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What Is Steampunk?

Updated on January 12, 2012

Defining Steampunk

Steampunk is a culture dedicated to a revamp of the Victorian Age. This classical age is mixed up with fantasy, typically filled with massive steam-powered mechs, and extravagant dirigibles. Steampunk genre is depicted in various different forms, including clothing, music, art, and literature.

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Steampunk Abraham LincolnSteampunk GuitarSteampunk WatchSteampunk ComputerSteampunk CosplaySteampunk GunsSteampunk Goggles
Steampunk Abraham Lincoln
Steampunk Abraham Lincoln
Steampunk Guitar
Steampunk Guitar
Steampunk Watch
Steampunk Watch
Steampunk Computer
Steampunk Computer
Steampunk Cosplay
Steampunk Cosplay
Steampunk Guns
Steampunk Guns
Steampunk Goggles
Steampunk Goggles

Steampunk Fashion

Steampunk has become a major hit in the fashion industry. Various designers are beginning to incorporate cogs, and gears, classic steampunk designs, into there clothing lines, and fashion shows. Typically, however, steampunk fashion can be seen as a growing trend within the cosplay scene. Groups of friends get together, wearing stylized, and often modified, Victorian style clothing, portraying themselves as pirates, explorers, adventurers, or even mild mannered socialites. Outfits include decorated coats, and top hats, goggles, and sometimes ray guns! This particular type of fashion caters greatly to the “Do-It-Yourself” community, where most the accessories carried by the cosplayers, are painted, and created entirely on there own. Ray guns are masterfully designed by mixing Nerf guns with standard household accessories. The bravest and the bold of this community actually fabricate these items themselves out of wood, and metal.

Panic! At The Disco - The Ballad Of Mona Lisa - Steampunk Music Video

Steampunk Music

Steampunk elements within the music genre aren’t as popular as other styles; however it does encompasses all different styles of music, including rock, rap, . Steampunk rock has a particular sound to it, the beats are dark, and gritty, are mixed with a presence of folk, and can often have a shanty sound to them. Abney Park is an aptly named Steampunk band that is not only influenced by it in there music, but also in the instruments and personas they carry with them on stage Other, rap and hip-hop influenced music usually has a dark up-beat bass, with lyrics depicting a post-apocalyptic world, or even that of a mad scientists workshop. Dr. Steel is an example of this. His beats are catchy and heavy hitting, but his character resembles that of a mad scientist.

Steampunk Art

The Art culture has picked up on the Steampunk trend surprisingly fast. Paintings of vast desolate landscapes, with dirigibles and other flying machines soaring through the grey skies can be easily discovered not only online, but also in galleries. The art style is like any other, but the perspective and purpose of these paintings is unlike anything else. Dark and dreary, these portraits usually depict a deadened world, a violent sea, or even the inside to a dungeon like lab, with Frankenstein-esque instruments strewn about tables and the floor. Again, it is fairly easy to identify a Steampunk inspired painting nowadays, since it is such a unique style.

Steampunk Literature

Literature has made breakthroughs with the Steampunk culture. The birth of this trend can actually be linked back to H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne. Without there knowledge, the inventions, and worlds that these two writers depicted became the base of what we see in today’s Steampunk community. The idea of a massive submarine, such as the one in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, and a brass time machine in “The Time Machine” set up the idea of futuristic, yet what we would call retro nowadays, machines that seem so out of place in there given time periods. This idea was the very basis of Steampunk, and has been the driving force for many fanatics and hardcore fans.

Steampunk Book Reviews

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    • profile image

      Jessica of Lily's Steampunk Emporium 

      6 years ago

      Garrett,

      What a totally cool page you have created. Love the music videos and THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting a link to my goggle creations on ebay in your list for goggles. What a totally awesome thing to stumble upon on the net today. Thanks, you made my day!

    • profile image

      pharmacy 

      7 years ago

      Though I'm not into steampunk myself, I've got friends who are into the genre and both the mean and women look incredible when dressed up !!

    • profile image

      steampunk 

      8 years ago

      Great article on the genre! enjoyed the read :)

    • Garrett Mickley profile imageAUTHOR

      Garrett Mickley 

      8 years ago from Jupiter, Florida

      Thanks ryokowaren! Abney Park is one of my favorites. I have all of their albums.

    • ryokowaren profile image

      ryokowaren 

      8 years ago from USA

      I love Steampunk! Great article. I'll be sure to check out the music that you wrote about.

    • profile image

      Nikki 

      8 years ago

      Though I'm not into steampunk myself, I've got friends who are into the genre and both the mean and women look incredible when dressed up !!

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