Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

For me, I think, was the Indiana Jones movies. The first movie that I vaguely remember watching in the cinemas was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I was about 4 then. I say vaguely because, other than the last scene with the main villian, Donovan, aging quickly into dust with only his swastika pin remaining, I don't remember much of watching it in the theater. But that one scene did stay in my mind...probably because it scared the hell out of my 4-year old mind.

What I watched in the 90s, however, I remember much more clearly. Much of it, odd enough, has to do with the Disney Channel. I clearly remember seeing that channel advertise for Dick Tracy, though I don't think I saw it. I remember watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The Disney Channel used to play The Rocketeer alot in the early 90s (when the Disney Channel actually, you know, had a wide variety of entertainment for everyone, rather than endless kiddy sitcoms) I remember really enjoying that one and it's now one of my favorite movies. There was also TaleSpin, which was very much influenced by 30s-40s pulp adventures. Also, in the early 90s, we went to Disney World and around that time, the Disney-MGM Studios(now Disney Hollywood Studios) was brand new. It has a heavy Golden Age of Hollywood theme, so there's alot of art deco theming and such. Come to think of it...there was ALOT of dieselpunk goodness coming out of Disney in the late 80s-early 90s

Speaking of that, there was also the first two Batman movies, which were also fairly dieselpunk. Odd that there was alot of dieselpunk classics coming out at that time.

The 90s were also when I discovered old VHS tapes of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars taped off of the tv sometime in the 80s and I watched the hell out of those tapes.

All this and many others, I believe, planted a seed in my mind that grew into a love of art deco and dieselpunk.


So, what got you into dieselpunk?

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Cool illustrations, Caerulctor.


My understanding for the heavy presence of Airships in Steampunk is largely due to the novel "Warlords of the Air" by Michael Moorcock, which was so influential in the birth of the Steampunk genre. That along with the fact that primitive airships were indeed the only form of aircraft in the Victorian era so Steampunk by its nature expanded the vehicle to fantastic levels.

I say, this thread seems to have been rather thoroughly theadjacked, lol.
Sorry 'bout that!

I first met the term referred to the "Iron Grip" videogame, and asked myself wether there were other people around sharing my own aesthetics.


As for why I developed such aesthetics, I guess it's because every boy loves things that explode and the Diesel era was full of them. I remember being very impressed from many "diesel" movies of the '80es and '90es, such as the first two Batman movies, the Indy movies and Richard III, not to say all the "classical" war movies, like The Battle of the Bulge and expecially A Bridge Too Far.

The first FPS videogames instead, like Wolf3D and Doom were the basis for an enduring love for firearms, expecially the "classical" ones like the C/96, and playng "Wolfpack" led me to buying my first book about WWII (and being admonished by my parents for spending too much time in front of the computer).

Doesn't look like I have anything new to add. Same thing with me, all the "dieselpunk goodness" from my childhood, the Tracer Bullet storyline from Calvin and Hobbes and my grandparents.


Oh, and the cocktails. The Golden Age of America overlapped with the Golden Age of the Cocktail (coincidence?). Back when bartenders were respected (mostly) and bartending was something people aspired to do.

I kind of found Diesel Punk through Steampunk, though my interest grew over a long period of time.(Technically still is.)

I like the look of the era. I'm also a fan of Art Deco, which blends its self nicely into Diesel. I'm also a big fan of Retro-Futuristic fiction, so there's that.


But I do still like Steam/Atomic punk. Steampunk has the grit, Diesel has the style, and Atomic has the flair. All of them offer something interesting.



My story into dieselpunk is a bit different than most. I didn't watch most of the material that most people would call dieselpunk as a child, outside of Disney material such as Talespin, and maybe a handful of animes who's names I have long since forgotten There was also a one time fascination with the 1920's and the pop culture and technology of the peroid. My interest first budded in 2001, when I got Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magicka. The concept behind applying Steampunk (which I didn't know existed at that point) with Tolkienesque Elves and magic in a completely fantasy setting really set my imagination alight, and later, as I got more and more into World War 2 games, particularly flight simulators and the remakes of Wolfenstein (I was a fan of Wolf 3D as a kid), and fascination with the history and technology of the peroid. I really wanted to see a setting in which I had more freedom that the limitations of games that strictly followed history. I started creating my own world in which I could accomplish these desires, and I did this before I even heard of Dieselpunk in particular.

Now after hearing about it, and learning more and more about it, I find myself gravitating mroe and more towards it. I believe this might be the subculture I was looking for all these years. :)

I didn't know Dieselpunk existed until a few days ago. A friend of mine asked me to make something in the Steampunk style and although, I knew what that was, I went looking around for some examples. I had a real hard time trying to fit my sensibilities in with Steampunk- the look, I mean. I just don't like it much. I did some doodling and kept coming back to my own style which I have always thought was rather Deco. So, I googled Deco punk and variations and here we are!

I was full tilt American punk rock in the eighties. My favorite thing to do was to dress up cammys or torn overalls with very fine, over the top accessories. Looking back, I was trying to meld punk with what I would call "classic". And, by that I mean, 30's and 40's. I have always had a love, no a passion, for the "Classic Style" especially all things Deco. It was always about the accessories for me and being female, that translates into jewelry.

I love all things Deco. The clean lines and unabashed optimism. Optimism.... there's a word you don't here very often. So, yeah, I do yearn for a time when people looked to the future with excitement. When people pared things down to the essence of the thing. When extravagance was less, not more.


For me it was an around about journey to get here. Back when I was young I got into cyberpunk , in part I loved Bladerunner. It was dark noir-like setting & story but with the dystopian future setting got to me. I was also a Metalhead listening to Metal , Hardcore & some Goth. But I always had a softspot for Pulpy action films like Indiana Jones , gangster films & WW1/WW2 based films. I loved the sense of style , of the clothing , cars , planes & such.

Fast forward to the present era..a ex-friend (& GM of mine) Josh n' his wife east coast punk transplants introduced me to Steampunk. It peaked my interest because I like british TV/films set during the Victorian/Edwardian period as well as Wild West era America , so it appealled to me. I liked the creativity of the steampunk community & the crossover into Gothic culture, which I'm interested in. So I started researching Steampunk more , be it Steampunk based photography/art to fiction. I even considered getting into it myself. The main reason I didn't , was it didn't speak to me, to my soul.

I just couldn't see myself dressing up in Victorian garb except for special events & wasn't sure about the whole sew gears n' such..poof I'm steampunk thing. But while researching Steampunk I came across Dieselpunk & Dieselpunks.org. Where Steampunk didn't really speak to me , Dieselpunk did. It spoke to that part of me who wished I'd been born in the 20s to 50s era. The guy who loved the tech & style of that era . Where a man wasn't ashamed to be a man & woman could be feminine but strong n' independent. Plus the whole fascistic military fetish had/have ... I love the uniforms & weapons of the Reich & axis powers .Which is part of the reason I also like Electro-Industrial music which used costumes & imagery inpired from that era & mash it with a dark Sci-Fi feel. It's probally why Piecraftian Dieselpunk appeals to me more , at least in a visual way. I still love the more hopefull , upbeat nature of Ottensian Dieselpunk & it's pulp adventure roots, but I'm a pessimistic guy with a strong Libertarian streak. Add the love for Metal , Punk/Hardcore , Goth & Electro-Industrial music/sub-cultures .. makes Piecraftian Dieselpunk my personal expressian for Dieselpunk.

Another appeal of Dieselpunk sub-culture/community to me over all (not limited to Piecraftian form) is I can live it & not feel silly doing so like Steampunk would. I can wear 20s-50s era suits , including Zoot Suits daily & feel comfortable . I won';t feel like I'm posing as something I'm not or I should be going to a SCA-like event.Plus I can wear 30s-40s inpired paramilitary influenced uniforms to Metal/Electro-Industrial/EBM shows & fit in.  Also I can incorporate Dieselpunk or Diesel era decor into my home far easier than Victorian/Steampunk would allow me to. 


I have always had a connection with the time period. It seems natural to me to be part of the era.  My parents grew up in the late part of the era and would find old radio shows or movies on TV to watch with me. Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy were flat out funny.

My next passion is airplanes, the most interesting were during WWII.

The fairly recent swing music revival just solidified it.

I also loved WW2 era airplanes , one of my favorite shows growing up was "Baa Baa Black Sheep/Black Sheep Squadron TV series". I flirted with Swing Revival , though I was still too into punk & metal to really dig into the scene. Now that I'm getting older, I'm re-exploring Swing & such jazz , neo-pulp fiction , neo & classic Noir film , 20s-40s era propaganda , commercial & pinup art.I also want to explore art deco architecture/design. I'm also lookig into electro-swing as well.

For me, I've always loved WWII history and movies, especially when it spins into the Sci-Fi realm of WWII or the supernatural part. I REALLY enjoy the Jazz age. Swing Music, Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Electro-Swing Jazz have helped keep the infatuation alive. I love it and can never really put an exact reason why. It just does. I'm not one for words, but there it is. 

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