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 -