Let out the KRAKEN!

Let’s talk about Krakens! People sometimes ask us how an octopus is Steampunk. That’s because of books like “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea” which was published in 1870. Some authors back in that time liked using Krakens in their stories. Krakens are said to be giant legendary sea monsters that live off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. The legend of the Kraken may have originated from sightings of real giant squids! So, a Kraken could be a squid or an octopus (or some other giant sea monster)!

If you want your own Kraken, you can commision our BIG KRAKEN SQUID from Cpt. Coppertop, or our friend Jesse Thaxton’s BIG CUDDLEPUS! In the below photo is our Captain, Amelia “Coppertop” Reinier, with our little mascot Toki, Dickie (our kraken squid made by the Captain), and Hugo (made by Jesse).

We make smaller squiddies too! We sell our squids on the table with several other toys, so check us out if you see us at a convention. Here’s some fun photos with Dickie and Hugo:

    

  

 

Now, if you can’t afford a Kraken commission, you could always make one from the pattern created by the talented Emily G.! She shares her GIANT SQUID pattern for anyone who would like to make a squid for personal use. Emily loves seeing the squids that people make from her pattern, so please drop by her facebook! Thank you so much Emily ❤

 

Visit the original blog post where Emily first posted her pattern.

Izumicon 2012 Review

(1st Off. Reinier, Cpt. Coppertop, and Cpt. Coderre)

At Izumicon, we had six panels and no vending table. We thought perhaps without a table we wouldn’t be working as hard… but we were wrong! We had a lot of fun and we were SO TIRED after the convention. We had plenty of participants in our panels and everyone was great. Many of the panels we had at Izumicon where held for the first time. We learned some things and figured out ways to improve the Anime-Steampunk fusion panels we designed. Everyone was understanding of the first-time panels and they all seemed to have  had a good time. We think that our more seasoned steampunk panels were fairly popular and we got several compliments! So, thank you all for coming!

     

Also, Cpt. Coderre of our sister ship, Airship Avenger, got to head the “Steampunk Influence In Anime” panel and he did wonderfully. He put a lot of research and effort into it, and we greatly appreciate his dedication.

     

Our 1st Officer Thomas Reinier sat-in on the Character Development panel that Izumicon put together, which consisted of screen writers, authors, and Thomas as an experienced role player. It was a great panel! They talked about creating characters and how to make them believable, and how to avoid doing too much. I highly recommend this panel!

 

My favorite part of the convention (aside from paneling and being silly with my crew) was the “Ask An Anime Character”. We had only stopped in to sit down because we were tired. However, the hilarity that is the voice actors behind a curtain pretending to be cartoon characters was fantastic! The questions were mostly silly, but the answers were funny. We got to meet Lisa Ortiz (Lina Inverse, Deedlit, Tony Tony Chopper, etc) and Johnny Yong Bosch (Kurasaki Ichigo, Vash the Stampede, Lelouch, etc). Johnny happens to be a Power Ranger and in a band called Eyeshine. I sat in on one of their concerts and they were pretty good. A fan brought Johnny a really nice guitar as a gift – it was so sweet!

Short Eyeshine Clip

During the “Ask An Anime Character” panel, I had asked in a cute animated voice if Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece (voiced by Lisa) would name “me” (the giraffe). I lied and said I was a 2 1/2 foot giraffe and Tony suggested “Giraffee”. While in the line to meet Lisa for real, Cpt. Joey Coderre and I were being silling… or more like I was being silly and making Joey laugh! So when we got to her, I said in that same cute voice that I did not like that name and I would be named RISA (“Lisa” in Engrish with an ominous silly tone) and then asked her to sign “my butt”. She asked in the voice of Tony, “Have you eaten recently?” RISA replied “No.. but I lied about my height too!” Lisa laughed. Joey laughed. I laughed. We all laughed. It was fun! Lisa and Johnny both signed RISA’s bottom to much my humor.

  

  

 

We ran into Otherwhen Oddities and Noddy Brothers (who brought us Octopodicon in October).  We were told by a few vendors that they heard kids complaining that there wasn’t enough Steampunk at the convention. It’s so nice to hear that the local anime kids want us! We told the vendors about our panels so they could direct people our way!

(Itzl – Noddy’s dog)

Speaking of vendors, there was a TON of CUTE OVERLOAD… giraffes, alpacas, nekomini ears, Adventure Time backpacks, dvd’s, anime pajama’s, artwork, etc! I bought me a white alpaca, because everyone has them at the anime cons we’ve been to, and I named her Izumi! In Artist’s Alley we found a few cute things that the Captain liked. There was Pleasantly Strange, who had the cutest little squiddy. Another table called Sweet Sheep Studio had little Heartless bugs and the gentleman selling them was so nice and humored our Captain’s hyperactivity.

  

  

   

   

And then there was the cosplay!

        

OH! The shenanigans we had! Cpt. Coderre has a right-hand drive jeep. I (Cpt. Coppertop) am a passenger on the side that is normally the driver’s side. I put both hands on the window and make a scared expression. The look on people’s faces was hilarious! We also went to Walmart in our Steampunk gear. An African American couple looks over and she says “Excuse me sir… what nationality are you?” …. “uhh… white?”… true story! It was humorous and we got to chat with some inquisitive people about Steampunk.

We had a great time at Izumicon and we thank them having having us there! We loved all the people we met and we hope to see more of you again! Please check out our facebook for the full collection of photos we took at Izumicon.

A Special THANK YOU to some wonderful cosplayers who gave us permission to use their cosplay photos as examples in our “Steampunk Cosplay Fusion” panel:

EmeraldCity 2012 Review

We remembered last EmeraldCity fondly, and this hasn’t changed this year either. We had fun talking to new people, old friends, and other Airships, and fellow vendors. We enjoyed hosting the few panels we had and the people sitting in were great! We didn’t get to sit in on other panels or see many of the shows as we were focused on our vending table and interviewing people – but we greatly enjoyed Abney Park, Unwoman, and Black Hearts Fencing! There were a few little mishaps, but Little Beard was fantastic at quickly resolving any issues we encountered. We greatly appreciate this!
Outside the vending room was the Airship Flight School with Nicolas the Red. Their airship setup is always pretty cool! It’s fun to get photos at the ship and to see people running around with little boat and balloons strapped on – although I didn’t see them running around this time. I was told that this time they were having little Airship battles!
     
We liked all the vendors, but we’re only going to cover the ones that really stood out for some reason or another. Brutus definitely stood out and he was pretty cool! Just inside the vendors room there was a Steampunk Pumpkin-man named Brutus, who was pointing the way to Enchanted Designs and Empty Space. These lovely ladies (Kat Kaufman and Suzanne Dome) were very friendly and approachable. Always smiling! They were clearly very enthusiastic about what they do, and with good reason. Out of everything, the Captain’s favorite was the resin leaves. They are real leaves hardened with resin. They were very lovely and perfect for fall! I also loved each of her costumes. There was a lot of creativity coming from this corner of the room.
     
    
   
The second thing that caught the Captain’s eye was the parasols at Lady Diane’s. They were the cheap paper parasols… they were made from lovely fabric. While the handles were wooden, the ribs that hold up the fabric appeared metal. The parasol looked far more sturdy than ones I’ve seen. They were also very pleasing to the eye!
  
Ivy’s Carnival Epsilon usually has a booth at most conventions we attend. They are both performers and vendors. Two of the most notable things at their table, for me, are the small vintage bottles and their Elixers. Their bottles are sturdy and dug up from where ever they can find them, and they make a lovely addition to any costume. The Elixers come in many flavors, and our crew mate Bennett Locke always gets their grape flavored Elixer. We remember meeting them, and their little dog too (Cotter Pin), for the first time at Oklahoma Steampunk Expo 2011.
   
Esquire Millinery had a fancy emerald hat especially made for EmeraldCity. It’s a gorgeous hat! If you love green, it’s perfect for you! If you don’t like green, it’s still quite amazing. If they still have it, I imagine it won’t be for long. Although, the Captain’s personal favorite on the table is the feathered mask.
      
Crane’s Post, with Michael and Lisa Crane, has the largest variety of items. Michael says that he travels all over the world – China, Korea, everywhere – and collects items to sell. While he does have a source for some manufactured items, he seemed to have several interesting finds. It was akin to a mini treasure hunt searching through his trove of three tables. We found an old vintage light that looked pretty steampunk and even a peg leg YARRR! he also had a Victrola that still worked.
      
Tea isn’t my thing, but a lot of people love tea. Tea also fits in well with Steampunk, because it was very popular in Victorian times, plus it’s use in dying clothing with “tea baths”. Herbal Alchemy was at EmeraldCity last year too. Most vendors and groups that I talk to don’t say much without lots of prompting, but not with Denise – I mean that in a positive way. Denise was happy to talk about Herbal Alchemy and was clearly proud of her work. It’s nice when someone has something to say about what they do or how they got started. She was at EmeraldCity last year and this year she made two custom teas – the EmeraldCity tea and the Victorian Romance tea. Her teas were very pretty, not just dumped in a bag, and it was obvious that she put some real work and research into her teas. Denise values good taste, good aroma, and good appearance  to her teas. This is evident if you spent a few minutes really looking through her product, as you can smell the herbal aroma from the bags. Herbal Alchemy is based out of Manhaten KS, and soon you’ll find her teas at the Little Apple Shop along side of cupcakes.
      
I had not stopped at Pendragon Costumes very much, but Matthew Merback’s charm attracted me. He’s a good looking man, but more noticeable was his way with the customers. I watched him and his partner (Ian) working their vending spot for the better part of 30 minutes or so. They worked hard! They were professional, but there was a humor about them as well. At one point, Superman was also showing a customer’s significant other how to lace a corset, because ladies can’t tie up themselves! Most guys don’t realize that they’ll be lacing corsets when their ladies buy one. Also worth mentioning was Matthew’s fantastic Steampunk Superman costume! How creative! Now, the owner of the store, Nicole Fullerton of California, has 20+ years of experience and they only sell at festivals and conventions right now. I am told that she also designed the steampunk coat that Nathan Fillion wore in Castle. Check it out sometime!
      
This was the first time seeing Roni Art Girl, and her merchandise and setup was adorable… like Roni herself. There was nothing on the table that we didn’t like. It was all Steampunk and accessories, and we all know that Steampunk costumes are built on accessories! The majority of her items are obviously for the ladies, but there were some necklaces and rings that looked appropriate for men too. Captain’s favorites where the little bottles of parts and the lace bows with keys.
     
I think we’ve managed to collect about 5 of the Time Traveler Outfitters business cards but had not yet been deep into blogging at those times. This time, we are, and I’m glad we got to interview them! At first glance, it was just another elegant steampunk clothing booth… but talking to her is where the gold is. Morgana Stitchwitch (Deborah Gerard) talked about how she values authenticity and quality. She also puts a lot of thought into their clothing, such as sewing on a strap of leather at the bottom of the men’s vest so that the belt doesn’t ruin the vest. Debra makes these clothes, so they aren’t made in China! When you are staring in the vending room unsure about which clothing vendor you want to buy from, stop and talk with them. You’ll know fairly quickly if they just want your money, or if they really put their heart into their craft. Of course all vendors want money, but believe me, there is a difference in quality and worth if the people making the clothing are putting their love and pride into their work!
 
We don’t often see Jeremiah and Kelly vending, so it was a nice surprise! Wasteland Salvage had some really cool leather top hats and compasses. They have a variety of items from clothing to leather scraps, cuffs, leather harness on a uniform, a gun holster, etc. Personally, I like Steampunk tables with a variety of things because it’s like having a mini treasure hunt and you never know what you’re going to find! If you ever see Wasteland Salvage at a local convention, pick something up because we don’t see them vend often!
      
Draco Sinister Blades was pretty awesome. They sold lots of shiny sharp things! The Captain and Hired Gun Bennett Locke stopped by to look over their swords, and we found the Kill Bill sword, Ichigo’s Sword from Bleach, and lots of other neat swords and daggers. In fact, that had a Hollow Mask (Bleach) hanging up too. Maybe our Hired Gun should invest in a badass sword for when he runs out of ammo. Kevin & Beth Purvis were really nice vending neighbors, as they were right behind us, and we enjoyed their company!
    
Black Hearts Fencing was pretty entertaining. There was a lot more humor than I expected. It was humorous to see the fake “dying” antics. If your leg was hit by a sword, you had to sit down, or if you got a fatal stab you had to “die”, etc. Some of the competitiveness was funny, but it’s kind of hard to explain. You had to see it!
Ranvaldir (Chris), Adriana & Norah
  
The Whovians, who we seem to run into a more lot often these days, were their in all their Doctor Who glory! Little Beard even built a Tardis in the middle of the hallway. How frickin’ cool is that?! I am obsessed with Doctor Who and I got some fun photos to share. We even brought our little owl mascot “Gallifrey” with us and got some photos with him.
     
We also stopped by the Save Ferris table, with Devvie and Davis, which is a charitable cause to help someone who ran into some pretty hard times. Ferris got laid off and then got very sick.  Just hearing what the community is trying to do for him choked me up. They are trying to raise money to help him get job training in a new field of work so that he can get back on his feet! It’s so wonderful when people come together to help others in need. Check out their website to find out more about them.
   
The Transformers Expo  was advertising and selling transformers at their table. Okay, so it’s not really Steampunk, but we love Transformers too! We really want to go, and we likely will be there (as just attendees I’m sure).
  
We got to see Unwoman perform last EmeraldCity too, and then again this time. We even got to talk to Erica and enjoyed her bright smile! She’s a lot of fun and can be pretty humorous. She also performed with Abney Park. Abney Park was awesome!  The ladies were hot and the lead singer Cpt. Robert Brown was really cool. If you are an Abney Park fan, you already know this! Josh Goering was like a mad pirate tearing up the guitar. Who knew a pirate could do that?! Now, Daniel Cederman really struck me as a calm cool dude and there was just something about him that seemed familiar. Then, I figured it out… he reminds me of Rabbit from Steam Powered Giraffe. They have a similar physique and demeanor. Bonus points for Daniel! The ladies (Jody Ellen & Kristina Erickson) were super talented and hope too, and it was a feat to pull the Captain’s eyes off the bouncing beauty! Titus Munteanu managed to draw my attention away from the feminine antics, with his brilliant Violin playing. He’s got to be my favorite band member. I loved hearing him play the Violin. The whole band was amazing. We were told that Jody was sick at EmeraldCity, but with her level of energy and enthusiasm, we couldn’t tell!  We really hope that Jody is feeling better.
     
    
Airship Nox, while not vending, was floating around having a good time. We love running into this crew because they have a lot of fun people and a big variety of styles and personas on the crew. Here’s Sky Marshall Marshal Rex Havokk (Ron Parker), Mechanic  Elijah, 1st Mate and Communications Officer Patchwork, Autopilot, Adrien Blanche, and Helmsperson Marriebelle (Hollie). If you haven’t met them, you should!
  
We also ran into Airship Vindus (Layla Anders, Lady Jade Summers, Dominic Stark, Gunslinger Judge, and Jacob Gunny McManus),  Airship Viroborov (Theo Turner (Joel Kimbrell)), Airship Domusexustio (Volk Maljik (Daniel Luckey), Pilot Christiana), Airship Cog (Joe Carver, he’s the quartermaster and surgery is his hobby! That’s his lovely wife and Nurse Patty.), Airship Lexington (Cpt. Sean Mac Taggart (Brian Swearingin)), Airship Noir (Catherine Moreau (Joanna) & Rosalind Meade (Lisi Chance)), and Airship Mercy (Frau Chef Luce (Katie Mintzmyer)).
            
Dale and his owl was pretty cool too. Just thought we’d throw that in here.
Also at last year’s EmeraldCity, we got photos taken at My Groovy Photos which we loved. So, we got some more photos taken this year too! We definitely recommend Mark’s photos. Here are our new crew photos – Cpt. Coppertop (me), 1st Off. Reinier (Dan), Bennett Locke, and Mad Moira. In the toy promo photo, it’s Cpt. Coppertop, Mechanic Toki (by TokiDoki / KidRobot), Hugo (octopus made by Jesse Thaxton), and Dickie (squid made by me). 
  
See the rest of our photos on our facebook!