Steampunk Gallery: High-tech meets old tech at 2012 Comic-Con

Steampunk cosplayer strikes a pose at 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International. Photo credit: Deborah J Bell

Steampunks congregated on Saturday at Comic-Con. Photo credit: Deborah J Bell

The proliferation of Steampunk fans in attendance at 2012 Comic-Con International seemed to indicate that this retro-futuristic movement is steadily capturing the hearts and imaginations of mainstream science fiction fans.

Legions of cosplayers arrayed in their finest neo-Victorian attire and adorned with curiously crafted mechanical creations descended upon San Diego’s gigantic pop culture convention this past July.

Many of these attendees’ one-of-a-kind accoutrements were designed and built by the fans themselves, showcasing the creativity and artistic abilities of those inspired by Steampunk’s high-tech meets old-tech sensibility.

Steampunk versions of “Buzz” and “Woody.” Photo credit: Deborah J Bell

Comic-Con is certainly no stranger to ticket holders arriving dressed as their favorite comic book or movie character, but some Steampunk cosplayers took things a step further this year and outfitted themselves as Victorian-inspired  versions of Batman and Robin, The Riddler, Green Lantern, and even Disney’s Buzz Lightyear and Woody. These imaginative adaptations of familiar characters’ classic looks prompted many a traffic-stopping photo session on the exhibit hall floor.

“The Riddler”, neo-Victorian style. Photo credit: Deborah J Bell

A fan meet-up and awards ceremony was arranged by Kim Hutsell of Starburner Galactic Courier Service at the rear steps of the convention center. There Steampunks interacted with and showed off their custom finery and unique gadgetry to fellow enthusiasts.

Fred Jeska of Kelly’s Heroes lectures Eric Chamberlin of Machina Fatalis about a delay in repairs at Comic-Con. Photo credit: Deborah J Bell

The Steampunk movement becoming more mainstream can only mean positive things for those vendors who took careful note of the fact that there were increased numbers of fans sporting goggles and corsets this year.

“My sales were just as incredibly good as last year,” said Fred Jeska of Kelly’s Heroes, whose Comic-Con booth offered both traditional and custom one-of-a-kind Steampunk creations for sale.

“And as with any trend, as the look becomes more popular the pioneers look for new and inventive options. And while I’m still selling items that were popular four years ago, I’m also constantly offering something fresh to keep my customers coming back and my own creative gears turning!”

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