[January 13-16, 2012 – Long Beach, CA – USA]
A steampunk convention was helf aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The location was unique and the ship fit the steampunk them extremely well. This was a four day convention so it was nice and long. As with any ship I board, whether sea or air, I walked fore to aft, starboard and port. The more interesting parts of the ship were all blocked and locked off, which was annoying, but the open parts were interesting as it were…
There was a “con suite” but it was usually devoid of people. It seemed there were more people who knew each other than just broke off into their own little gatherings. Otherwise, it was basically just what was scheduled. There were no party rooms either. Of the pictures I took, a lot more than usual were blurry, so there aren’t too many pictures (sorry). The surviving pictures are below, click on the pic as usual to get more:
Steam Powered Giraffe on stage aboard the Queen Mary
If these few pics of the Queen Mary intrigue you, you can get more information on the ship here queenmary.com.
[Nov 19 – 21, 2010 Seatle, WA, US] This was the second installment of SteamCon. Still experiencing growing pains but it was an fun, although I would like to see the shortcoming corrected, such as: SteamCon ran between two hotels (Marriott and Hilton) and that caused the people to split up. A bunch hung around the Marriott and a bunch at the Hilton and there seemed to be less mingling of the two groups other than to attend events held at one or the other. Basically, SteamCon needs a much bigger venue and be under one roof for cohesion I think. The SteamCon Con Committee was unable to get either of the two hotels to allow for room parties. And you know what I think of cons without parties. FAIL.
There were only a few “non-sanctioned” parties and they couldn’t advertise in any way shape or form or keep their doors open, so it was a huge bummer. Only word of mouth and that was hard to come by. Hopefully the ConComm will get room parties sanctioned for next year. (And lock it down to one floor so that people don’t need to go hunting thirty floor in multiple hotels.) Apparently the dealers room was too small last year. It was bigger this year but it was still too small. If people actually stopped to look at dealer wares, the traffic flow clogged up because the aisles were way to narrow. So, they need to get even a bigger area. (Or allow in room dealers on a floor of one hotel or something.) Lastly, having a con suite in both hotels was also a failure. Both rooms were generally empty. There should be one big con suite in one location so that everyone know where it is so they go to one spot. Hopefully they will do a post-con review and fix the issues. Wow, that’s more than I usually write. Sorry for harping. It was a good con, just needs to iron out the wrinkles. And, I didn’t take too many pictures this time, sorry…
author of “Thomas Riley”
and girlfriend in the dealers room.
[May 14 – May 16, 2010, Piscataway, NJ] This was the first “Steampunk World’s Fair”. New cons usually have a couple of hundred attendees. Not huge. Well, they thought planning for 800 would be a good ballpark number to plan activities around. Unbelievably, over 3000 attendees registered selling out the Radisson and the Embassy Suites next door. The event was smashingly good. No complaints from me. The con had over a dozen live bands, shows and more. Again, as with Anacrocon (below), over 80% of the attendees were dressed in Steampunk garb. Absolutely amazing. And there were dozens upon dozens of vendors. A lot geared up (no up intended) for the Steampunk genre, but a lot that were not quite ready (many had ren, horror, pirate-ware)… Anyway, next year would be a much bigger event, held earlier and should be really really good! All in all, the con has a rating of 9.5 out of 10.
Brute Force Studios
[Apr 30 – May 2, 2010, Atlanta, GA] AnachroCon is more than steam punk, but most of the attendees were in steam punk garb. Steam Punk is catching on like wildfire. Over 80%+ of the attendees were dressed in costumes! I don’t think I’ve been to any con where 80%+ were dressed up. Even though “Steam Punk” is a specific genre, based on the Victorian period, a lot more people can get into it because current clothing can be modified much more easily than any other genre. Well, it was cool 🙂 There were live performaces by bands both nights (Friday and Saturday) and on Saturday, there was period performances during the day The only thing bad about the whole thing was that is was mega-cramped, as in tiny tiny tiny spaces. The vendor area was waaay tooo small and the con suite was waaaaay waaaaay tooooo small. But, have no fear, next year, they will be getting a new hotel so that should improve the shortcomings. All in all, the con has a rating of 9 out of 10.
[December 31, 2009, Los Angeles, CA] The Edison is a steam punk bar/restaurant. This place is decked out to the max in “real” steampunk decor (as in, this used to be the power generation room of the building so it looks really industrial). About 90% of the people dressed up for the New Year’s Eve party – with over 70% in steam punk outfits. Live music by the premiere steam punk band, Abney Park! Please note, I didn’t use flash on most of the shots because it took too much of the atmosphere away, so the non-flash pics are a bit “soft”. The party has a rating of 10 out of 10.
Steam Punk band, Abney Park
at The Edison.