Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Still Recovering From The Steampunk World's Fair

I've done 4 days of New York Comic Con with added set up the day before and break down on Sunday, shooting something like 2 thousand pictures a day. I've done 5 days of San Diego Comic-Con with interviews at opposite ends of the massive convention center a half hour apart and parties into the night. I've done BEA, lugging home so many books the wheels on my suitcase fell apart half way through Penn Station, AnimeNext where my full eye black contacts tried to eat my head and Rock and Shock where your worst enemy is being talked into continually drinking til 5am...with a 9am wake up call. I have survived all of this...and yet 1 day at The Steampunk World's Fair has done me in. Either I'm getting old, or I'm finally doing this show correctly.

When I was throwing around information about this insane, awesomely weird uncle of large scale events, often, people would say "I would go if I was into Steampunk." My reply is always "I have no idea what you are supposed to do to be INTO Steampunk." The draw for me is the fantastic costumes and the creativity and skill people put into them, the endless stream of performers in every nook and cranny of the grounds, peeking in on vendors in the labyrinthine hallways to check out their killer wares, only to discover old friends completely by accident, and the music....oh man. Bands so good it will baffle you that admission to their shows was not separate. Everyone is very cool...everyone is very accepting...and everyone does their best to make sure no one is left out. Apparently, there is no wrong way to Steampunk.

Highlights of my day at the fair roll out thusly:

- After picking up my press badges, I complete my Steampunk Casey Jones attire with hand wraps, the worst wig in the world and the iconic Casey Jones Mask. Immediately, a man identifies me....as Steampunk Jason. Then he laughs and says he knows i'm M'er F'ing Casey Jones....unlike the first people to greet me at last year's New York Comic Con..who called me Jason...and meant it. ~twitch~

 Picture by Rita Flores

- MORE MASH UPS! My one and fairly insignificant complaint from last year's fair was too much originality...not enough supremely geeky steampunk/pop culture mash ups. This year did not disappoint as I spotted Pokemon Team Rocket thugs (who were too fast for my camera), damn dirty steampunk Apes, Powergirl and Green Arrow (actually I spotted about 4 Green Arrows, which were only second in representation to Harley Quinns. HARLEY QUINN EVERYWHERE!!), Bill and Ted, The Avengers, 2 Batmen and an Attack on Titan Ranger. Oddly...no Deadpools.

- This Way To The Egress. The madness...instantly addicting tones....and THE TUBA. This is one of those bands you watch and then are baffled they have just played a small stage mere feet from the faces they just melted off. So much fun...so much conga line. If the Steampunk World's Fair had background music playing everywhere that perfectly summed up the attitude of the show, this would be it.

- The costume contest, with so many entries, the judges completely got lost in the fun of it all and completely ran out of time! If you ever hear me complain about walking around in a hot Casey Jones mask all day ever again, remind me that once a year, people stroll around in the sun with vests and coats and hats and bustles and layers of frills and they look so damn good but surely must be melting. While all the costumes were admirable, the people dedicated to being in character the entire time were priceless. One woman with a rather large hat and dual blades was adorably timid but cautious the entire time she was before us. NO IDEA who she was supposed to be, but someone mentioned it was video game related and PERFECT. Another woman entered and halted the proceedings to allow her golden dragon to futz around on stage before she would allow the judges to address her...as Queen Maleficent. When she inevitably took first prize, the judge went to pin on her award and she slid back and said "Don't touch me...just...give it here." I love it.

Many adventures were had, much vodka was consumed and new friends made, with which many adventures were had and vodka was consumed. If you did the show correctly (and presumably without children), the end of your night should have looked like this...

200 people singing "Don't Stop Believing" at the midway stage at 2am. At the song's conclusion, I gathered my gear and said my goodbyes. I was told there was an after party and somewhere near, even karaoke. I couldn't keep going and made off for my car. I was toast...and 2 days later..I'm still toast.

Click HERE for full galleries with sideshow performers, vendors, more costumes and more everything! Thanks to the lovely folks of the Steampunk World's Fair for having us and putting on a great show!

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