Great news guys, this is my very first sponsored post here on Hypertransitory.com! Meaning I’m receiving compensation for todays Steampunk blog post.

I’ve had many opportunities to monetize this site, and between advertising and other sponsored posts, I’ve pretty much turned them all down.

Luckily for me this is something I’d blog about anyway, and I had a lot of fun creating the art you’re about to see, so I think this works out for everyone.

Now, let’s do this!

JG…What Is Steampunk??

I’m glad you asked. As a super-basic intro – Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that focuses mainly on the British Victorian era, or completely new times and places that are based on the types of ideas, culture, fashion and technology that would have been seen around that time.

As you can imagine, steam-powered machinery would have been the height of technology at that point, so the fantastic vehicles, armor and weapons Steampunk is known for would usually be powered by steam.

I think this resonates with people today because with our level of technology, including nuclear power, microwave ovens, and of course the omnipresent electricity, it’s very interesting to imagine a time when people regard steam as the most efficient power source around.

For writers, it’s a compelling challenge to be true to the limitations of the Steampunk world, and yet still write an expansive story. Artists get to come up with all kinds of cool looking machines and costumes and really go wild with their imaginations when illustrating a Steampunk world.

JG, Meet Steampunk…In Comic Form!

I was introduced to the Steampunk genre was back in the late 90′s. Except, I didn’t really know it was Steampunk then, or at least no one I knew called it that.

The comic I read was called The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Most of you might be familiar with this one from the movie, but I remember being in the comic shop, bored by most of the super-hero stuff I saw on the shelves (the 90′s was not a great time for mainstream super-hero comics). When I saw the “League” cover, it was strange and different compared to most of the usual Marvel/DC books I read. I wandered over to it and picked it up. Right away I saw it was written by Alan Moore (of “Watchmen” fame).

League_of_Extraordinary_Gentlemen

If you’re not familiar with it, it turns out “League” is about an alternate history set in the Victorian Era, featuring well-known characters from other literary works, like the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, and even Professor Moriarty (of Sherlock Holmes). I thought it was wild, so I went on to buy almost every issue (later, I lost virtually every issue to water damage…curses!).

As it turns out, The League comic was seen as a major Steampunk influence within the genre. It certainly influenced me to pick up another comic later that was just called Steampunk.

Steampunkgoggles

This one was by an artist whose work I always loved, name Chris Bachalo. He’s a comics artist who has drawn many of the big named titles, mostly for Marvel. Right now he’s working on a popular X-Men title, so he’s definitely one of the top dogs out there. His artwork is always hyper-detailed, sometimes to the chagrin of comic fans – but not to me.

I learned he’s a huge fan of the Steampunk genre, and you can see the influence in a lot of his work.

The “Steampunk” comic ended in the early 2000′s, but I’ve read interviews from Chris where he explains that he’s constantly asked about restarting the comic, but as busy as he is, it’s not something that’s going to happen in the foreseeable future.

Why didn’t it work out? Steampunk has a huge following, but in my opinion that following may not think to look for it in the comics medium. As long as it’s quality stuff, I’m sure the Steampunk community would pick it up.

A final huge comic influence was an awesome story called Ex Machina. While the story itself isn’t necessarily “Steampunk”, just look at these covers, you can see the art is Steampunk all the way.

Steampunkgoggles

Steampunkgoggles

The story: A New York man named Mitchell Hundred is injured by some sort of alien/otherworldy device. The accident leaves his face scarred with what appear to be computer circuitry. After this, Mitchell can hear and communicate with machinery. Not only advanced computer technology, but basic mechanical devices with no computers like shotguns, too. Specifically, he can communicate, but not necessarily command them.

He becomes a superhero called “The Great Machine” and has a few adventures, becoming known to the general population of New York. During the 911 attack, he acts quickly and saves one of the towers. After this, he goes public and manages to become Mayor of New York City. This is where the book starts out.

So we’ve got not only the Steampunk influenced superhero, but the alternate history angle going, too. It was a great stuff that I’d recommend highly.

JG’s Steampunk Art

As I mentioned before, this is a sponsored post, and it’s sponsored by the good people at Steampunkgoggles.com.

When I was first approached, I thought “Sweet! I already use different Steampunk Goggles in my 3D artwork!”, so I went to dig up some of that work and…well…it sucked.

Not to belittle myself, but I didn’t feel right just using some of the old artwork I had done in the past. I’ve learned a lot since then and I’ve gotten better, so now is the time for NEW artwork!

The Steampunk Hero

Steampunkgoggles

I don’t now how feasible it is to go out and fight crime in a top hat, but it would surely be un-gentlemanly. We definitely can’t have that.

From the look on his face, he’s probably a bit smarmy, secure in the knowledge that he’s smarter than most everyone -and better dressed.

Steampunkgoggles

After he’s solved the crime he’ll go out for a relaxing flight to patrol the city for evil-doers – who he will then shoot.

I wanted to make this shot look like those wings are just barely holding him up there, and that he’s kind of bobbing and drooping through the sky. He should try to avoid those steam chimneys because they’ll likely blow him out of the sky…

The Steampunk Heroine

Steampunkgoggles

She’s a dreamer. A dreamer with a profound sense of justice. She wants to help people, but society is not very welcoming to her ideas.

Instead of going along, she puts on a pair of Steampunk goggles and strikes out to find adventure and fight the evils of the world.

Steampunkgoggles

Of course, these things can go sideways quick! Good thing she’s handy with that wrench…

JG’s Steampunk Art – Part II

I had a lot of fun doing those character pieces, but I wanted to try some images to show off the goggles a bit more. The first one I did is this:

steampunkgoggles

This is a goggle prop I already had, but I changed all the materials, adjusted the mesh some and put it into this room setting. This is the same pair worn by the Steampunk Hero above, just rendered in a more photographic way.

Maybe he set the goggles down after a long day, or maybe he’s about to pick them up and go out for an evening patrol. He’s only waiting for that last sunlight to fade away, then he’s back out on the wing, the bane of ne’er-do-wells everywhere in London.

After I made this one, I thought I should actually create my own pair of goggles from scratch in Blender, my 3D program of choice. The only question was which to choose?

steampunkgoggles

I decided on this pair of Brass-Colored Steampunk Goggles With Studs for my new 3D work.

I liked the detail of the metal and the studs on the sides so I was looking forward to creating it in Blender.

Honestly, it ended up being harder than I thought it was going to be. On the surface, it seems like the goggles are made up of very simple shapes, but the goggles on Steampunkgoggles.com are highly detailed. I had some issues capturing all the nuances of the piece that I wanted. In the process of creating it, I learned a few tricks that I’m going to use for my next set.

At the very least, artists looking for reference for Steampunk style would do well to check out that site.

Steampunkgoggles Heroine

In the featured image above, I used the goggles I created and put them on my Steampunk Heroine. Plus I decided to work the logo into her jacket, as if she were being sponsored by Steampunk Goggles in her effort to go out and do good works.

Although, that’s kind of a “meta” situation. She wouldn’t actually know she was a Steampunk character…or would she?

It is a mystery…

Behind The Scenes

Here’s a quick gallery of some of the unused renders and screenshots of what these pieces look like in the 3D programs while I’m making them…

Halloween is a’ comin’!

With Halloween very close, I had to get my very own pair of real-life Steampunk goggles, I chose the Steampunk Mechanic’s Dream Welding Goggles with Flip-up Lenses, mostly because I’ve always been a sucker for the flip-ups!

steampunkgoggles

Another great thing about these is they fit over my glasses. Normally, with any costume that has eyewear or headwear, I have to determine if I can still wear my glasses, or if it’s worth it to walk around stumbling into things like Velma from Scooby-Doo. With these goggles I don’t have to worry about it.

JG-GOGGLES

Here’s a rare non-cartoon picture of me. I’m wearing my glasses here, too, and they’re easily covered by my new goggles.

I know most of you guys who read my comics would think that my sweater would be green, but this was just an off day, all the rest of them are green, I promise.

Not that we’ll ever know. I’m like the elusive Yeti – rarely photographed, but you know I’m there. Or maybe you only suspect. I’m only half-seen out of the corner of your eye. Even though you can’t see me, just know…I’ll be rockin’ my Steampunk goggles all the way…

Steampunk Goggles Discount Coupon Code!

Even more – I’ve got good news: If you want to pick up your own pair of goggles, you can do it with a discount!

You can use the coupon code TRIBERR1 for $5 off plus free shipping on all orders over $30 over on steampunkgoggles.com. Woot!

Or better yet…get them for FREE!

Steampunk Goggles Pin to Win Contest

steampunkgoggles

All you Pinterest Pioneers need to get in on this one for chance to win a FREE pair of goggles! Here’s the basics:

  1. If you do not already have a Pinterest account and board, then set one up here: http://www.pinterest.com
  2. Pin the banner you see on the left to your board
  3. Pin at least three product images from our product catalog on SteampunkGoggles.com to your board, along with a creative description that includes the hashtags #SteampunkGoggles and #PinToWin
  4. Pin other steampunk imagery to your board – you will be judged on the creativity and composition of your board, including image selections, descriptions, hashtags and other factors.

All the rest of the rules and such can be read here: http://www.steampunkgoggles.com/pintowin/

Good luck!

The Wrap Up

Ok guys, I’m getting out of here for now. I had a lot of fun creating the artwork for this one and working with the people at Steampunkgoggles.com.

I’m very happy with the set of goggles I ordered, but I just feel like I need a top hat or something to go along with it. Or since mine are specifically a mechanic’s pair of goggles, maybe I don’t need a hat at all?

My usual go-to hat is a baseball cap, but that doesn’t really fit in with the Steampunk genre, so I’ll have to come up with something else.

Until that time, let me know if you plan on picking up anu goggles- and I’ll see you guys later!

Thanks for sharing!

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JG ON THE WEB

John GarrettI'm , an artist and writer who loves Comics, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Web and Tech stuff - also, I prefer food in sandwich form. In addition, the subtle confluence of the ambience of the effervescence can sometimes blah blah blah blah oh hey did I ever mention I wrote two ebooks? Yeah, check these out:

The first one is comics and humor and it's called How to Deal With Stupid Clowns Who Don't Know What the Hell They're Talking About!

The Cold Elf cover art

My other book is a fantasy short story called The Cold Elf. Hatred, Revenge, and the last hope of the Elves...

The Cold Elf cover art

Both now available for Kindle, iPad, Nook and other mobile devices!

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  1. Quirky Chrissy (Reply) on Oct 20, 2013

    John, I’m thinkin’ you should wear a top hat. And maybe wrap a bronze necklace around it or add some gears…or another pair of goggles!

    Great post, my friend. Your art is fantastic!
    Quirky Chrissy recently posted..Steampunk Sunday: Change it up with a Steampunk HalloweenMy Profile

    • JG
      Twitter: johngarrettx
      (Reply)
      on Oct 20, 2013

      Hey Chrissy, I’m definitely leaning toward the top hat – simply because I’d like to own a top hat :)

      That way I can walk about with a cane and say things like “Top o’ the morning to ya!”

      Although for that maybe instead of goggles I need a monocle…decisions, decisions!
      JG recently posted..Me And My #steampunkgogglesMy Profile

  2. Stevie Wilson (Reply) on Oct 20, 2013

    what a great post!! I READ everything.. and I loved your photos. Did you see the reflection in the goggles you shot? OR did you add that reflection — or image of a man– in that photo? VERY interesting. I am not surprised that the rendering of the goggles was harder than first surmised. I know when I got my goggles I was in awe at how detailed they were.

    RE the League of Extraordinary Gentleman- I saw that movie. The entire supposed synopsis resonated with me and the cast did too. Too bad the actual movie was less stellar than I thought it would be. *sigh*
    I know that “hiding out* feeling too . keeping your distance from the online people. Until FB most people never saw me.. but I would go into events — hit them just enough to get what I needed and then vanish into the night (or day). I kept a low profile till I realized I need to be more present and engaged.
    I think the artwork is phenomenal . Love what you shared!
    Stevie Wilson recently posted..Pioneer DJ Hosts Hot ART MIX Event for Oct Art Walk + Presents CharityBuzz Auction Items for #School Fundraising! #Podcast!My Profile

    • JG
      Twitter: johngarrettx
      (Reply)
      on Oct 20, 2013

      Hi Stevie,

      you know, when I make these up I have some go-to “HDRI” images I use for reflection maps – meaning that instead of really reflecting, the 3D program uses the image as if it’s the surrounding area -so sometimes people or somewhat odd things show up, but as long as it doesn’t ruin it, I leave it in there…sometimes it can turn out a bit odd though lol

      Yeah the League movie fell flat, but most comic adaptation do until recently. Especially Alan Moore’s work. Watchmen was lackluster and V for Vendetta was just no damn good.

      I’m trying to be a reformed lurker like yourself and get out there more, but I usually end up folding my cape around me and fading into the shadows…bwah-ha-ha-haaaaa!!
      JG recently posted..Time For Some Art – The Nova HelmetMy Profile

  3. Rod Faulkner (Reply) on Oct 20, 2013

    John, your artwork is terrific!

    My exposure to steampunk has been relatively recent, but I’m definitely a fan. The creativity and imagination on display throughout the genre is nothing short of astonishing.

    Also, I really enjoyed your detailed explanation of what steampunk is, and why it enjoys such popularity.

    By the way, you look quite smashing in your goggles!

    • JG
      Twitter: johngarrettx
      (Reply)
      on Oct 20, 2013

      Hey Rod thanks for dropping in, man.

      You’re right, the creativity of the community is really top notch. I’m constantly amazed at the work and craftsmanship put into costumes props and writing.

      And thanks for the compliment – when I say things like that it sounds conceited :)
      JG recently posted..Time For Some Artwork – Power GirlMy Profile

  4. An awesome post! I love all the artwork an I am with Chrissy, TOP HAT all the way!! I like how we all have just enjoyed the heck out of this. An excuse to post about STEAMPUNK? OH HECK YA!
    Kriss @ Cabin Goddess recently posted..I’ve been #Steampunk’d – books, art, fashion, games & more (part 1 of 4)My Profile

  5. For the record, I actually enjoyed the films mentioned in the comments section here {The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta}. I thought they were great!

    Also? LOVE comics – hadn’t heard of the ones you posted so am adding them to my list. We frequent a comic shop here that can get their hands on old material that’s no longer being circulated, so I’m sure I can find them. Can’t wait!

    Your art – I know I’ve said it before, but MAN! You gots mad skill and I am so envious of your abilities. My fav is the guy with the top hat.

    Speaking of which… yes, you do need one. Or a hat of some sort, at any rate! Gotta go all out! You look great. And this post was marvy! :)
    Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) recently posted..NaNo Prep – ALL the tips! #NaNoWriMo #NaNoPrep #ROW80My Profile

    • JG
      Twitter: johngarrettx
      (Reply)
      on Oct 20, 2013

      Andi-Roooooo!

      Those movies would likely seem fine if your first exposure to them was through the film, and not the comic. It’s almost impossible to include all the nuances of hundreds of comic pages within the bounds of a 2-hour film.

      I think if you pick up Ex Machina you’ll love it. The same writer (Brian K. Vaughn) also wrote another hugely popular comic called “Y: The Last Man”, where every man on Earth dies, except for one. Crazy stuff!
      JG recently posted..The Cold Elf, Ebook Marketing, and Other Stuff, Part 2My Profile

  6. Dan Cristo (Reply) on Oct 21, 2013

    I loved seeing the behind the scenes renders. Very cool of you to give us a peek into how you make these things come to life. Also enjoyed the real life photo with your glasses. Good stuff!
    Dan Cristo recently posted..You want to master content marketing? Be a talent scout!My Profile

    • JG
      Twitter: johngarrettx
      (Reply)
      on Oct 22, 2013

      Thanks, Dan! I like to throw in those behind the scenes shots to let people know it’s not magic, and hopefully feel a little bit included in the process…
      JG recently posted..Time For Some Artwork – Power GirlMy Profile

  7. Pamela Morse (Reply) on Oct 21, 2013

    Th fact that they fit over the glasses makes them much better. Coolness.

  8. oww perfect game. i want this.
    internetten para kazan recently posted..Facebooktan Para KazanMy Profile


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