Friday, October 21, 2011

Brass gears and octopi, I say!

Greetings, minions.  We are here today to discuss SteamCon III (which was this past weekend), though not in any great depth because I only went on Saturday and didn't bother attending any panels because all the ones I cared about were in the morning before I could get there.

So first, a little about steampunk.  If you don't know what it is yet, go here.  I'll wait.  No really, go ahead.

All done?  Splendid.

I have said before, and continue to maintain, that the local steampunk community has disappointed me.  Not personally - they're mostly lovely people.  There are a few elitist snots - like the young woman whose booth I did not make a purchase at because despite my willingness to spend money she wouldn't stop chatting with her friend long enough to greet me or see if I needed anything - but there are elitist snots in every subculture, steampunk holds no special claim to them. My issue with steampunk has entirely to do with its evolution, and I limit my statements to the local community because I have no experience with steampunks outside of Seattle.  That said, for something based in fantasy - which is what it is, being an alternate history with fantasy and science fiction elements - it sure limits itself.  Most steampunks in the area that I have seen are pretty strictly Victorian with a little extra metal and gears thrown in.  This narrow view of the subculture is enforced by one of the higher ups at SteamCon, who won't allow representation of a broader scope.

The whole mess saddens me because I really enjoy a lot of the aesthetics behind steampunk.  I really do.  But I'll be damned if I'm going to let other people's lack of imagination limit my own.  Yet, subculture is a social thing, and not only difficult to maintain in solitude but less enjoyable.  So, the end result is little to no steampunk for me.  But that's enough about all that.

The con was fascinating as always.  I do enjoy seeing everyone so dressed up, even if it is largely repetitive.  I'm sad to say that I did not see the musical guest, which was Vagabond Opera, because unlike other cons I"ve visited SteamCon charges additionally for their concert and I wasn't interested in paying it at the time.  I do have a little piece of regret on that matter, but I'll survive.  They had the Seamonster DJ Dance for those who didn't get into the concert.

There were also a number of suite parties.  Steam Federation and Unhallowed Metropolis were hosting some lovely little events that were quite friendly.  The drinks were generous, it was fairly easy to slide into conversations, no one begrudged me a couple pictures, and had I not been there alone and driving myself home I probably would've spent the rest of the evening in one of those two rooms.  The Steampunk Exhibition Ball had a suite, but was experiencing issues getting set up and I did not wait around for them to open their doors.  There was one other group hosting a suite party - the suite was the most lavishly decorated out of all of them, but it was miserably hot, they had no greeter at the door, and the people inside were clustered around little tables set to look like an old fashioned gambling parlor and not addressing anyone who wasn't in their little clique.  They had a lovely bar set up, and professional bartender running it, but he didn't even know who he was working for, just the name of the man who'd hired him.  I didn't stay.

As of right now, I have no idea if I'll return next year.  The theme for next year is Victorian Monsters, which admittedly does intrigue me, but is the price of a day pass worth the potential for deep dissatisfaction?  I suppose we'll see.  And to end this entry on a positive note, let's showcase my poor photography skills with a few of the things at the con that pleased me.  It is worth noting that these were not the most elaborate/sophisticated/grand things I saw, but they were particularly unique, and that is what won them storage space on my camera.

She was so toxicly neon, it was fantastic.  All that was lacking was the bio-hazard symbols.

Gear armor is perhaps not terribly protective, but it is most certainly dashing.

This is Mantis.  I wanted his pants.  They're like the Utilikilt version of a hakama, and they're made by Last Wear.