Before Jules Verne’s flying machines and H. G. Wells’s spaceships, there was Frank Reade, globe-trotting inventor and original steampunk hero. Starting in the nineteenth century, Frank Reade magazines were the world’s first science fiction periodicals. Now Frank Reade and his progeny are back in a new book: Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention! To celebrate the launch of this stunningly designed book, authors Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett—of Boilerplate fame—are hosting a series of events that any Reade family member would be proud to attend.
The events will be held on three consecutive Wednesdays in February, at three Portland comic book stores. Each will have a different theme—Land, Sea, and Air—the three realms Frank Reade explores in his electric vehicles. The authors will also display each of the three model vehicles Guinan himself built for the Frank Reade book, which are rarely shown in public. Attendees will have the chance to talk with the authors and get books signed, as well as meet local steampunks (Land), pirates (Sea), and superheroes (Air).
BONUS: There’s a prize at the grand finale event! The first ten attendees who make it to all three events and get their “Land, Sea, and Air” passports stamped will receive a print of an original Frank Reade engraving signed by both authors, plus custom-stamped Frank Reade chocolate “gold coins” (which will also be available for purchase).
Publishers Weekly predicts Frank Reade will “satisfy even the hardest to please of readers” and praises it as “a stunning multimedia confection of the highest order that creates a detailed and delightful world.”
Feb. 8, 6-9 pm: LAND
Location: Floating World Comics (www.floatingworldcomics.com)
400 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209
Guests: Rose City Steampunks, Local 23 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rcsteam/)
Vehicle: Frank Reade Jr.’s Valiant, an electric battle-wagon
Feb. 15, 6-9 pm: SEA
Location: Bridge City Comics (www.bridgecitycomics.com)
3725 N Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227
Guests: PDXYAR (http://pdxyar.org)
Vehicle: Frank Reade Sr. & Jr.’s Centennial, an electric ironclad gunboat
Bonus: A mock battle between pirates and author Paul Guinan as Frank Reade Jr.!
Feb. 22, 7-10 pm: AIR
Location: Things From Another World (www.tfaw.com)
4133 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
Guests: Alter Egos Society (www.alteregossociety.com)
Vehicle: “Wild” Kate Reade’s Aegis, a helicopter airship
Bonus: Prizes awarded to the first ten people who attend all three events, plus all attendees will have exclusive opportunity to purchase custom-stamped Frank Reade chocolate “gold coins.”