Monday, 3 November 2008

'The Searchers - The shape of things to come'

While hunting for SteamPunk ephemera (I am always on a Victoriana Safari looking for rare game) in the Ether, I fell upon an intrigueing cover of a forgotten Comic Book, and instantly wanted to know more. The comic books in question are 'The Searchers - The shape of things to come' Issues 1 to 4, and 'The Searchers - Apostle of Mercy' Issues 1 to 2, Written by Colin Clayton and Chirs Dows, and printed in 1996 to 1997 by Caliber comics.

Just a peek to set the scene!

The authors :- H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Sit Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Ryder Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, minds where exposed to a powerful artefact, which brought there imaginative creations to life, back in 1896.
The events are then catapulted forward one hundred years, and real-life descendants of their greatest
characters are thrown in to a dangerous undertaking...

Later a comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, was launched in 1999 as part of the America's Best Comics an imprint of Wildstorm Comics, which has gained some noterity.

Excerpts from facebook, and my cognitive adventures in the Ether! Part. II

In answering the topic on ones Steampunk Alter ego

How the 'the Steam Brigadier' came into being, and what he stands for!

The Steam Brigadier represents the mechanized arm of the New British Empire, in a future that may have been. His rank was inspired by the British cultural Hero (not a side-kick or a companion) 'The Brigadier' from the television Science Fiction series 'Dr. Who', who's ancestors (all of whom where military men) can be found in the novel 'The Dying Days' by Lance Parkin (1997).

Sbrigadier (for short) and SteamBrigadier have been nom de plumes floating around modern military exercises gathering strategies from the likes of 'Gear of War', and 'Halo 3', as well as on-line forums, on SteamPunk, and table-top strategy games for some time now, he is also the protagonist in the SteamPunk folly ' The unexpected undertakings of one of her Majesty's Steam-Troopers' which is found @ . The Steam Brigadier has also found himself as the custodian of 'Steam and Trenches' a Blog of sorts, located @ and unwittingly the Icon for the 'steampunk-depot' .

My Alter ego does not possess the characteristics of Sir harry Flashman, nor is he a devotee of Colonel Blimp's philosophy “War starts at Midnight!”, if an Analytical Engine can help the trajectory of an artillery shell, and a steam engine can be fitted with 'chain track' to go over obstacles on land, then all the better, and he is an avid reader of the works of General F. von Bernhardi - solely on logistics and modern military sense, of course! He is well travelled, and speaks with authority, his manners hide his frustration with foolish little upstarts, he has the tenacity of a Bulldog when looking for the truth, and thinks himself quite the Amateur sleuth.

In essence he is a defender of the realm (of SteamPunk), a soldier, and a gentleman.

Excerpts from facebook, and my cognitive adventures in the Ether! Part I

Q. So how'd you get into Steampunk

A. Well I remember when I was seven or eight living in Emerald (Vic. Australia) riding on a steam train called 'Puffing Billy' and it stopping at a lakeside station where you could buy a plastic bag full of black smoke, so those sounds and smells from that journey have stayed with me.

Now having lived in Loughborough (East Midlands), England for many years, I can now recall those Sunday afternoon films on the TV, for instance '20,000 Leagues under the sea' and 'First men in the moon', and in those 90's Anime (Japanese Animation) shows like 'Sherlock Hound' and 'Nadia – The secret of blue water', and I think it was one Christmas that 'Laputa – Castle in the sky' was on TV.

“you still awake!? Well read on”

Well I marvel at the working steam engines and contraptions made of iron, steel, copper, and brass, that though they did a very practical job, are beautiful to behold. I think that it was way back in 1997, that a friend and I sketched-out our thoughts of a Steampunk Strategy/RPG computer game, that still mite be! It might have been; the films, the cartoons, the books, the comic books, or the ghost of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, that got me hooked on Victoriana, it's just a part of me now.

“Oh! Mmm... I do ramble on a bit don't I”

I do not think you get into Steampunk, I know that you can stumble upon the word “Steampunk”, and that you can tumble into web sites, and see the cool fashion for the modern Neo-Victorian, but I think it's in your blood, hidden subconsciously some times.

Some times you feel a bit out of time, and your imagination revels in the possibilities of adventure, and invention that may have been, in Queen Victoria's reign. The “what if...” if you will.

“So Damn it, label me a Steampunker and be done with it!”