A few Of My Favourite Steampunks

By Professor Elemental

steampunk_hands_ Araceli_Rodríguez

STEAMPUNK! Why is it? Should it cover that? Does it represent them? Why not? Should you even like it? Doe any of it make sense? Really? Are you sure?

All worthwhile questions, none of which will be answered in the following article. This isn’t one of those quasi- academic articles on ‘Cultural appropriation and historical fact: why liking Steampunk is probably racist and you are probably racist for liking it’. Nor is it any kind of attempt to analyse, categorise or evaluate Steampunk. Sorry. You’ll have to head elsewhere for things like that.

This is a celebration, pure and simple. My favourite things in Steampunk are the people that make it up. And these folk do a very good job of making up some very wonderful things indeed. It’s unashamedly a list people I like, or consider to be friends or both. Each and every one of them deserves a little of your attention and a doff of the bonnet. Between them, this little group sum up everything I like about punking the steam and they are your gateway to a world of whimsy, wonder and, most likely, whiskey.

profelemental


(NOTE: This is list is obviously not exhaustive. That would be ridiculous. I am lucky enough to meet hundreds, if not thousands of Steamy punks every year and they are, with two notable exceptions, absolutely lovely. I’ve purposely missed out bands, as that would be a whole other article. Also, apologies for the numerous friends I haven’t showered with love in this article.

Steampunks all probably all deserve their own articles- in fact, I’d be delighted to see the comments section filled up with a nomination for YOUR favourite Steampunk person and why.

Also, they are not in order of preference or anything- partly because they are human beings and each one is valid in their own special & equal way. And partly because I am not ten years old.)

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  1. Moog

MOOG. Just say that name out loud. Stretch the ‘O’. Mooooog. Such an appropriate name for this bearded mix between Bagpuss and Freddie Mercury, Moog is like a glam rock George Melies. Without him, you would not be reading this and I would most likely be slaving away in a job I resented. It was Moog who first suggested making a video for Cup Of Brown Joy and Moog who subsequently went on to direct all of my music videos, (well, the really good ones anyway).

He is smartly dressed, gentle of nature and secretly some sort of secret rock music god. Just wait until he brings out his own music later this year… it really is incredible. Moog and I stumbled into Steampunk together and his video direction have helped define the Professor ever since.

http://www.peculiana.com/Peculiana.html

And here’s a wonderful video he did for Presidents of the USA:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF1KB4k0VrI

 

  1. Kato

Along with its more obvious trappings, Steampunk does have a rather saucy side. Whether you are wearing the world’s tightest corset or have an immaculately trimmed moustache, or indeed both- it’s a good place to wear something amazing and feel good about yourself. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your body shape or preferences are, if you want to use a Steampunk look to feel good about yourself, the style is tailor made for such shenanigans.

Kato has taken that further, not content with just a costume, she has turned her character into a mini industry. With an appearance that is akin to a super-hero or some new space race of extraordinarily pretty people, to say she is striking would be putting it mildly. Beyond her obvious talents, Kato is also a great example of how far you can take your character if you are so inclined. With a well-established web site, modelling, TV presenting, an upcoming comic book- and somehow managing to stay extraordinarily balanced throughout the constant adoration- Kato shows that Steampunk can be sexy and grown up, without losing its sense of fun.

https://www.facebook.com/steampunkato/

There is also the Steamgirl website, which contains adult content and that sort of thing.

kato-3

  1. Daniel Dunlavy

If you are anything like me, well first of all, I’d suggest some kind of therapy, but you also might find yourself at some of the smaller Steampunk events. These are the lifeblood of our little subculture. Of course we need the Teslacons and the Weekend at Asylums to help raise our profile and feature in bemused reports in the local press, but the smaller shows are a wonderful thing to behold. Nobody parties quite like drunken Steampunks and few put on those parties like Daniel Dunlavy. I’ve only done a couple and they were funny, silly, well organised and full of fans and makers. A chirpy chap with a delightfully paternal edge, its people like Dan who we should be thanking for keeping things fresh. Why not drop YOUR favourite organiser some fan mail today?

  1. Steampunk Boba Fett

If I am ever in America at a convention, there are two guarantees; One, I will end up drunkenly shouting about gin in someone’s hotel room party and two, I will be ambushed with a loving hug from Steampunk Boba Fett. Having long established that I am wary of enthusiastic & unannounced physical contact, Steampunk Boba fett delights, just delights in cuddling, grabbing and otherwise bothering my physical form. And I secretly love it. A finer fellow you would be hard pressed to meet. The wonderfully named John Strangeways has turned his love of Star Wars into a mini career based around travelling the country dressed as Boba Fett. Read that last sentence again and then think about how incredibly cool that really is. Steampunk boba Fett Rocks my world.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkFett

An Amazing short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8ibHxNy1z4

  1. Brian Kessinger

Which brings us nicely to the mighty Brian Kesinger. A Disney artist extraordinaire (think Frozen, Big Hero 6 and the forthcoming Zootopia), Brian has created two beautiful characters in Otto and Victoria. A lady and her octopus are a simple and elegant concept, with drawings to match.

One of the really wonderful things about Otto and Victoria is that it is an exercise in minimal storytelling- in just a few pictures you can see both characters, their love for each other and the nuanced details of their relationship, without a word being spoken.

All this would be pretty great, but Steampunks greatest cartoons are also penned by a humble, eloquent and friendly chap, who you instantly want to take home and cuddle. If you are lucky enough to see Brian at a convention, stop by to chat and you’ll see what I mean. (Don’t actually kidnap him to take home to cuddle though. Even a guy like Brian has his limits.)

http://www.bkartonline.com/subgallery-page/otto-and-victoria/

  1. Lady Elsie & Major Tinker

Once a year, if I’m lucky and the stars are aligned, I travel to Lincoln to do the Weekend at Asylum festival. What was once a small hall and a few stalls, has grown into some kind of leviathan that dresses Lincoln up smartly and sticks a giant pair of goggles on the cathedral. They have supported my show since it first started and I have delighted in watching the event grow from strength to strength- you really can’t fail to have a great time at Asylum and it gives me faith that, so long as there is a Lady Elsie and a Tinker, Steampunk is here to stay.

http://www.asylumsteampunk.co.uk/

 

  1. Herr Doktor

The embodiment of the British gentleman, a Victorian John Steed with just a whiff of Dr Who, the legendary Herr Doktor is a maker like no other. His modelling creations are detailed in a way that makes you want to shrink down and live inside them forever. He’s worked on telly things, toy things and goodness knows what else, but being so British he makes the Queen look German, the good Doktor rarely crows about his work, he lets it speak for itself. Have a look here:

His website is here: http://herrdoktors.blogspot.co.uk/

 

  1. The Mental Floss Sideshow

One of the nicest couples in All of Steampunk, I was lucky enough to work with Archibald floss in the Professor’s original incarnation. Since then, he and his wife have taken the Victorian Freakshow to unimaginable places. A lifetime’s work, neatly presented in a small tent- the artistry of Lesley and the booming, friendly voice of Karl are somehow perfectly matched to create something unique, even in this unique world we find ourselves in. Now an integral part of the Grand Canadian Steampunk expo, I implore you to track down their tent and take a peek, if you dare.

http://www.mental-floss-sideshow.com/

Showreel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5pNtmMKzUY

Thomas-Willeford-Babs

  1. Thomas Wilford

Sometimes Steampunk should be a home-made Tea warmer with cardboard tubes, a chipped tea cup and broken valve, spewing unwanted smoke. There is a lot of beauty in that approach and I try to embody it where possible. But sometimes, it needs to be a fully working robotic arm made of brass, or an enormous blunderbuss that would scare a yeti or just a full size giant bloody great big robot. And on those days, there is only one chap to call…the mighty Thomas Wilford. Respected, outspoken and as bold as his creations, Mr Wileford is THE MAN when it comes to large scale Steampunk making. He even judges it on the telly. If all that amazing skill wasn’t enough to make you jealous, he also manages to appear much younger than he should. I believe employs an army of robotic clones- and one day I will expose his lies to the world.

His website is here: http://www.bruteforceleather.com/Scripts/default.asp

 

  1. Nimue and Tom Brown

Yeah, we wrote a book together. But, shhhh, don’t tell anyone Nimue did much of the heavy lifting story-wise and Tom’s pictures did much of the rest. Besides, that’s just the tip of their endlessly creative iceberg. Their comic Hopeless, Maine is a unique journey through a dark and fantastic world and individually they write, draw and create at an astoundingly prolific level. (I am fairly sure Nimue writes a new book every other week) Plus she has written one of my favourite short stories of all time and Tom has kindly drawn me tea labels, comic covers, stories and much more. I implore you to check out their worlds, but tread carefully, there are monsters with some very long tentacles…

http://hopelessmaine.com/

 

Dammit- is that ten already? But I haven’t mentioned Yomi, the league of S.T.E.A.M, Dr Geoff, the Lincoln Steampunk market, Chris Mole or…. (And so it goes on and on and on)

So that’s my little list of inspirational Steampunks.

Who do YOU think deserves a round of applause? Let us know below….


Check out the Official Link List for all the great postings from this year.


 

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Published in: on March 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm  Comments (6)  
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