There are big conventions that attract thousands of people and are a potpourri of themes and genres, a mash-up of superheroes, fantastic animals, cyberpunk, steampunk and who knows what else. You know what I’m talking about, conventions like Comic-Con where it started out focused on comics but is now so large that you stare at a costume with no clue of its origin or inspiration as often as you see yet another Arrow, Thor or Black Widow.
Denver’s AnomalyCon is definitely not one of those huge events, but instead a small, friendly event that attracts a few hundred people who are just about all obsessed with the mythical world of steampunk. And here’s what’s interesting: Unlike the more risque cosplay of superheroes, steampunk seems to be more, um, age and varied physical type friendly. In other words, it takes a certain physique to do a catwoman or King Leonidas, but steampunk is an all-encompassing cosplay universe where everyone can dress in shades of dark green and grey, add a few gee-whiz gizmos and imaginative retro gadgets and feel like they’ve among friends.
I really love the genre of steampunk, actually, a sort of Sherlock Holmesian Victorian England where fantastical weapons and slowly spinning gears characterize everything, an optimistic retro-future where the greatest fear is some dastardly foe dropping bombs from their Zeppelin before the steam-powered city shields can be deployed. But what’s weird is that while there’s a fair amount of steampunk literature, there really aren’t any notable movies or TV shows immersed in the steampunk world. Yet.
Still, part of the fun of AnomalyCon was that everyone was so into steampunk that the people who weren’t in a steampunk costume stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. To give you a taste of the event, here are some photos I took as I walked around the vendor area and the central meeting space…Even the superheroes had a steampunk spin to them. Notice both the steampunk Wonder Woman and Catwoman! A lovely Victorian couple at AnomalyCon Unknown costumes in front of a Tardis. A confusing moment from AnomalyCon. Elaborate Costumes for Sale at AnomalyCon Intricate Victorian Dresses for Sale at AnomalyCon Weapons, get your Steampunk Weapons! from AnomalyCon Steampunk-inspired jewelry, from AnomalyCon Who wouldn’t want a crocheted Cthulhu? from AnomalyCon Spider Light Sculpture from AnomalyCon Mad Scientist lab with eerie lighting at AnomalyCon Fun with lasers: Can you redirect the beam to the target? from AnomalyCon When everyone’s steampunk, it’s the non-cosplay folk that stand out. From AnomalyCon
If you’ve been to massive events like San Diego Comic-Con, an intimate, relaxed event like AnomalyCon can be quite a relief. And steampunk? Yeah, I’m down for that.