Yet

I’m Not Dead Yet


And a marvelous time was had by all the participants.

Mad_Scientist_Panel


See, Not So Mad After All

This year we met Andrew Crockett and his wife.

Steampunk_Hawaiian

I Can Steampunk That


I swear I’m not making up this next part. I came back early from a long business trip right before Clockwork Alchemy. I was talking to my boss just before leaving for San Jose and I commented that my early return was fortunate because my original schedule would not have allowed me to be completely prepared. He cracked that I might have arrived in San Jose to discover that I’d packed nothing but aloha shirts. And then I met Andrew; true story.

Renown: everyone knows us. We were perusing the offerings of the vendors when one of them waved down Drake. One of the owners had had her picture taken with Drake in his Mall Copper costume during
Gaslight Gathering and was proudly displaying it in their booth.

Mall_Copper_Squared

Mall Copper Squared


Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing is now sufficiently well known that we have lots of volunteers. This year the
Aether Brigade pitched in...hilarity ensued. Special thanks to most excellent newbie Assistant Jen.

HPSoW_with_Aether_Brigade

Hot Potato School of Writing a la Aether Brigade

Telegrams: this is the only con that offers this particularly delightful treat. They have a telegraph office. One has only to send them a text message including the name of the recipient and their location. An extremely energetic page boy delivers a printed telegram with much fanfare and volume.

Pageboy

Telegram for the Judge!

They even deliver to the bar where one might relax and enjoy a libation and a bit of sushi with ones steampunk companions.


The_Aftermath

The Aftermath


Entertainment: I didn’t get any good pictures of the amazing fashion show arranged by Kory Doyle, but the ensembles were smashing. And finally,
Lee Presson and the Nails rocked the rafters of the ballroom with their irrepressible style.

Lee_Presson_Not_Nailed_to_the_Stage


Lee Presson - Not Entirely Nailed to the Stage

We’ve already committed to be there next year! One final note: birthday. Clockwork Alchemy always falls on or near my birthday, so I get to spend my birthday at my favorite steampunk convention with my steamy sweetie and my favorite steampunk friends. What could possibly be better?

Of course, pictures from the Hot Potato School of Writing and the Mad Scientists’ Character Creation Panel are a gift from
Lisa. Check out her website, San Diego Steampunk for steampunk happenings in our home town and the surrounding locale.


Gaslight Gathering 2014

This year Gaslight Gathering was mostly about new costumes for us. Lisa Vaca organized the Gentlemen of Steampunk Fashion Show.

Gentlemens_Fashion_Show


All the Young(ish) Dudes (and the Amazing Lady Amethyst)


Drake rocked the hottest steampunk Internet meme with his Mall Copper uniform.

Dressed_Too_Fancy
Mall_Copper_Back

You’re Dressed Too Fancy (With a Nod to Poplock Holmes)


One of the subtle highlights of the costume was a custom carousel pin Sparky commissioned from
Rae-Wolf Designs.


Carousel_Pin

Carousel Pin


Egged on by
William Swanson’s idea for an amazing sceptre, ...

Cutting_QoH_Parts
QoH_sceptre
QoH_Augmented_Sketch
Knavery_Detector
Hand_of_the_Maker

The Making of the Sceptre

...Sparky went outside her normal costuming zone of comfort and assembled a steampunk Queen of Hearts costume that she debuted at the ball.

Hannah_and_the_QoH

Off With Their Heads, Well Not Her Head, but the Rest of You


Sparky went to a lot of vendors to pull together this costume:


We mixed it up on the dance floor in our new duds.

Dancing


Dancing Machine(s)


And then there was
Professor Elemental leading the conga line because, well, that’s a thing. With a pint in his hand, no less.

Cerveza_Conga

Conga + Cerveza


But it wasn’t all costuming. There was the reproduction
Electriquette that Kim Keeline arranged to have available. This was even more fun than it looks like here!

Electriquette

Whoa!


To our great delight, Madame Askew was there with her crew to officiate yet another epic round of tea dueling. It started off particularly well for Sparky with the success of
Dr. Sparky’s Gluten Free Tea Dueling Biscuits (r. Sparky's Gluten Free Tea Dueling Biscuits">see our post from 5/3/2014). But then there was the grudge match during the finals between Adam Green and Bear. The whole affair was so overwrought that Chief Inspector Drake (undercover as a Western marshal) had to be called in to break it up and force them to settle the matter like gentlemen on the field of tea.

Field_of_Tea

Settle This Like Gentlemen on the Field of Tea


And we did the Martian Edition of the Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing. Hopefully you didn’t miss us just because the description in the program wasn’t quite correct.

HPSoW_Martian_Edition


Marvin the Martian in His Martian Underoos (They Match!)


Kelly Varner and Karina Montgomery certainly livened up the the “Hot Potato” proceedings with their witty improvisation.


Guest_Authors

Our Guest Authors


We certainly hope that all our steamy friends had just as much fun!


Wild Wild West Con 2014

What’s hot and cool, dry and steamy? Wild Wild West Con!

Steaming_Up_the_Desert

The Judge Steaming Up the Desert with the Turleys


It’s where we first learned about tea dueling from the
Tucson Steampunk Society. Here’s a posse heading off to a duel. Note the serious determination on their visages.

Tea_Dueling_Posse

Tea Dueling Posse


If you didn’t have the great privilege of witnessing the finals, I’ll clue you in. The Judge beat the Prussian in the most dramatic, theatrical duel we have ever had the thrill of witnessing! And here’s the winner explaining to his chagrined opponent that it’s all in the wrist.

Tea_Strategy

Winning Tea Strategy


Is it safe to assume that you’re familiar with the dangerous, top-hat wearing, carousel riders meme? Well, there’s a carousel at
Old Tucson Studios. Sadly, it’s currently non-functional, so we were unable to ride. But the gracious staff at the theme park allowed the San Diego Steampunks to have a meet-up in front of it. Extra bonus, Poplock Holmes showed up and performed his new number, “Carousel,” just for us!

Dangerous_Top_Hats

Dangerous Top Hat Wearing Riff-Raff


Of course, Poplock also did a couple of regular performances for all the attendees.

Monster_Hunters


Monster Hunters!


The crew of
Airship Isabella was there. Keep an eye out for some of their illustrations in our forthcoming print book, “London, Where It All Began.”

Momma_Warned_You

Momma Warned You


Because we’re steampunks, we can steam up anything. Bowler + gear + mustache + Dalek = …

Steam_Dalek


…Steam Dalek


One of our favorite panels was given by
David Lee Summers. His fans know that he’s an astronomer in his day job. He gave a really fun panel on the history of the Martian “canals” that was also incredibly informative. Now that’s my idea of a great panel.

Martian_Canals

Martian Canals


The park has a rule that we have to vacate the park before evening events, and then they let us back in right before the event. Since Old Tucson is on the far side of the Tucson Mountains from Tucson, dinner options are limited. Here’s the Texas solution; annex a portion of the parking lot for a barbecue. Does Miss Jocelynne look like she’s up to some kind of shenanigans?

Parking_Lot_of_Texas

Parking Lot of Texas


In closing, I just have to ask, why do two people need so much stuff for a weekend? Seriously, somebody call Mary Poppins and order me a carpet bag or ten!

Traveling_Light_Not

Traveling Light, Not!


If you’ve never been to Wild Wild West Con, you should really make the effort to make it next year. It’s an amazing, immersive experience. We’ll be there.


Steampunk Symposium 2014

We had barely recovered from our Parisian adventure than it was time to pack up the Dr. Sparky-mobile and head north to Long Beach for Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium.

Drake_inspects_Queen_Mary_Engines


Chief Inspector Drake Investigates the Queen Mary’s Engine Room


Relieved of presentation duties, we sampled various entertainments. I’m not sure what the highlight was.

Was it
Aiden Sinclair’s amazing illusions? That’s Aiden there in the middle. He entertained us for hours with his amazing skills.

Aiden_Sinclair

I Feel a Magical Conspiracy Coming On

I like to think of myself as a skeptic, but I was the subject of one of his illusions and neither I nor any of our friends in the audience could figure out how he did it.

Since there were no actual adults present, Drake engaged in a little tentacle-y sock puppetry during the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast.

Drake_with_tentacles

Sock-re Bleu (and a Little Orange)


And we helped arrest some of the
L.O.S.E.R.s…

Slo_mo_arrest

...In Slow Motion


That
Mellivora Rathbone; she’s nothing but trouble.

Lee Presson was there with The Nails giving his usually swinging concert, but the next day he gave the most inspired, energetic Poe reading I’ve ever heard.

Presson

Who Knew He Had This Skill?


Dyno Staats was there and up to his usual shenanigans. As you can see, he was very concerned about our pushing the buttons on his contraptions.

Science


Science!


Okay, I’m pretty sure it had to be the off-the-hook party in the Suite de Vacas.

Suite_de_Vacas_party


It’s Not What it Looks Like


What you can’t hear is the loud music that Drake’s “dancing” to and you can’t see the crush of people at the party. I swear. Really. Lisa Vaca took this picture and she’ll swear to it, won’t you, dear?

I really have to come up with an acronym that means “Thank Lisa,
yet again, for the awesome pics.” Nope, it just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

Well, it was a fantastic time. Going back to the day job was really, really tough. Need sleep...


Steamcon 2013

One of our New Year’s resolutions here at Drake & McTrowell is to return to getting our posts out in a timely fashion. It seems we’ve been running a little behind in the last few months. What better way to get back on track than to get out our bloop on Steamcon V (which was actually two months ago)?

Although the theme was “Around the World,” I detected a note of
Bavarian Airship Regatta. There were Russians. We still miss the brave Ivan Krasnayarubashka.

Russkiye Steampunki

Russkiye Steampunki


I thought I spotted our villainess in the crowd.

Ishild is That You

Ishild, Is That You?


Of course, we had to have McTrowell saving Drake from certain death at the hands of the pirate queen.


Saving Drake in the BarvAirshipRegatta

Saving Drake in the Bavarian Airship Regatta


Of course, it all had a happening ending.


Smooching in the Clouds

Smooching in the Clouds


In other news, Baron Von Fogel of the
League of S.T.E.A.M. was there. Is it just us, or is everyone dying for them to start Season Three?

D+McT and Von Fogel

Baron Von Fogel


The masquerade had many treats to offer. I particularly liked this one.

Masqueradeness

Masqueradeness


But I think these two were king and queen of the steam geek prom.

We Rule

We Rule

And you know the comic-reading, Comic-Con-going, steampunk adventuress in me just could not resist these three.

DCU Steampunk Chicks Rule

DCU Steampunk Chicks

Final note of happy news: apparently there’s going to be a Steamcon VI! There was some question about this at the end of Steamcon V, but I found their website as I was preparing this bloop. Nobody tell Drake that I’m going to volunteer us to do “Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing. ©”


Comic Con 2013

Oh my word, where to start? Well, the weather was cooler this year than it has been the last couple of years, so we didn’t roast in our leather coats. (Insert mental image of D&McT in leather “brownin” bags like you use for your holiday turkey. There’s a somewhat-related, but true, super-funny anecdote about a Christmas goose that overcooked for hours. The pictures are not for the faint-of-heart.) But, I digress. We just said, “no” to Hall H and Room 20, which contributed to this year’s sanity. I’ve heard some epic tales of amazing surprises that awaited the stout-hearted souls who braved the interminable lines to get it, but we just couldn’t do it this year. Instead, we opted for smaller, more personal panels.

You may not know this, but both Drake and I read
Mad Magazine as kids. Go ahead, say it, “That explains a lot.” And we both adored the little incunabula that Sergio Argones drew. So, we lined up to see the Mark & Sergio show. Sergio came out before hand to chat with the fans. How cool is that? As he was standing next to us talking to another fan, when a young boy and his dad approached. The boy was carrying a sheet of card stock with a piece of paper covering the top. When he got to Sergio, he uncovered the card stock to reveal that he was simply a messenger. The sheet was from Nick Meglin and it contained nothing more than a couple of scribbly doodles and a challenge from Nick. Apparently this is a “thing” they do. One of them makes the scribbles and the other has to make a picture out of it. I’m not sure, but perhaps the result is always supposed to be a comic portrait of the two of them. Below is Sergio’s response.

Argones

Argones


Epilogue: during the actual panel, Sergio got to talking about what had really mattered in his career. When he tried to explain how important the fans are to him, he started to choke up with emotion. It was heartwarming to see one of our hero’s softer sides. This is why I brave the lines and the non-parking to go to Comic Con!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled steamy, pithy commentary. I want these wings.

Fairy Wings

Fairy Wings


You can’t really tell from this pic, but each of the six wing elements is hinged in the middle of her back so they can be arranged separately. They’re made by
Fairy Wing Factory.

Okay, this isn’t steampunk, but for all you Whovians out there, I just had to share because this costume is so good.

Novice Hame
Novice Hame


I swear it’s going to be steampunk from here on out. I ducked out of Comic Con to visit the
Gaslight Gathering Steam Worlds Fair for a few hours on Friday night. I caught Poplock Holmes’ show that was sadly shortened by technical difficulties. It was still good fun.

Run DM Steam

Poplock Holmes


Veronique Chevalier organized a very thoughtful panel on Steampunk as a Super-Culture. Her panelists were Trevor Crafts and Bruce Boxleitner (Lantern City), Thomas Willeford (Brute Force Studios), Paul Guinan (Boilerplate), and Brian Kesinger (Tea Girls and Walking Your Octopus).

Veroniques Panel

Veronique’s Panel


Sorry for the blurry picture. My hands must have been shaking from excitement.

Of course, the big event for the steampunks is the steampunk meetup on the back stairs that includes a massive photo op followed by the
Starburner Awards. I’m sure we all save up our best new costumes for this event and here’s the proof.

Mysterious Marine MIchelle

Mysterious Marine Michelle


I swear I didn’t realize this was Michelle until she took off the scallop breather mask thingy.

We had not one, but two steampunk Batmen.

Batmen

Batmen


I don’t recognize the fellow on the right, but that’s Bob Mogg on the left, astonishing all with his creativity and skill as usual.

Max Metzler, aka
Alastar Hyde, had a new hide.

Alastars New Hide

Alastar’s New Hide


Seriously, you didn’t think I was going to let that one slide by did you?

I’m still having nightmares about this one.

Steampunk Raptor

Steampunk Raptor


Remember back before all these nifty pictures I mentioned that this event culminates with the Starburner Awards? Or perhaps you missed my previous bloop on the subject, but we
won one of the awards for our radio show! Congrats to all this year’s winners:

  • Jeffrey & Lisa Vaca - Community Support
    • Anastasia Hunter – Events
    • Max Metzler - Public Relations
    • Michelle Scrimpsher – Costuming
    • Erica "Unwoman" Mulkey – Music
    • Brian Kesinger – Art
    • Fred Jeska - Gadgetry

And hats off to the 2013 Starburner Galactic Courier Service inductees:
  • Daniel Bissonnette
    • Paul Bailey
    • Jeb Haught

We hear that there will be more awards and inductees at other events later this year, so keep an ear out for the details.

The last steampunk event of Comic Con was the Steampunk Generations panel organized by Daniel Bissonette. It was a multi-generational look at steampunk’s attraction and direction. The panelists were
Hannah Vaca (our very own Gertrude and the voice of Margaret O’Malley), William Swanson, C.J. DeAngelus, Kim Hutsell, and Duane Matthews.

Hannah and Her Brothers

Hannah and her (Steam) Brothers


The highlight for me was when Hannah admitted that her mom, Lisa, is the coolest mom in the world. Now it’s on the Internet; it must be true.

None of us really wanted to admit that Comic Con was over, so we hung in the hall for a while catching up. I’m not sure what these two are up to.

Amethyst + Phineas

Lady Amethyst + Phineas Sinclair


Maybe she was bragging about being the coolest mom in the world.

I’ll just close by saying, “I’m a fan of Jeb’s work.”

I'm a Fan

I’m a Fan




Clockwork Alchemy 2013

Question: why do two people need to bring so freaking much stuff for a weekend convention? Answer: who cares, as long as I (Sparky) get to spend my birthday with my steampunk friends? We spent Memorial Day weekend in San Jose at Clockwork Alchemy. We arrived on my birthday and headed to a French restaurant for dinner with the bestest fans ever…Lisa and Jeff.

Birthday Pig

Dîner, Birthday Girl?

In addition to the customary delight of dressing up, hanging with friends, being gawked at by mundies, and being chronically amazed by the creativity of others, the weekend had some very special treats of its own.

First, Clockwork Alchemy hosted a tearoom; very civilized. That was our very first stop in order to consume some delightfully refreshing and energizing caffeinated beverages while making our plan of attack.

Tea at Clockwork

Tea @ Clockwork


The Mysterious Gentleman Admirer was so mysterious in the tearoom, that you can’t see any of him except his coat and boutonnière.

On the advice of our pal, Karina (aka
Mellivora Rathbone), we had badge ribbons made up for this first time. Of course, the first ribbon had to go to Lady Amethyst, all kitted out here for one of her cryptozoological expeditions.

First Ribbon

First “HOT POTATO!” Ribbon

We made new friends. Aaron and Belinda Sikes came to our Team Writing panel.

Aaron and Belinda

Aaron and Belinda Sikes

Wikipedia Thumbs Up

Drake Gives Wikipedia the Thumbs Up During Team Writing

They just had their first co-authored short story published in Mechanized Masterpieces! And then, to prove what a team they are, she volunteered him as a guest author for Drake & McTrowell’s Hot Potato School of Writing™ when we came up short one author. True love.

Hot Potato Part Deux

Hot Potato School of Writing, Part Deux,
The Game of Sticking It to Your Fellow Author

Normally I wouldn’t post a picture like this (below) because it suggests disharmony in our (D&McT) creative enterprise, but I imagined a snippet of dialog that goes like this:

Sparky -
Seriously, you’re going to pick that Hot Potato?

Erasmus -
Hey, with my incredibly fabulous new double-breasted waistcoat in delicious butterscotch and cinnamon candy stripe from Mr. Alan Jeffries, I can pick any Hot Potato I want.


You're Going to Use That Hot Potato

Seriously, You’re Going to Pick That Hot Potato?

I can’t continue this post without sending extra special thanks to Thena McArthur and Gene Forrer. This is the first con we’ve attended where the writers got first class treatment. They set up a special room for writing panels, called “The Library,” that was actually decorated like a library.

Clockwork Library

The Library

So cozy. And Thena was responsible for organizing all the writers and writing panels. It was so well organized and welcoming!

Jake Von Slatt was there! I can’t help it. His work is just so amazing and I’ve never seen him in person before. Did I mention that he’s a really nice human being?

Tin Etching with JVS

The Über-Maker Himself


And the Mysterious Gentleman Admirer was there getting tin-etching tips.

Mysterious Gentleman Maker

Mysterious Gentleman Maker


As fortune would have it, our radio show on Krypton Radio was scheduled to run during the last day of the con. With a little bit of scrambling, we managed to set up in the hall outside the Library for folks to listen live. (What am I doing here?!)


Listening Live

Listening Live

More thanks are in order for all of the Clockwork Alchemy goodness. Here goes…

Gene Forrer got the troops rallied to advertise the playing of the D&McT Krypton Radio Show on less than a day’s notice. Seriously, a sandwich board!

Sandwich Board

Good Old Fashioned (Just-in-Time) Advertising


And Gene Turnbow at
Krypton Radio adjusted his programming schedule overnight so folks could hear two shows in a row, both the first and second. That explains why we all look so happy in this pic.

Gene Turnbow + D&McT

Just-in-Time Radio Programming


Yes,
Steam Powered Giraffe was there and they actually played two shows.


Hamming with Hatchworth

Hamming it Up with Hatchworth

But then there was this other special moment when the band was hanging in the foyer chatting with fans. And Michael Reed was just sitting in the corner playing whatever he felt like on the piano.

MPR on Piano

Improv

Okay, I saved the best for last. All of you who are FoL (Friends of Lisa) know that 1) she has really long hair and 2) she has a really wacky imagination. Put those together and WHA-BAM! You get this.

What Octopus

What Octopus?

It’s been nearly a month and I’m still laughing about this.

Are You Looking at Me

Are You Looking At Me?


I really hope Clockwork Alchemy invites us back next year…hint, hint, hint because we had an amazing time!

I need to come up with some clever acronym/meme for thanking Lisa once again for providing excellent pictures for us to use. Thanks, Lisa!

Gaslight Gathering 2013

It seems like we barely get our “steampunk” attire clean and pressed before we need it again. The weekend after Wild West Fest, we were back in our D&McT duds for the local convention, Gaslight Gathering III. We stopped for a quick photo op under one of the many rose arbors that dot the grounds of the Town & Country Hotel.

Roses

Drake Under Roses


To sail along with us, click here.

Wild West Fest 2013

It was hot…hot like a western, silver mining ghost town. Oh wait, it WAS a Western, silver mining ghost town. Calico to be precise. We popped up early on a Saturday morning to head out toward Barstow for the inaugural Wild West Fest at the Calico Ghost Town.


Wild West Fest Sign

First Annual? Wild West Fest


For all the smokin’ hot shenanigans, click here.


Wild Wild West Con 2013

True confession: I lived in Tucson for a decade and only went to Old Tucson once, and that was the version that burned down in 1995. So everything about the old western set was entirely new to both Drake and me when we arrived for Wild Wild West Con.

As promised in “
Oh Hats!,” we premiered our new Drake-and-McTrowell-before-they-were-D&McT costumes. Luckily, Lady Amethyst was there to capture us in our new finery. (Thanks, yet again, for making us look good.)

Sparky del Pecos

Can You Say Pecos Incident?

Drake as Pirate

Thar Be a Fancy Pirate


For (lots) more dusty, steamy fun, click here.

HRM Steampunk Symposium 2013

One of the dangers of my catching up on past bloops before the end of 2012 is that I don’t feel the tremendous weight of the previous backlog. Oooo, I could just go on for pages and pages about our first event of 2013, Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium aboard the amazing Queen Mary. I’ll try to restrain myself, but I make no promises. There were pirates.

Blue pirate

A Pirate in Blue, Not to Be Confused with Bluebeard (Who Was Also There)


Click here for the rest of the fun and frivolity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Steamcon III Swag!

Fridge MagnetButton with Pin


We have a treat for those of you who will be at Steamcon III in Bellevue, WA, this week. If (when) you see us, approach us and identify us by name ("Hey, aren't you Drake & McTrowell?"), and we'll give you a nifty piece of swag: a D&McT pin or refrigerator magnet, your choice (while supplies last, and there aren't a lot, so don't be shy!). Not sure what we look like? Visit our Logbook page.

See you there!

Oh, yeah, one more thing. If you got to this site because you saw our ad in the Steamcon III newspaper, welcome! We have an on-going cyberserial story that we have been contributing to (pretty much) every week since July 2010. You can read the story from the beginning starting at this link. We have also been posting Drake & McTrowell related artwork. Just this week, we have also added a section of our web site for steampunks to submit a picture and description of your character. Details for submitting are located here.

Enjoy!

-- Drake & McTrowell

Getting the Word Out at SteamCon III

We (Katherine and Dave) have been paying attention to the feedback that we’re getting from our loyal readers, and one of our consistent requests is that we add more to the Adventures of Drake & McTrowell website than just the running cyberserial story. So we’ll be adding some non-story Drake & McTrowell information. We also plan to have more pictures, illustrations, and the like; you know, visually interesting stuff.

So here we go with the first installment, just for you, dear reader.


Katherine and I will attending
SteamCon III in Seattle, Washington, from October 14th through 16th. We will be there in full Drake & McTrowell regalia. We attended last year, and had a great time. One of the things that we enjoyed about it was that they had a daily newspaper for the convention that not only contained the events of the day, but also advertisements for the various steampunk vendors, authors, and web sites.

We decided this year to put in a 6x4 inch “ad” for our web site. The organizers just sent us an approval for our ad, so we wanted to share it with everyone.

SteamCon III Ad DrakeAndMcTrowell Final

We hope that it grabs the attention of a gagillion SteamCon attendees.

For those of you that attended last year’s SteamCon II, it was there that Dr. Sparky McTrowell and her crew won the Airship Regatta (as
reported in the Seattle Times article)! The regatta was hosted by Girl Genius’s own Cheyenne Wright, the web comic’s colorist. Real fans of our cyberserial will jump with joy when they find out that the famous Seattle Times’ photo of Sparky piloting the balloon craft is on sale.

See you at the Con!!