Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Today, Memorial Day, marks the fifth anniversary of Dieselpunks.

Today, Memorial Day, marks the fifth anniversary of Dieselpunks.

Like many of you, I witnessed the rise of steampunk in the early 2000s and introduced myself to the growing “Neo-Victorian” community as it was known as in my area, but years passed and I was still missing something. Steampunk felt uncomfortable, like a pair of shoes you wear to the club because they look awesome, but are far too unwieldy to be dancing in.

I loved the art and the fans, but I wasn’t content. It felt too fantastical to be real; too ethereal to sate what I hungered for. I wanted hot jazz, not chamber music. I'm terrified at the concepts of Lovecraft moreso than Poe. And when it came to machines, I wanted to drive the finished product over the prototype.

This discontent lead me to build Dieselpunks as an online magazine and social network for those like me. The goal was to create a collection of inspiration for artists so one day, I would see more of what I loved. Since that day, our community has swelled. We finally have a place to gather and call our own.

Without further ado, I want to introduce you to the people who have helped shape and build Dieselpunks over the past five years.

Thanks to Lord K, the rock of our community. In the early days, Lord K and I were the only writers on the site. Since joining during our first week, he has written and researched nearly 800 articles, publishing pieces on streamline trains, classic cars, diesel-era aircraft. Lord K is a master of history with encyclopedic knowledge of the diesel era unsurpassed by anyone I've ever met. He supports this website like no other and I would not have survived this long without his help.

Thanks to Southern dieselpunk superstar "Boss" Larry Amyett, co-host of the popular Diesel-Powered Podcast with Johnny Dellarocca. Over the past five years, Larry has remained one of the most passionate dieselpunks I have ever met. On top of hosting podcasts and running several live dieselpunk events and blogs, he makes it a point to greet each of our new members personally. His devotion to the community cannot be matched.

Thanks to my dear friend Stefan Paris, the mastermind behind Diesel City, the hands behind over 360+ published pieces of dieselpunk art, and an astounding human being. If he weren't so modest, this website would have been renamed "The Stefan Show" years ago.

Thanks to Cap’n Tony, who has taken up the reins as lead author in the past year while I settled into my new job. His help cannot be appreciated enough. Without his support, the site would have grown stagnant and fallen off the map months ago.

Thanks to Nick Ottens, proprietor of The Gatehouse. As one of the two dieselpunk websites on the 'net back in '09, the citizens of The Gatehouse showed us the friendship and camaraderie I needed to keep going in those early years.

Thanks to Jonny B. Goode. He kept his ear to the ground for fresh steampunk and dieselpunk news, and helped integrate us into the Doctor Steel's Army of Toy Soldiers.

Thanks to Jake Holman Jr., the man behind Dieselpunks' wildly popular Weapons of War series. Jake brought us the best and weirdest of WWI - WWII weaponry from dart guns to supertanks.

Thanks to the Davenport Sisters, hosts of North Carolina's own Clockwork Cabaret radio show. They brought us new music and tales of steampunk adventure each week.

Thanks to Hayen Mill, Jordan Bodewell, Jean-Luc deVere, John L. Sands, and Lawren Harris-Barnett. A troop of true blue dieselpunks through and through. They scoured the internet every day for dieselpunk news, and kept me in line when I would inadvertently break the site.

Thanks to Atomic Age Pictures, who brought us amazingly well-polished retro-adventures starring stunning pin-up gals. Seriously, why hasn't Hollywood given you guys & dolls a house yet?

Thanks to Eric Renderking Fisk, proprietor of the wonderful Fedora Chronicles forum and adventure website who helped us bridge the gap between punks and nostalgists.

Thanks to Athena Prime kept us inspired by driving Dieselpunks' first art and writing contests.

And an extra special thanks to our friends Ronan Harris (of VNV Nation) and Patti Smith (godmother of punk rock) who support me and the dieselpunk community every day.

Since 2009, our voice has been heard by every continent and every internet-connected country in the world. From deepest Africa to the darkest corners of the Amazon; from the frozen wastelands of Antarctica to the searing deserts of America; from the Western World to the Far East, Dieselpunks has found a home and a community, and this community is you.

For the future,

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”

- Nikola Tesla

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Comment by Erwin "Blacky" Blackthorn on June 30, 2014 at 2:06pm
Don' worry. I'll make sure this place doesn't become a new version of "the blood boards". :)
Comment by Tome Wilson on June 30, 2014 at 8:20am

Thank you for the encouragement, Blacky!  It's a labor of love and when people don't respond, I often wonder if I'm doing this just to hear myself talk.

Comment by Erwin "Blacky" Blackthorn on June 30, 2014 at 1:35am

I would sincerely like to say thank you. Not just to Tome, but to every dieselpunk out there who helps make the life blood of the community. Because without dieselpunks, I would've never known what I wanted to become for the rest of my life. Even though I've only been conscious of dieselpunks for a short amount of time, I want to make it my goal to be: late to come, last to leave. Expect more of me in disscustions and articles in the near future. I want a full blown revival of the undying dieselpuk giant.

Let's make the next dieselpunk movement!

Comment by Docneg on June 8, 2014 at 11:06am

I raise my glass to all who provide this wonderful space.

Comment by Larry on June 1, 2014 at 11:28am

Thanks for the kind words, Tome. However, when it get's down to it, it's you who deserve the special words. Your hard work and dedication has made dieselpunk. All of us owe you a debt of gratitude.

Comment by Cap'n Tony on May 29, 2014 at 2:39pm

And thank you Tome and all others for one hell of a great community and movement!

Comment by Tome Wilson on May 27, 2014 at 12:26pm

You're very welcome, Travis, Brendan, JazzFeathers, Stefan, and AJ!

It's definitely a labor of love.  The best thing you guys can do is keep it fresh and exciting so we can draw out the lurkers.  

For every thousand people on the network at any give time, we typically have one person posting, nine people interacting, and 990 people who just consume and never say anything.  For the money I spend keeping the site alive ($1000+ annually) and the work our authors put into creating new content, it can be disheartening to know that 90% of the audience won't even care enough to say "thank you" like you guys and gals.  

It really means a lot to know you're supporting us and what we do here.

Comment by AJ Sikes on May 27, 2014 at 12:15pm

Thanks everyone for making it happen!

Comment by Stefan on May 27, 2014 at 7:17am

What it means to be a dieselpunk couldn't have been better expressed. This is it. Exactly. That is the reason why Dieselpunks.org is still here today, more than ever and constantly growing up, while other websites are just vague memories.

Thank you, Tome.

Comment by JazzFeathers on May 26, 2014 at 3:40pm

A heartfelt thanks to all of you. I've been part of this community for a very short time, but I've enjoyed every bit of it and look forward for what will come.

Stay in touch


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