Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Whole "Steampunk" Thing

This is a totally time-wasting weekend link.

Behold the genius of steampunk! This perfectly encapsulates why I loathe it so much.


Anonymous said...

You have to place the Steampunk stuff in it's proper catagory, i.e NOT truly related to the Mythos, Lovecraft or even Horror genres.

It CAN be helpful and some of it may appear to cross over for our purposes but we really shouldn't look down on it with disdain - unless it's such a poor effort, like the cartoonish example selected above.

We should just choose "not to rub elbows with it" (steampunk). Elitist enough to make the olde gent proud?... hope so :)

Nick Storm - Member of the Mythos defiant group - The Chowder Society

Doc Atomic said...

I'm assuming the artist's irony is intentional. Funny stuff.

Dissimulato Nomine said...

I do like SteamPunk, indeed I'm sure I came here from BrassGoggles. I do however heartily endorse this gents mocking of the genre.

Like almost every genre with a definable aesthetic there are myriad crimes against nature commited in it's name.

Jordan Stratford+ said...

I respectfully disagree. A great many of the projects and artists to which and whom you have linked are quite clearly steampunk and identify as such (Tom Banwell being the most obvious example which leaps to mind).

You are certainly free to "loathe" the aesthetic, but Venn diagram of steampunk and the mythos overlaps more than it doesn't.

What I object to is bad art: and yes there's some ghastly stuff out there, as there is in any genre.

I enjoy your blog rather tremendously,

Jordan Stratford

Propnomicon said...


I certainly agree about steampunk not being part of the Mythos, but the two genres do overlap in the area of mad science. And I do love me some mad science when it's done well.


Mr. Cook is most assuredly tongue in cheek. The resemblance between his mock-up's and *real* projects just makes it funnier. In a horrible, my-god-what-have-they-done kinda way.

@Dissimulato and Jordan

You're both right about artists like Mr. Banwell being shining examples of what "steampunk" should be. I think one of the reasons I hate what the genre has become, at least in the artisan crafts arena, is that I enjoy it so damn much when it's done well.

I adore retro-tech gizmos and gadgets, but most of what's passed off as steampunk is the worst kind of hackery imaginable. That's why I've started distinguishing works of quality in the genre as "neo-victorian"- grouping them with the steampunk aesthetic at-large, and what it has become, seems like an insult.

London Boat Game said...

I think this link is hilarious and perfectly mocks the poor steampunk efforts to which your blog refers, whilst also capturing perfectly my own skill level, should I ever give it a go. I heed the warning. LOL

BeatricCaldwell said...

Peter STEAMpan and STEAMkerbell.

I love it.

Jordan Stratford+ said...

I think the steampunk (hardly an insult) community is the center-mass of those working in the aesthetic of the mythos, and is gathering momentum.

Notice how I didn't say "picking up steam" because that would be awful, and I'm simply not that drunk yet.

Anonymous said...


Go watch kenneth Branagh in Wild Wild West twice and say 5 hail marys.


~Nick S.

Jeanne said...

Hah, for one, that is the worst example of steampunk design I have EVER seen! That is just plain rediculous beyond Steampunk quirkyness.
I really consider myself a terrible steampunk because I'm not mechanically inclined, but I find the aesthetic when more practically minded and well done quite wonderful.
But those sketches, nooo, that's just plain.. well, I don't want to be mean, but they're rather idiotic. I wouldn't call that steampunk really. But it does look like it's intentionally mocking the bad sides of when steampunk goes too far into the rediculous.