Slightly Steampunk: Among the Spirits

If I were to tell you that there is a TV series in the works that is premised around the actual friendship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, you’d probably be very interested. Perhaps even more so when I informed you that this series, Among the Spirits, is a fictional account of how the two teamed up to solve murders in 1920s New York.

Sounds pretty intriguing all the way around, if you ask me. With Doyle responsible for the creation of one of Steampunk’s most beloved characters, Sherlock Holmes, and Houdini as quite possibly the greatest escape artist of all time, the series has the potiential to appeal to both Steam and Dieselpunks alike.

Unfortunately, though, the series is being produced by SyFy. The negotiations to acquire Among the Spirits was announced in a recent article on deadline.com. While the premise sounds absolutely fascinating, I’ve lost almost all faith in SyFy’s ability to produce anything actually worth watching. And the article talks about “Steampunk technology” in the 1920’s… I swear I just had a tirade about the Steampunk/Dieselpunk line just last week.

Your better bet, until Syfy proves me wrong, is to track down the self-published graphic novel Among the Spirits by writers Steve Valentine and Paul Chart. My search to find a means to purchase the graphic novel, however, have been largely fruitless. If anyone finds it, please let me know, and I’ll update accordingly.

If you can’t find Among the Spirits, try tracking down Nevermore, a novel by William Hjortsberg with an eerily similar premise.

Slightly Steampunk: Sherlock Holmes

Today is the release day for the new Sherlock Holmes movie! I picked up my copy on my way home from work today. If you are looking for some great weekend entertainment, this is a great film to rent or purchase.

The DVD pictured above is actually not the edition I purchased. There’s a special edition being sold at Target that has a graphic novel and bonus DVD material that I bought. Because I already know I love the film, it was well worth the extra five bucks to me. The cover of it looks very similar to this movie poster:

Click on the picture above to head to the film’s website. I hope you all enjoy the film; just be sure to check your expectations for it to be anything like the source material at the beginning of the movie, and I feel you will at the very least be entertained.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes… on Hulu!

Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend has descended upon us once again! I hope it finds you enjoyably awash in free time.

While I was scouring Hulu last week for The Island of Doctor Moreau film, I came upon a wonderful collection of TV episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from 1954-1955 staring Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes, and Howard Marion-Crawford as Dr. Watson.

These episodes, just like The Island of Doctor Moreau, take considerable liberties with the source material by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But they are at the very least entertaining and engaging.

A working understanding of Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work is important for every self respecting Steampunk not because of any strong influence on Steampunk, but rather because Holmes embodies so much of the deviant thinking in which we Steampunks take pride. Steampunks look at the seemingly impossible fusion between Victoriana and the modern world and meld it into a natural and simple conclusion in the shape of a sub-culture. It takes a broad mind with a palette for contradictions to enjoy a sub-culture that promotes an artistic turn back to Victorian times while simultaneously engendering themes of rebellion and belief in human potential.

It also helps the aspiring Steampunk to have a respectable knowledge of oft-cited literature in communication with other Steampunks, and one can be sure that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective will not be omitted from all conversations!

So watch an episode or two! These should help ease the wait for the new Sherlock Holmes film to come out on DVD on March 30!