For those who attend events such as Comic Book and Anime conventions where enter costume competitions and wear costumes for the sheer joy of playing their favorite character it will be no surprise that two big trends in costuming are related to steampunk and to an online multimedia world.
Indeed, for those who are unfamiliar with the two trends but who have read IBM's prediction that Steampunk would be the biggest trend in fashion in 2013 and beyond, it would certainly be expected but as things are fleshing out, they are taking a turn that was perhaps, rather unexpected by IBM.
Among those who are into the costume playing (aka cosplay) that go on at many major events and a host of minor ones, comics, cartoons, and games have long been a mainstay but surprisingly, one of the two major trends in cosplay takes a left turn from the mainstream comics and games and goes to a rather complicated and bizarre online world that in one sense is neither a comic nor game and yet in another, it is both and so much more. This online world is "Homestuck" which is a seemingly innocuous title that centers on the players in a game that begins with the players causing the destruction of their own world merely by playing.
Homestuck is the creation of Andrew Hussie and, while it started as an online web comic about a video game, in one month's time in September 2012, the author raised $2,485,506 via Kickstarter to turn Homestuck web comic into a video game. The homestuck characters can be as plain as a normal person wearing jeans and a t-shirt to elaborate characters with horns, painted faces, and even fur or wings. So Homestuck is a great cosplay for someone who wants to get involved but can't afford more than jeans and a t-shirt or for those who are much more creatively inspired and desire to put months into making an elaborate costume. (See photos)
For those unfamiliar with Steampunk, a simple explanation is that it is an alternate reality, science fiction of the Victorian era. While there are many steampunk cosplayers that sticking to the more "traditional" steampunk costuming, surprise turn in steampunk is in the direction that the new steampunk cosplayers are heading. Young cosplayers who had never cosplayed the steampunk genre are falling head over heels in cosplay love with the hot, new band, Steam Powered Giraffe.
Much like the Homestuck group, Steam Powered Giraffe is composed of both normal humans like their straight man, Michael Philip Reed and the steam powered robots, Hatchworth, Rabbit, and The Spine. The band performs a blend of comedic routines and melodic songs that look back to an era of vaudeville that only happened in the minds of its science fiction writers but is now being propagated via the internet.
The steampunk robot cosplayers will either emulate the dress, makeup, and manners of their favorite band member or create their own steampunk robot persona and style. While at the major steampunk events where the majority of the attendees have been staunch followers of the genre, the robots are in a minority, but at other cosplay events the ranks of the steampunk robots are young, strong, and rapidly out numbering the traditional steampunk cosplayers.
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