Thursday, September 27, 2012

Case Study No. 0551: Steampunk Librarian

Steampunk Librarian - Drawing for Johannes Cabal The Detective
no description available
Tags: SP Drawing Cabal
Added: 2 years ago
From: spookylibrarians
Views: 400

[scene opens as a young female librarian sits next to an "old man" puppet (with a long white beard and glasses) in front of a table with a top hat and a copy of the book "The Detective"]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Hello! You are now watching the official live book giveaway, for Johannes Cabal's "The Detective" from the Steampunk Librarian, and I am being helped by Sir Reginald Pudding--
REGINALD: Sir Reginald Puddingpop the Third! They call me "The Third" because I come in three-packs!
[he laughs]
REGINALD: Thrice packs!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright, Sir Reginald Puddingpop the Third ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Is here to help and he will be the neutral drawer. We put all the entries in a hat.
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: We did have to take your entry out.
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: I know, we didn't ... Well, we wanted to keep it neutral.
REGINALD: That was a beautiful entry!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Yes it was, it was very nice. I liked it a lot. Maury Chaykin, you were gonna give him the birthday--
REGINALD: Who's that?
[they both laugh]
REGINALD: Okay ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: But first up, we are taking ... we are drawing for two.
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And we are also giving away one to whoever had the best, creative, most fun and zany answer.
REGINALD: Yeah. See, of course, the contest, right, is this thing where you're supposed to, like, be a necrophiliac and--
REGINALD: A necro-guy and you're supposed to bring back the dead, then do something to 'em, right?
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You can bring anybody back for an hour ...
[he laughs]
REGINALD: Oh, well ...
[she takes a strip of paper off the table]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And the person here, with the name of "F". Username "F", that is all.
REGINALD: Oh. That's beautiful.
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: That was. He or she said, eventually they settled for Michelangelo because "the ceiling could do with a lick of paint." But, they also said they considered Dante Alighieri to ask him where he'd ended up and if it looked familiar. Einstein, if he'd approached the speed of light while ascending, and what that did to his mass. And, and this was our personal favorite, the Radio Star, because perhaps he wanted an hour to get his revenge on Video.
REGINALD: That is kinda like a pop-culture diva, who is also a nerd.
[he laughs]
REGINALD: So, congratulations, "F!"
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You get the creative award ...
REGINALD: So, you get one'a these!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You get a copy of the book.
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Yay ... Alright, and now Sir Puddingpop, if you would do the honors.
REGINALD: I'll do my best!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And draw out two names.
[he holds the top hat in front of him, and Reginald sticks his hand (which has a suction cup on the end) in, but has some trouble getting anything to stick]
REGINALD: Oh! Uh ...
[she laughs]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You're spilling them everywhere!
REGINALD: Yeah, y'know ...
REGINALD: Oh, I got something, oop!
[she pulls the top hat back, revealing that Reginald has ... nothing on his suction cup]
REGINALD: I missed it all!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You missed it all!
[she laughs]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Should we try again?
REGINALD: I need my magical steamhat, hang on ... I got these amazing steam-powered pants, right? And if you lower it down here--
[Reginald uses his "arms" to lower the hat underneath the table, as the Steampunk Librarian looks on mortified]
[the puppet starts gyrating]
REGINALD: If I can move around just right!
[he laughs, as the Steampunk Librarian looks away]
REGINALD: Is-is this exciting you, my darling?
[she laughs]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: We run a high-class joint, let me tell ya ...
[a hand from underneath the table throws a piece of paper up]
REGINALD: Oh! Well, there's one ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright, there's one ...
[he laughs, then starts gyrating again]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: This is what happens when you get a puppet to do your work for you ...
REGINALD: Don't move, darling! Don't move!
[they both laugh]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: We have some problems ...
[another piece of paper is thrown onto the table]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: We have our two, eh?
[she empties the rest of the hat's contents off camera]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Would you like your hat back?
REGINALD: That was, that was a wonderful time!
[she puts the hat on his head]
REGINALD: Now I'm officially a steampunk!
[he laughs, as the Steampunk Librarian unfurls one of the pieces of paper]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright, so who do we have here? We have ...
REGINALD: I see ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Who says, "Leonardo Da Vinci, because who else deserves a ride in an airship?"
REGINALD: Just kidding, you didn't win!
[he laughs]
REGINALD: No, I kid, I kid ... Course I love ya!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Kid the kidder ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: "K. Kidder," you get one.
[she unfurls the second piece of paper]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And ... Dah dah dah dah! "The Faustian Man!"
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: He gets the third copy, and that's very nice because he would bring back Nikola Tesla to thank him for everything he has done for humanity and to show him that even though he is still somewhat obscure, many people recognize his genius. And he would also show him a video by the band Tesla, which would probably break his brain and send him right back to the dead!
[he laughs]
REGINALD: You could show him the video of the Galactic Cowboy! Remember that one?
[she laughs, as he starts singing]
REGINALD: "I'm a cowboy, of the modern day! Bang bang! Shoot em up up up!"
[she laughs]
REGINALD: That's how it went! I saw it once! They also did a remake of that song "Signs" ... You remember that song "Signs?"
[she laughs and pulls his hat down over his "eyes"]
REGINALD: "Everywhere's a sign, it's focking up the scenery and breaking my mind!"
[they both laugh]
REGINALD: Oh! Now I'm Tom Petty!
[she laughs]
REGINALD: Hang on ...
[he uses his "hand" to push the hat back up]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright. Well, thank you very much to Doubleday and to Jonathan L. Howard ...
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And to everybody who entered, and--
REGINALD: Thanks Doubleday!
[he laughs]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: You can send an email to Jinnet, that's "J-I-N-N-E-T" at gmail dot com, with your address and whatever name you'd like the book sent to.
REGINALD: And any sorta pictures you might add!
[he laughs]
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Although they will go through--
REGINALD: And if Doubleday could send us some more books, that'd be super!
[they both laugh]
REGINALD: That would be smashing!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: We'd like to get your drawing skills down a little better if we do these giveaways ...
REGINALD: Ah, I'll do my best!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright, we'll work on that!
REGINALD: I'll stretch my arm out for ya!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: Alright, so thank you very much!
[she reaches out to shake his hand, but has to pick it up herself]
[she laughs]
REGINALD: Of course!
STEAMPUNK LIBRARIAN: And we'll see you later!
REGINALD: Buh-bye!
[she laughs]
REGINALD: Cheerio, pip pip, and all that rot!



As promised, it is time once again for a book giveaway contest! We have multiple copies to give away this time, thanks to the wonderful people at Doubleday. As a result, we're running this contest in two (two!) places: here at the Steampunk Librarian and also at the Steampunk Empire. You can enter in one or both places. Details on how to enter the contest follow after the review!

Johannes Cabal The Detective is the second book of what I hope is a multi-book series. It began with 2009's Johannes Cabal The Necromancer, in which the titular character found himself running a traveling carnival as part of a deal with the Devil. The second book takes place a short time later and finds Cabal on the run from authorities in the tiny country in Mirkavia, primarily as a result of (unsuccessfully) trying to steal a copy of the Principia Necromantica. Traveling incognito, Cabal lands on the maiden voyage of the Princess Hortense, a zeppelinesque mode of transport. All goes well until a fellow passenger recognizes Cabal, another passenger suddenly and inexplicably departs via a window, and political intrigues begin multiplying. (This is a fairly normal day for Cabal, which gives you an idea of the nature of these stories.)

I've seen a few descriptions of Johannes Cabal The Detective as "Murder on the Orient Express, except on a zeppelin" and it's true that the concept of a murder mystery (with a locked door angle, even) featuring a very limited number of suspects is nothing new. But Cabal, as a protagonist (and occasional antagonist), gives the genre a breath of fresh air, necromancy notwithstanding. In the previous book, Cabal mentions his admiration for Sherlock Holmes, and when he gets a chance to solve a mystery of his own, science and logic run the show. He also has little compunction about shooting people in the head, which makes the plot difficult to anticipate; characters are entirely capable of being eliminated at any moment.

While reading the previous book does help with understanding some inside references and motivations, Johannes Cabal The Detective can stand alone as a steampunky, sardonic mystery/adventure story. Howard is an author who has a wonderful way with wordplay*, and this second installment in the series is just as fun to read as the first. I admit to having a preference for Johannes Cabal The Necromancer, but it's only because I have friends who are carnies and the world of the sideshow, even a demonic one, is more familiar to me than the workings of an aircraft. For the Makers and Tinkerers in the steampunk world, the detailed descriptions of the Princess Hortense's inner workings will be a thing of delight. There are even illustrations of the transport, done in the style of a hobby magazine for boys. I highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of the spooky, the steampunk, and understated British humo(u)r.

Johannes Cabal has his own webpage (the links section is especially wonderful), and creator Jonathan L. Howard has a Twitter account, for those who wish to further investigate.

** My personal favorite instance of this occurs when a character named Roborovski is compared to a hamster. **

And now, on to the contest! We have three (three!) copies to give away. Two will be decided by the old standard of pulling numbers from a (top) hat; the third will be an award for the most creative, elaborate, and/or zany answer given on either website. The question that must be answered is:

Imagine yourself to be a necromancer, like Johannes Cabal. You have the knowledge and the power to resurrect anyone you like from the dead...for one hour. After that, it's back to the afterlife for them. Who would you resurrect, and how would you spend that hour?

The contest will run until Friday the 13th -- Friday, August 13, at 5 PM EDT. Announcement of the winners will follow shortly! Good luck!

p.s. Also! A reminder will run next week, with the addition of a map illustration from the book!

No comments:

Post a Comment