Kickstart This: ‘Boston Metaphysical Society’ Trade

BURBANK, CA. Madeleine Holly-Rosing, writer/creator of the web comic Boston Metaphysical Society announced the launch of her campaign to fund the printing of the trade paperback of the steampunk supernatural six issue mini-series. The trade will include a bonus ten page sequential art short story called, Hunter-Killer. “I’m very excited to finally be able to offer Boston Metaphysical fans a trade paperback and introduce three new characters to them in the short story which also features an airship battle.”

So much for the boilerplate. It reads like a lot of press releases, sticking to a tried and true formula for these things. What it doesn’t tell you is the bigger story – that Ms. Holy-Rosing’s creation is a profoundly fun and beautifully written and illustrated romp combining steampunk with the metaphysical, Ghostbusters style, and one with an enormous fan base.

With art by Emily Hu and colors by Gloria Caeli, the story is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800’s Boston. The web comic series also features historical figures as characters – people like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Harry Houdini.

Madeleine has assembled a team of artists and creatives that push Boston Metaphysical Society into rarified air. “I feel so honored to be working with such an outstanding team. You’d never guess that this was everyone’s first book with the exception of Troy and Shawn, our letterers.”, she says.  The comic received an Honorable Mention at the 2013 Geekie Awards and was nominated for Best Comic/Graphic Novel in 2014. It has also been consistently nominated for best web comic by the Steampunk Chronicles Readers’ Choice Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

That’s probably why it’s already over 180% funded, with sixteen days to go as of this writing. Just five days ago, when Ms. Holly-Rosing sent us the press release, it was at 150%. That’s how well loved this series is, and how much potential it has.

With an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, Ms. Holly-Rosing brought her background of TV and feature film writing to the world of comics along with a love of history and science fiction. The comic began online four years ago and went to print with a special 24 page edition a year later. Ms. Holly-Rosing is a veteran of Kickstarter having successfully funded the last three campaigns for this project. “Kickstarters are tough, but fans are tougher. That’s why I wanted to offer them something really special in the trade—and that’s Hunter-Killer.”

The Kickstarter is looking for a funding goal of $3,500 and will end on March 3. They’re already starting to blow through their stretch goals, so if you want a piece of this action, you’d better click over there and get busy.

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Video of the Day: Steam Powered Giraffe’s ‘I Don’t Have a Name For It’

The new album by the steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe is out. It’s called Quintessential. It’s full of the same kind of high energy, thoughtful, playful music that has been SPG’s signature sound since their inception in 2008. Here is one of the bouncier cuts from Quintessential, called I Don’t Have a Name For It. Pause the Krypton Radio stream while you play this.

There are so many reasons why Steam Powered Giraffe keeps coming up on the top of the pick list for geek culture music, and steampunk in particular, but one of the biggest is spirit. As alien or otherworldly as they might appear on the outside, on the inside they’re us. We think we may have figured out why.

In 1873, a man named Arthur O’Shaunessy  wrote a poem simply called Ode, a piece of which ended up in a line by Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
—World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Steam Powered Giraffe not only gives us their voices.  They give us ours.

Website: http://www.SteamPoweredGiraffe.com

Where to Get It

Credits

Video shot by Chelsea Penyak and David Michael Bennett on a Black Magic URSA Mini
Edited by David Michael Bennett
Starring-
The Spine: David Michael Bennett
Hatchworth: Samuel Luke
Rabbit: Isabella Bunny Bennett
Walter Worker Camille: Camille Penyak
Walter Worker Chelsea: Chelsea Penyak

I Don’t Have a Name For It by Steam Powered Giraffe
Written and performed by David Michael Bennett
Additional vocals by Isabella “Bunny” Bennett and Samuel Luke
Copyright 2016 Steam Powered Giraffe LLC.

Lyrics

Well it’s the way she smiles and the way I swoon
when she winks at me from across the room
It’s the way she laughs and they way she cries
It’s the way her hand fits perfectly in mine

Well I don’t have name for it,
been trying to find a name for it,
I don’t think there’s a name for it,
but it’s kinda like being in love

Well it’s the way she makes me feel inside
like I’m not like the rest or any other guy
It’s the way we talk and the way we sing
about the universe and every little thing

Well I don’t have name for it,
been trying to find a name for it,
I don’t think there’s a name for it,
but it’s kinda like being in love

All – I’m – say-ing is what my
Heart – is – play-ing on its
Strings – so – loud -ly its
feelings – de-clared- proudly

This – feeling – is – staying because my
Heart – is – blaze-ing it’s on
Fire – and – won’t – go out
It won’t go out

Well it’s the way she can twirl on the face of a dime
and the way she’s always there like my partner in crime
It’s the curl of her hair and the gleam of her eyes
and the heart in her chest that beats in rhythm with mine

Well I don’t have name for it,
been trying to find a name for it,
I don’t think there’s a name for it,
but it’s kind of like being
In love

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Kickstart This: ‘Outlawed Faith’, A Steampunk Western

This short film, Outlawed Faith, takes the Firefly motif to the next logical step. It’s a full on Steampunk society, but with a great classic Western story line. A good Western is always a morality play, good versus evil, often in mixed proportions in both the heroes and the villains, and the trailer for Outlawed Faith demonstrates real promise.

When the opening scene rolls, we are treated to something astonishing for a short film: a fully realized Western town, but with a twist.  Old and new are mixed in wildly anachronistic proportions, with the denizens of this town decked out in varying degrees of Steampunk and Cyberpunk attire and weapons. It’s a bit like an armed camp, really, and tensions are high.

And for good reason. Barnabas Klinkerton (played by William K. Walton) runs the town with an iron fist, and is used to getting what he wants. He’s not afraid of using hired muscle to get it, either. What he wants now is for a young boy named Jonah (Adam Posacki) to hand over his younger sisters Celine and Cora (played by real life sisters Celine and Cora Newcomb), because one of them is a Seer. Nobody’s quite clear on which one, but Klinkerton doesn’t care. A good Seer goes for a lot of money on the gray market, and for good reason. Being able to keep one step ahead of future events can make a man very wealthy.

What stands in his way is a reformed gunslinger named Kulta Blackhand (Lyon Beckwith). He has a devoted sidekick named Rico, who does most of his talking, but once Kulta gets a notion in his head he doesn’t let it go. The idea he gets is that Klinkerton has to be stopped from getting his hands on that little girl at all costs. Yes, there’s a classic Western barroom shoot-out, but with all sorts of unlikely steampunk/sci-fi weapons.

The film starts with some expositional material, and we’re introduced to Sheriff Kane (Michael J. Patterson), who seems to be being set up as a strong, pivotal character. Patterson seems to be channeling Will Smith in both his looks and his on-camera charisma, and he’s not the only strong actor in the troupe. Lyon Beckwith delivers a magnetic, powerful performance, and it’s not just because he’s built like a walking mountain. When the camera is on him, you are aware of every line, of every muscle twitch, of the slightest intonation. The central character needs to have this kind of screen presence.

What you’ve just watched is essentially a proof of concept. The Kickstarter campaign seeks to raise $20,000 USD to help with the next phase of getting this idea made into a feature film. The budget for the finished film will be something around $1.2 million, but they hope to raise that final amount from production investors. They just need a little help getting that slingshot effect so that they can get their unique idea in front of the people with the money that could make the finished film happen.

The production company is The Forge Studios, and up to now they’ve been doing fantasy episodic film making. They believe, as Krypton Media Group does (the parent company that owns Krypton Radio) that transmedia distribution is the future of popular media, and Outlawed Faith represents their first foray into this wild,  new, mostly uncharted territory.

The central figure in all this is Ron Newcomb. A former Marine, turned police officer, turned filmmaker, Ron is making independent films because this is where his heart led him. Curiously, while the film lists a rather large number of producers (including Ron) and co-producers, there is no writer’s credit, and no director’s credit. What stands out in this enormous list of screen credits, though, is how many family members there are. It seems like whole families got involved in making this short film. This is the power of creativity, the power of belief in something wonderful. All these people did this, presumably for little or no money in most cases, because they believe in the project, they believe in Ron, and they have faith that all this has a destiny they can be part of. The fact that the producer and director put all those names up but didn’t bother to highlight themselves shows their dedication and love for their own production family, and the love that they put into this film shows in every frame.

We think it’s a brilliant concept, and in a world of repetitive fan films and OMG-are-they-rebooting-that-franchise-AGAIN? movies, maybe the world needs a film like Outlawed Faith. If you’ve a mind to, go drop a few bucks on this and help them out.

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Video of the Day: Lindsey Stirling’s ‘Shatter Me’, feat. Lzzy Hale

Geek favorite violinist Lindsay Stirling joins forces with amazing vocalist Lzzy Hale to produce this amazing song Shatter Me, along with its gorgeously envisioned steampunk-you-solidly music video.

Remember to turn off, or at least pause, the Krypton Radio music stream player using the control at the upper right before watching this.

Lindsey Stirling has taken the unlikely solo instrument that the violin is and become the YouTube equivalent of a rock star with it. Watching this video makes it easy to see why, but here’s a trick: play it again with your eyes closed and just listen to the music. It is just as effervescently awesome without the visuals.

Enjoy.

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Kickstart This: Unwoman Sings ‘Come Take A Trip On My Airship’ on Wax Cylinder

Steampunk has become so popular that there is a strong tendency for artists to just “glue some gears on it and call it Steampunk”. Perhaps as a reaction to this, Unwoman has gone completely in the other direction with her newest Kickstarter campaign. She plans to create wax cylinder recordings of her cover of Come Take A Trip on My Airship, a song very popular in 1904 when it was released on wax cylinder at the time.

She was contacted by Brett King, a Steampunk creator known for his restoration of Edison wax cylinder players, about doing the recording. She jumped at the chance. This Kickstarter is meant to fund the creation of up to 40 of these delicate, hard retro throwback steampunk-as-f@@@ recordings. Here, by the way, is the original recording she did.

Note that to actually play the recording, you’ll need an Edison Fireside wax cylinder player, and these by themselves are quite rare indeed. If you don’t have one, you may have to satisfy yourself with the following video. Please remember to pause the Krypton Radio stream using the handy controller to the upper right before playing the video.

Perks for the Kickstarter can include a custom poem set to music and recorded on a 30 second “Napkin Ring” wax cylinder for the truly dedicated collector.

Unwoman has a Patreon page, but this is an extra side project that her page doesn’t cover; that’s why she’s going to Kickstarter with it.

As Steampunk items go, this is a crowning achievement.

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