Fresh from the Asylum Steampunk Festival, the world’s largest and longest running Steampunk Festival (Lincoln UK, August), the team from the Victorian Steampunk Society are delighted to be back at MCM once more.
So what is Steampunk I hear you cry… it has been described as Downton Abbey meets Meccano by some (well one and we don’t let him out that often), but in reality Steampunk is a cultural and social movement that has been around since the 80s (just like leg warmers, but much much cooler).
The term Steampunk originated in the late 1980s as a tongue-in-cheek variant of cyberpunk. It was coined by science fiction author K. W. Jeter, who was trying to find a general term for works by Tim Powers, James Blaylock and himself, all of which took place in a 19th-century (usually Victorian) setting and imitated conventions of such actual Victorian speculative fiction as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
So taking its name from literature, if you imagine Victorian time travel, with the steam and engineering of a bygone age, but with the influences of modern life, you are in the right region to discover Steampunk.
The goggles are a motif, that show you are a maker, a creator and that steam and smoke are something you deal with on a daily basis.
– You will enjoy the manners and etiquette of Queen Victoria, as well as her cake.
– You will dress in a splendid fashion, although there will be people from all class structures, so a Steampunk boiler man is as welcome as a grand lady or gent.
– You will enjoy talking with people, making new and interesting friends, but always within your own comfort zone. You will drink tea and all disputes will be solved with a simple round of tea duelling, which is the extreme sport of choice for your average Steampunk.
– You will follow only one rule; Be Splendid, and be encouraged and supported to create new outfits, gadgets and creations by a huge community of new, aspiring and professional makers.
– You will drink gin (if you are over 18 of course, this isn’t the 1800s!), but tea and rum are also acceptable
– You may enjoy music, gaming, making, painting, photography (with a box brownie of course) and all manner of other pastimes, this is a diverse community after all.
In many parts of the world Steampunk communities create personas, crews, back stories and lifestyles to live out at events. The UK Steampunk tends to be less formal in their approach, but we also believe that people should enjoy Steampunk in their own way, so you can become a different person, or just celebrate the already magnificent one, with new outfits, events, friends and memories.
There are hundreds of Steampunk events happening throughout the UK each year, so wherever you are there will be a place you can go to find out more. Don’t worry about attending your first event in jeans and a t-shirt, you will not be uncomfortable and the bug will soon take hold. Many events will have excellent markets, where you can buy things to create your first outfit.
You can also Steampunk on a budget and with very little in the way of making talents. Come along to our upcycling talks to see how you can source items, make them easily and tweak garments you may already have to become something amazing.
Throughout the weekend there will be a huge team of Steampunks, who are all on hand to answer questions, offer advice, host talks and workshops, as well as making things for you to see and enjoy.
Do drop in an see us
The Imaginarium: Steampunk Sequential Art Trilogy Launched at MCM London Comic Con!
Meticulously crafted by Gary Nicholls, a British photographic sequential artist, comes the first book of his conceptualised neo-gothic fairy story eponymously based on the Victorian fairground attractions of The Imaginarium. ‘The Imaginarium’ tells an intricate, fantastical, dark but ultimately beautiful steampunk story through the unique medium of fine art images. Four years in the making, Nicholls’ creation is so much more than just a book – it’s an adventure through the power of art that simultaneously tells an epic, powerful story readers will be immersed in from page one.
Rumours abound of spellbinding gadgets that can turn ordinary men into Steampunk Giants. Stainless steel and calico wings that turn mortals, into Winged Angels. Steampunk brass and copper pasties, evil villainy and the Necessitti – a magical, stupendous, leggiadrous object of sheer beauty. . Inspired by a visit to The Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival in 2012, Gary Nicholls has created a world of Dickens with gadgets, and oh, the gadgets….Gadgets that can take you to fantasmagorical events, or transport you to a world where the airship is “the only way to travel Dahling!” This is the fantastical story that is book one in The Imaginarium Trilogy and is called Eva’s Story. A costume, a character, a gadget and a convoluted dark tale to confound and entertain the reader. Perhaps ‘hugely complicated and complex’ is a good description, considering the trilogy’s first volume contains thousands of words and over 150 fine art images that have taken years to craft. It’s a rare format for a work of fiction, tied together with a story that Dickens could surely have imagined himself.
With a composite leather cover, high end printing with spot varnished plates this is your opportunity to meet the characters and buy a copy of this unique book. This kind of work has never been produced before in this manner and The Steampunk Emporium area at MCM London is where it is being launched. The two main Characters, Eva and Dr William with Gary Nicholls will be signing the books. Each book is a limited collectors edition with 200 of the 1,000 available sold in pre-order.
Signed, numbered, hologrammed and certified each book is a work of art. With the book 30cm x 30cm weighing 2.5 kilos, containing close to 150 plates, it is an epic tale set in a Steampunk world of wickedness, betrayal, murder and greed, where one lost soul stands out as Eva’s saviour…There is a secret in a box which weaves its way through the entire trilogy. From wickedness, treachery, secrets and murder, the plot twists and turns, each character having their own story that builds into the final sections where all is revealed.
Gary will also be revealing an amazing twist to book 2, due out in 2018, involving a time capsule that has been buried somewhere in the world containing £15,000 worth of art.
Props and costumes from the story will be on exhibition with Limited edition metal prints from Book 1 for sale. There is an opportunity to discuss the project with the makers, who will be there on the stand. There will also be talks about the project throughout the weekend on the Steampunk Emporium Stage.