Steampunk and Goth

Steampunk and Goth go together like Scotch & soda….if Scotch & soda was composed entirely of Scotch trying to figure out which part was supposed to be the soda. Steampunk and Goth go together like gin and tonic…if it was two kinds of gin with so much Mischief you just simply assumed there was tonic inside. Steampunk and Goth go together better than chocolate and peanut butter, since at this point, chocolate and peanut butter are essentially part of a candy marketing campaign, whereas Steampunk and Goth are the weird relatives generally left out of family reunions who just go off somewhere to a Chuck-E-Cheese and have a much better time than all the people stuck at home with an overcooked turkey.

I just got back from Dark Side Of The Con and I can tell you that if Goth is dead, it’s the kind of dead I want to be when I grow up. It’s a dancing, singing, running around, marvelous Madness of unfathomable unlife. Oh, I have seen such wonders this weekend, and I cannot wait to see them again!

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to run events. I have loved Goth ever since I was an itsy bitsy being of 13 and someone took me to arguably the best goth Cafe in the world, Archetypus, and I discovered the music of the Pixies, and Bauhaus, and gigantic ice cream sundaes named after creatures from the Monster Manual.  It was a pretty magical time.

Now  I run events for geeks and I wrote events for Steampunks and I run events for fairies, but I had no idea what would happen when I worked with  VampireFreaks to create something for Goths and all those who love dark alternative worlds. And I can tell you what happened: we danced.  We danced throughout the hotel. We danced pretty much all night, and I think the only reason we didn’t literally dance all night is because I am certain at least some of us would have turned to dust if sunlight struck us.

That was one of the best weekends of my life. Time goes very quickly for me, as I am planning and creating events pretty much all the time. But I can tell you this: it will be a long wait for the next Dark Side Of The Con, next March..  Dramatic portrait of a beautiful sad goth girl in the dark. Rear viewBut it will be totally, totally worth it.

~Jeff Mach
www.patreon.com/jeffmach
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Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

Why You Should Read This Steampunk Blog

Airsi!cnanhcem phThere are lots of reasons to follow the many Steampunk blogs out there.  But this one, of course, is the best, because it comes with the best benefits.  Let me tell you of just a few of them:

  • I will teach you how to turn lead into gold. I’m just waiting ’til I get enough followers, and then I’ll reveal the Philosopher’s Stone. I think that also lets you live forever, though that may just be in Harry Potter.
  • You gain magical powers. Don’t be surprised if, after sharing enough of my writings, you find yourself able to fly or, in some cases, teleport. You’re welcome.
  • I have extremely adorable tentacles, which help me in my typing.  That’s how I can write so prolifically.
  • You will become utterly irresistible to amorous faeries, who will ply you with gifts of cheese and shiny things.
  • I will ply you with shiny things.
  • I am always totally and 100% serious.  None of that silly Steampunk for me.  Hardcore Serious, Serious, Serious Business – that’s me.
  • I will certify you as a True Steampunk.  You will know forever that you are the real deal – no more need you worry or wonder about whether something Is or Is Not Steampunk.  By the powers vested in me by having listened to Dr. Steel’s “Build The Robots” 12,500 times, I now have the power to make things official.
  • I am actually made out of adorable puppies.
  • You will find that people will begin to think you’re wearing goggles on your forehead even when no such goggles exist. That is the Power of Steampunk.
  • Did I mention the shiny things?

 

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

Steampunk Is For Everyone

Redhead woman posing with weapons in a storage space.I’ve weathered many conventions, from the anime days at Otakon to the comic book scene at Wizard World, and out of all of them, I’ve found something unique at steampunk conventions. One of the themes throughout most conventions of a geeky nature is the love for cosplay or dressing up. After all, who doesn’t want to don a costume and immerse yourself in the fandom of what you

Unfortunately, that enjoyment often gets dampened.

For the love of Cthulu, we’ve reached the point where groups like Cosplay is Not Consent and other such groups are necessary, due to the altercations that attendees deal with simply for wanting to enjoy the convention in their favorite costume. On top of that, those who are bold enough to cosplay end up facing fierce scrutiny by the other attendees, often mocked and ridiculed, either for not having the “right” body type to cosplay the character, or a poorly done costume (even if it was the best effort from a person who couldn’t sew). And these aren’t isolated cases either—most cosplayers have horror stories of rude comments, aggressive, or downright nasty behavior.

Now, I could go on about the minefield of problems at length, but what I wanted to point out was the contrast at steampunk conventions.

I’ve attended and vended quite a few steampunk conventions at this point, and what I’ve seen has been an all around air of acceptance. Yes, part of the reason could lie with the malleability of the content. Steampunk is a very changeable aesthetic and no real clear, defined rules, which opens the way for more creativity. Unlike dressing as Powergirl, where you’re expected to have tits out to Kansas, or Wolverine, where washboard abs seem to be a pre-requisite that few have the time to maintain, steampunk allows every body type to participate.

I’ve never seen so much creativity and self-expression from all ages and differing types of people than I have at steampunk conventions. From hand-sewn ballgowns to throwing on a vest and a pair of goggles, all modes are accepted. Even with different takes on pop culture, such as Steampunk Ariel, or Steampunk Flash, the focus is on the craftsmanship and ingenuity rather than nitpicking details of accuracy to the costume.

In that regard, steampunk is invaluable. It allows people to enjoy dressing up once more, rather than fearing judging gazes, or god forbid, jerks who slap stickers on cosplayers they find inadequate. The spirit of tinkering manages to inject some much needed positivity back into the world of cosplay—where it’s okay to dress up as something you love. Don a corset, throw on a pair of pirate boots, and add whatever accents you find appropriate. Love for steampunk allows those expressions of geekery to flourish rather than be stamped out by hordes of naysayers and critics.

Although I’m sure incidents still occur, the same as in any forum, the experience I’ve had of steampunk is one of creativity and expression, both a good breeding pool for innovation. And that’s what I’ve seen time and time again from this community, whether it be innovation in creating the coolest steampunk Proton Pack, sewing a gorgeous bustled Victorian gown, or simply innovation in how we treat one another as human beings.  After all, who doesn’t want to don a costume and immerse yourself in the fandom of what you love?


Today’s post is by guest author Kat McIntyre of katherine-mcintyre.com!

A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. She writes novels with snarky women, ragtag crews, and guys with bad attitudes. High chances for a passionate speech thrown into the mix.

Are you “Steampunk Enough”?

Portrait of a beautiful steampunk woman over grunge background.

Are you Steampunk enough?
Are you geeky enough?
Are you good enough?

Yes. You are.

And I don’t mean that in the sense of unthinking compliment. I don’t mean it as cheering. I mean it as simple truth.

In almost every space where you might question whether or not you’re “enough”, the question defines you. If you’re thinking about it, if you’re considering it, if you’re putting out the effort of thought, then you almost certainly are. Unless it’s a contest, your first and best judge is yourself. If it’s a contest – then test yourself!

There are a few times when that question might go to others – if someone’s creating a safe space, for example, for some specific piece of identity. But even then – most of the time, you are still the best first judge. It might be a good idea to ask the space organizers if your identity fits their ideas on identity. But that’s not necessarily because you might not be “enough” – that’s because creating any space involves a number of decisions, and they might not align wholly with who and what you are. That’s still not on you – and again, if you have the politeness to ask, you’re still showing qualities which would make most spaces into better ones.

It’s the ones whose confidence is automatic and not based in life experience, it’s the ones whose assumption is that they’re always a perfect fit, who give me pause. Not because they’re necessarily bad, and not because they’re necessarily wrong, but because not considering that you might be wrong is a danger and luxury. It relies, at the very best, on other people telling you when you are wrong – and not everyone is willing to do that.

Are you “enough”? You are more than enough. You are a multitude of enough.

 

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

Steampunk, Chocolate, and Willy Wonka

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sweetsteam/roustabout-the-steam-powered-root-beer-float-choco

I’ve spoken to so, so many Steampunks, and many of us share a common theme: the original “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” was one of our first visual or emotional experiences to Steampunk.

A factory of peculiar, semi-real, semi-fantastic, unpredictable wonders, led by a top-hatted, cane-bearing person in a purple Victorian suit?  If that’s not Steampunk, then I don’t know what is.

And one of the greatest powers of Steampunk is bringing the imaginary to life.

I mean, we literally have Lebeau Chocolates, who write books involving chocolatiers, and create high-end artisinal chocolates based on those books.

And we have Sweet Steam. As I write this, they’re in the last stages of their massively successful Kickstarter for ROUSTABOUT: The STEAM-Powered, Root Beer Float Chocolate Bar.  A Root Beer Float Chocolate Bar!  If that’s not something straight out of the world of fabulous fiction, I don’t know what is.  And we can make it happen!

Yes!

We have the power.  We can bring Steampunk chocolate to life and make it bigger than anyone ever dreamed!

This is very much worth your time – go take alook!

Sweetsteam.com/kickstarter

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

How To Be As Annoying As A Gryffindor

The Hogwarts express!

This magical moment is brought to you by Glimmerdark Fairy Festival, which reminds you: Wands are for waving, not for eating!  Usually!

How To Be As Annoying As A Gryffindor

1. Be academically slapdash, yet clearly be several teachers’ favorite student. Ravenclaws seethe.

2. Go about things in an inefficient, pig-headed, holier-than-thou moralistic fashion, yet always win. Slytherin hearts freeze.

3. Be really brave and loyal, thus rendering Hufflepuff (even more) pointless.

4. Have Great Cosmic Power. Be Really Emo About It.

5. Be aware of all of the above, yet never ONCE stop to wonder why everybody else wants you dead.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Just Magical Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.