You may have seen this walking mechanical scarecrow at San Diego Comic-con, the Phoenix Comicon, or any number of our events.
His name is “Marrow Thatch”, and he’s the mascot of Steam Crow. He is a steam-powered scarecrow – the Steam Crow!
Marrow started out as a rough story idea.
Once upon a time, this mechanically-abled farmer needed a good scarecrow, to ward off all of the nasty poison-crows that were eating his corn and tainting his fields. So, using the gears, motors, and parts on hand, he build a rather big and scary looking warder to save his farm.
Unfortunately, the crows had little fear of the mechan, and within a few days were laughing at him, and eating the corn once again.
One night, a terrible thunderstorm blew in and the scarecrow was struck by lightening. He staggered to life, and began patrolling the fields and fighting off the flocks of poison-crows. Within a week that crows had been driven out, and the farm was saved.
Within a decade, the farmer died a successful, yet satisfied, man. But the Steam Crow continued to patrol the farm for years ever after, until it was eventually found by us!
Our name: “Steam Crow”
A couple of years later I decided to make a cool pumpkin mask, to wear at our annual Halloween party. I LOVE jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins and scarecrows, so it seemed like a great place to start.
I only had one weekend to build it, so I worked like a dog, and by Sunday afternoon, I had the mask finished. It has compartments for “emotion bottles” on the side, that really bubble when dry ice is applied, the jaw moves, and even the chimney works! I really loved how it turned out, as it was the first mask that I’d ever made.
When we were coming up with a name for our little company, we chose another name which ultimately was Trademarked. (Do your Trademark search!) When that happened, I immediately thought of our pumpkin costume and the name “Steam Crow.” It evoked Halloween, steampunk, and crows of course. (All things we are into!) It was also an odd enough name that the Trademark was available.
You might notice that we have a lot of versions of “Steam Crow” about. The van from Monster Commute is called the “Steam Crow,” the CrowBots are essentially giant steam-powered crows, and Kip Cupwhistle is a mechanical scarecrow too. This wasn’t accidental; we love seeing what other versions of a “Steam Crow” could be – so we keep making them up!
For us, the Steam Crow scarecrow symbolizes our roots (living and working on a farm) and that our DNA is infused with Halloween and steampunk mechanical wonders. He reminds us to work hard, laugh at the sky, and to be just a little spooky.
Our friend Gren Radcliff is rather fond of wearing the mascot, and he’s been donning it since about 2008 or so. If you ever see the ‘Crow walking around, it’s probably Gren in there! He’s great! Please be kind to him and give him a lot of room as it’s not an easy job, it’s super hot, and the pay is rather lousy. But DO take your picture with him!