Thursday, December 31, 2009

AnimeLA 2010

Well, we waste no time in 2010 indeed! Right around the corner is AnimeLA held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott from January 8th to the 10th. The exciting event this year is that Sunday will be designated as 'Steampunk Sunday'! And we here at the society have a thing or two up our sleeves. What are they you ask? Well two, count them two panels which we shall be hosting on 'Steampunk Sunday'. Information on the panels are listed below...

Sunday 1:00 PM: Steampunk on a Budget
@ LP 2/Suite B
Danny Barer
Jo Celso
Mercades Victoria
Michael Pao
Rebecca Majoros

Sunday 2:00 PM: Steampunk 101
@ LP 2/Suite B
Danny Barer
Eric Chamberlin
Michael Pao

So come out and show your support!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Edison 12-18-09 Report

Hot off the presses! Here are the photos from the Edison outing on the eighteenth of December! Got us a few new faces and a few familiar ones. With ladies stating that 'Kilts are hawt!' and 'I love your feather!'. A very interesting night indeed...

- Captain Wong Wei -

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Guy is Afoot! - A Sherlock Holmes Review

As someone who has read a good portion of the Conan Doyle Holmes stories -- and who started reading them 30 years ago -- I'm glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Guy Ritchie's new SHERLOCK HOLMES movie, with Robert Downey, Jr. as the master sleuth and Jude Law as an extremely impressive Dr. Watson. I still think the best adaptation of the Holmes stories was the BBC series starring the steely-eyed Jeremy Brett; but Holmes, like Tarzan (another literary Englishman created during the time Holmes stories were originally being released) and Robin Hood, Holmes has become a staple of Western popular culture whom every generation must enact anew. Just as there will likely always be revivals of Shakespeare plays, there will always be reinterpretations of Holmes -- whether he's battling Moriarty, Nazis (as he did in the '40's Basil Rathbone flicks), Jack the Ripper, or the menacing conspirators in this film.

Some may be annoyed by Ritchie's hyper-stylization of reality, or the pumped-up action sequences, or the focus on Holmes's manic-depressive personality (though there's little-to-no mention of Holmes's cocaine habit -- perhaps to avoid a harder rating). Others may grumble about giving Holmes and Watson a cute dog.
Further, the movie features manipulation of lighting and color all too common to modern films. Like old films shot on sound stages, so many of today’s flicks seem to take place in some other reality, with little connection to actual air, light and earth. This is particularly pronounced in the scenes shot around the Thames, in which the (presumably computer generated) tableaux of ships and industry look like a 19th-century black-and-white photo come to life.

But still, this is Holmes. He is woven from threads taken from the actual stories. There are snippets of dialogue from Conan Doyle’s writing, and the fun touches like the “V.R.” shot into the walls of Holmes and Watson’s flat. Further, the movie benefits greatly from taking one of the most memorable supporting characters -- Irene Adler, the American con woman from "A Scandal in Bohemia," who to Holmes will always be the woman -- and building up her role, so that she is an adventuress who stands on equal footing with Holmes and Watson, albeit on the other side of the law. Holmes's Catwoman, if you will.

The costumes will delight anyone looking for 19th-Century inspiration. Whereas most depictions of Holmes and Watson are content with depicting the duo in business wear, with occasional evening clothes and country wear, the costumers here go wild with the mens’ clothes. Watson is a bit of a fashion plate, particularly in a monochrome-indigo tunic he wears to a fancy restaurant. Holmes favors rep-striped ascot cravats, ratty smoking jackets, and a utility belt that should delight steampunk costumers. Adler wears a succession of womens’ costumes that far more suited to action than the skirts and bloomers of the day.

It's always a delight to enjoy a couple of hours of pure cinematic entertainment. SHERLOCK HOLMES shows that there's quite a bit of life in the old sleuth -- enough to fuel reinterpretations for generations to come.

-Danny Barer-

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays & A Steamy New Year

We at the Manticore Society would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Steamy New Year! Here's to 2010 shining bright on the horizon!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Edison Visit 12-18-09

This Friday a group of steampunks from the Los Angeles area will be making a visit to the Edison's Depression Era Happy Hour which starts at 5pm until 7pm. While supplies last each person will be supplied with a blue ticket which can be redeemed for a tea cup full of tomato soup and half a cheese sandwich. Also for 35 cents you'll get either a gin based drink or bourbon based drink. Hope to see you there!

108 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0000

Drink Responsibly!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LosCon 36 Report

As always LosCon was the perfect convention to cap off the end of the year. Like many people I was able to reconnect with many old friends and in the same time make many new friends as well. It was also interesting to see how the steampunk movement as a whole is growing as a whole. In fact the first panel I attended was a panel entitled 'Steampunk, Clockpunk, Noirpunk' which I found highly enjoyable and afterward was the LosCon 36 Ice Cream Social and WETA Dr. Grordbort's Steampunk Science Fair were yours truely won Best in Competition (TOP GIT). The prize was a shiny new Righteous Bison Indivisible Particle Smasher.

And as it was year's theme 'But wait...there's more!' as always the room parties on the 17th floor was just fantastic! An event where one could be a lab rat, vote on the mad scientist of the year, and have a rum party with pirates. I could go on forever but I'll just list a few highlights; bison chili, assorted wine and cheeses, a chocolate fountain, meatly meatly meatballs, creamy cream puffs (dip them in the chocolate fountain...fantastic!) and an assortment of other delightful...refreshments.

As always LosCon is a magnet for artists, writers, and the such as they interact with their fan base. This year guests and some of the people one could have encounter were Steven Barnes(The Locusts and Star Wars: The Cestus Deception), Tananarive Due (The Between and My Soul to Keep), Tim Rickard(creator of the Brewster Rockit comic), Harry Turtledove (The Master of Alternate History), and Len Wein (creator of Wolverine) just to name a few.

Next year LosCon is going to be donning some shades, pop on some goggles, and walk down a fog covered street as it's going to be Dark LosCon 37: A Celebration of Urban fantasy, Steampunk, and SF Noir. Yours truly will be handling the steampunk programing so sign up while membership is only $25 until December 31st

Membership Rates:
$25 through December 31, 2009
$30 through March 31, 2010
$35 through June 30, 2010
$40 through September 30, 2010
$45 through November 14, 2010
$55 thereafter

Writter Guest of Honor for 2010 will be Emma Bull writer of such works as War for the Oaks and Bone Dance.
Artist Guest of Honor for 2010 will be Phil Foglio of Studio Foglio and co-creator of popular steampunk comic series Girl Genius.

So sign up for LosCon 2010 and tell a friend! And have them tell a friend, and have them tell a friend, and so forth! See you there!

LosCon 2010 will be held at the LAX Marriot.
5855 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045 USA

As always I will be featuring an array of pictures below but for the full rogues gallery visit the Manticore Society myspace. And while you're there friend us!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chrononaut 11-06-09 Report

Well I know it took a while but I was finally able to upload all the photos and videos from November's Chrononaut in San Diego. Playing this month were the sinfully delightful Demonika and the Darklings. A pleasant change of pace from the thumping industrial beats that dominate the goth clubs these days. And as always the while you can check out the few pictures we have here the rest of them and video will be on the Manticore Society myspace.

The Chrononaut website has recently done a major rehaul so check them out. And also instead of every other month starting 2010 Chrononaut will be open every second Thursday of every month. Hope to see you there!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Thursday, November 26, 2009

LosCon 2009 Reminder

This is a reminder that the 36th annual LosCon: the Los Angeles Regional Science Fantasy Convention which is held at the LAX Marriott is coming up on November 27-29. The LosCon 2009 Steampunk Meet Up will be on Friday at 8pm during the Ice Cream Social.

Nov. 27-29
LAX Marriott

5855 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

- Captain Wong Wei -

Happy Thanksgiving!

We at the Manticore Society would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Just don't fill yourself up too much in case of rampaging marauders!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The Manticore Society would like to wish everybody a safe and happy Halloween!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Saturday, October 24, 2009

LosCon 2009

Looks like we have here another convention in the horizon to hang our hats at. The 36th annual LosCon: the Los Angeles Regional Science Fantasy Convention which is held at the LAX Marriott on November 27-29. Personally LosCon has never really failed to disappoint me. More of a fan friendly social convention it's a place where everyone pretty much gathers together for one last big hurrah before the start of next year's con season (the late night room parties...mah! Just fantastic!). Events this year will include a Steampunk Science Competition and Steampunk Ice Cream Social. Hope to see you there!

Nov. 27-29
LAX Marriott

5855 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dark Void: Video Game

I'm sure I'm not the only gamer around here and I want to share with you all an up coming video game by the name of Dark Void using the Unreal Engine 3 on the X-Box 360 platform and Playstation 3 platform. From Capcom the same people that brought you such video game icons such as the Street Fighter series, Monster Hunter, the Resident Evil series, and the Mega Man series.

The score to Dark Void was composed by Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary, making this his video game score debut. He recorded the score with a 63-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Eastwood Scoring Stage.

What is Dark Void you ask? Think a steampunk Rocketeer video game with Nikola Tesla, the Bermuda Triangle, and aliens. The game mixes on-foot and mid-air combat. Check it out, join up with the resistance, and strap on your rockets! It's going to be a hell of a ride!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Nostalgia for the DS

In seven days Nostalgia for the Nintendo DS hand held system will be hitting the US shores. Originally released in Japan on November 2008 by Tecmo as Nostalgio no Kaze (Wind of Nostalgio) Nostalgia is a role playing video game developed by Red Entertainment and Matrix Software. Produced by Keisuke Kikuchi (Fatal Frame I, II, III) with programming and three-dimensional graphics by Matrix Software (Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV). Featuring three-dimensional characters and environments, Nostalgia takes advantage of the Nintendo DS's dual screens, gameplay is featured on one screen while a map of the player's current location is present on the other, which fills as they travel through new areas. As a bonus the player's party is judged at the end of each battle with a letter grade based on what they did in combat as well as how quickly and flawlessly they have defeated their enemies. The higher the letter grade the better as they may give additional rewards. The music for Nostalgia was composed by Shinichiro Sato (FLCL) and Rei Kondo (Okami), who was credited alongside his musical unit "T's Music".

The game takes place in an alternate reality steampunk version of the 19th Century and follows main character Eddie, a native of London and son of a world famous adventurer. He and his companions travel the world in a customizable airship by the name of the Maverick in search of Eddie's father Gilbert Brown who has gone missing and uncover the truth about an ancient civilization. The game features both standard turn based combat as well as aerial battles against enemy airships. The player will have control of Eddie (the main character), Pad (a street urchin), Melody (a witch), and Feona (standard mysterious young girl). Settings include such real world places as New York City, Tokyo, Cairo, South America, and Northern Europe.

At the moment if you preorder the game from Amazon you will get exclusive access to the last volume of the webcomic series and if you join the Nostalgia Face book and send them a a screenshot of your pre-order receipt the Nostalgia Face book will mail you a free copy of the Nostalgia art book.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tonite! Meetup w/ Lex Machina @ The Edison (Oct. 7th)

Here's your chance to meet a great photographer and all around interesting person by the name of Lex Machina. She travels around the country in her RV roaming around like the gypsies of old. She just arrived into our fair city last night and tonight she'll be heading out to the Edison. If you are able to I suggest dressing up in your steamy finest and coming out tonight!

- Captain Wong Wei -

Chrononaut Friday 11/06

On Friday November 6th Chrononaut will once again be opening their doors for an evening of steamy delights! This time around the musical guests will be Demonika & the Darklings from the City of Lost Angels. They feature the violinist from The Unextraordinary Gentlemen, Jennifer Palerez (J. Francis in UXG & Devlin in D&D). And as always vendors such as Obscure Discoveries will be on hand and Prof. Greyshade will be spinning the tunes.

So put on your steampunk finest and come on down to show your support! Remember, the club is all ages and the door time is now 8:00 pm to 12:00 am!

Queen Bee's
3925 Ohio Street
San Diego, CA 92104

- Captain Wong Wei -

Friday, October 9, 2009

Steampunk Empire & Facebook

A new MySpace like website has spawned with a steampunk twist called the Steampunk Empire. If you get the chance check it out and also the Manticore Society has already made their mark on the empire.

Also thanks to Ms. Merci we now have a group up on Facebook so if you're using this communication tool give us an add.

- Captain Wong Wei -

Long Beach Comic-Con Report

Surprisingly large for a first time convention comes to mind when one first makes their way down to the Long Beach Comic-Con dealers room. It was pretty much packed shoulder to shoulder on Saturday when yours truly made his way to the convention. A few of the members (Bri, Syrin, and myself) were able to do have a small meet up and a bite to eat at the Irish pub the Auld Dubliner across the street. As usual there is a few pictures and the rest could be grabbed at our myspace.

- Captain Wong Wei -

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pyrate Daze Report

What can I say about Pyrate Daze? Pirates, Steampunks, and the Queen Mary oh my! It was wonderful to see how many steamies turned out for this event and kudos to the League of S.T.E.A.M. for taking over pretty much the entire middle floor of the dealers room. The demonstrations and steamy programing...well as it's printed on the league's flag a big ol' thumbs up.

The highlight of the entire event would have to be the banquet dinner and concert on Saturday night. Well worth the eighty dollar price tag. Abney Park as always puts on a fantastic show. The belly dancers performing along side them was absolutely gold. Big thumbs up for the entire night. It's also wonderful to see how much this group is growing as more and more people are joining up. Spread the word and one day we just might take over. And that's a good thing. Now as usual are a few pictures of the event and if you wish for more just follow this link to our myspace for a massive two part report with even more pictures and a whole bunch of videos.

- Captain Wong Wei -