Duel at Dusk 2018

It's that time again. Duel at Dusk! It seems we never do it exactly the same every year. This year we held it in conjunction with ConDor. But we had our same great lineup: Drake directing fencing; Bob Mogg, the Iron Tailor, wrangling Nerf gun dueling; Madame Askew reigning over compliment and tea duelling; Murray Willett running around making sure none of the balls hit the floor.

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Setting Up


We're Sure This is Just a Wardrobe Correction

Our foil fencers this year were Bryan Bishe and Ben Jagger with the win going to Ben!

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Jagger_Bishe_action DatD_2018_foil_winners

Staba, Staba, Staba

One may always rely on Madame Askew for urbane hilarity, even in the most mundane of activities such as the explanation of the rules of the venerable art of tea duelling.


Madame Askew Explains it All

John Bollman acquitted himself with valor in the Nerf gun dueling to take the top prize, a very cool Nerf gun steampunked by Bob Mogg. We have a feeling John will be back next year to defend his title.

DatD_2018_Bollman_Nerf DatD_Bollman_Nerf2 DatD_2018_Nerf_winner

Take That! And That!

Of course the room was full of friends old and new.

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DatD_2018_crowd Brunner_Bollman DatD_doll

What's a Party Without Friends?

Vendors? Of course there were vendors:
Rae Wolf Designs, Wyng'd Lyon, Gears & Roebuck, and Gear Oils. Because, what's a steampunk event without shopping? Special thanks to our ever-capable vendor wrangler, Lindsay Rae Harold Wagner, who made sure we satisfied everyone's shopping craving.

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In addition to his skills with Nerf guns, carpet bags, parasols, bandoliers…oh bother, the list just goes on! More to the point, Bob Mogg has a wicked sense of humor that often manifests itself materially. Voilá!


Because it's a Fencing Event. Get it?

What do y'all think? Do it again next year?

Comment Request

Announcing Duel at Dusk 2018

Duel at Dusk 2018 Header

“Duel at Dusk” is back! This is the fourth time we are offering this event. Drake & McTrowell, along with help from the ConDor Con 2018, is making it even better than ever.

Not familiar with Duel at Dusk? It's a steampunk parlor event with dueling. Once again, there will be four types of dueling: steampunk nerf gun dueling, tea dueling, compliment dueling, and our traditional Olympic-style foil fencing! We will also have our usual dazzling array of steampunk vendors, and much, much more.

Duel at Dusk 2018

On-line sales for Duel at Dusk 2018 have been closed. You can still buy tickets at the door!

7 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. on Saturday the 20th of January, 2018

Location: Co-located with ConCor Con
Handlery Hotel
Garden Ballroom
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, California 92108

You may buy tickets at the door of the event. $10 for adults (age 13 and up) and $5 for children (ages 4 through 12). If you have a FULL 3-day Membership to ConDor Con for 2018, then you may attend Duel at Dusk for free (please RSVP so we'll have enough seating).

On-line tickets may be purchased for $8 for adults and $4 for children (only available on-line until 11 PM Wednesday January 17, 2018).

So acquire your tickets, stuff your photographic apparatus into your carpet bag, take in an early dinner, and come join us on the evening of January 20th to participate and/or watch the competitors!

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Long Beach Steamy Tea and Picnic

Off we went to Long Beach on a lovely Sunday morning to join the Long Beach Company of Steampunks and Neo Victorians for their Steamy Tea and Picnic.

All was in readiness for a delightful picnic in El Dorado Park.

Picnic_prep Picnic_spread

Picnic in the Park

Several very fine gentlemen were in attendance.


Picnic Gents

And what could be a better accompaniment to a picnic in the park than croquet?

Croquet_1 Croquet_2


Plus, there were corgis!


Corgis Attended by their Human Servants

Alas, we had to bid adieu to all the fine steampunk trappings, including this lovely creation.


Tower of Steampunk Finery

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Dispatch Detailing Duel at Dusk 2017

Wow, just wow! We’re thrilled at how well our new format was received. We were back at our usual venue, Team Touché Fencing Center. Of course, we had our traditional offering of Olympic-style foil fencing.

Ben Jagger and Bryan Bishe Mix It Up

Drake even got in the game, but without eschewing sartorial suavities.

Erasmus_fences cropped
Is That Bowler FIE Regulation?

The final bout was between Ben Jagger and Bryan Bishe. Bryan won, but it was close.

Bryan Wins! And gets a giant commemorative chocolate bar!

But, wait, there’s more. We had
Madame Askew and her intern, Ian, in from Tucson for tea duelling.

So Much Tea Duelling!


D@D_teaduelling_2 D@D_teaduelling_3



The shenanigans were so off the hook that even Madame Askew struggled to contain herself.


Ze Prussian fell to the victorious Steampunk Molly, but not without an epic battle. She was rewarded with a ceramic tea holder filled with various teas!

We were also honored to have the
Iron Tailor, Bob Mogg, working with us to run the steampunk Nerf™ gun dueling.

The Iron Tailor with a Loaded Nerf™ Gun. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Back over to Madame Askew for some compliment duelling. We’ve never see this sport in action before and we have to say we find it delightful. With her supreme graciousness, Evie prevailed against all other duelists to take home the grand prize, a copy of “Miss Manners.”

Evie Wins!

We know what you’re wondering; how did the steampunk Nerf™ gun dueling come out? The four finalists squared off in a series of duels.

Gentle Steampunks, Choose Your Weapons

In the end, Ed Pogue prevailed (despite Doc Synchronous’ signature sneakiness) and took home the big prize, a hand-painted steampunked Nerf™ gun crafted by the Iron Tailor himself.


Ed Wins!

It was a whirlwind of non-stop fun. We sure hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.

Until Next Year!

Comment Request

Announcing Duel at Dusk 2017

Duel at Dusk Logo 2017 with Alpha
“Duel at Dusk” is back! This is the third time we are offering this event. Drake & McTrowell, along with help from the steampunk community, is making it even better than ever.

See our Duel at Dusk event page here.

Not familiar with Duel at Dusk? It's a steampunk parlor event with dueling. But this time there will be four types of dueling: steampunk nerf gun dueling, tea dueling, compliment dueling, and our traditional Olympic-style foil fencing! We will also have our usual dazzling array of steampunk vendors, and much, much more.

6 P.M. to 10 P.M. on Saturday the 14th of January, 2017

Location: Team Touché Fencing Center
11468 Sorrento Valley Rd. Suite A-1
San Diego, California 92121

On-line tickets are no longer on sale through the Drake & McTrowell General Store.
You may buy tickets at the door of the event. $15 for adults (age 17 and up) and $8 for children.

On-line tickets may be purchased for $10 for adults and $5 for children (only available on-line until 11 PM January 13, 2017 - that's right, Friday the 13th! Ooh, scary!). Adults tickets are for ages 17 and up. Children are ages 4 through 16.

So acquire your tickets, stuff your photographic apparatus into your carpet bag, take in an early dinner, and come join us on the evening of January 14th to participate and/or watch the competitors!

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AGSEM Tractor Show 2015

The weather is finally cooling off after a miserably hot Summer here in San Diego, so we were able to venture outside for the Fall Tractor Show at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM). There were engines large and small…and really big tools for those gigantic engines.

D&McT@AGSEM Drake_spanner
big_wheel tiny_engines

Getting Into the Swing of Things

Super special thanks to Scott “Zapp” Higgins and his wife, Carol, for chauffering us all around the museum grounds in their 1916 Russell steam tractor, including getting us a ride in the posh cook shack trailer for the parade (with our buddy, Justin Andrew Hoke from
Dreadfully Punk). You may recall that this particular portable building serves as the Mooney family home in the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s season three episode, “The White Wolf” where we play Jasper Mooney’s parents.

Sparky_cookshack tractor_parade Justin_cookshack

Riding in the Parade

Since Scott’s a blacksmith, he gave us a tour of the blacksmith’s shop. He swears this is his personal parking spot for the Russell.

Blacksmith_shop tractor_parking

VIP Parking

In exchange for the personal tour, Drake lent Scott an able hand hooking up the cook shack.


Tractor Hitchin'

All joking aside, Scott let Drake help him drive around, even in the parade.

Drake_Scott_2 Steamin
Stokin Drake_Scott_1

Drake and Scott, Steamin' and Stokin'

Our whole crew had a really smokin' time. Do it again next year?

Justin_riding tractor_crew Backside

Steaming into the Sunset

Comment Request

Duel at Dusk 2015

Back by popular demand: Duel at Dusk! We all had so much fun last year, that we decided to do it again. Duel at Dusk 2015, held July 18, drew a grand and enthusiastic crowd of steampunks to watch the final four of an honest-to-goodness fencing competition battle it out for the most steampunk fencing trophies ever presented anywhere (although we may be biased).

Our deepest gratitude to
Team Touché Fencing for once again hosting the event. There were vendors galore.

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Vendors, Vendors and More Vendors

The fencing was exciting and a bit unorthodox at times.

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Thanks to Bob Mogg and the Starburner Galactic Courier Service for bringing the cool parlor backdrops against which so many attendees had fun taking pictures.

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Parlor Pics

Dude Vader was there mixing it up with Drake, our master of ceremonies, among others.

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Crossing Swords…and Thumbs

Bethany Jackson made us custom cupcakes that were amazing to behold and taste. The competition for them was pretty fierce in its own right.

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Cupcakes, Om Nom Nom!

We personally had the great honor of being cosplayed by not one, but two, of the best costuming couples in San Diego.

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So Many Drakes and McTrowells

And if you weren't able to make it out, you can hear the interviews and recap from our friends at Dreadwaves here.

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Dreadfully Delightful

Our fencers battled mightily…

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The Fierce Competitors

…all for one of these trophies.


Taking Home the Prize

See you again next year!

Comment Request

Announcing Duel at Dusk 2015

Yes, we are presenting "Duel at Dusk" again!

Not familiar with the event? Well then, may we ask a not-so-simple question? What would happen if you had the excitement of the finals of a sporting event, fencing no less, combined with a steampunk parlor event? Well, that’s easy to answer! You would have Duel at Dusk 2015 with Chief Inspector Erasmus Drake and Dr. Sparky McTrowell as the Masters of Ceremonies, steampunk and fencing vendors, awards for our fencing champions, door prizes for the audience, a Starburner Galactic Courier Service exhibit, and much, much more.

8 P.M. to 11 P.M. on Saturday the 18th of July, 2015

Location: Team Touché Fencing Center
11468 Sorrento Valley Rd. Suite A-1
San Diego, California 92121

Tickets are no longer on sale, because the event is over and done. Please plan to attend next year!

On-line tickets may be purchased for $10 for adults and $5 for children (only available until July 17, 2015). Although we employ PayPal to help you acquire your ticket, a PayPal account is not needed. Price of admission at the door on the day of the event will be $15 for adults and $8 for children.

Poster for Duel at Dusk 2015

You can download the PDF file of the Duel at Dusk 2015 poster from here!

So acquire your tickets, stuff your photographic apparatus into your carpet bag, take in an early dinner, and come join us on the evening of July 18th to watch the competitors cross wits and steel!

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Presenting “A Murder At Midnight”

The amazing Aiden Sinclair is performing on the Queen Mary and Drake & McTrowell is hosting a very special private Jack the Ripper-themed seance in association with San Diego Steampunk. The show starts at midnight on Friday, January 16th. Seating is limited, so don’t delay!

Tickets are no longer on sale for this event.
The event was an amazing success, thank you all for coming!


Book Release Event

It’s the event we’ve all been waiting for! Well, at least Drake & McTrowell have really been waiting for it and hope you have too. Our first novel, London, Where It All Began will be available as an illustrated hardcover book on Sunday, November 23, 2014.

The book features cover art by
Brian Kesinger, a foreword by Professor Elemental, and illustrations by Martina Cecilia, Tess Fowler, Otto Arantes Pessanha, Jeff Vaca, Rocky Ormsby-Olivares, and Andrea Izaguirre & David Orenda. These talented artists bring Drake & McTrowell’s first adventure to life in full color. And just in time for holiday gift-giving, hint, hint.

Mysterious Galaxy is graciously hosting the book release event at their new location, 5943 Balboa Ave., San Diego, CA 92111. It will be held on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM. The location will be so new that our signing will happen on their first day at their new location. Let’s help them get their new digs off to a rousing start! For all of you who live in and near San Diego, we’ll see you there!

Mysterious Galaxy 8.5x11 Poster

See You There!

Drake & McTrowell’s Fourth Anniversary

I honestly don’t know where the last year has gone! Okay, so I cheated and scanned “Latest News” tagged items from our web site and now I kinda know:

It seems like we all deserved a party for all this hard work. So we had one. We went back to our “traditional” location,
Eclipse Chocolate in South Park. This is our third year celebrating with Eclipse and our second at their new South Park location.

In addition to announcements (more about that in a later post),


Drake MC’s the Evening

...there was tasty food.


Yes, Jeff, We See You Demolishing That Cupcake

And there were libations, apparently in conjunction with some kind of sleight of hand by Jonathan Lord Ashleigh.


Sleight of Hand and Libations

I performed a spirited reading from Drake’s episode, “
Baby Squirt.”


Wait, This is the Really Exciting Bit!

But, we all know what it’s really all about, getting together with good friends to celebrate our steamy good fortune.


The Chief Inspector and Miss Sarah Slate

I hope we have as much to celebrate next year on our fifth anniversary. Five years, seriously?

Proclaiming Duel at Dusk 2014 a Success!

Duel at Dusk exceeded all our expectations! We had more than a hundred attendees and eight vendors at the Team Touché Fencing Center.


Good Thing We Had So Many Chairs
(Thanks to both the Lapidary Society for providing the chairs and Grady for all his help lugging them)


May I Sell You Something Steamy?
(Vendors included Wyng’d Lyon, Hootie’s Perch, Indigo Lane Designs, Gears and Roebuck, Perpectual Motion Creations & Cameron Theatrical Design, The Elegant Harlot, and Rae Wolf Designs)

We had fierce competitors.


Lucius McMonocle
(Played by Ed Pogue)


Rupert Pennyfarthing
( Played by Bryan Bishé )


Stanley Cephalopod
(Played by Ashok Pathi)


Victor Victrola
(Played by Sergey Riezaiev)

Everyone got swag.


Swag Bag Contents + a Trophy

The fencing was very exciting!


Cat Like Reflexes


This Isn’t Epee and That’s Not Target


It’s Also Not Ballet, but It’s Just As Spectacular

Of course, Drake was our intrepid MC.


Intrepid MC
(Played by David Drake a.k.a. Chief Inspector Erasmus Drake)

He did an excellent job of explaining fencing.


This Way to the Fencing

And making it clear what is and is not a regulation weapon.


Clearly Not an FIE-Approved Weapon
(FIE is the international fencing association)

And Sparky made too much food, as usual.


So Much Food

The Starburner Galactic Courier Service’s Strato Sculpin was a huge hit!


Jeb and Barbara Enjoying the Strato Sculpin


You Steer it With That Thingamajig
(Getting Some Direction from Kim Hutsell a.k.a. Lithobius Quick)


Strato Sculpin “Nose” Art


Gear Hands!

At the end of the evening, Rupert Pennyfarthing took 1st, Victor Victrola took 2nd, and Lucius McMonocle took 3rd.


And the Winner Is...!

Justin Hoke won the Trifecta Trophy for having the ticket that predicted the outcome.



So, he had to have his picture taken with the two makers of the trophy.


Justin and William Swanson


Kim Hutsell and Justin

Although this has been a light-hearted romp through the evening’s festivities, a lot of people committed a lot of their time and energy to making the evening such a success including the Starburner Galactic Courier Service, the fencers, the vendors, and the volunteers.


Way to Go Team!

L'aventure Parisienne de Drake et McTrowell

Set the way back machine to almost two years ago. Drake and I had been to London recently, so I took the opportunity to assemble a Google map of locations that appeared in our first book, “London, Where It All Began.”

Well, we had the good fortune to be in Paris over New Year’s, so I’ve assembled a new one, “
L'aventure Parisienne de Drake et McTrowell.” On their way to and from the Bavarian Airship Regatta, Drake & McTrowell had time for some unplanned adventures in Paris. This map highlights locations of these unplanned adventures and illustrates them with pictures we took along the way.

Now here is the trick to enjoying the map. Click on one of the links, and …wait… until the picture shows up. Google takes its time to download all of the images in the map pushpin descriptions. It loads all the images at once, so that’s the only waiting you’ll have to do.

L'aventure Parisienne screen shot
Click on the map image to get the Google Map

Bon aventure!

Announcing the Upcoming “Duel at Dusk” Event

Duel at Dusk is over! Thanks to all that volunteered, all the vendors, and all that attended.

What would happen if you had the excitement of the finals of a sporting event, fencing no less, combined with a steampunk parlor event? Well, that’s easy to answer! You would have “Duel at Dusk,” a nice Sunday evening show (March 16th) with Chief Inspector Erasmus Drake as the Master of Ceremonies, comestibles by Dr. Sparky McTrowell, steampunk and fencing vendors, awards and prizes.

Tickets are now on sale through the Drake & McTrowell General Store. Click here!

Duel at Dusk Poster v4 50
Click Here to Get the Poster (in PDF)

Also, as a special treat, we will be displaying (for the first time to the public) the Starburner Galactic Courier Service’s Strato Sculpin!


Here are the details:
See the Thrilling Finals of a Contemporary Foil Match Utilizing Electrified Scoring Apparatus! Cheer on Your Selected Champion! Wear Your Best Fineries and Join Us! There will also be:
• Refreshments Provided • Steampunk Vendors • A Fencing Booth • The Strato Sculpin! • And Much, Much More...

Intrigued by Steampunk? Never seen anything like it before? Eager to see the latest Retro-victorian Fashion? Now is your chance!!

5 P.M. to 8 P.M. on Sunday the 16th of March, 2014

Location: Team Touché Fencing Center
11468 Sorrento Valley Rd. Suite A-1
San Diego, California 92121

On-line tickets may be purchased for $12 (only available until March 15, 2014). Having a PayPal account is not necessary to purchase on-line tickets. Price of admission at the door on the day of the event will be $15, cash only.

Zazzle Store

You may have noticed that Drake and I have a couple of D&McT t-shirts that we occasionally wear while traveling to and from cons, or on the last day of Comic Con when we can’t face shlepping those heavy leather coats around for one more day. Well, some fans have noticed. And they’ve also noticed that we have them and they don’t. Happy fans = good. Grumpy fans = bad.

Zazzle to the rescue! We have set up a
Drake & McTrowell store on Zazzle. I love that they print and ship your shirt directly to you.

We currently have two offerings. The first is a sand-colored shirt with the
&McT Artwork: Jake Rieman">Jake Rieman illustration on the back and our logo on the front.


Classic D&McT - Back


Classic D&McT - Front

The second shirt is yellow with Drake’s own “
It’s Not That Kind of Serial,” illustration on the front and the punchline on the back.


It’s Not That Kind of Serial - Front


It’s Not That Kind of Serial - Back

Starburner Award

I’ll do a full bloop about Comic Con later, but this piece of news is too exciting to wait. We won a Starburner Award at Comic Con 2013 for our radio show of “London, Where it All Began!” They’re the matching medals with the red and black ribbons. Congrats to all the winners and thanks to the Starburner Galactic Courier Service for promoting and recognizing contributions to the steampunk genre and community.

Starburner Medals

This Rocks!

By the way, if you missed the radio show when it ran on
Krypton Radio, you can buy yourself a copy from our shiny new General Store for the low, low price of $2.99.

Our Third Anniversary

Following my theory that, once you do something twice, it’s a tradition, we had our “traditional” anniversary party at Eclipse Chocolat. They’ve moved to a new, larger location since last year and their new digs have a private back room. Good thing because the steampunks completely invaded!

Gear Hands

Invasion of the Gear Hands

Of course, there were lots of delicious chocolate goodies.

Sea Salt Nib

Now That’s a Chocolate Bar!

Now Children

Now Children

There’s plenty for everyone; no need to fight over it. Gertrude wonders why the adults are behaving like children.

Pensive Gertrude

Pensive Gertrude

In addition to eating, drinking, and admiring each others’ costumes, we sampled a bit of one of our Krypton Radio shows. And then we handed out the special CDs we made of the entire radio show + the interview on Event Horizon. We made a disc for each friend who volunteered their voice talents, many of whom were present.

Handing Out the CDs

Handing Out the CDs

You might think these two are Thelonius Rex and Mellivora Rathbone. They also happen to be the voices for Mrs. McCreary and Alistair Bennington Rutherford/Constable Higgins.

Drake genned up a special treat just for that evening, a brief comic skit entitled “Panic in the Apothecary.” We “recruited volunteers” to read the parts including some repeat offenders such as
Dr. Edmond Pogue. Kelly Varner also demonstrating once again what a good sport she is.

Panic in the Apothecary

Panic in the Apothecary

We made a serendipitous find: Drake’s beer and Sparky’s root beer. We rounded up a few for folks to take home as gifts in addition to the lovely logo chocolates that Eclipse has been making for us since this time last year. Where does the time go?

Drake's and Sparky's

Drake’s and Sparky’s

Pictures by Lisa…as if you didn’t see that coming.

We want to thank everyone who attended and made it a great celebration of another year of all things Drake & McTrowell.

Krypton Radio Update


This is just a quick update on our show on
Krypton Radio. They’ve agreed to double up our shows each week in our assigned time slot. This means that when you tune in on the hour, you’ll hear the previous week’s show followed immediately by the new show. So, if you missed the show the week before, fear not, you have three more chances to catch up!

Remember, the times are:

  • Monday, at 3:00 AM PDT (6:00 AM EDT)
  • Monday at 11:00 AM PDT (2:00 PM EDT)
  • Thursday at 5:00 PM PDT (8:00 EDT)

So, to put it simply, on Thursday, May 30th, Krypton Radio will air shows 1 & 2 of “London, Where It All Began.” Next week, they will be airing shows 2 & 3.

Thanks, Krypton Radio!

Steampunk Picnic

On the list of San Diego coolness is the Poway Midland Railroad in Old Poway Park. It’s like honey for steampunk bees. So on a warm, sunny weekend day, we put on our finery and headed east for a choo choo train ride! Who’s still five years old, huh?

Rogues Gallery

Picnicking is Hard Work!

For a steamy stroll in the park, click here.

Krypton Radio


If you’ve been following us on Facebook or attending any of our panels at conventions lately, you know that we’ve been talking about
Krypton Radio for a few months now. Well, folks, this is the big announcement!

We’ll be interviewed on
Event Horizon, Krypton’s on-air science fiction, fantasy and technology discussion panel on Saturday, May 18th at 5:00 PM PDT (8:00 PM EDT). The show repeats that same night at 9:00 PM PDT (midnight EDT) immediately following DJ Willow Leafstorm’s Steam Powered Cabaret, and again on Sunday, May 19th at 4:00 PM PDT (7:00 PM EDT).

But wait, there’s more! The Drake & McTrowell radio show premieres on Monday, May 20th at 3:00 AM PDT (6:00 AM EDT)! This means that our friends across the pond will hear it first (we’re talking to you Ickenham and Linköping). For those of you who keep more civilized hours, tune in at 11:00 AM PDT (2:00 PM EDT) that same day or 5:00 PM PDT (8:00 EDT) on Thursday, May 23rd. Coolest birthday present I ever got…except from Drake who purveys birthday gifts like no one else.

A new show will run in these same time slots for nine weeks until we’ve covered all of “London, Where it All Began.”

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Self, why should I tune in?” It will be egoboo for some local San Diego steampunks who lent their voice talents to our little enterprise (and a certain professor from Brunel). But mostly you should listen because it sounds like this!

Click the controls below to listen to the five and a half minute teaser:

For details on Krypton Radio shows and air times, see their table of show times.

Steampunk Saturday

There was a perfect storm of steampunk-ness in San Diego last Saturday (not to be confused with the Saturday before). First, there was the Friends of Villa Montezuma Victorian Valentine Tea at the Westgate Hotel. All the most fashionable steampunks were there including Lady Amethyst and Her Mysterious Gentleman Admirer, although they were in disguise as proper Victorians.

FOVM tea 1

Lady Amethyst and Her Mysterious Gentleman Admirer (sans Mask)

To get the scoop on all the day’s happenings, click here.

Me and My Baby

…love Saturday night. Surely you didn’t think I could go this long without an SPG post! Notice how this picture looks like we’re way in the back? Not so. We had pretty good seats. The show sold out with 800 attendees, and by the show of hands, about half of them had never seen Steam Powered Giraffe in concert before. In addition to enjoying the fabulous show they put on, we really love that they sold out this bigger venue. We’re looking forward to being able to say, “We knew them when…”

Me and My Baby
Steam Powered Giraffe at the Four Points Sheraton

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.


Knowledgeable Natalie

To cavort through the cavalcadium with us,
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.

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.


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


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.

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.


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.


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.

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D&McT + Fan-friends + Eclipse Chocolat!

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

Mad Fondant Skills

To read further about our first anniversary,
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.

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.

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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.

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.