Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Storytelling Training - October at Dutch Gable House

We ran some storytelling training sessions earlier in the year and they were very popular. here's another chance for folk to come and get involved in storytelling. Then we want to team the two groups of trainees up to help one another share and tell.

Email aulddunrod@gmail.com to book.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tin Jimmy : James Watt's Robot

James Watt's workshop from SCRAN
The following was excised from the notebooks of James Watt on grounds of National Security.

I could think of nothing but that machine.

By day I was working on more plans and sketches for Dalmarnock, but each evening was spent imagining this marvellous steam powered man.

As our world moved further and further towards full automation, I envisaged a future where even the greatest of our weaknesses - war - could become automatic, both creating new industry and saving lives. My automaton soldier would take the place of flesh and bone, never wearying, always obeying. Stronger, more determined and relentless - a metal man.

I busied myself with the plans, taking care to have the parts created in several different foundries, fearing some would think me mad for such an endeavor. I had no wish to play God, only to serve man.

I began to see the other applications; if successful in war, perhaps the automatons could be put to work in mines or in the more hazardous factory professions. I was creating us a workforce, which would leave mankind more time to indulge in the pursuit of science and social reform, surely the only ways forward for our society.

By the winter of 1811, he was built, already capable of several movements, determined by the notations upon a cylinder, much like a barrel organ. Differing actions could be achieved using different cylinders. I quickly realised however, that powering my metal man was t be more challenging than I thought. The energy consumption was intensive, even allowing for reuse of water through steam condensing. Either I would have to make more space to store water, or accept that the automaton would only be able to work in short bursts, requiring assistance to continue. I feel sure I would have achieved this, for the basic principles were all in place, and the most challenging problems - the movements of joints etc, had been all but solved. This is when I was visited by the gentleman from the government. I had dealt with his sort once before, during the unfortunate business with the Saint Nazairre experiments.  Having somehow heard about my experiments with the steam powered soldier, they were interested in deploying my automaton in the Russian and French campaigns. This was not presented to me as a matter open to discussion. My metal man was taken.

I heard but brief reports of his exploits, enough to know he survived destruction on the peninsula. Despite several requests for his return, he remained with the military, and my missives to parliament, went unanswered. I tired of trying and moved on to further works.

I do not think of him often, he was simply another experiment, a tool. However, if maintained correctly, I see absolutely no reason that my automatic man will not outlive us all.

Tin Jimmy

Megan has a secret, a big secret that only her recently exploded Grandmother knows. To uncover the truth behind her secret, she and her best friend Cam must follow an old town map down forgotten roads and disappeared places, through abandoned bomb shelters and railway tunnels, to graveyards and secret passages beneath the river. And all the while, the sinister men from the Waterworx company are watching, with their strangely menacing Public Art sculptures...

Tin Jimmy is a character in a childrens book I'm re/writing called The Superpower Project. It's unashamedly based in Inverclyde, using a backdrop of the sorts of folklore and legends of the area that appear on here, and featuring characters that appear in Identity : The Archivist's Treasure, our childrens book Wee Nasties, the Tales of the Oak comic and at The Dutch Gable House.

I've been sharing bits of it on my Stramashed blog over the last few months.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

This is kind of how I imagine he looks...

The Big Duluth on deviant art

Here are a few related stories from this blog...

Captain Nemo : Propulsion

The Cabin Boy

And here's a wee unrelated steampunk love poem from my other blog. Awwww.

The Steampunk community, as you would imagine, do like a bit of the old James Watt...

James Watt, perhaps outraged that in future he will be dishonoured by the
very rude renaming of his college, creates a giant robot to destroy us all.
(by Andy Lee, as seen in our Tales of the Oak comic)

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Doors Open Weekend Dutch Gable - Come See Us Today!!

There's music, there's exclusive limited edition prints of Wee Nasties artwork from Mhairi, there's lots of new stuff in Newark Products shop, there's A REALLY BIG MAP, the study of Sir Glen Douglas Rhodes, a chance to meet the artists and have them sign stuff for ye with sparkly gold and silver pens, and oh yeah FREE BOOKS! What's the hold up? Get a move on!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday 13th - Unlucky for Some

One of the stories in our Tales of the Oak comic deals with the folklore surrounding the town horseshoe which sits at the fountain in the town square. The horseshoe has moved around a few times, most recently in May this year, when it was flipped to face away from the river, to ensure good luck flowed the right way, back towards the town. But supposing it was facing towards the river for a very good reason...

Here's page one from Sir Glen Douglas Rhodes adventure The Call of Clutha, hands down my favourite strip in the whole comic and some of Andy's best work...check out the Mariners Home...awesome.

Tales of the Oak will be released this weekend as part o Doors Open Day, available FOR FREE exclusively from The Dutch Gable House.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Doors Open Weekend - Dutch Gable House Sale!

In addition to your FREE copies of Wee Nasties and the Tales of the Oak comic this weekend, there's also the chance to grab other Magic Torch books at bargain prices...

Our folktale collections Tales of the Oak and Downriver are half price at £5, our reprint of the Thriller Picture Library Captain Kidd comic is £2 and....while recently clearing out the boiler room we call our office, we discovered two whole boxes of our reprint of Views and Reminiscences of Old Greenock.

The book was originally published to raise funds for Ardgowan Hospice in 2001, and sold out very quickly. So this is probably your last chance ever to nab a copy of this version of the classic work, a fascinating time capsule of Greenock at a period of significant change. The very limited stock of Views will be available at the Newark Enterprise Shop in The Dutch Gable House exclusively September 14th and 15th, priced £5.

All profits from book sales are reinvested in local social enterprise and heritage projects, including The Dutch Gable House itself.

You also have an exclusive opportunity to purchase Limited Edition prints from Wee Nasties as produced by Mhairi Robertson and an additional print of Granny Kempock..

Oh, and there should even be some exclusively designed Tales of the Oak mugs by Andy Lee, and lots of new traditional hand finished gifts from Newark Products. So it's all go eh?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tales of the Oak - Comic Making

With Tales of the Oak, we are trying to interest different audiences in local folklore. Unlike Wee Nasties, or our other books, here we have specifically concentrated on the slightly darker stories, so if it were a film, I think the comic would be rated 12A for "scenes of terror and fantasy violence". The original Tales from the Crypt comics we have based the project on were of course banned altogether, so we were careful not to go too far...

A page from one of the original EC horror comics,
we have tried to use a similar style for Tales of the Oak

The process for us, was to research some local folk tales and then turn them into comic stories. People script comics in all sorts of different ways, this is a page of one of our scripts...

The scripts were then passed to Andy Lee, who worked in two different styles - the pages were either pencilled, inked, scanned in and then coloured...

Or created from scratch digitally

Then evil genius Pete typeset, designed, swore at, reset and generally magicked the pages into the finished article. (which by the way is available exclusively at The Dutch Gable House this weekend for FREE)

A few pages we tried in different ways, so to go with the "silent movie" theme of Night of the Comet, Andy tried colouring the pages. It was really cool, but somehow the blood seemed a bit...bloodier. So we opted for eerie unearthly green instead.

Months and months of time and effort has gone into producing the publication, including lots of time from volunteers, and for Andy in particular it has been something he has worked on almost every day since last October. We hope you'll enjoy it.

We've shared this vid before, but it really is a tremendous overview of the history of the EC Comics...

Monday, 9 September 2013

Tales of the Oak Comic - Competition Time!

Want to win this ORIGINAL piece of signed artwork from the Tales of the Oak comic Jolasveinar strip?

Course ye do.

And all you have to do is come along to The Dutch Gable House on Doors Open Day on Saturday 14th or Sunday 15th September and either check in or like their facebook page to be entered into the prize draw.

Props to our artist Andy Lee for donating this classic piece of fully inked artwork as a genuine one off original.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tales of the Oak - Slithering Your Way

Just a few more wee preview pages from our Tales of the Oak comic, available for FREE at the Dutch Gable House on Saturday 14th and 15th September as part of Doors Open Day...