Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Hi, all.

So, I may be slow on the uptake (I only really found out that Dieselpunk was a term about a year ago), but I've just discovered that there's another "punk" known as Decopunk.

Apparently Decopunk focuses more on the clean, streamlined aesthetic of the 1930s through to the 1950s. It's all very "World of Tomorrow" as opposed to dark, dirty grim-darkness.

Maybe it was just me, but my preferred form of Dieselpunk was always the clean art deco, World of Tomorrow aspect. Maybe I'm a closet Decopunker.

But the two punks seem to be related.

What sayeth you, chap and chapettes?

Discuss. 

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Oh, the two are definitely related, almost like 2 sides of a coin. I think it would be hard (but not impossible) to like one but not the other. I also think the two could ecist side-by-side in a huge metropolis with a wealthy deco section and the poorer sideof town being more diesel.

In more practical everday terms, I think of diesel being more "common" (like clothes and fashion) and deco being more decorative. But that might just be me.

Part of me was thinking that perhaps the two terms are interchangeable. They're so similar. But perhaps Dieselpunk would focus of the aesthetics of the 1900s and '20s, and Decopunk would look to the 1930s going into the early 1950s?



Art Deco said:

Part of me was thinking that perhaps the two terms are interchangeable. They're so similar. But perhaps Dieselpunk would focus of the aesthetics of the 1900s and '20s, and Decopunk would look to the 1930s going into the early 1950s?....

Exactly the opposite really. Diesel goes into the '50s

Really? See I don't get that.

From what I can gather, Decopunk focuses on the clean, streamlined aesthetic. You know, everything's curved and covered in fins and "sun rays" bedeck everything, and there's elongated statues covering all the buildings.

It doesn't feel that 1900s/'20s to me. It feels more like a late '40s early '50s thing with me. 

Whereas I feel Dieselpunk is a bit rougher, and feels more like the Edwardian's 1910s, maybe going into the very early '30s.


Matt Boggs said:



Art Deco said:

Part of me was thinking that perhaps the two terms are interchangeable. They're so similar. But perhaps Dieselpunk would focus of the aesthetics of the 1900s and '20s, and Decopunk would look to the 1930s going into the early 1950s?....

Exactly the opposite really. Diesel goes into the '50s

First of all, from what I've seen in my brief research (I make ABSOLUTELY NO claims of being an expert on any of this), art deco does seem to have its heyday in the 1900-1930s period; at least, that's when a lot of deco-styled buildings, cars, and art stem from.

Second of all, as I said before, there's so much overlap that I feel like Decopunk is, if anything, a subcategory of Dieselpunk, so I'm not sure it's necessary to try to find the dividing point between the two.

Most important, however, when you say "From what I can gather, Decopunk focuses on the clean, streamlined aesthetic. ... It doesn't feel that 1900s/'20s to me. It feels more like a late '40s early '50s thing with me," my response is, "Well, then, go with that!" One thing that drives me crazy with ANY fandom I'm involved in is when people start slicing things up and worrying about what does and doesn't fit. I just want to have fun with it. If your definition of space opera or whodunnit or dieselpunk/decopunk is different than mine, so what? I can still enjoy myself and you can still enjoy yourself, and isn't that the important thing?

I like Brian's answer.

Do you know what made me a bit cross? I found a list online where it states that all punks: Steam, Diesel, Deco, etc., are subcategories of Cyberpunk. Whaaat? No. Cyberpunk can bugger off. Diesel's got nought to do with it.

Brian JP Craig said:

...Second of all, as I said before, there's so much overlap that I feel like Decopunk is, if anything, a subcategory of Dieselpunk,...

I would have to guess that whoever made that list had (at best) a passing interest in or familiarity with the various 'punks. I mean, yes, cyberpunk was the first one and is really the origin of the terms, but claiming that makes all 'punks subcategories of cyberpunk is like saying all fast food restaurants are subcategories of McDonalds!


Art Deco said:

Do you know what made me a bit cross? I found a list online where it states that all punks: Steam, Diesel, Deco, etc., are subcategories of Cyberpunk. Whaaat? No. Cyberpunk can bugger off. Diesel's got nought to do with it.

I like Brian's view that Dieselpunk and Decopunk can exist in the same universe on different levels. 

Personally, I have a very hard time telling Dieselpunk from Decopunk, becuase they are so much alike and lean on the same eras and characteristincs. But yeah, Decopunk might indeed be a bit 'cleaner' than Dieselpunk. 
If I read a Decopunk story I'd probably consider it just Dieselpunk. But hey, that's just me ;-) 

And by the way, I think that Cyberpunk is indeed the first to appear and set the path for all the other punk genres, but I'd too hesitate to say that all punk genres are just Cyberpunk subgenres. They derive from Cyberpunk, I may agree with that, but being a subgenre is a different thing, in my opinion. 

Yeah, it's a very fine line... I have a literary mind, so I tend to think in terms of stories. I way I think of it is that Doc Savage is more decopunk and film noir is more dieselpunk. Both can have airships, fedoras, long lean cars with running boards, and talk of the Great War, but Doc's world is more clean and fancy, with skyscrapers, exotic locales, and nifty technology; film noir is a darker world where there's little black and white, just shades of gray where even the good guys have more than a little dirt on their hands... Not really a perfect analogy, but I think it gets the point across.

JazzFeathers said:

I like Brian's view that Dieselpunk and Decopunk can exist in the same universe on different levels. 

Personally, I have a very hard time telling Dieselpunk from Decopunk, becuase they are so much alike and lean on the same eras and characteristincs. But yeah, Decopunk might indeed be a bit 'cleaner' than Dieselpunk. 

Interesting, literally never heard of Doc Savage until now, which is odd considering I read comics; you'd think I'd of bumped into him by now.

Brian JP Craig said:

Yeah, it's a very fine line... I have a literary mind, so I tend to think in terms of stories. I way I think of it is that Doc Savage is more decopunk and film noir is more dieselpunk. Both can have airships, fedoras, long lean cars with running boards, and talk of the Great War, but Doc's world is more clean and fancy, with skyscrapers, exotic locales, and nifty technology; film noir is a darker world where there's little black and white, just shades of gray where even the good guys have more than a little dirt on their hands... Not really a perfect analogy, but I think it gets the point across.

JazzFeathers said:

I like Brian's view that Dieselpunk and Decopunk can exist in the same universe on different levels. 

Personally, I have a very hard time telling Dieselpunk from Decopunk, becuase they are so much alike and lean on the same eras and characteristincs. But yeah, Decopunk might indeed be a bit 'cleaner' than Dieselpunk. 

Doc is just starting to get more widely recognized, I think. I first discovered him back in the '70s, when Bantam was reprinting his adventures in paperback. After that, he kind of faded from the public eye... I think my love of pulp magazines, radio shows, and movie serials were big influences on my interest in Dieselpunk.

Art Deco said:

Interesting, literally never heard of Doc Savage until now, which is odd considering I read comics; you'd think I'd of bumped into him by now.

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