By Wayne MacPhail
Steampunk is a shapeshifter. A sub-genre of science fiction, it can wrap itself around any genre form of fandom you can name. Steampunk Batman? No problem. Steampunk Harry Potter? Yep. Steampunk Pride and Prejudice? Done that. Steampunk imagines a world where Victorian clothing and manners are overlaid with the inventions of H.G. Wells, Jules Vernes and other writers who imagined a clockwork world in which airships, wind-up automatons and crackpot contraptions exist. A parallel world of imagination and craftsmanship.
Steampunk was out in full, sub-genre force at the Fan Expo Canada 2016. At the expo, fans of every single movie, book, video game, anime comic or board game you can name showed up dressed as a character from those past times. See the photo gallery below for a sampling. This year women dressed a Harley Quinn and men (and women) as Jared Leto's version of the Joker were everywhere. Some of the costumes take months to create.
Meanwhile, the steampunkers I met at the expo created their own characters for themselves. While there are steampunk characters in modern entertainment (Robert Downey Junior's Sherlock Holmes, Lily James' Elizabeth Bennet), none sport the brass, leather, googles and lens of full-on steampunk attire. That will change. It's only a matter of alternate time. Oh, and yes, this all ties in with our Strange Copper Cylinders of Thaddeus Barnes, our very own Canadian steampunk treasure hunt.