Arklatex 2012 Review

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We had a good time at Arklatex, the Texarkana Comic Convention. It was a small, cozy, convention with a lot of comic book vendors. The con was not inside the hotel, but it wasn’t too far from it. They tell us that next year it will be inside the hotel and will be bigger. The staff was very nice and even let us have extra space on the last day to show off our crafting skills!

They had a sound system setup along with a projector that played movie previews and other fun stuff. There was a costume contest and an art contest. The con attendees had some great costumes. It was very interesting to met the differnent guests and vendors, and everyone was so personable.

There was General Motti (Star Wars Actor), the 501st (a Star Wars group), the Texarkana Renfaire table, shirts with bat-staches (batman with a batman-mustache),  and a charming boy named Daily who was there with his uncle (a comic book vendor).

This convention was more about just having a good time… which inspired some shenanigans. Our Captain was lent a giant squid that she roamed the con floor with… having a squid battle, making squid comments, and generally having a laugh with attendees and vendors. Several of us posed with the giant mustaches, and other random silliness. We accomplished what we set out to do. We made enough money to break even on going to the convention, we had fun with our friends and the con-goers, we got our name out there… and we got invited back for next year! Yes, we’ll be going to Arklatex 2013.

See more of our photos on Facebook: [Con Floor] [ASH] [Shenanigans]

Home from Arklatex Comic Con

We’ve safely docked in our home port of Oklahoma City! We loved meeting everyone in Texarkana! The people there were incredibly nice and welcoming!

We will be posting our pictures and review of the event in the next few days. We will also be updating our Etsy store with the items we didn’t sell at the con hopefully soon.

We’re looking forward to our next event, being AnimeFest in 2 weeks in Dallas (Labor Day Weekend!). We’ll be manning a booth with our good friends at the Steam Engine Intrepid! We hope to see you all there!

Good night!

New Crew Mate!

We’d like to welcome Journalist “Mad” Moira Methula to the Crew! She’s going try her hand at being our IC Journalist at events and an author on our blog. We’ve known her for about a year and she’s always been a positive member of our community. We’re lucky to have her! Welcome Moira!

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Steampunk Community Toymakers

We’re not going to cover just any kind of toy in this article… we’re talking about softies! We’re going to talk about our toys and other toymakers in the Steampunk Community! First and foremost, we want to tell you about our toys here at Airship Horizons. We call our brand of toys Steampunk Mascots. We have two types of mascots, the “Dapper” Mascots and the “Pet” Mascots.

The Dapper Mascots are all typically made from the same pattern and come with two accessories, which you can mix and match, and even purchase more accessories! Most of the Dapper Mascots end up sold with a Vest and Tophat, or Vest and Tie. We are working on some new and improved Goggles for them too! We have an assortment of accessories, from sew-on mustaches, monocles, flowers, and other little things. We also have some scented toys on the table… right now we have Chocolate, Vanilla, and Sugar Cookie aromas.

The primary Dapper species are Dodo Birds, Jackalopes, and Monsters. The Monsters seem to be the most popular, so you’ll see a lot more of these around. Halloween will debut Skeleton Mascots (made from another pattern). For Christmas, we have a pretty awesome Dapper Snowman “Mr. Merriweather”, and some Yeti’s to come! You might even see some Steampunk xmas hat accessories! Easter will bring a bunny mascot to the table (very likely scented with chocolate). Who knows what else we might come up with!

The Pet Mascots are varied and are sold without any accessories included. However, you can buy accessories to put on them too (with the accessories that fit or can be sewn-on). Some customers have been pretty creative with our toys! The Pet species are a range of random toys, but we regularly make Free-Standing Owls, Miyazaki’s (consisting of Chibi Totoro, Soot Sprites, and a Soot counterpart we’ve created called Flurries), Octopods (including both adults and cute little babies), Squids, and Platypus. We hope to add a Cuttlefish and Axolotl to the table in the near future. You’ll be seeing seasonal toys on the table, such as special little ghosts, bats, imps, and maybe even little tarantulas! Easter will have special scented bunnies. Just wait and see!

We, also, take commissions! If you don’t see what you want on our table (or on the Mascot facebook page) you should still ask. We have resources for finding or making patterns. If we don’t think we can make what you want, you have a list of other toymakers further on in this article that we can refer you too!

Here’s a look at some our Dapper Mascots: 
These are some of the Pet Mascots, with a few creatively dressed:
This is our new and improved Squid:
Here’s a sneak peak at our Holiday toys – unfinished:

We are currently working on a Cuttlefish pattern (hopefully in it’s last draft), an Axolotl (still in early draft), and we have a pattern trade with Jesse Thaxton for her octopus. We’ll be making her Octopus on a smaller scale and promoting her very cuddly BIG octopus! In the trade, she has our new Squid and hopefully we’ll be seeing some BIG squids on her table! We have other plans in the works, but that’s all we have to share for now.

As you may have guessed, we are willing to trade patterns with promotional respects (on a case by case basis). We can’t trade any of the patterns that we did not make (which includes any patterns someone trades to us). The way it works is, we will make and SELL toys made from patterns we receive. Anyone who buys (or admires) one of our toys, made with your pattern, we’ll let them know that it’s your pattern and that you make toys too! In exchange, you get to make and sell toys from our patterns and agree to promote us to anyone who buys (or admires) a toy made from our pattern. We will even post your name on our list of pattern credits which will be posted at the vending table. We can’t guarantee that we will trade with everyone; as it depends on how much time and space we have, and what types of toys we’re interested in… but if you are interested, let us know!

Now that we’ve promoted the heck out of ourselves, it’s time to get to our toymaking friends in the community!

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A Captain’s Authority

A Captain’s duty is to his (or her) ship and crew. A Captain leads the ship, takes care of his crew, and this is his number one priority. It’s not his concern what happens outside of his crew. However, within a Steampunk Community, a Captain is viewed as an authority figure within the community. The Captain is responsible for his crew and, therefore, if someone on his crew is a problem in the community it’s up to the Captain to fix the issue. It’s a great idea, but let’s be realistic.

We are not real Captains with any real authority. We don’t actually have a real Airship. We can’t force people to behave the way we want. We are not responsible for other peoples actions. Everyone is responsible for there own actions. All an Airship crew really is, is a group of friends (whether it’s social or business oriented). In most social atmospheres, you can’t avoid groupings of friends, and they usually have each other’s backs. Steampunk is no different. This isn’t to say that Airships are bad or that Captains are useless. Airships are great because they give people a common purpose within the community and they are one of many ways to get involved. Often times, being apart of a crew gets your foot in the door for other things (like vending and paneling). Airships make you feel part of the community in general.

Like I said before, it’s a great idea that Captains be responsible for their crew. Despite the reality of what authority we truly lack, we are not without some useful power. We have the ability to kick someone off the crew. This may sound harsh, but it is the bottom line of an Airship Captain’s true power. A good Captain will give his crew mates the benefit of the doubt (especially if you’re friends), but you’ll also be honest with your crew when they are wrong. You’ll encourage (perhaps even demand) a code of conduct from your crew. A Captain can, for the better of the community and his Airship, provide an outline of what is not acceptable behavior. A Captain can, and sometimes should, intervene in heated situations to the point of calming down his crew or having everyone take a step back to civility. A good Captain will provide advice and direction to his people when they are met with sensitive or difficult situations. A Captain can act as an intermediary between his crew and others within the community. However, don’t expect a Captain to get in the middle of personal affairs (private arguments and issues outside of the hobby). What people do in private or on their own time, is their own business. Captains do not have the right to pry or butt-in.

With that said, if all else fails… if someone causing problems within the community won’t listen to their Captain, they can be kicked off the crew. This means you don’t have the backing of your crew, they won’t be taking your side, and you don’t get any of the benefits that your Airship provided. This may include not being invited to social activities, not having a table to sell merchandise on, not getting free passes into conventions, no longer having access to tools (for making things), and the list goes on. All of these things could be reasonable disciplinary actions within the Airship crew, before having to get to the point of walking the plank. Being kicked off an Airship could make it difficult to get accepted to a new crew… not to mention the embarrassment alone.

A Steampunk Captain doesn’t have any real authority, but we do have have the ability to be responsible Captains and that does come with hard choices. It’s not unreasonable to expect an Airship Captain to take their role seriously within the community. Do good by your crew. Do good by your community. This is what it is to be an Airship Captain.

 

~~ Captain Amelia “Coppertop” Reinier of the Airship Horizons

Steampunk Fashion Article Series

We began working on an in-depth Steampunk Fashion article that will end up so long that it’s ridiculous. Steampunk Fashion is hard to define, because it’s not just Victorian fashion. It’s a mix of the 1800’s Victorian and Edwardian fashion, retro-futuristic fashion, alternate time-lines (like Aether Skies), and sub-genres (like pirates and mad scientists) that can even include later centuries (like dieselpunk and atompunk).   So, we’ve decided to turn this into a series of articles. The plan is to post one per week, complete with photos. We will be covering some basics in Victorian fashion, some casual fashion, some retro-scifi oriented fashion, some individual types of clothing, some genres, and even persona themes. Here’s a sample list of the topics we will be covering (this is not a complete list):

  • Victorian Ladies
  • Victorian Gentlemen
  • Footwear
  • Goggles
  • Hats
  • Jewelry
  • Other Accessories (fans, umbrellas, bags, etc)
  • Coats
  • Corsets
  • Weaponry
  • Causual Wear
  • Working Class (such as Mechanics)
  • Military
  • Pirates (both sea and skyrats)
  • Armor
  • Mad Scientists
  • Aviators
  • Western
  • Explorers (includes Safari style)
  • Dieselpunk
  • Atompunk
  • Darksteam
  • Multicultural (such as Japan and other countries)
  • Retro-Scifi