Friday, January 29, 2010

A Report On An Evening With The Unfamiliar

The description for this event on Sunday, January 17th first reads:
"Come join us as The League of S.T.E.A.M, famed inventors and paranormal experts, host an unforgettable evening of steam-powered thrills, ectoplasmic oddities and supernatural curiosities. Prepare to be amazed by the latest in scientific advance in spectral detection and containment."

And that we were! The venue was an appropriately themed spot called Renee's Courtyard Cafe in Santa Monica. The venue was an intimate gathering place with smashing decor, wonderful atmospheric lighting and a a heated outdoor area that thankfully wasn't too outdoors, as it was raining a bit! As soon as you walked in you can see the displays of The League of S.T.E.A.M.'s banners and logo as well as the picture collage for their group. Along with a few of the examples of paranormal findings (such as the Phantom Monkey! (damn thing tried to pick my pocket! - the Captain)), there stood some wonderful examples of the seam work on their lady member's garments.

The League set up a projection room which played their short videos of their adventures that also accompanied a merchandise booth to help raise funds for future events and projects. In the Doll Room and along the back rooms of this lovely dwelling were wonders for the senses. Each member with their inventions did small demonstrations at their stations as well as individual stand-alone presentations during the course of the night. Each invention captured the attention of all with the astonishing amount of time and dedication devoted to each device!

Whether it be the guests of League of S.T.E.A.M. or patrons who happen to stumble upon this night of fantastic oddities, there was something for everyone! Professor Jager mesmerized the audience with his clockwork girl, R.O.S.E., designed for dealings with dangerous supernatural forces and, as a bonus, is exquisite in her aesthetic design. (Many blessings upon the R.O.S.E. for retaining her grace during such a long night of operation!) Conrad Wright III, along with Jasper Mooney, spent most of the night interrogating the guests with mirrors and crosses to try to expose the elusive vampire that roamed throughout the crowd. Crackitus Potts, in between relaxing cigar breaks and sips of energizing ectoplasm, stood at the oh-so 'shocking' display of the electric current generator where people lined up to get a taste of the tickler (I been a 'subject' of this invention neck hair still stands on end whenever I'm around it - the Captain).

The EVP phenomenon machine astounded many who listened to the playback and detected the presence of the roaming ghostly apparition that weaved in and out of the rooms causing random occurrences that could not be explained , though strangely only the children seemed to be able to see her! Baron Von Fogel and JR were very kind in explaining any of the questions asked of them about their organization and devices. The jet back that was to carry a Leaguer into the air was not quite up to the science that the members put into it (though they do claim it worked yesterday!) but it was entertaining to watch them try! Zed, the League’s resident zombie, staggered about the attendance unescorted through most of the night and even assisted the barmaids in serving the drinks! Once in a while Zed’s control collar did fail and his rampage proved terrifying until one of the members of the League set it back to work, then all was well again!

Near the end of the night, an auction was held to give away a signed one-of-a-kind promotion poster, and the lucky winner of this item was “Sold, to the gentleman in the goggles!” A splendid time was had for all, steampunk or not! Everyone seemed to be delighted with one another, surrounded by good food, refreshing drinks and the curiosities and delights from the League of S.T.E.A.M.! Each member of The League I had the pleasure of talked to was very gracious in having everyone attend the evening and make it such a success, they are all very wonderful people devoted to their craft and spreading the fantasy and joy that comes along with steampunk. I, along with the other members of the Manticore Society, enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and very much look forward to the next venture with the wonderful League of S.T.E.A.M.! But to really know what it is like to encounter this group, do visit their sites and join us for the next S.T.E.A.M. event! As always for access to our full gallery and videos please visit our myspace at

- Report by Merci & Photos by Captain Wong Wei -

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chrononaut 1-14-10 Report

For those who are not familiar with Chrononaut, it is the once a month steampunk themed dance night at Queen Bee's in San Diego. Headed by The Machina Fatalis Steampunk Social Club, this night entails everything you would want for a steamy good time! DJ Professor J. S. Greyshade plays an eccentric play list of music from old to new as a silent movie plays on stage. The lovely Ingrid flutters about the crowds, the social butterfly she is! There are live performances some night, and vendors selling their wares every night for your steampunk buying needs!

Obscure Discoveries, a faction of Manticore Society dedicated to creating and selling such wares, was on site for the January 2010 opening night themed Beggar's Market. The attendance were asked to bring any spare clothing or scrap material to be gone through by all and whatever was left would be donated to charity. All were asked to dress in according attire to match the theme of the evening. There was also soup served in true soup kitchen style!

While Capt. Wong Wei didn't exactly fit the poor look (actually I think I fit the bill that night looking quite bummy - the Captain), Miss Merci definitely did! The Obscure Discoveries table proudly displayed the items we've been knows for and some new items for sale. We shared a table with the San Diego shadowcast of Repo! the Genetic Opera, who are known as Elective Surgery. Cat. Wong Wei is a part of the cast playing many different characters such as Limo Driver, GENcop, and Band Leader. Miss Merci is also part of the cast playing Blind Mag. We were very happy to be next to our fellow cast members as they raised money for the cast!

There was no live performance this evening but a whole lot of fraternization and browsing about the tables. The tables where heaping with clothing, jewelry, and shoes up for grabs and there seemed to be a little something for everyone. While the Captain went about doing his 'steampunk paparazzi' adventures, all else had the opportunity to have their photos taken by our resident steampunk photographer, Jerry Abuan, who time and time again delights us with his amazing photos!

To view the photos from this night, please visit and click on Chrononaut January 2010!

Near the middle of the night, a winner for the attire contest was named and given a gift certificate to Clockwork Couture! The Elective Surgery booth also announced a winner for a raffle held to win a beautiful hand mirror! Obscure Discoveries did so enjoy our time at the dance and had a terrific time meeting with new faces, displaying our creations, and dancing to the music! We very much look forward to our next excursion to San Diego to visit our friends at Chrononaut!

For more information, please visit these links:


Manticore Society:

Jerry Abuan Photography:

Elective Surgery:

- Report by Merci & Photos by Captain Wong Wei -

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AnimeLA 2010 Report

It's a new year and a whole new batch of conventions. First up to bat for the Los Angeles area is AnimeLA which has earned a reputation for being a fan friendly convention catering to the Southern California anime fanbase. This year though has an extra special theme with Steampunk Sunday. That Sunday the convention was invaded by huge number of steampunks from the Southern California area and beyond. We here at the Manticore Society were proud to host two panels Steampunk on a Budget where panelists Danny Barer, Jo Celso, Mercades Victoria, Michael Pao, and Rebecca Majoros gave tips and lessons on how to create an affordable outfit and Steampunk 101 with Danny Barer, Eric Chamberlin, and Michael Pao which covered a basic overview of the Steampunk genre. Sadly we were not able to use the slide show which Eric prepared as the the projector decided to be difficult. After going though three laptops we just decided to go low tech. Management would like to express our deepest appreciation towards all whom participated and taken time out of their busy schedules to promote the organization and this interest we hold so dear. We also were pleasantly surprised by the large turn out with almost a packed room. Thank you to all those who came down to our panels. Hopefully we'll have more opportunities for events and panels such as this again.

After the panels many of us made our way to the pool area for a massive photoshoot which required two separate pictures to capture all our glory. A far cry from the handful of participants from the AnimeLA gathering a year ago. Hopefully in 2011 AnimeLA will decide to hold yet another Steampunk Sunday due to the smashing success it was this year.

- Captain Wong Wei -

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photos from New Years at the Nautilists' Ball

This New Years I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate at the Edison in downtown Los Angeles with a great group of friends and Abney Park! What a fabulous beginning! For those that couldn't make it, you were in our thoughts. I hope your New Years Eve was still full of smiles and giddy hearts.

- Heather von Luminous -