World Steam Expo 2011

The World Steam Expo.  Steam Punk?  My first thought was Punk Rock, and I never was a fan of that.  Though people tried to explain it to me, even showed me web pages and videos for Steam Punk, the full idea just seemed so different to me.  I was not grasping the idea of this event, and once I read the events at the expo I almost felt like it was a fashion show with many panels on how to put your costumes together, making the props, and being in character.  I knew there had to be more to it, so Cowabunga Corner went to cover and learn about The World Steam Expo.

Now some of the things described to me as Steam Punk I know I do enjoy, there’s a few animes that really falls into this area such as “Castle in the Sky”, where you got your old fashion tech with the dreams of where they could of gone with it.  Knowing this, I had sort of an idea in my head what I was walking into.  Though I still felt lost and out of place with the idea of the event.

Anyone who knows me, knows one thing about me - I don’t like dressing up, unless it’s a big foam character costume. Dresses and suits have always turned me away as I have never had an interest in the fancy clothes. I’m the happiest and most comfortable in a t-shirt, jeans and slip on shoes.  I’ve always felt it’s more important how I feel than how people view me.  One thing on the top of my mind was “Am I even going to fit in with this group of fans?”  Already knowing I was going to not look the part of Steam Punk, I added a Turtle puppet to my hand and went in to learn.

The first day of the convention was quiet, as most are.  It’s a Thursday night and only few people are showing up to check in.  With two small events going on, Star and I went around and got a little bit of video footage which was posted to youtube as the first episode of “Cowabunga Corner News”.  That night I got the question of how the Turtles fit into Steam Punk, and I came up with the idea of letting the Turtle answer the question... “Who says we can’t enjoy Steam Punk too?”, with that we started to make friends there at the convention.  Finding lots of nice people who took the time to talk with us.

Returning Friday I knew the event was bigger with more people, though now I know others are walking around in T-Shirts and jeans, others are also going to their first Steam Punk meet up, and the people dressed up are all in great character and high spirits.  Overall there was no out-of-place feeling, as a lot of the people at this event I’ve also known at other events.  It was really great meeting up with so many friends.

Before the opening panel, Star and I went around checking out the other things that were already open, from the dealer room to a room with events like knife throwing.  The dealer room became one of my favorite rooms, mainly for one booth.  A lady who came with a lot of candy, and to my surprise, all of this candy was home made!  Really well done as she made chocolates and hard candies, with so many different flavors and all were natural flavors.  To learn more about these great candies watch for her interview to come up on Cowabunga Corner News!

The other room with the knife throwing was interesting, as they had it set up like any army camp with lots of different things people could learn over the weekend.  We got a lot of video footage and interviews in this room, showing what people were up to.

In no time at all, we found ourselves at the opening panel, sitting there in front row and the camera all set up.  Each of the guests were introduced and the events began.

With many questions we went up to Steam Punk 101, a panel to help teach people what Steam Punk is. In this panel I learned that Steam Punk is seen as Victorian Sci-Fi, though really it goes around the world, showing many different areas where Steam Punk can take part from Germany, Japan and many other countries.  The general years for Steam Punk is from 1780 to 1920.  You can find Steam Punk in books, comics, movies, animes and more as it has been around for many years, just given the title Steam Punk some where around the 1990’s.  Show are not always titled Steam Punk, though things like “Firefly” and “Fullmetal Alchemist” are well known in this fandom.

The following panel was “Steam Punk Around the World” teaching us about the different areas around the world and how much history is counted into this fandom.  To get a costume made you have to make sure that your costume is totally respectful to the areas you want them to be.  Study different costumes and find something that fits you, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong, if you feel comfortable in what you have.  And all in all just have fun with it.

Pretty soon I really started to have fun with the different events going on, as we went to many panels through the weekend and spent a lot more time in the dealer room than I originally thought we would.  The people at this event were very nice, a lot of them had great costumes and that’s when we decided to do more than one story on “Steam Punk Expo”.

The full weekend was just this informative as we learned about many different groups and areas in that take place with steam punk.  The weekend was so full of great stuff that our video camera was filming most of the time we were at the event, going from one thing to the next.

With so much information and video gathered, the Cowabunga Corner crew that went to the event, we feel we can to do a lot of different stories based on the World Steam Expo from video to written stories.  There will be three of us sharing our stories.  Hope you enjoy our coverage of the World Steam Expo! 

Entertainment Earth