Steampunk and the Macabre

Posted by on October 2nd,2008

Though we are mostly interested in the “lighter side” of steampunk here, a little detour into the possibilities that the darker side of the genre offers might be of interest still, specifically where steampunk meets the macabre, the fantastic, the supernatural, and the bizarre.

First and perhaps foremost, there is of course the “cryptozoological scientific art” of Alex CF. His work is well-known among us, though Mr Alex himself is rather averse to his work being labeled “steampunk”; indeed, his creations might better fit the macabre and whimsical, but they are obviously of interest, no matter how one wishes to call them.

There are, however, many more artists and steampunk enthusiasts alike who mix steampunk and the macabre in ways quite fascinating. We shall introduce you to a few of those, specifically Mr Mike Amend, Mr Timothy Lantz, Miss Lisa Black, as well as Professor Delphinius J.C. Tucker.

The remarkably large insect depicted above was crafted by Mr Myke Amend who named his creation, “Conception”. Of course the thing’s size is not what makes it so remarkable; of interest to the steampunk enthusiast is that it is apparently deviced out of brass, little gears and clockwork!

Mr Amend maintains a Website about everything “steampunk, nueromantic, deathrock, post-punk, horror” and more. In spite of this ambiguity about how to classify Mr Amend’s work, the place makes for quite an interesting visit—if only for the extraordinary webdesign!

This fine depiction of the Great Detective was drawn by a Mr Timothy Lantz who offers a selection of his artwork at the website, Stygian Darkness. This particular work was featured on the cover of Gaslight Grimoire: Dark Tales of Sherlock Holmes edited by Jeff Campbell & Charles Prepolec (2008). Mr Lantz’ further work is mostly fantasy-themed, though some art should be of interest to the steampunk enthusiasts nonetheless, particularly paintings apparently inspired by turn-of-the-century technologies.

Taxidermy is a field one does not expect to find an awful lot of steampunk in, yet a Miss Lisa Black proves that it is quite possible to mix the two nonetheless with this perhaps slightly disgusting, yet strangely fascinating deer augmented with brass and clockwork. Miss Black is rather fond of making stuffed animals appear as though they are really “clockpunk” automatons, judging from the many photographs of her work available at this Website.

There are few websites out there that aim specifically are providing coverage about steampunk as well as the macabre, let alone about how the two converge. Recently, however, a fine resource was made available by a Professor Delphinius J.C. Tucker, called The Conservatory, where news related to both genres is regularly posted, with fiction and reviews available also.