L.A. Steampunks The League of S.T.E.A.M. Head to San Diego Comic-Con
See more photos in Shannon Cottrell's gallery, "The League of S.T.E.A.M. Prepares for San Diego Comic-Con."
Shannon Cottrell The League of S.T.E.A.M., when they aren't fighting Victorian ghosts and monsters
In 2008, Robin Blackburn decided to make a ghost costume to wear to the annual masquerade Labyrinth of Jareth. She wanted her husband, Nick Baumann, to make a ghost costume as well. Instead, he chose to dress as a "Victorian-era ghostbuster." They got some friends to join them, went to the ball and the costumes were a hit. By the time Labyrinth of Jareth rolled around the following year, The League of S.T.E.A.M. had evolved into a bona fide group of performers.
We've been on the trail of the League, a motley crew of steampunks ghost and monster hunters, since we first met several members at Malediction Society's Steampunk Ball in 2009. That year, they returned to LOJ with a zombie butler and a variety of fantastic heroes in tow. Not long after that, they took the lead at San Diego Comic-Con's steampunk panel and then made their public performance debut aboard the Queen Mary for Pyrate Daze.
"We realized that we were inadvertently becoming an entertainment group and we might want to try doing that professionally," says Andrew Fogel, Art and Media Director for The League of S.T.E.A.M. who performs as Baron von Fogel, of their beginnings.
Soon there was an interactive art show at Renee's Courtyard Cafe in Santa Monica, as well as other venues across Los Angeles, and lots of convention appearances. Now, after a successful first season of their web series Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M. and a new podcast, the League is returning for its third trip to San Diego Comic-Con. This time, they have a booth.
"We've done conventions, but it's traditionally in the artist alley style," says Sheyne Fleischer, who handles event coordination and promotions for the League. This time, the 12-person group has a 10 x 10 space meant to showcase their wares. It's a good move for the performers, costumers and prop designers as SDCC has become an important convention for them. Thanks to a previous appearance at the convention, they were brought on board to add a steampunk edge to Panic! At the Disco's video "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" as well as the band's recent North American tour.