Dieselpunk Anthropology

06 Jan

By Lord K.

Take a look around. Ask questions – and don’t wait for simple answers.

This lady (let’s call her A.), looking like she just jumped out of a 1945 magazine ad, silk dress and gloves and veil streaming from her hat – is she a dieselpunk? No, she isn’t. If someone calls her anything ending with “~punk”, she’ll be offended. Her passion is fashion, and she esteems herself too high to be part of any movement.

What about this gentleman (call him B.), sporting a pin-stripe suite and a fedora, wearing a genuine 1935 wristwatch? He’s a dieselpunk, and a die-hard one. Mr. B will be happy to explain why his lavish costume is more “punk” than any skid row outfit. In modern world, too many roles have changed. Oh yes.

At first glance, there’s nothing “punky” about C., but don’t let her “conventional” looks deceive you. This quiet girl is a dieselpunk writer, a heroine of discussion boards, an expert in 1930s lifestyle – and her knowledge of zeppelins can easily put some aeronautics engineer to shame.

D. is hanging around dieselpunk websites too, he appears to be one of the crowd… But he doesn’t give a damn for the movement (or genre, or its definitions). Everybody’s buddy D. is weapons geek, and the only thing in dieselpunk which attracts him is… are… weapons! Big bad killing machines, and nothing else.

E. is a jewelry designer obsessed with Art Deco. She’s mixing classic shapes and textures with modern materials like titanium and forms influenced by the first years of jet aviation. Is she a dieselpunk? The answer is positive and, quite naturally, she calls her pieces of art “Dieselpunk Bijoux”.

Meet Mr. F., graphic artist. For many years he was busy drawing fantasy vehicles with big fenders and Lucas headlights, dreaming of what could happen to Marmon and Duesenberg in the world without Great Depression. He was a dieselpunk long before the invention of the word. Actually, he discovered the genre only a couple of years ago, and feels quite at home with dieselpunk crowd.

Don’t wait for G. at your local DieselCon. This guy, wearing the uniform of US Army Sergeant, 82nd Airborne, 1944, could be the convention’s sweetheart but he doesn’t belong to the crowd. G. is a WWII reenactor, on his way to the annual Battle of Bulge meet. Probably he will discover the genre later. Let’s wait and see.

Two photographers, H. and I., are working hard to recreate 30s look using the cutting edge digital equipment and vintage lenses. Dissatisfied with the results, they start to shoot on film, processing the stuff in the darkroom. After endless hours, the pictures are still too modern. “What are we doing? “, H. asks. “Dieselpunk! “, I. answers with a weary smile. Is it really dieselpunk? Well, you decide.

Mr. and Mrs. J. are pulp & comic books fans. They love not only the original books but also everything in the spirit of The Shadow and Dusty Ayres. They love Sky Captain, too. This lovely pair would be happily accepted by dieselpunk community. The problem is that the J’s haven’t heard a word about dieselpunk… yet.

Enough. I think you’ve got the point. The genre attracts very different people, not all of them dieselpunks. We don’t force dieselpunk on anyone. To define the genre, to expose it – this is our Encyclopedia’s raison d’être. Have a nice weekend!
Dieselpunk Encyclopedia by Stefan - negative


Posted by on January 6, 2012 in community, dieselpunk


2 responses to “Dieselpunk Anthropology

  1. Percy

    January 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I´m new in Dieselpunk and this article is just amazing, gives a brief compact and clear explanation on what is, is not, may and absolutely is not Dieselpunk. Absolutely great


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