Mar 022015
 
PoplockHolmes1

Poplock Holmes is a member of a small but elite group of music performance artists. His genre is called “chap hop”, and it’s what happens when steampunk collides head on with rap music. Poplock is one of the world’s top three chap hop artists. Some even describe him as the King of Chap Hop. He delights audiences wherever he goes, and tours the country performing at various steampunk events and conventions.

Today we present his latest, most Sherlockian work to date: Pound of the Basskervilles, in which he describes his encounter with a multi-headed beast who is subdued only by the power of raging bass.

Want your own copy? You can get it from Google Play,  iTunes, or AmazonMP3. If you want to see him perform live, he’s going to be at the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention in Old Tucson, Arizona March 6-8, 2015.

We think this is his best work yet. Enjoy.

- 30 -

Jan 122015
 
girl_genius_sample-676x1024
Kaja Foglio

Resemblance between the radiant Kaja Foglio, and the heroine of ‘Girl Genuis,’ Agatha Heterodyne, is purely coincidental. So they tell us.

girl_genius_sample-676x1024She is a writer and artist in her own right, and the co-creator of the Hugo award winning graphic novel series Girl GeniusWe wish a very happy birthday to Kaja Foglio! She and her husband Phil Foglio along with their colorist Cheyenne Wright have made their online comic the gold standard since they took their comic series online in 2005.

The alternate history of Girl Genius begins with the continent of Europa ravaged by war between super-intelligent mad scientists (called “Sparks”) using the opportunities presented by the Industrial Revolution in an attempt to assert their dominance. Enter the heroine, Agatha Heterodyne, who discovers her heritage as the lost heiress to one of the most powerful of the city-states. Hope springs in the hearts of the oppressed as Agatha discovers that she, too, is a Spark and struggles to regain her family’s lost power and to right the wrongs of the past – and her own ancestors.

Often credited with the inspiration for the dramatic rise in fandom interest in the steampunk genre, Kaja coined the term “gas lamp fantasy” to describe the popular continuing graphic story.

Girl Genius has won three Hugos for best graphic story, three Web Cartoonists Choice awards, an Eisner Award and four Squiddy Awards.

Kaja and Phil Foglio are the masters of Studio Foglio, and live with their two children in Seattle, Washington. Kaja is 45 years old today.

- 30 -

Dec 032014
 
Octopus cover

Octopus coverBrian Kesinger is brightening up the holidays with the release of a new book featuring Victoria Primsall and her lovable pet octopus, Otto! The new volume, Traveling With Your Octopus, chronicles Victoria and Otto’s whimsical adventures from snowy Himalayan peaks to lush Amazon rainforests.

If you’re not familiar with Victoria and Otto, Kesinger describes their tales as, “steampunk art that celebrates Victorian fashion with a dash of geekiness.” They’re featured in numerous prints, and a previous volume, Walking Your Octopus, which was an instant favorite with steampunk fans and pet lovers everywhere. Victoria is an adventuresome young lady who dotes on her precious pet. Otto is an accomplished crafter and dressmaker, an expert corset-lacer-upper, and he enjoys Halloween broom flights and playing croquet with Victoria. Oh, and he does henna tattoos!

Kesinger is a long-time fan of steampunk. He’s also a story artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he began working at age 18: the second youngest animator in the company’s history. Through his work on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Kesinger discovered that he loved drawing submarines, gears, and gadgets. When he worked on Treasure Planet, he developed a passion for tall ships and sci-fi. Combining his favorite subjects with his talent and delightful sense of humor, Kesinger created Otto and Victoria outside of his work at Disney, and has built a huge following in a short time. Fans are continually posting photos of their Victoria and Otto tattoos and fan art, and cosplay pictures from conventions all over the place. Kesinger has plans to make a feature-length movie of Otto and Victoria in the future.

For now, fans get this brand new book: 30 pages of panoramic, full-color, ink-on-paper illustrations, hard-bound into a gorgeous quality volume. Best of all, Brian Kesinger will be meeting fans and signing Traveling With Your Octopus at the book’s release party this weekend! The book release party will be held on Sunday, December 7, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m, at Clockwork Couture, 707 South Main Street, Burbank, California. Come in your steampunk finest because there will be plenty of photo opps, along with raffles and some exclusive giveaways!

We’d love to see your photos from the party! Tag #kryptonradio on Tumblr or Twitter, or post up on our Facebook page!

-30-

Dec 012014
 
Dina Kampmeyer may have gone a little nuts making police box pillows!

craftacular logo

The League of Extraordinary Ladies (LxL), Chrissy Lynn, and Clockwork Couture are hosting the fourth annual Craftacularstravaganza (the WHAT?), this Saturday, December 6, 2014. In short, it’s a craft bazaar focused on geeky artisan crafts and Clockwork Couture’s storefront will be open for your holiday shopping pleasure, as well. Oh, myyy! At present, there are 18 artisans participating in the event, selling everything from cake balls to jewelry, hats and other accessories, and bath products. Oh, and Clockwork Couture will be having a storewide sale, too!  It’s a great start to your geeky holiday shopping, and, let’s face it, a nice opportunity to support small business while treating yourself, too.

Who’s going to be there?

Dina Kampmeyer, co-founder of The League of Extraordinary Ladies and organizer of the event said, “The Craftacularstravaganza has become more than just a shopping event; it’s a community gathering of geeks where you can find old friends and meet new ones. I think it’s so important to support small businesses at this time of year, and what better way to do that than to shop small and geeky!”

Clockwork Couture has a life-sized TARDIS where visitors can pose for photos, so be sure to bring your camera! Also, While the storefront and some of the vendors accept credit and debit cards, some vendors can only accept cash, so come prepared to shop hard, nosh well, and have a great time with your fellow geeks at this family-friendly event! The Craftacularstravaganza will be open from noon to 4:00 p.m. Pacific at Clockwork Couture, 707 South Main Street, Burbank, California 91506.

-30-

Aug 212014
 

fourColorBullet1Four-Color Bullet is back, and we are aimin’ to misbehave! It’s been a busy week, with all kinds of juicy picks, so let’s just run them down, shall we?

From Marvel this week, Storm is New York City investigating the disappearances of some wayward teens, not suspecting that the culprit is one of her oldest and deadliest foes, in Storm #2; Deadpool is called in to generate book sales– I mean, um, help the Secret Avengers on a mission, in Secret Avengers #7;  and it’s the Mighty Avengers, with some help from the original 1970s team, versus the Deathwalkers for the life of Blade and the survival of humanity, in Mighty Avengers #13.

On shelves from DC this week, the hotly anticipated Multiversity #1, as a team of heroes from all 52 worlds must assemble to defeat a menace that could destroy the Multiverse. And Captain Carrot is back! Red Hood and the Outlaws are dealing with the fallout from Starfire’s past, when a secret foe arrives to make things worse in Red Hood and the Outlaws #34; Batman’s Bat-Robot! Taking out crime in Gotham! Is the Caped Crusader obsolete?! Find out in Batman ’66 #41!

From IDW this week, The X-Files: Zero Year continues in its second issue, as a pair of FBI agents from the 1940s investigate the mysterious Mr Xero, as the events leading up to the creation of the FBI’s X-Files unit is revealed; and the Turtles are transported by a new foe to another dimension, where they are forced into combat with some of the deadliest warriors in the universe, in the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual.

And Dark Horse Comics rounds out the bullets with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #6, when a simple exorcism is not so simple, and Buffy and the Scoobies are forced to fight a demon who fights back with their childhood fantasies. Joss Whedon approved!

 

Written by Mark Waid Penciled by Javier Rodriguez MARVEL

Written by Mark Waid
Penciled by Javier Rodriguez
MARVEL

Mark Waid’s Daredevil has consistently been one of the best all-new titles to break out of the Marvel gate; this one is no exception. I might liken this particular issue to a Very Special Episode kind of storyIn this Original Sin tie-in, Matt, like other heroes in New York at the time, was bombarded with potentially devastating secrets about his life.

Matt was shocked last issue to have the revelation that his dad, Battlin’ Jack Murdock, a man that Matt worshipped as a child and who played a significant role in his becoming a lawyer as well as Daredevil, may not have been a nice guy. Matt received troubling flashbacks of his dad standing over his mom, while his mom lay bruised on the kitchen floor.

To learn the truth, Matt goes searching for Maggie, his mom, who later abandoned him and became a nun. He discovers that she and three other nuns have been illegally arrested and kidnapped by Wakandan forces, and taken to Wakanda after they discover some nasty goings-on by that government on United States soil.

Spoilers follow. Be ye warned.

In part two of this story, Matt makes it to Wakanda, brilliantly rescues Maggie and the others, and heads home. During the ride back to the states, Matt finally confronts his mom about why she left, and what follows is a poignant and moving scene where Maggie confesses to postpartum depression that hit the emotional keys, and was even so prophetic regarding Robin Williams’ death as to be downright eerie. We learn that the the scene Matt received was a scene of Maggie attacking Jack Murdock and falling to the floor. This is important for one reason. Matt Murdock idolized his dad. Everything Matt is, he owes to his dad. If it were revealed that Jack was a wife beater, it would have undone Matt’s reason for living, and changed the whole dynamic of Matt’s world. So not only do we get this great tale of Matt rescuing his mom from Wakanda, we’re forced to wonder for a whole month, was Jack Murdock not the man we knew? And Mark Waid was brilliant and mindful of the character, to turn that all around.

Spoilers end. Proceed.

My only dislike? Wakanda. Not that Matt’s mission to Wakanda was at all far-fetched, it just seemed forced for a story that really could have taken place in New York or San Francisco. Although I know what Waid was driving at, in that there’s nothing Matt wouldn’t do or nowhere he’d go for justice, or his mother.

This is some of Mark Waid’s best writing work, on a book that is always well written. And penciler Chris Samnee takes a break this issue, leaving the talented Javier Rodriguez to share storyteller duties in the artist’s seat. I brag and glow about Daredevil  every month because it’s that good. And I’ve been a Daredevil fan for years, even during the dark and hateful Bendis and Maleev years. It is always a must-read, and the first title I read in my pile. Every month. Good, good stuff all the time. And when comics are at $3.99 an issue, quality is what you want.

 

Written by Tony Lee Penciled by Aneke Colored by Alex Starling DYNAMITE

Written by Tony Lee
Penciled by Aneke
Colored by Alex Starling
DYNAMITE

I stumbled across this one thanks to my editor, being the fine enabler that she is.  *grin*  Dynamite is an up-and-coming comic publisher who is printing critically-acclaimed stuff like Green HornetSix Million Dollar Man, and Battlestar Galactica series, both old and contemporary. So you can take your pick with whichever version of BSG you like.

This month, Dynamite released a third BSG title that is just absolutely freaking brilliant, and if you’re a steampunk fan like me, it’ll make you happy. Steampunk Battlestar Galactica: 1880 follows the crew of the Aethership Galactica in their struggle against Professor Baltar and his Cylonic warriors, clockwork robots loyal only to him.

In this beginning of a four-issue steampunk tale, the twelve colonies have just ended a war with the Ovoid race, using Baltar’s clockwork Cylonics to defeat them. But Professor Baltar had higher aspirations. He didn’t want to just save humanity — he wanted to rule it. Following an argument with Archduke Adama, Baltar takes his Babbage computer, Lu-C-Fer, and leaves Adama and the others behind, never to be seen again. At least until he turned his Cylonics on Caprica …

I won’t say anymore because the rest has to be seen to be believed. Writer Tony Lee, who co-wrote the fantastic Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover, gives everybody a swashbuckle-y, steampunk twist and it’s beautiful and grin-worthy and just downright fun. And this was the first time I’ve had the privilege of seeing the artistic team of Aneke and Alex Starling, but the pencils were crisp, the colors vibrant, and best of all, you knew who was who on the page. And kudos to them for maintaining the steampunk look throughout.

I learned a long time ago from Joss Whedon that you can turn any word into an adjective by adding “-y,” so I stand by “swashbuckle-y.”

Moving on.

Minor spoilers ahead.

My only dislike, and it really isn’t a dislike  per se … to be honest I don’t know what it is beyond maybe a tongue-in-cheek thing. Anyway, there’s a scene involving steampunk Starbuck that is very reminiscent of a scene in Star Wars Episode IV, where Han and his new passengers go to board the Falcon and Luke gives Han some lip about the spaceworthiness of his ship, then Jabba comes out … remember that  one? I can’t tell if it’s an homage or a rip off. It’s a fun scene, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like the whole thing just took too long.

Spoilers over

I was glad to have found this book because I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t. Steampunk fans and Battlestar Galactica fans rejoice. We just got a geek-filled Reese’s cup and it all tastes good.

And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Email and comments if you have opinions on my adding “-y” to words, or anything else you want to discuss. Have you seen that cray-cray Spider-Woman variant cover yet? You haven’t?! I wrote a whole editorial on it. Go read it and tell me how curmudgeonly I am.

It’s a good time to be a comics fan. See ya next week. Go Vols!

-30-

Jul 292014
 
SDCC 2014: Steam Powered Giraffe's Rabbit and Spine. Photo by Zoe Simsay

SDCC 2014: Steam Powered Giraffe’s Rabbit and Spine. Photo by Zoe Simsay

by Aly Runke, contributing writer

Krypton Radio DJ Willow Leafstorm has been an extremely busy fairy at SDCC 2014! This time, she caught up with steampunk performers David and Isabella “Bunny” Bennett (Spine and Rabbit) from Steam Powered Giraffe (SPG) to talk to them about their music and other ventures in the steampunk culture. Steam Powered Giraffe got their start in 2008, the founders, twin siblings David and Bunny Bennett began in junior college by performing on the street as people-bots, something quite popular on San Francisco’s Pier 39; if you’ve ever been there, you’ve surely seen such performers along the sidewalk. From there it was a slow but steady rise to having their own concerts and shows.

The band tours all around the San Diego area at different venues, including different conventions, and has stops outside California as far away as Ontario, Canada. If you want to see them in person, they are playing at Nerdfest in Orlando, Florida and Ani-Jam in Fresno this year. To keep up with other dates and appearances like their Facebook page, follow their twitter and visit the SPG website.

Beside touring and putting out albums, the band has its own card game and web comic, as well as videos of their concerts. The web comic tells the story of what the robot characters in the band do offstage. Spine, Rabbit,  and the others were built in the 1890s and are AI’s with a talent in music. David Bennett works on the comic and explained why he enjoys working in this medium as well, “In a comic book you can do just about anything, you’re not limited by reality and that’s really fun.”

When talking about their character’s lives the twins were very upbeat, obviously holding their characters near and dear to their hearts, and they use their story as the inspiration behind the albums they’ve produced. Spine told Leafstorm, “the robots have been around since the 1890s and they’ve basically dabbled in every genre of music throughout the decades.” The group has three albums out, the first has a more vaudeville sound, and the latest dabbling in the ’60s and ’70s styles, with what they called a Beatles feel. You can see this for yourself, as they will soon be releasing a DVD of a show they did last summer in collaboration with steampunk artist Professor Elemental. The twins also hinted at doing future collaborations in their music with various artists including Professor Elemental.

Steam Powered Giraffe, while having a lot of their own songs, loves to do fun song covers and parodies. One such cover they recently released was “Diamonds” by Rihanna. The twins talked about covering songs, “Diamonds” in particular, “most of them start out as jokes we’re not a serious band we like to make fun of ourselves in the music that we do, it was a joke to have one of our deep voice characters which is the Spine which I play do a pop song that a female usually sings and that was basically the reason why we did it.”

The band’s fan-base has grown over the years and eats up everything Steam Powered Giraffe throws at them, so when Bunny officially announced her gender transition and opened up a bit to her fans about her personal journey and feelings this year, she almost had to laugh at how they reacted.  She explained that the fans couldn’t care less about the gender of their beloved performer or the character she played. They were much more caught up in whether the character’s costume was going to change, latching onto such a small detail in the large picture as fans are wont to do.

The only other thing on the fans’ minds now is the need to know more about when they will get a new album and some details were shared with Krypton Radio. The fourth album to be released by Steam Powered Giraffe will be entitled The Vice Quadrant and, according to the twins, they are in no hurry to release it, wanting to milk out the love for the third album as long as possible. When Leafstorm pressed for details the two did give just a bit more; this new album will be different from the past three, containing a more specific focus of being a space opera. The twins indicated it would be mostly rock ballads, influenced by the likes of David Bowie and Queen. Leafstorm again asked for any teaser they could dish out. Spine said all they had were track names and  left us to ruminate over the song title “In Love With Progress and Technology.”

-30-