I came across a fascinating article on the history of steampunk recently. The article I read was on the website of G. D. Falksen, a comic book author who has a fascinating steampunk series, among other genres. As we are formally announcing our distribution partnership with Diamond today (click here for details), it seems appropriate to spend a little time explaining why we employ the steampunk genre in Issue 1 of our comic series. We’ve mentioned in other articles the fact that steampunk, which is essentially Victorian science fiction, really traces its roots H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. These authors wrote in the Victorian period, and so naturally imagined a world of technological wonders powered by steam.
Of course, neither Wells nor Verne actually used the term steampunk. If we trace the history of steampunk as such, we find that the term was coined first in the 1980s by author K.W. Jeter. He was humorously distinguishing science fiction stories set in the the Victorian period from the prevailing near-future cyberpunk aesthetic of the genre.
The history of steampunk, as well as its current iterations, are quite fascinating. Often people interested in the steampunk aesthetic will study photographs from the Victorian age to get an idea of how people dressed. From there, it’s easy to add futuristic details like goggles, gears, or other bits of technology. A thorough knowledge of the workings of the steam engine will also help a person interested in creating a steampunk universe to do so believably. The intricacies involved in imagining an alternative future based on steam are practically never-ending. Face Value Comics has its own version of steampunk. We hope that our readers are inspired to dream their own steampunk world in to existence, in drawings, writing, or just in their imaginations. To read more on the history of steampunk, click here to read all of Falksen’s article.