Sunday, September 27, 2009

But wait--Steampunk!

I attended a "Steampunk in Anime" panel at the New York Anime Festival this Saturday, and it was just fantastic. While the steampunks were a minority at the Fest, the ones that showed up had a hard time getting around for all the people wanting to take pictures of them. The ladies to the right and left of the text all made their own costumes. The detail is incredible, which goes right along with the steampunk philosophy, namely, make things beautiful and make them to last. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a picture of the Abraham Lincoln with the golden mechanical arm. How much cooler would history class have been if Honest Abe had sported a robot arm--OF GOLD?!

Except for an old issue of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" that I dug up from my local library during an Alan Moore phase, and this 2008 article in the New York Times, I didn't know much about the genre except that the aesthetic pleased me. Just look at that guy's ray gun below. The brass, the wood, the beautiful-but-explodey-headness of it--I want one, and then I want an airship so I can use the gun and the airship together to rescue some prince.

Another reason I've decided to become an official fan of steampunk is that the golden age of the Hawaiian monarchy occurred in the Victorian era. Those who follow my blog regularly know that I was born-and-raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, and those who know a bit more than the average person about American history know that Hawaii used to be its own country. But how cool would it be to have an alternate-history Hawaii where King Kalakaua had a robot army and he never signed the Bayonet Constitution? "Mr. Thurston, I don't believe that myself OR my mighty mechanical man think much of your amendments."

I think these good people would approve.

For more awesome pictures of the Anime Festival, check out my gallery on Flickr:

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