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.


Porch_view

View from the Porch of the Kellogg House

It was picnic perfect.


WWSF_picnic

Pickanick Basket Anyone?

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


Jacaranda_boys Kellogg_House_porch Kellogg_House_port_pano

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.

Look_What_You_Done Body_count

Look What You Done!


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


Masked_Crusaders_2 Masked_Crusaders_3 Masked_Crusaders_1

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.

Iron_Tailor_explains Bandolier_workshop

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.

SSU

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.

DEVM_WWSF

Deus Ex Vapore Machina


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


Witchy_steampunk Backpacks_WWSF Metal_shoes

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.


Sparky_directs ECM_WWSF

“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.


Young_Sparky Dont_mess_with_mini_steampunks

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.

FullSizeRender(3)


Who's Ready for Some Foolishness?


FoF2016_FLYER


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.

San_Diego_Living_1



San Diego Living

Drake pitched in by creating the brochure and map.

FoF brochure

Festival of Fools Brochure

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

Back_to_the_Future_III D+McT_Back_to_the_Future FoF_Steam_Engines


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.

Croquet_on_the_Green Extreme_Croquet


Extreme Croquet

Let_the_Wookie_Win

Let the Wookie Win

Drake+Phineas_Croquet


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.

Canonical_Sparky_Juggling Canonical_Drake_JugglingJuggling_Lesson_1 Mystery_Drake_Juggling_1 Mystery_Drake_Juggling_2 Mystery_Drake_Juggling_3
Seersucker_Juggler Sparky_Jester_Juggling


Juggling Fools

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

Jesters_Separated_at_Birth


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.

FoF_HPSoW_1 FoF_HPSoW_2 FoF_HPSoW_3 FoF_HPSoW_4


Hot Potato School of Writing™ on the Main Stage

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

Casual_HPSoW_1 Casual_HPSoW_2


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.

FoF_Frenchy+Punk

Frenchy & the Punk

FoF_Joyce_DancingFoF_Sparky_Dancing

Plus Dancing

Love_child+_Justin

Um, Whats Going on Here?

We hope to see you all there next year!

FoF_Smooching

Until Next Year


Comment Request

Book 5 Episode 3: Leaving San Francisco

View-North-on-East-Street-from-Folsom-1901-1906_Port-City-pg32-33-UPLOAD
Thanks, Pier 1!


In this episode, Drake and Sparky address the issues of leaving Sparky's hometown.

Click here to read the new episode ...

Comment Request

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!

Iron_Horse_entrance_2 Iron_Horse_entrance_3

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.

Over_30_Cosplay_1 Over_30_Cosplay_2

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

New Green T-Shirt

Just in time for small business Saturday (and boy are we a small business), we've added a new t-shirt to our Zazzle store. It's a dark green t-shirt with the cover art from "London, Where It All Began." So, "why green" you ask? That's a totally appropriate question. First, we had fans ask about our one-of-a-kind green t-shirts that we originally made for ourselves two or three years ago. The other reason is that green fits the season of harvest and merriment. And check out our General Store for other goodies perfect for holiday gift giving.

frontback

London, Where It All Began T-Shirt

Comment Request