Thursday, February 28, 2013

Joe Benitez: Lady Mechanika

Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez
Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez
Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez

I had the pleasure to meet the talented, and super nice, Joe Benitez this past year at Steamcon. We bought a print of Lady M and were happy to see some of his original artwork up close.  Joe is a seasoned professional and frequents many cons, so there is a good chance you can meet him too and get some prints signed of your very own. 

Series Description from Aspen Comics:

Specializing in the occult and paranormal activities, Lady Mechanika solves the confounding mysteries of the supernatural others cannot. However, it is the mystery of her own origin that drives her unflinching determination. She is part human and part metal, but must use all of her wits to uncover the truth about her creation. It is a path leading her directly into the sights of Lord Blackpool, a malevolant, and deadly, arms dealer with the answers she seeks about her life— and the power to end it. Lady Mechanika debuted in the fall of 2010 and quickly became one of the best selling independent comic books of that year. The genre smashing title has captivated the hearts of steampunk and graphic novel fans around the world.

Written and illustrated by Joe Benitez with colors by Peter Steigerwald. Published through Aspen Comics.

Joe's Bio from his website:

Joe Benitez is an American comic book artist who has worked on such titles as "JLA", "Superman/Batman", "Detective Comics", "Supergirl", and "Titans" for DC Comics and "The Darkness" for Image Comics. He also co-created and penciled the sci-fi series "Weapon Zero" and the dark fantasy mini-series "Magdalena: Blood Divine" for Image. In 2005, Joe published his first creator-owned mini-series "Wraithborn" through Wildstorm. In 2009, he stepped in to finish up Michael Turner's run on "Soulfire". Joe is currently working on a new creator-owned book, "Lady Mechanika", which will be published by Aspen Comics.

And because I love his original sketches so much, I've included a few here –many of them are still for sale on his website.

Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez
Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez

Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez

Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez

Lady Mechanika ©Joe Benitez

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Edwardian Ball 2013: The Doubtful Guest

Another year, another missed opportunity to attend The Edwardian Ball, sigh. San Francisco, why are you so hard to get to in January?

I'm blogging in my pajamas and feeling very much the slob watching this year's video –shot once again by the talented Mark Day. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Etsy: Carousel Ink

Victorian Corset Tshirt
Victorian City Legging
Hot Air Balloon Legging
Grey Striped Pippi Legging

I think I know what will be included in my spring wardrobe purchases. I love when cosplay and everyday wear merge into geeky wonderfulness. 

I was poking around Pinterest this morning and saw the Hot Air Balloon Leggings pinned by Lisa Mantchev (who BTW has great pins, so you should totally follow her) and knew I needed to prioritize this post and get thee credit card ready.

I'm a fan of Black Milk Clothing, and love almost everything they've got going on. As of yet, they haven't done anything specifically Steampunk –although, there are many pieces that could be incorporated into an outfit. 

Anyway, this is where Carousel Ink fills the void, based in Nashville TN, these friends have designed some pretty great pieces of wearable art.

Via their Etsy page:

Step right up! Have your tickets ready!

Adding a new twist to Vintage Curiosities; Carousel Ink conjures up Carnival Nights, Steampunk Dreams and a Menagerie of Fantasy.

Friends for Life—Autumn, Celena & Martin form a dynamic trio. Autumn & designs and fabricates all the clothing, Martin Obakke, adds his original hand drawn illustrations while Celena Cavala, maintains the insanity/chaos as Ringmaster.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

James P. Blaylock: The Aylesford Skull

Book Description:

It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives - brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer - is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay; the crew murdered and pitched overboard. In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives. 

When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and then vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race to London in pursuit... 

The first new steampunk novel in over twenty years from one of the genre's founding fathers!

James P. Blaylock is one of the founding fathers of modern steampunk along with fellow writers and friends Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter. He has won the World Fantasy and Philip K. Dick Awards. Blaylock lives in Orange, CA with his wife - they have two sons.

Nerdist: Steampunk Cosplay on a Budget with Clare Grant, Chloe Dykstra + Crabcat

Look! Cute girls helping you choose stuff from the thrift shop for your cosplay. Some good tips here and the teacups on wine stems are a fabulous idea.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gail Carriger: Etiquette and Espionage

I can't wait to start reading this today –Have you read it yet? Gail's books are always so much fun to read and I have a feeling I will just chew through this today.

Book Description:

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail's legions of fans have come to adore.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ripper Street

Six months after the Ripper's reign, the Whitechapel police fight to bring law to the lawless.

Have you been watching Ripper Street? It's release is somewhat timely to us as we prepare for the next Victoria Steam Exposition (previous years have been encased in palaces of cut-crystal and gleaming brass, this year it's the back-alleys of the 19th century colonial capital which are brought to the fore) so I'm loving the visual experience of the show to draw from.

If you're interested in the Victorian science of Ripper Street, read Vanessa Heggie's post on the Guardian.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lantern City Concept Art

Lantern City concept sketches. You have to head over to their website to really appreciate the beautiful artwork (you wanna see them huge.) The project has 2 Creative Directors/Concept Artists listed Cecil Kim & Justin Yun but I'm uncertain which (or possibly both?) produced the images above. If you happen to know, please let me know so I may amend the credit.