In the past year me lovely wife Salma Gundy and meself have been more and more interested in the Steampunk genre. What is the Steampunk genre you might ask? Well, it is easy enough to describe, but not so easy to understand. I will give it a shot though.
In the early 1980s role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons were very popular. Birthing from the desire to play role playing games from different eras or environs came the Cyberpunk storyline which is set in the future and deals with advanced technology and the like. Branching off of that game scenario was one which was set in the Victorian/Edwardian eras. While the fashion and settings were often true to form the technology in the game system had taken advanced strides, however, the main mode of running things was still the steam engine. Electricity was little used.
If you have ever read any of Jules Verne's novels then you will have a better idea. Advanced technology such as robots, weapons, computers (to a certain degree) all run by steam power or other means of the era.
Decor is wood, brass, copper and the like that heralds back to the earlier time. There are some pretty cool artists. Here is just a couple pics of some awesome Steampunk things.
The fashion of Steampunk is basically anything worn in the later half of the 19th Century or very early part of the 20th Century. That is your basic garb. Then one of the hallmarks of Steampunk is goggles. You cannot possibly be Steampunky without your goggles. Corsets are another big deal, and personally, my favorite. Look through the Steampunk Convention photo gallery to get an idea.
We had heard about the Steampunk Convention from some folks at the San Diego Comic Convention (see earlier post) and decided to try to make it. It was October 31st -November 2. Well, I had to work on Halloween, plus I had to give my annual Halloween lesson. Each year I put together a historically accurate costume and give a lesson on it. This year was English Civil War. I was a Cavalier/Musketeer for work, but I was lucky enough to put together a Steampunk outfit also.
The nice thing about Steampunk is that the clothes are decently comfortable. I wore my Old West pants and suspenders and, well, just see for yourself. Now Salma Gundy put together quite an alluring outfit. If her hair seems darker, it is. She had just gotten it done and they went wild with the dark. It has lightened since.
Anyhow, Sunnyvale is approximately 7 hours from us so we left earrrrrly on Saturday morning and got up there around 11ish. We checked into our room and then headed over. I won't go into the story of how the GPS was screwing with us by trying to send us to an address we did not put in, but suffice it to say, Salma was not happy with me. I think she believes Jane, our GPS and I have having an affair and are both out to get her.
Anyhow, when we arrived it was just neat. All these folks in their Steampunk attire. There was a little room set up all decked out for an author James P. Blaylock, who I met and bought a book from Sunday. There were props from an independant film that is being made called "Rex Barrett and the Eye of God."
We entered the vendor room and quickly decided that we had better eat something first. Really it was Salma Gundy's mood that helped us decide. It would have none of that fun stuff without having been given its proper sacrifice, so we made our way to the little food place and gave tithing to her mood. Just sitting there we say a bunch of great outfits. Some very regal and some very urchin like, but all were fun and cool.
After we ate we made our way back into the vendor room and met some great folks. We met Dennis, the Drag Queen. He was a great fellow and very friendly. When he told us he was a drag queen I told him I was surprised...I just thought he was a smoker.
Many of the vendors were really friendly and some were just really odd. Most were friendly. Rachel, the owner of Nouveau Motley. She is really a beautiful woman with grea talent at putting together these cool watch component jewelry as well as cool pendants and other great jewelry. Check out her site. I am going to put her in my links, but you can get her here. And look at that pic...in'nt she adorable?
Another great vendor is Niffer who owns 19 Moons Jewely and Accessories. She not only makes some cool jewelry and is adorable in her own right, she also knows her grammar. She was just a nobody until she busted out the use of a proper article. And she used the word article to explain she understood that I was "the" Sage Lion. I fell in deep like with her at that moment. She and I share a bond that can only be broken by a conjunction.
There were a bunch of other cool vendors and people there milling around. Greg Broadmore, who not only was a designer for the "Lord of the Rings" films, but also created the Dr. Grordbort's rayguns was there. He is a soft spoken New Zealander who appears to have a great sense of humor and humble demeanor. I would have liked to gotten to chat with him a bit longer.
We took a small respite for some tea and just to relax. I was snapping a few pics when a lovely lady descended a staircase. I got her pic and she approached me. Apparently she was the organizer for the event. We chatted for a few minutes, talking about how the convention was progressing and plans for next year. San Francisco look out.
We wandered a bit more, took in a quiet and confusing panel and then went back to the room. We were given tickets for a concert that evening by the Steampunk band "Abney Park." We were raring to go, but decided to grab a nap since we had been up quite a bit early and had been going and going. Well, we lay down and then, well, we did not get up. This getting old is bullshit. When sleeping is more exciting than a concert, you know you are getting old. The bigger problem is, you still hurt in the morning just as if you'd gone to the concert. What is up with that?
Anyhow, we got up Sunday morning and grabbed breakfast at Hobee's restaurant. Now, when we were up north for a Renaissance symposium we ate at a Hobee's. The food was great. The restaurant was cool and individualized. The staff was mellow and earthy. It was a cool experience. Our romantic bubble of Hobee's was burst. This Hobee's was a refurbished Denny's and they were buuuussssyyyyy!!! It was crazy. The staff was too busy to be familiar. They weren't unfriendly, but definitely not the same homey feeling we'd had at the other.
We decided to hit the convention one last time before taking off to get some more pics and maybe buy a thing or two. Well, a thing or two turned into quite a bit of money, however, we got some cool stuff. We did buy from Niffer and from Rachel amazingly enough. We touched base with Dennis again and took a look at the Dark Garden corsets. They were really neat. I also chatted with the director and producer of "Rex Barrett" Scott MacEachon and Ricardo "Rick" Botelho. These guys were great. Very approachable and affable. Annnnd, knowledgeable. Regular kick around guys who make movies. Or rather, are making a movie. I have a feeling we will be getting to know more of these guys. With my stellar good looks and acting ability, I cannot imagine they are not already thinking of a sequel to the Rex Barrett movie starring me. Anyhow, go check out their site and drop them a line and tell them I sent you.
After we spent all of our money we took off, heading for home. Only 7 hours to get home. Whoopie. We actually had a pretty decent trip. There is some beautiful country up through there and we enjoyed our time together. We kept Salma's mood appeased.
We made one stop on the way home and that was at Casa De Fruta. What a nifty place. It is a fruit and nut stand that has gotten out of control. Along with the Casa de Fruta are Casa de Restaurant, Casa de Sweets, Casa de Wine and more. We bought a bunch of nuts and some nice fruit and a few sweets. I took a couple samples of their fudge and immediately went into a coma, but a coma well worth it.
We arrived at our doorstep around 8ish, sort of unpacked and passed out, ready to take on the work week.