Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

For some reason I don't see where I posted about the recent work I've done on the Wikipedia project. I've written a sub-page that I need everyone who's interested to review and give me feedback on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Larry442010/Dieselpunk

I need feedback such as grammar and spelling, facts (such as dates and names), and references. The biggest concern I have are having references. I can't just say something and reference a conversation posted here or at the Smoking Lounge. Dieselpunk has a reputation for not being "notable." There are gaps in the article that I really need to be able to fill if possible.

Be aware I may not use all feedback is given. I do have to decide what fits and what doesn't. If your suggestion isn't used then if Wiki allows it to be posted then you can register and go into and edit like anyone else can.

You will see an example image on the right of the page. Stefan has been so kind as to agree at my request to make one of his fantastic creations to insert there.

Please, I need feedback. After everyone has looked it over and I've made whatever changes are needed then I will send it to the Wiki staff.  

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I posted a small, literally, response. At least we're seeing the mod catch some crap for it.

Jonny B. Goode said:
They're still debating it, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2010_Jun...

And one of the mods that's been against it from the start just redirected the page you had to Steampunk. Which I just posted a strongly-worded objection to.

Larry said:
Oh well. We knew it was a risk. But one sentence? The old redirect to cyberpunk derivative was better.
Congratulations everyone! According to Wikipedia, we're not real.

Everyone pack up and go home before Dieselpunk implodes on itself from a lack of belief.
Now now, Tome. I think you're putting Descartes before the horse.

Tome Wilson said:
Congratulations everyone! According to Wikipedia, we're not real.

Everyone pack up and go home before Dieselpunk implodes on itself from a lack of belief.
I've been looking at editing the material from the recently deleted Dieselpunk article for inclusion into the Retro-futurism article. At first I thought it would be a good fit. After going through the article, I'm not so sure any more.

Retro-futurism, as defined by the article, focuses on the blending of past ("retro") and futuristic (esp. technologically anachronistic or even impossible) elements. Dieselpunk fits the retro part perfectly. But is it really futuristic?

The Dieselpunk article listed, as examples of dieselpunk films:
Raiders of the Lost Ark -- Obviously retro, since set in the 1930s, with occult elements; but its futuristic element, if any, is minimal and plot-irrelevant
Dark City -- Retro in style, with a blend of 40s-to-50s styles, with a central sf premise, but one which is non-futuristic and not really related to the retro flavor
Bladerunner -- A cyberpunky adaptation of postmodern sf. Are the Eighties retro now?
Inglourious Basterds -- A '40s setting, but not futuristic or even fantastic at all, except insofar as Quentin Tarantino inhabits his own parallel world :)
Sin City -- Not futuristic, and not even really retro IMHO
Daybreakers -- Just modern sf/horror, minimal 'retro' design elements
Eraserhead -- wtf?

And then in literature there are a bunch of books about an alt-universe Nazi World or occult Nazis, which I think is a totally different genre. I mean, if you define as dieselpunk anything with a World War II flavor, then wouldn't Hogan's Heroes be dieselpunk?

In TV, the Batman and Superman animated series are described as 'deco pulp', which I don't quite see as describing them (stylistically or otherwise), and Caprica is called 'noir dieselpunk', which I can kind of see, at least with regard to the New Cap City segments, but (outside of it being a VR game) the futuristic elements in those are, so far, pretty marginal (e.g., an implausibly armored zeppelin).

Most of these things I'd have a hard time justifying including in the Retro-futurism article. And while there is some material left over, it's alarmingly slim.

I'm left to conclude one of two things: one, the material above isn't really dieselpunk, but is best characterized as inspiring or having a flavor of dieselpunk, and its prominent inclusion in the Dieselpunk article was a stretch; or, two, I don't really have a good handle on what dieselpunk *is*. And I think the latter is at least as likely as the former. But if futurism/technological anachronism isn't really essential to dieselpunk (as it is, I think, to steampunk) then isn't dieselpunk just retro? Or retro with a fantastic/occult twist -- in which case, given that that's the flavor of much of the pulp fiction of the era, isn't it the same as neo-pulp?

I feel like I'm slightly over my head here and I'd appreciate any insights.
Well, each of those movies had varying mixes of retro and future. Personally, I never saw Raiders as dieselpunk. Retro, yes. Dark City -- Retro in style... and set in a giant spaceship ark run by aliens? How is that not futuristic? Blade Runner - set in the future but every element screams a retro noir style, from the cityscapes to the hair styles to the clothing to the lighting to the noir narration. Sin City - a 40's style pulp noir story, but with a post-modern spin and some obvious (albeit behind-the-scenes) futuristic or fantastic elements. Daybreakers - far more than just "minimal" design elements, from what I've seen. Batman - Even Tim Burton said it was designed around a gothic deco look. What today might look like seen through a 1930's lens. And Superman - at least the cartoon - was the bright deco counterpart; Metropolis was meant to be a flip side of Batman's dark Gotham.

As far as the WWII element goes, no, Hogan's Heros wouldn't be considered dieselpunk, because there is no futuristic, fantasical element to it, nothing outside of what was 1940's reality (besides zaniness). But the occult/alt-universe/weird war nazi angle is part of the darker "Piecraft" brand of dieselpunk.

I don't have much time at the moment, but sometime in the next week or two I'm going to go through the article that was deleted and try to render it down to just a few short paragraphs so that it can be folded into retro-futurism; I'm sure it'll make a good fit once a lot of the non-"verifiable" stuff has been pared away.

Caerulctor said:
I've been looking at editing the material from the recently deleted Dieselpunk article for inclusion into the Retro-futurism article. At first I thought it would be a good fit. After going through the article, I'm not so sure any more.
Retro-futurism, as defined by the article, focuses on the blending of past ("retro") and futuristic (esp. technologically anachronistic or even impossible) elements. Dieselpunk fits the retro part perfectly. But is it really futuristic? The Dieselpunk article listed, as examples of dieselpunk films:
Raiders of the Lost Ark -- Obviously retro, since set in the 1930s, with occult elements; but its futuristic element, if any, is minimal and plot-irrelevant
Dark City -- Retro in style, with a blend of 40s-to-50s styles, with a central sf premise, but one which is non-futuristic and not really related to the retro flavor
Bladerunner -- A cyberpunky adaptation of postmodern sf. Are the Eighties retro now?
Inglourious Basterds -- A '40s setting, but not futuristic or even fantastic at all, except insofar as Quentin Tarantino inhabits his own parallel world :)
Sin City -- Not futuristic, and not even really retro IMHO
Daybreakers -- Just modern sf/horror, minimal 'retro' design elements
Eraserhead -- wtf?

And then in literature there are a bunch of books about an alt-universe Nazi World or occult Nazis, which I think is a totally different genre. I mean, if you define as dieselpunk anything with a World War II flavor, then wouldn't Hogan's Heroes be dieselpunk?

In TV, the Batman and Superman animated series are described as 'deco pulp', which I don't quite see as describing them (stylistically or otherwise), and Caprica is called 'noir dieselpunk', which I can kind of see, at least with regard to the New Cap City segments, but (outside of it being a VR game) the futuristic elements in those are, so far, pretty marginal (e.g., an implausibly armored zeppelin).

Most of these things I'd have a hard time justifying including in the Retro-futurism article. And while there is some material left over, it's alarmingly slim.

I'm left to conclude one of two things: one, the material above isn't really dieselpunk, but is best characterized as inspiring or having a flavor of dieselpunk, and its prominent inclusion in the Dieselpunk article was a stretch; or, two, I don't really have a good handle on what dieselpunk *is*. And I think the latter is at least as likely as the former. But if futurism/technological anachronism isn't really essential to dieselpunk (as it is, I think, to steampunk) then isn't dieselpunk just retro? Or retro with a fantastic/occult twist -- in which case, given that that's the flavor of much of the pulp fiction of the era, isn't it the same as neo-pulp?

I feel like I'm slightly over my head here and I'd appreciate any insights.
Jonny B. Goode said:
Well, each of those movies had varying mixes of retro and future. Personally, I never saw Raiders as dieselpunk. Retro, yes. Dark City -- Retro in style... and set in a giant spaceship ark run by aliens? How is that not futuristic? Blade Runner - set in the future but every element screams a retro noir style, from the cityscapes to the hair styles to the clothing to the lighting to the noir narration. Sin City - a 40's style pulp noir story, but with a post-modern spin and some obvious (albeit behind-the-scenes) futuristic or fantastic elements. Daybreakers - far more than just "minimal" design elements, from what I've seen. Batman - Even Tim Burton said it was designed around a gothic deco look. What today might look like seen through a 1930's lens. And Superman - at least the cartoon - was the bright deco counterpart; Metropolis was meant to be a flip side of Batman's dark Gotham.
As far as the WWII element goes, no, Hogan's Heros wouldn't be considered dieselpunk, because there is no futuristic, fantasical element to it, nothing outside of what was 1940's reality (besides zaniness). But the occult/alt-universe/weird war nazi angle is part of the darker "Piecraft" brand of dieselpunk. I don't have much time at the moment, but sometime in the next week or two I'm going to go through the article that was deleted and try to render it down to just a few short paragraphs so that it can be folded into retro-futurism; I'm sure it'll make a good fit once a lot of the non-"verifiable" stuff has been pared away.

The whole premise of Hogan's Heroes was pretty fantastical! Though, not, perhaps, "Piecraftian". I'm sure I'd enjoy the Piecraftian version of Hogan's Heroes, though -- set in a half-ruined landscape of 500-foot stone walls, with a demonically possessed zombie Col. Klink, served by a ten-ton, lurching, clanking, mechanical Sgt. Schultz. :)

Is Iron Sky dieselpunk, then? or Captain America?

I can see how one could come up with justifications for any one of the particular instances I listed. But it bothers me that they all seem marginal, all of them caught at the edges of a very broadly-cast net. What is there that would count as being *central* dieselpunk, unmixed with other genres?

My own ideas are largely framed by binary contrasts: THEN vs. NOW (for varying values of "now"). E.g.:

*radio vs. television
*monochrome film vs. color film
*cladded, sculpted skyscrapers vs. flat, black-box skyscrapers
*airships vs. airliners
*adding machines vs. calculators and computers
*monorails vs. the city bus
*streamliners vs. maglev
*maps and compasses vs. GPS
*art deco vs. ...uh... does contemporary art even *have* a name, or any common style?
*the unknown and unexplored vs. the fully-known and digitally-mapped

Add in a few robots, rockets, jet-boots, stun-rays, and, of course, beamed energy, and I'm good to go. :)

But that's by no means a complete characterization of the period 1920-1950, and I don't really want it to be. Those are just the points at which, I think, the period reached out beyond itself, and touched some enduring themes. I don't want to relive the *actual* 1930s (prohibition, depression, crime, impending war) -- my grandparents did that, and they had a pretty tough time of it -- just the good, or at least the interesting parts. Retro per se, in itself and not as a concomitant flavor, leaves me a bit cold. Elements like noirishness -- it's not that I don't like them, but they don't seem central or necessary to me. I view the genre not as being about the Twenties, Thirties, or Forties, but about a related, but fully distinct world, which (like the two paths of an hyperbola) our world approached but never quite intersected, sometime around 1931.
Iron Sky definitely would be. Nazis in UFOs from the Moon? Captain America... I can't speak to, as I never really read any Captain America. I was always more into Batman, lol.
I don't mean to change the subject from the discussion by Caerulctor and Jonny but an update on the Wiki article. Someone has redirected it back to the Cyberpunk Derivative article. Which is still crap because of the lost of the page it's better than the stupid one sentence we had on steampunk. The nice part is that now a Wiki search will lead to a generally good definition.

Dieselpunk is based on the aesthetics of the interbellum period through World War II (c. 1920-1945). The genre combines pop surrealist art with postmodern technology and sensibilities. First coined in 2001 as a marketing term by game designer Lewis Pollak to describe his role-playing game Children of the Sun,[14] dieselpunk has grown to describe a distinct style of visual art, music, motion pictures, fiction, and engineering.
The final decision: They've upheld the delete for now, but they've left the Talk Page alive so people can discuss how to best create an article on the subject that meets Wikipedia's verifiability guidelines.

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