The One and Only List for Steampunks at SDCC

 The biggest geek event of the year is just around the corner, and I’ve been snooping through the SDCC schedule for anything and everything that the steampunk community would love to stop in on. Print out this list or checkmark these in your Guidebook App as the fan track for any 19th century-loving, SFF junkie.

The events I’ve earmarked include steam-exclusive happenings, panels featuring known steampunk authors or performers, and any item that falls under our umbrella of Stuff We Love Too (like Doctor Who or Firefly). 

We’ll be updating this post over the next two weeks for any newly-announced shindigs, so keep this bookmarked in prep for all your con needs. Please let us know in the comments if you’re hosting any SDCC-related events that should be featured here too.

Steampunk Peeps to Watch Out For

The following authors & performers will have various shenanigans in the works. I’ve also noted what panels or events they will be participating in; the dates & locations for them are listed in the schedule below.

Gail Carriger (author of the Parasol Protectorate series)

Gail has been plotting for a pretty sweet swag giveaway with her publisher Orbit. She can’t say what exactly it is, but according to her website, there are only 100 of them, and you can nab yours by doing the following:

1) Drop Gail an email using the Calling Card feature on her website. She will email you back with a secret code word.

2) Drop by the Hachette Book Publishing Booth (spaces 1116-1118-1120) AFTER 1 pm on Thursday, July 12th and give them the code word.

3) Very awesome, limited-edition swag will be your reward! First come, first serve basis. Distribution will start 1 PM Thursday and go until they are out.

She’ll also be on the “Witty Women of Steampunk,” the “Spotlight on Gail Carriger” and the “Foes Beyond Fur and Fangs” panels.


Phil & Kaja Foglio (co-creators of the Hugo Award-winning Girl Genius webcomic)

The Studio Foglio booth is 1331, where they will be giving away hall costume ribbons for people who come by the booth to show off their steampunk splendor, as well as selling the brand-spanking new Volume 11 of Girl Genius.

Kaja will be on the “Witty Women of Steampunk” panel, and both she and Phil will be hosting the Comic-Con Masquerade again this year.


Paul Guinan & Anina Bennett (co-authors of Boilerplate and Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Innovation)

Paul and Anina will have a table in Artists Alley in row CC. This year is the Comic-Con debut of Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention and they will be selling signed/sketched copies of that book and Boilerplate, plus art prints, graphic novels, pins, T-shirts, and the debut of Boilerplate postcards too! They will also have books and exclusive prints (Boilerplate and Frank Reade) on sale at Tr!ckster, which is a wonderful event that launched last year.

Anina will be on the following panels: “Witty Women of Steampunk,” “Censorship and the Female Artist, “Tromatize Yourself” (marketing your own work), and “The Secret Origin of Good Reader” (using comics for literacy/education.)


Scott Westerfeld (author of the Leviathan trilogy)

Scott isn’t officially touring this year, but he will be attending two signings: one at the Mysterious Galaxy (booth 1119-1121 and 1123) on Thursday, July 12th from noon – 1 and on Sunday, July 15th from 1:30-2:30 PM in the Autograph area AA09 in the Sails Pavilion.

He will also be one of the featured authors on the “What’s Hot in YA” panel.


League of S.T.E.A.M (steampunk performers & webseries creators)

During SDCC weekend, the League will be conducting Twitter games (details will be revealed on their feed), and also having daily scheduled demonstrations of gadgets, signings, group photos, and walk-abouts.

The League also plans a bar meet-up Thursday, July 12th at the Horton Grand, but follow their Twitter and Facebook for final details.

League member Robin Blackburn will be on the panels “The Witty Women of Steampunk” and “Steampunk Attire: From Handmade to Purchased and Everything in Between.”


Events, Parties & Panels

Thursday, July 12th

10:00-11:00 The Witty Women of Steampunk — The Victorian era was one marked by constraints on behavior, morals and bosoms. When you add a bit of sci-fi to the mix, however, those corset laces begin to loosen. The steampunk genre has allowed a new wave of female creators and personalities to explore how liberating, sexy, and adventurous the age of steam can be. Robin Blackburn (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate Series), Kaja Foglio (Girl Genius), Robin Thorsen (The Guild), and moderator Dina “Lady Steam” Kampmeyer (Steampunk LA) discuss literature, fashion, romance, adventure, and more. Room 5AB

10:00-11:00 Comic-Con Film School 101: Preproduction and Screenwriting — Comic-Con Film School is back for another four-day, nuts-and-bolts class on how to make a movie for very little money, using available video technology and desktop post-production software. Whether you’re shooting your first zombie short or that story about the leather-clad girl who pilots a steampunk dirigible, this course will take you from script to final product so that you, too, can enter your own movie into the CCI: IFF. This first class covers the specifics of pre-production on the cheap, including screenwriting, casting, scheduling, location scouting, crewing-up, and getting equipment for nothing. Panelists include Valerie Perez (producer/star, Paula Peril-Midnight Whistle), Nick Murphy (writer/director, Pizza and Bullets), Jack Conway(writer/producer, Fear News), Vera Vanguard (producer/star, GothGirl), and Sean Rourke (writer of Ballistica). Marriott Hall 2, Marriott Marquis & Marina

12:00-1:00 Censorship and the Female Artist — Attacks on women’s speech are on the rise in the current cultural climate in realms including politics and pop culture. This panel examines how censorship affects women artists, in realms including library challenges, community dialogue, and the larger cultural conversation. Moderator AdaPia d’Errico is joined by panelists Anina Bennett, Camilla d’Errico, and Olivia for a freewheeling discussion of their experiences with censorship and observations on how women’s speech is treated in the cultural conversation. Room 11AB 

12:00-1:00Comic-Con How-To: How to Better Understand the Sociology Behind Cosplay — Veteran costume designer and cosplayer Yaya Han leads a stimulating discussion about the many social aspects of cosplay, such as: Why do we cosplay? What does cosplay mean to each of us? Why is there cosplay drama? How has cosplay progressed in the last 10, years and what are the positive and negative aspects? What is the proper etiquette when cosplaying, photographing cosplayers, and socializing with regular attendees? All of these questions will be answered, and more. Room 2  

8:00-9:00 H. P. Lovecraft — “They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the Earth might once more be ready for Them.” So wrote master weird tale and horror author H. P. Lovecraft in 1926, and the stars have aligned! Get a sanity-shattering peek into Lovecraft’s past and present influence in pop culture. Discover the unspeakable nameless horrors from beyond time and space that are rising in comics, games, movies, music, television and more. With Brian Callahan (Arkham Bazaar), Cody Goodfellow(Perilous Press), Mars Homeworld (CEO, Dead House Music), and Michael Alan Nelson(creator, Fall of Cthulhu). Moderated by Aaron Vanek (H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival-Los Angeles). Room 9.


Friday, July 13th

11:00-12:00 Mike Mignola and Friends — As we watch the world collapse in the pages of B.P.R.D.-Hell on Earth and gear up for the most-anticipated series in Hellboy’s history later this year, this may be the most important panel in the history of one of modern comics’ most storied series. Join creator Mike Mignola, editor Scott Allie, Cameron Stewart, James Harren, B.P.R.D. artist Tyler Crook and others, for exclusive news and insight into why the world of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. is truly “going to hell in 2012”! Room 4

12:30-1:30 Firefly 10-Year Anniversary Reunion — Calling all Browncoats to unite! It has been 10 years since the crew of the Serenity took flight in the now infamous show Firefly. Science Channel will reunite, for the first time ever, Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew from the ship. Join Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and many more for a trip down memory lane, some special surprises, and exclusive Science Channel giveaways. SHINY. Ballroom 20

6:30-7:30 Arcana Comics — Get a sneak peek of The Clockwork Girl, featuring the voice talents of Jesse McCartney, Alexa Vega, Carrie Anne Moss and others, and Arcana’s new imprint, Steampunk Originals, featuring the most unique steampunk tales around, Arcana is set to explode into the steampunk world. Find out about other special projects, including a new line of books with the one and only Gene Simmons, featuring the return of Zipper, Dominatrix, and Gene Simmons’ House of Horror. Learn more about the Arcana Benderspink line, being developed with the production company behind The Hangover and The Butterfly Effect. Sneak peeks, special guests, and free comics and posters-don’t miss out! Room 26AB  

8 PM– midnightThe 2012 Steampunk @ Comic Con Party/League of Temporal Adventurers Society Gala

Hosted by the Chrononaut Club and the San Diego Automotive Museum. A benefit party for the museum, featuring the musical talents of the Unextraordinary Gentlemen, Eliza Rickman, and spinning tunes by DJ. Greyshade. Ticket price include admission into the museum, which is featuring its Steampunk: The Exhibit display of gadgets, machines, and family friendly events. Cost is $20 at the door, advance tickets are available at


Saturday, July 14th

10:00-10:45 Warehouse 13 — America’s top-secret, artifact-finding agents have landed at Comic-Con. Stars Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering),Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen), and Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), along with executive producer Jack Kenny, present a look inside the new season of Syfy’s blockbuster series. Moderated by Damian Holbrook (TV Guide). Ballroom 20 

11:00-12:00 Avatar the Last Airbender: Beginning and Beyond — For over 5 years, the organizers of this fan panel have been bringing together both fans and professionals. Moderated by Avatar_Mom, this year’s panel will includeBobby Rubio (Avatar the Last Airbender, Pixar, Alcatraz High), freelance concept artist DJ Welch (Dark Kenjie), Kevin Coppa(Puppet Benders), and actor/voice actor Dante Basco (Avatar the Last Airbender), and a few more surprise guests. If that isn’t enough, there will be a cosplay contest to showcase the fandom’s talented “fabric benders.” Room 28E 

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Gail Carriger — New York Timesbestselling author-and Comic-Con special guest-Gail Carriger(The Parasol Protectorate Series) and her literary agent Kristin Nelson (president and senior literary agent at Nelson Literary Agency) discuss breaking into publishing, converting a novel into a manga, writing steampunk, drinking tea, and the importance of octopuses. Followed by Q&A. Silly questions welcome. Room 5AB 

6:00-7:00 Are You a Geek Girl Trendsetter? Show Off Your Style to the Fashion Experts and Win Prizes! — Inspired by the NBC television show Fashion Star, Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars:  The Clone Wars) wants to give geek girl trendsetters the opportunity to show their unique style and original designs to the experts! Comic-Con is full of geek girls who create, design, and construct their own fashions, and what better way to get feedback than to show your trendsetting creations to this panel of fashion professionals. Girls are asked to attend in their own custom-made everyday geek/sci-fi inspired outfits and accessories. A select number of girls in the audience will be chosen for a chance to present their look in front of the panel to get their feedback and advice. Each panelist will choose one girl who truly impressed them with their overall design and flair, and those girls will receive a special prize. The panel is made up of fashion buyers, designers, stylists, and actresses from the sci-fi world who will also give their advice on how to create your own geek style and look. MTV Geek will be filming the panel for their Comic-Con coverage. Room 25ABC 

8:30-11:30 HBO Presents the Comic-Con Masquerade — Fabulous original and re-created costumes crafted by our talented attendees will be showcased on stage before an audience of thousands, with impressive awards and cash prizes bestowed to those judged most outstanding. Doors will open for audience seating at 7:45 pm, but the line will start much earlier! Tickets will be required for seating and will be given out free to those lining up near Ballroom 20 beginning at 2:00 Saturday. Any tickets left over after that will be available at the Masquerade Desk after 4:00. The MCs will once again be writers/artistsPhil Foglio and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio. (Overflow seating available in Rooms 5AB, 6A and in the Sails Pavilion; tickets not required for overflow areas) Ballroom 20 

9:00-10:00 Tromatize Yourself — This year’s Troma panelists reveal their secrets on branding, or how to market yourself, your art, and your ideas in your quest to make a creative living. Troma president and creator of The Toxic Avenger Lloyd Kaufman is joined by a panel of indie experts, including Mick Garris (Masters of Horror), Ron Jeremy(film actor), Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan (Boilerplate), Chris Brandt(Independents), Pat Swinney Kaufman (New York Film Commissioner), and moderatorMimi Cruz (Night Flight Comics). Also: special screening of Brand Your Own Damn Self, starring Stan Lee, a 12-minute video lesson that will premiere at this panel! Stan wrote the foreword to Lloyd’s book Sell Your Own Damn Movie. Parental advisory: This panel may not be appropriate for all ages. Troma Entertainment is Reel Independence! Room 9 


Sunday, July 15th

11:00-12:30 The Secret Origin of Good Readers — Comic books can be used in the classroom as an innovative and highly motivating cross-curricular teaching tool. Panelists Paul Levitz (DC Comics), Bill Morrison (The Simpsons), Nancy Silberkleit (Archie Comics co-CEO), Karen Green (Columbia University), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate, Frank Reade), and Mimi Cruz (Night Flight Comics) discuss specific ways you can use comic books and graphic novels to engage a variety of learners while promoting reading and literacy. Q&A and breakout sessions with panelists will follow the group discussion. Get your free 70-page The Secret Origin of Good Readers companion resource book [PDF] and other fun, useful materials at, courtesy of Room 23ABC 

12:00-1:00 California Browncoats Meet-Up — Stop by to hear a few announcements, play a few games, and share a few stories about how everyone found their inner Browncoat. There’s no better way to share the 10th anniversary of Firefly, and it’s a lot more practical than starting a fight in an Alliance-friendly bar on U-day. Room 32AB 

12:00-1:00 What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction — Strong protagonists, engrossing romance, humor, action, and angst! Panelists offer a Q&A session and chat about the hottest new titles and trends in YA fiction. Moderated by Nathan Bransford (Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe) and featuring Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone), James Dashner (The Maze Runner series), Kami Garcia (co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels), Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me), Melina Marchetta (Froi of the Exiles), Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer), Myra McEntire (Hourglass trilogy), and Scott Westerfeld (Uglies). Room 25ABC 

12:30-1:30 BBC America‘s Doctor Who — The Doctor and the Ponds land in San Diego. BBC America’s Doctor Who stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill join award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock) and award-winning executive producer Caroline Skinner (The Fades) for a Comic-Con panel and Q&A. As fans eagerly await the new season’s premiere, BBC America is making sure Steven Moffat brings new footage to reveal on the big screens in Hall H. Ahead of the new season, BBC America will premiere new Doctor Who specials-The Science of Doctor Who, The Women of Doctor Who, The Timey-Wimey Stuff of Doctor Who, and The Destinations of Doctor Who-as part of the Supernatural Saturday programming block starting Saturday, August 4 at 9pm/8c. For those new to Who, the previous two seasons from Steven Moffat are available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. Hall H 

1:45-2:45 Foes Beyond Fur and Fangs— Vampires have staked their claim on readers, and werewolves have certainly taken a bite out of pop fiction. But these paranormal creatures aren’t the only ones that run havoc in the pages of science fiction and fantasy novels. Authors discuss the villains and vixens-from witches to zombies and beyond-in their action-packed adventures. Moderator Kim Alexander (Fiction Nation on Sirius XM radio) interviews participants Amber Benson (Calliope-Reaper Jones novels), Rachel Caine(Morganville Vampires series), Tom Sniegoski (Remy Chandler series), Kiersten White (Paranormalcy series), Gail Carriger (Timeless), Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Poison Tree), and Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races). Room 5AB 

3:00-4:00 Steampunk Attire: From Handmade to Purchased and Everything in Between — Robin Blackburn (League of Steam), Alexis Harlan (Retroscope Fashions),Cat Frazier (costumer), Amy McCain (thrift store afficionado), and Randy Burks (hunter) discuss costuming for steampunk, with hints on patterns for sewing your own, websites for purchasing pieces or whole costumes, stores for off the shelf and thift store finds. Moderated by Thomas Oliver. Room 24ABC 

Ay-leen the Peacemaker will someday make her geeky pilgrimage to SDCC, but not this year. In the meantime, she runs the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana and likes to write academic stuff on the side. You can also follow her on Twitter.


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