Product of the Week: Fjällräven Kånken

Kanken

Everyone loves a good backpack, and today I’d like to talk about a great one that has been around since 1978: Fjällräven’s infamous Kånken. Originally designed as an ergonomic solution to back mauling backpacks for school children in Sweden, by now the bag has reached a kind of hipster/cult status and comes in several variations aside from the original Classic (Kids, Mini, Big, Maxi and three sizes of laptop bag).
For those that think the regular safety logo of reflector + red artic fox is simply not dieselpunk enough, despite the fact that it has a kind of boxy militaria look going on, there is the Kånken no 2, which has leather detailing, giving it a proper dieselpunk look. Watch out though, whilst the regular Kånken is very much waterproof by itself, the no 2 needs Fjällräven’s Greenland wax to become and stay waterproof, so some faffing about is to be expected with those bags.

Now the Kånken isn’t the prettiest backpack around, let’s be honest about this. Even though it has a certain appeal, it’s still a square with a square and a big old logo in the end. But what it lacks in look, it makes up by the sheer ingenuity of design. Continue reading

Event Review: Starcom

Starcom2015

Starcom
What: pop-culture convention
When: Sunday, July 5 2015
Where: ICC, Ghent, Belgium
Ticket price: € 8 in pre-sale, €10 at the door. € 8 at the door for cosplayers
Event facebook

Starcom is the new popculture convention in Belgium, focussed primarily on sci-fi, fantasy and comics, even though their website and flyers promised a whole other slew of other things.
As a first edition convention, of course things didn’t run as smoothly as they could have, but that’s ok, unless you can throw an immense budget at things, conventions are an uphill learning curve. Everyone that was at the convention seemed to be having a good time, so clearly they got the atmosphere down pretty well.

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Review: Marvel’s Agent Carter

Agent Carter - season 1

Agent Carter is one of Marvel’s more recent additions to their cinematic universe, or at least the TV extension of it. Peggy Carter was first introduced in the MCU in Captain America, the First Avenger, not only as Captain Roger’s love interest, but also as a lady of flawless class, style and the kind of competence we like from our leading ladies. It thus came to absolutely no surprise that the character quickly became loved enough for her own t-series: Marvel’s Agent Carter.

The time in the series is 1946, and things have radically changed for Peggy Carter. Where she was a valued part of anti-Hydra and Nazi actions during WW2, she is now the sole female “field” agent of the S.S.R. (Strategic Scientific Reserve), and grossly overlooked by her male co-workers (as was the lot of most women in those days sadly), who fail to value her worth (and frankly, tend to bimble about most of the time). So it is up to Peggy to change their minds and clear the name of a valued friend in the process.

What makes Agent Carter such a strong series is not only the aesthetic and the plot (which is one of the best of the MCU but also recent TV full stop), but the fact that it is representing the time so well, portraying a woman’s struggle in what was dominantly a man’s world. Without becoming just another feminist tableau, it is so much more than that. This series has everything: suspense, espionage, mystery, weird science and well-developed characters, both good guys and villains, you’ll love or love to hate.

It comes to no surprise that such a fan action has been doing the rounds after the first season rounded up, and I am one of the many eagerly looking forward to the second season, starting later this year.

If you love post-WW2 aesthetic, politics and society, the era full stop, espionage and weird science, definitely check this out if you haven’t yet!