photos by Lex Machina & Trycirtis Hirta
So Steam-Con II has come and gone (as of over a week ago… yes, I know I can be a bit slow on the uptake), and I must say, for the second year in a row, I was not disappointed.
The variety of people, entertainment, and programming was even wider and more impressive than the year before and from what I was told, they are gearing up for an even bigger con for next year (in a new location as well). So I’m going to go with a quick rundown of the weekend.
First off, I bunked with a great friend of mine, Justinian of the Red Fork Empire, a fantastic performer in his own right as well as an engineer. Most impressive of all – his fist (aka The Will of the People) has been up-graded into a fully articulate (and massive) arm. It’s hard to describe so just go HERE to his website for pictures.
The night of my arrival, Thursday, was met with drinks at the Marriott bar with friends such as the afore mentioned Justininian, my wonderful author friend, Elizabeth Darvill, as well as my good friends The Gypsy Nomads and the lovely photographer Lex Machina. The next day brought, amongst other things, registration, setting up for the FANTASTIC art gallery run by the talented Angelina Marie (that both Justin and I showed in) as well as the meeting of the fantastic ladies and gents from The League of STEAM.
These guys really take the cake for both inventiveness, theatrics and humor. To see their equipment is to be truly impressed with how far people can take fabrication. My favorite being the shoulder mounted cannon – I witnessed it fire the “plunger” mod. It was as if one was witnessing a live action cartoon, complete with a POP! upon release.
I also sat in on Elizabeth’s panel (shared with her beau, Nick Valentino and fellow author Jay Lake) on the various “genres” of “punk” (clockpunk, sailpunk, sandlepunk… coffeepunk), following which I contributed to the convention by being in a panel with Lex on Steampunk Events and continued on with the day into the night at the artist’s reception where I got to meet and chat with a variety of lovely people.
Saturday brought too many things to go into, including some of my own panels and culminating with arguably the most packed panel I was ever involved in – Steampunk Ghost Hunting – with Crackitus Potts of the League of STEAM – you can see a clip from it below.
I also spent some time in the bazaar, which was quite extensive and had some of the best variety I had seen at a steampunk con in a while. Including teas, gears to build your own stuff, the ladies from Frenzy Universe selling old (but not used) army surplus… stuff… and there was even a vendor selling things in jars.
The night then led to an AMAZING show downstairs in Jordan Bodewell’s (of Sepiachord.com fame) Cabaret variety show. The cabaret had opened at 11am that day (opened by the Gypsy Nomads… alas I had a panel so I could not catch their set) and was going well into the night. The burlesque was really something as was Veronique Chevalier’s live show. But I did have to duck out as I did not want to miss Ghoultown on the main-stage. And yes, they did not disappoint, though with the show going as late as it was, I felt they had a bit more stage-time than my schedule allowed. I there-fore ducked out and met up with Justin to attend the Wild Wild West Con’s room party, there we were met by the good gent Xander of the Vagabond Opera, after some wandering we all ended up back in Justin and mine’s room for a good bit of wine and talk of music.
One of the major draw-backs of the weekend was the lack of room parties, I was told this was mostly due to the hotel and it’s restrictions.
Sunday was, as they oft are at such cons, a rather lazy and laid back day. There were many good-byes said and hugs given. It was so good to meet so many wonderful people who I look forward to keeping in touch with throughout the year. I attended Jordan’s panel with a variety of musicians – it is still one of my favorite panels I had attended. The day ended with the wake – a party for those of us leaving on Monday – and let me tell you – it really was a party. Cider, wine, beer and whiskey flowed and I found myself eventually sitting by the pool in the Marriott with Nick and Von Foggel of the League of STEAM, co-chair Diana Vick and non-other than Justinian himself at 3am in a drunken and heated discussion on “what is steampunk.”
That next Monday it snowed in Seattle and I was off, back to Chicago. It really was a lovely time. Great job to all those involved and I look forward to coming back next year.
-The Lord Baron