Professor Elemental Takes On Dragon Con
A Flashfire Interview with the Father of Invention as He Prepares for the Wilds of The South's Biggest Media Conventionect lender
British steampunk icon Professor Elemental is making his first appearance at Atlanta's Dragon Con, the largest media convention in the eastern half of the United States. With the convention only a few short days away, the gentleman kindly took a bit of time out of his preparations to chat with Steampunk-Music.com about his DC appearances, his growing media empire, and--naturally--tea!
Hello there, thanks ever so much for having me.
The pleasure is all ours! Dragon Con will be your third trip to the USA this year alone, with another coming up to Steamcon V in October. Considering you're a proper veteran of Transatlantic hops, what advice would you offer to keep one comfortably stylish during these long aerial jaunts?
A huge pile of comics, a journal, a massive sandwich, one's own tea and a change of socks are pretty much all that a chap needs for any flight.
So, this weekend will be your first taste of Dragon Con. 40,000+ attendees. A huge list of Alternate History and Steampunk events. Wall-to-wall media and art and celebrities. How have you prepared yourself for this event of grandiose proportions?
Over the past three months I have been on a special diet consisting primarily of gin, I've also walked around and around and around, frequently getting lost or passing out due to the high levels of gin in my bloodstream. As far as I can tell from what people have told me, a high tolerance for alcohol and the ability to walk around for ages is pretty much all one needs.
This is most certainly truth.
In terms of the actual appearances- I have got new songs to unveil, duels to host and panels to ramble on. Oh, and gin to drink obviously. I will be bringing my dancing trousers, so hopefully I will have a chance to have a little boogie too. I've popped a list of my appearances at the end of this interview, if anyone fancies coming along to see me.
Speaking of grandiose, well, portions... given that our American South is a veritable wonderland of battered, deep-fried deliciousness, what local delicacy are you looking forward to sampling the most?
So many wonderful ways to clog up ones arteries, I barely know where to begin. I must confess that I have a soft spot for American breakfast cereal, particularly the stuff that looks like it might glow in the dark. Oh and twinkie cakes, but we have comics from the 70's to blame for that.
Your scheduled main stage performance is at 12:00am Saturday night/Sunday morning in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom. What song do you enjoy performing the most, and what makes it so?
Oooh that's a tricky one. I love doing the intro ("Back in the Swing of Things") and the freestlyle part of the show best of all I guess. Although the memorable parts are usually the interactions with the audience--you never know who you are going to meet and end up larking about on stage with!
You'll also be lending your expertise to many different panels and events, including the Dragon Con Tea Duel: Biscuits and Bowlers at Dawn. As someone who has--ahem--just a wee bit of experience in the matter, what do you find are the essential traits of a champion-class tea duelist?
I'm a fan of 'street' tea dueling. No rules, other than no touching--you can do ANYTHING you like to put one's opponents off. I find that almost any amount of suprise nudity is enough to win a tea duel. Of course, you can end up arrested too.
I suppose it's all fun and games until someone gets arrested. Then it becomes hilarious and memorable!
Between your globe-trotting adventures, you've found time to become quite the media mogul. It all started with your music, of course, then delightfully eclectic music videos and short stories. Now you've released an ongoing series of Professor Elemental comics, and I'm sure we'll hear about them at the Clockwork Comics panel. What drew you--pun thoroughly intended--to comics as medium?
Primarily because comics are better than pretty much everything ever. Better than films & books, better than puppie, kittens, unicorns and pie. I love comics and wanted to live in one from time to time.
Plus, having writer / editor Chris Mole and a host of amazing artists makes it all the better- he runs a tight ship and together we produce some pretty damned good stuff.
What does the rest of 2013 hold for the good Professor?
In this order: Professor Elemental brand loose tea, an album with the menagerie, a mixtape of electroswing flavoured dance tunes, issue 3 of the comic- and the very big project on the horizon which is still relatively secret. It's going to be called Professor Elemental: INVASION and it will be MASSIVE.
Well, I won't keep you any longer from your packing and preparations. Thank you for the time and have a safe voyage over here! I look forward to conversing with you at the Steampunk Music Summit panel. It should be a great time!
I absolutely can't wait--see you there.
Below are all of Professor Elemental's scheduled Dragon Con appearances. Be sure to check the Dragon Con app and program, plus the Alternate History Track web site for updates!
Professor Elemental's Dragon Con Schedule
Keep abreast of Professor Elemental's latest endeavours via the following links: