Monday, November 2, 2015

The 31 Days of Halloween

Every year, Liz and I binge watch as many scary movies as we can in October. It's such a fun tradition and we usually find some really great movies as well as some absolute stinkers. This year was no different. Here's what we watched:
* = Movies we have already seen

The Shining*
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter*
The Village*
Odd Thomas
Paranormal Activity 2*
Big Bad
Tremors 4 The Beginning
Human Centipede 3 The Final Sequence

The winners for movies we have not seen are...

1) Nurse
Nurse is an awesome indy movie about a crazed nurse that kills her patients. It kind of puts you on edge while still having some campy (but not too campy) elements. And it was hilarious at times. It reminded me of American Mary (another awesome movie) but with Nurses. Shot and acted well.

2) Human Centipede 3 The Final Sequence 
The Human Centipede movies have been gnarly since the first one. The first one was shocking enough. The second was just down right awesomely nasty. But the third one takes all of that to super crazy-land. It was possibly the most un-politically correct movie I have ever seen. It was also totally funny. The prison warden (also the bad guy from the first movie) was absolutely out of control. It's too bad this is the last one.

3) VHS
I've been seeing VHS pop up Netflix for a long time and I've heard enough about it to peak my interest. Basically, some buglers break into a house to steal a VHS tape but there are a lot of tapes. As they go through them, there are a ton of strange murders that have been filmed. My favorite was the demon/succubus thingy. A totally fun watch.

The Big losers are

1) 131313
I don't know how this even got made. It was weird, and I still don't really know what was going on. The clocks all said 131313... and there was a date of 131313... I sort of get that they could get away with making 11111 a few years ago because that was sort of a thing but now... it's just a wreck.

2) The Big Bad
Here's a terrible Werewolf movie. It's hard to watch and whoever made it considers themselves a real artist... It's not hard to watch because it's gory or anything, it's just confusing, badly done and boring as all get out.

Can't wait until next year! Hope you all had an amazing Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Liz and I are honored to be celebrity guests this year at IFCON in Victoria British Columbia. We're so excited to be a part of this for a ton of reasons. The con benefits the BC Children's Hospital, which is the coolest reason to have a conference, and the good news is the entire conference is almost SOLD OUT!

Liz and I will be there selling dreadfuls, posters, pictures, patches so look for us at a corner booth in the vendor hall. We also have a ton of events we are doing/going to attend.

Friday October 30th 7PM We will be at the VIP Meet and Greet off site at The Royal Canadian Legion
Saturday October 31st 4PM - (In the Small Workshop Room)We will have our Naughty and Scary Dreadful Panel
Saturday October 31st at 9PM at The Royal Canadian Legion - We will be guest judges at the adult costume contest (and we get to hang out with Ari Lehman, AKA the first Jason from Friday the 13th)
Sunday November 1st Liz is doing a celebrity photo op (all proceeds go to the BC Children's Hospital) this is at 2PM in the vendor hall.

There will be a ton, and I mean a ton of guests from TV, movies, comics, art... this could go on and on. There are movie screenings, panels, photo ops, food trucks, special demonstrations, a masquerade ball, live bands, once in a lifetime celebrity panel opportunities... There's so much, I can't even keep track of it all. Pretty much, if you like anything that has to do with pop culture, it's going to be there.

So if you are in the area, or are thinking of traveling, get your tickets quickly! Check out their website for all the info: Get Tickets Here

October 31 - November 1 2015
Pearkes Recreation Centre 
3100 Tillicum Rd
Victoria BC

Here's our nifty promo vid we did for them:

I know so much insane work has gone into this and we want to thank everyone involved that has literally spent years making this happen. See you all in Canada soon!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Linkies for October

It's time for Linkies! That means it's time to share some cool stuff from people I know, and some I don't.

For anyone in the North West or looking to make an awesome trip to Canada, There are a VERY few tickets left for IFCON in Victoria BC October 31-November 1. Get them qucik, this is going to be a shockingly amazing con.

Harley Quinn gets her own comic series! This looks to be pretty awesome. No doubt DC is upping their Harley game in preparation for Suicide Squad.

Need steampunk/Victorian/justawesomestuff? Shop at the awesome Frenzy Universe!

The steampunk TV show, Steampunk'd, ends on Wednesday! See who wins on GSN this Wednesday.

Need more steampunk? Of course you do! Check out the awesome cosplayer Steamunk Boba Fett:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


January 2010 Hanging with Shorty. He even has a cooler of the Blue Stuff on him!

In 2010 I attended my first con as a vendor. My first steampunk book, Thomas Riley, had just come out and I picked a con that seemed pretty cool that was close to Nashville. It was Shadow Con. Honestly, I was a bit nervous. I had no idea how smaller cons worked or how people would be. I'd been to San Diego Comic Con before and to Dragon Con, but never to a more regional and strictly fan driven one. This time I was on panels and selling my own book and really on my own in the world of Fandom for the first time. That can be scary! I mean, did the steampunks speak in British Accents all the time? Would everyone judge me for my limited knowledge of Klingon or my poor skills at Warcraft? I had no idea.

At Shadowcon, I set my table up and everyone was insanely nice to me. They all were so cool. This includes one Stuart "Shorty" Bergman. He was a huge man with long hair and beard. Instantly intimidating. He was the nicest guy you could have met. He welcomed me to the con, hung out at my table and talked about, well everything and I just met the guy! Later, I ended up at his little room party in the hotel where we had "The Blue Stuff" which he then told me was his version of Romulan Ale. It was like a billion different kinds of liquor with Blue Curaco for color. At the end of this life defining conference, Shorty even sold me my first bottle of Mead, which I was really excited about.

I saw Shorty several more times, at Midsouthcon and again at Shadowcon the following year. We talked Facebook after I moved to Washington and he always made it a point to chat me up when he saw me online. I still regret not being able to go to the Memphis fandom con he helped launch.

I found out yesterday that Shorty's battle with Cancer had ended and I wouldn't get the pleasure of seeing Shorty's gleeful face or cheers him with a nearly poisonous amount of Blue Stuff.

Shorty was so kind to me when I was just starting out and he helped ease me into an entire culture that I was quite nervous about when I started. And through the years, he always stayed in contact. Fandom all over has lost an icon, a bright light, and a hell of a guy.

Rest In Peace, Shorty. I will miss you.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Steamposium 2015

Steamposium is the newest steampunk conference in Seattle, and man is it fun. This year they had stars from Warehouse 13, Steamgirl, and the new GSN show, Steampunk'd, We not only vended this year but also took part in panels. We met a ton of new awesome people and got to hang out with some of our old Northwest steampunk friends. Last year was awesome, but this year ratcheted it up a notch with more going on and more night time activities. This year I actually got to see the costume contest as well which was a cool treat. Shockingly cool costumes. It always amazes me how people can come up with such complex and detailed costumes.

Like just about every con, we can't wait until next year where there is rumor that Liz might be able to do a Naughty Dreadful Pajama Party!

Next up for us is IFCON in Victoria British Columbia Oct 31-Nov 1st. See you in Canada!

With our friend Andy

Lizzie at the table

Me with Brewskibot! Steampunk R2D2 that will serve drinks!

The table before the chaos.

Lizzie at post con sushi back in Gig Harbor. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Dragon Con Schedule

Liz and I are so stoked to be returning to Dragon Con in Atlanta GA this year! We will be on a bunch of panels so I thought it would be appropriate to put our schedule here, (For our reference as well) During the weekend, we'll be a part of no less than seven hours of programming, so please stop by and say hi. (Also, apologies for not listing all the panelists on every panel. I'm a spaz and can't find the complete lists)

For anyone coming to Dragon Con this year, we're super excited to see all of our old friends again! Liz will be doing some fabulous cosplay as well, so we will be out and about but if we somehow don't run into you, here is where we will be panel-wise.

Growing Up Steampunk (Nick)
Marriott A708
Friday Sept. 4
Volunteers from the Alternate History Track share information about Steampunk Culture targeted at kids and families. Panelists: Ciara Knight, Nick Valentino

Steampunk After Dark Live (Live Podcast) (Liz)
Westin Augusta 3
Friday Sept 4
Imagine yourself in a gin-soaked haze, lounging about on a velvet settee... Steampunk After Dark presents the music for that moment with a live podcast by That Darling DJ Duo! Featuring not only the music of the era but also live commentary, adult themes and steamy good company. Moderator: That Darling DJ Duo Panelists: Crystal Bright, Elizabeth Valentino, Frenchy & the Punk, Kathryn Hinds

The Steamy Steampunk Reading Hour (Liz)
Westin Augusta 3
11:30 PM
This panel will feature both authors and collectors who have come together to make you sweat! With titillation, tease and with some mild trepidation they will read excerpts from both their own works as well as those that have inspired them. Moderator: Odetta von Kasek Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Elizabeth Valentino, Nico Murray, Sarah Hunter

The Demimonde and Dark Victoriana of Penny Dreadful (Nick and Liz)
Westin Augusta 1-2
8:30 PM
Sat Sept 5
The demimonde are the fringes of society. The penny dreadfuls were slang for cheap fiction. Learn how they relate to Showtime's hit show in this joint author panel from the Horror and Alternate History Tracks.
Nick Valentino and Elizabeth Valentino

Decadence and Deviance in History (Liz)
Sat Sept 5
As an exploration of the origins of the modern hedonist's lifestyle, our experts will delve into the humble origins of pornography, sexual deviance and sex workers. From behind closed doors and into the public dungeon we will delve into the decadence and the darker deviant aspects of sexuality.
Elizabeth Valentino

Vintage Advice and Accessories for the Modern Gentleman (Nick)
Westin Augusta 3
Sun Sept 6
5:30 PM
The philosophy of a gentleman entails rules of bearing, style and etiquette. This holistic panel is sure to be educational for all genders. With this truly magnificent assemblage of gentleman, you are sure to gain new knowledge in the art of gentlemanliness.
Nick Valentino

Passing The Steampunk Torch (Nick)
Westin Augusta 3
Mon Sept 7
11:30 AM
Steampunk is out there in our books, comics, movies, and so much more. How do we pass on this knowledge to the new generation of fans? This discussion panel of authors and fans talk about how to introduce children and young adults to the wide and complex world of steampunk.
Moderator: Liz Carpenter Panelists: Christina Guardino, Lonnie Hawkins, Lisa Mantchev, Nick Valentino

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Naughty Dreadful, Awesome Updates and Linkies!

Naughty Dreadful
We just got finished with the latest photo shoot for the Naughty Dreadful Issue #3, and I have to say these are the best photos yet! The models were awesome, the photographer absolutely knocked these out of the park. Of course I can only give you the teaser right now but I'm sure I'll be sharing more soon. I can tell you that the newest Naughty Dreadful will have a western theme as you can tell from the pic. 

Barring that something else pop up, (which it very well might) our next conference will be the Steamposium in Downtown Seattle. Last year was an absolute blast and this year looks to be ten times as big. We will be there vending yet again and this time we will have at least four issues of the dreadfuls.

Me and Sean Maher (yes, Simon from Firefly!) at last year's steamposium. 

Speaking of the Dreadfuls, check out the website and pick up your single copies or yearly subscriptions today!


The late great Jay Lake used to do a thing on his blog called, Link Salad, where he would give useful and relevant links to the community. In honor of his awesomeness, I want to start doing the same thing to help spread the word on things great, fun, rewarding, etc. Here we go!

The Steampunk, Circuspunk, neo Victorican, everything band, This Way to Egress got robbed while on tour. Lame right? You can check out their story and help them recover with a small donation here.

Tales From The Goth Librarian II is OUT NOW by the amazing Kimberly Richardson. Published by Dark Oak Press. If you like awesome dark shorts, and finely written poetry, check this out:

Steampunk'd - GSN is having a new show this summer on steampunk costuming and creation! The magnificent Kato will be on it as well. Check out the press release here.

Mega prolific writer, insanely talented guy and probably the coolest dude you will ever meet, Stephen Zimmer has a new book out called Heart of  A Lion on Seventh Star Press. You must check this out:

One of my favorite Doom Metal bands, Loss is going on tour this fall!!! If you are on the west coast you must give them a listen. Killer.

Like Mystery Books? Who doesn't? My amazing friend, Teresa Burrell has another book out in her long running Advocate series, The Advocate's Geocache! Check her page out:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Amazing Weekend at The Brass Screw Confederacy

What an incredible idea. Take the entire Victorian town of Port Townsend, Washington and turn it into a Steampunk haven. The place is so awesome. Almost everything in the downtown area is of Victorian nature. The buildings are old and authentic, the art is awesome, (they have a huge cog statue in the middle of a park.) and the people are wonderfully eclectic. They have several steampunk stores, even the thrift stores advertise their steampunk goods. But none of it is Victorian stuffy at all. There is plenty of punk in their steampunk. They have a volunteer run Food Not Bombs coffee house called The Boiler Room, tons of book stores, unique antique shops, and awesome places to eat and drink.

The Brass Screw Confederacy is not exactly a con but more of a complete invasion of steampunk goodness in many of the buildings. The museum, the VFW, the rental halls, everything had something going on of the genre. They even had tin plate photographers and roving musicians dressed in appropriate garb on the streets. Port Townsend is to Steampunk what Port Royal was to pirates. Complete immersion with something awesome happening around every corner.

The crowds were awesome and we had a great time vending. Even the restaurants were fun. We had dinner at the already steampunk flavored, Cellar Door which is in the basement of a huge Victorian building and another at Sirens, an upstairs gastro-pub overlooking the ocean.

We stayed at two different places. The Manresa Castle, an old haunted place where priests once roamed the halls (we got one of the three haunted rooms) and The Belmont, a five room hotel smack in the middle of the action with bare brick wall and twenty foot ceilings.

In addition to vending, they had several things going on in the evening with bands, bars, after parties, and on Saturday night we attended the Hootenany, which took place in a real World War 2 barracks building. They had burlesque, bands, more bars and even an absinthe room. We partook in all of them and it was glorious. Jody Ellen performed as well as the Nathaniel Johnstone band and my favorite steampunk band, Marquis of Vaudeville from Texas.

Sunday we took the morning to properly explore the shops. The World's End is a steampunk/pirate shop that was too cool. Highly recommend you check that out if you get the chance to visit. We had the honor of vending across from Otherworlds, which is a steampunk/fantasy horror brick and mortar store in Edmunds Washington who now carry all the current single issues of our Dreadfuls!

Liz and I can't say how excited we are to get back their next year. It was such a great experience!

Our table in the vending room

The passionate Marquis of Vaudeville

The haunted Manresa Castle. It's said that a woman jumped out of the top floor window above the door. 

Lizzie with our table assignment

This is what happens when you sit at a table all day. 

In the absinthe room at the Hootenany.

Just one of the awesome buildings. 

Quick shot inside the steampunk store, The World's End. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Brass Screw Confederacy

Photo by: Nyk Fury

This weekend Liz and I will be at The Brass Screw Confederacy in Port Townsend, WA. This is a really neat "Con" that is more of a gathering/transformation of the entire city into a steampunk/Victorian/Alternate History haven for the weekend. There will be bands, vendors, burlesque, meet ups, peep shows, and after parties galore. Yes, I totally said peep shows. We will be there selling Dreadfuls, Steampunk novels, patches, posters and more as featured vendors and we are really excited. Check them out here.

To add to the awesomeness, we will be staying at the uber- beautiful and haunted Manresa Castle. So we hope to see all our local friends. The event starts on Friday afternoon and goes until Sunday.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

All Kinds of Good Things

There is so much awesomeness going on right now, I thought I'd share. Lizzie and I are doing tons of stuff so here we go!

The Gig Harbor Beer Fest
While this isn't work related, we are fiends for getting out and exploring everything we can. We've always wanted to go to the local beer fest and this year we are so there! Food and massive amounts of local brews. We can't ask for much more. Looking forward to trying some weird suds. Here's the link for the people in the area.

Emerald Downs
It's well known that we like to get all snazzy and go to the horse races. This year will be no different. We're heading to derby day this weekend where we will bet and have several Mint Juleps. Go Danzig Moon!!

The Brass Screw Confederacy
It's not a con, it's a massive gathering of awesome steampunk-ness that will take over the Victorian town of Port Townsend WA in less than a month. They have burlesque, music, vendors, peep shows... yes, I said peep shows, and after hours parties for this very special event. We will be there as featured sponsors selling and signing Dreadfuls, books, posters and more! So if you're planning on coming (you totally should if you're in the Pacific Northwest) come say hi and get a drink with us when the vendor hall closes. Check it out, this is a very different steampunk event.
The Brass Screw Confederacy

Dragon Con
Lizzie and I are professional guests of the mighty Dragon Con this year. Personally, I've been dying to get back to Atlanta to see so many friends and this is such an honor to be invited to the con. I think we'll be doing panels so I'll let you know more on that when the schedule comes out. Till then, Lizzie is already working on some really fun Cosplay for the weekend. I'll give you some hints: GoT, Planet Terror, maybe Big Hero 6?

Here's the crew from my last D*C

What can I say, this year we are so humbled by all the awesome cons we get to attend. IFCon is a first year all around blockbuster con happening in Victoria BC. Lizzie and I will not only have an entire booth there, but we will be doing panels and will be the celebrity guest judges at the adult costume contest. We are so excited to get back to Canada. Victoria is such an amazing city. If you've never been, you need to look into going. Imagine a European city with killer nightlife, shockingly awesome architecture and sweet British style pubs.
Check them out here

Cosplay Cruises
Speaking of the masterminds behind IFCon, they are doing something really amazing in less than a year. Cosplay and themed cruises!! They already have a Cosplay Cruise and a Power Ranger Cruise planned but they want your help. They need input on what you would like to see for future cruises. This is a simple, super quick survey (no signup required at all). Help them out and tell what you would like to see. They would be very appreciative for your input and I will give you a hug.
Take the super fast survey

Last year's Steamposium was an absolute blast. We got to meet some of the cast from Firefly, Steam Powered Giraffe, Steampunk Boba Fett, and Kato and the Steam Girls... It was awesome. This year we will be back, slinging Dreadfuls and hanging out with some fabulous people at Seattle's newest steampunk convention.
Check out their site here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Victorian Adventure Enthusiast

The great folks at the Victorian Adventure Enthusiast blog wrote a wonderful article on their experience with Liz and I's new Penny Dreadfuls. It's gotten quite a lot of traction with sixty seven Facebook shares right now, so I thought it would be cool to continue to boost the signal.

Please give them a visit and of course share, like, tweet, pin, comment, link, anything if you feel the love. Thank you so much to The Victorian Adventure Enthusiast and to you for reading and helping with even more signal boost!

Check them out here: Victorian Adventure Enthusiast
(In case my link is wonky):

As always, you can visit our site: for single issues or yearly subscriptions delivered to your door!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Norwescon Awesomeness

Our second year at Norwescon was yet another great time spent with great people from every corner of fandom. We sat next to author Thomas Gondolfi, and newly Hugo Award nominated Jennifer Brozek. With the second issue of The Dreadfuls literally just out, it was a great opportunity to meet new fans, friends and get to see so much cool stuff.

George R.R. Martin was the guest of honor so there was plenty of Game of Thrones cosplay and they had an Iron Throne attendees could snap pictures in. Norwescon has always been impressive since they have such a wide variety of fandom going on. Like many of the mega-cons, there is a big cross section of love for all things pop culture and media and we're just excited to be a small part of it. Thank you Norwescon, we can't wait until next year!

We have several cons in the works so I'll let you know more as we do, but many exciting things are happening. We just got the email that we will be attending the mighty Dragon Con this year as professionals and we are tickled to death about it! So Atlanta, we will be seeing you in September!

Without further adieu, pictures from Norwescon!

The royal court at The Iron Throne!

House Valentino

More House Valentino

Lizzie Looking amazing as usual in front of the table.

FedEx Wedding Dress. She denied cosplaying a "mail order bride"

Wicked Fairy Lizzie

A brilliant Pop Up Cafe perfect for GoT fans. Yes, you read that correctly, that says "Reek Dog" I had several of them and they were great! 

I just had to get my picture with this awesome Princess Mononoke

Awesome Thundercats cosplay. She even had the spots on her arms and hair. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

IFCON Victoria BC

So Lizzie and I are guests at IFCON in Victoria BC this year and I can't tell you how stoked we are! It's going to be a fabulous con, and a super big one! I love Victoria and I can't wait to go back.

Yesterday, we received the IFCON Magazine and we were on the cover with a full spread and a dual interview. The man putting this on is Bill Code, a friend I originally met at the Victoria Steam Expo in 2010. It's so awesome to meet people achieving long term goals and that are constantly in "the scene". Bill is one of those people, always with something amazing and exciting on his plate.

Not only will Lizzie and I have a booth at IFCON, (we're right next to the Tardis) but we'll also be doing panels and special things all weekend. If you are in or around the Victoria BC area, we'd love to see new and old friends. Come say hi. We will have lots of issues of the Scary and Naughty Dreadfuls, Posters, Buttons, as well as copies of Thomas Riley, Thomas Riley and The Maelstrom and maybe... just maybe some ultra new awesome surprises!

For more info, check out the official IFCON website

Here's some shots of the magazine.

The Cover

Our interview

Thursday, January 22, 2015


As usual, Lizzie makes sure that I have a wonderful birthday. This year was no different. We kind of turned it into three days of cool stuff. 

Saturday, the day before my birthday, Lizzie and the kids surprised me with a Crab Boil and gifts of fine spiced rum and beer, which is totally my favorite. We ended the night with a brutal game of Monopoly (which I won) the birthday luck was with me! 

Sunday we had a fabulous breakfast and we went to BJ's for dinner. 

Monday we took off to Seattle to have brunch at Americana. If you make it to Seattle, this place is bad ass and often has an hour wait. The maple glazed pork belly is off the charts awesome. We then hit two record stores for some new vinyl I ended up getting Alt-J, Russian Circles, and Slayer. I've always loved buying music. In between stores we hit a really awesome bar called Hazelwood which was a tiny old style European looking place with vintage cocktails. Then we went to dinner at Poquitos a sweet Mexican restaurant with awesome authentic tacos. Then finally we got to see the final Hobbit movie at IMAX and in 3D. I have to say seeing a movie like that is fabulous! 

It was a great birthday and as always it's a little sad to see the celebrations end but man, it was fun!

The Crab Boil complete with 4th child (Kaya's BFF and Elsa)

In Seattle we stopped by Twice Sold Books for some neat used book finds

Lizzie in Twice Sold Books

Drink at Hazelwood in Bellingham

Lizzie at Poquitos

Tequila at Poquitos

Space Needle at night

HUGE 3D glasses for IMAX