During our last Steampunk Week, in our primer we boiled down our own essential Steampunk Reading List, limited to prose books only. But this time around, we’ve got our own recommendations for everything else – comics, movies, and games.
Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels:
It doesn’t really get any more essential than Moore, does it?
Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Technically, it’s not really steampunk, but it’s got the aesthetics and trappings down pat. (Plus, I just love Hellboy. Who doesn’t love Hellboy!?)
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
The manga is pretty damn awesome, as is the anime, and rumor is a live action film is in the works. Exciting!
Girl Genius by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
Available on web and in print, Girl Genius is one of those comics that has a strong, loyal following. (We’re also reviewing the first five volumes later today, so stick around!)
Ignition City/FreakAngels/Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island by Warren Ellis
Warren Ellis is self-indulgently annoying or incredibly brilliant, depending on what you’re reading, but there’s no denying the guy has mad skills. These three have steampunkish flair and the aesthetic is right (even if they aren’t technically steampunk, by our own stringent definitions).
Iron West by Doug TenNapel
About an incompetent outlaw, mechanical men, and an evil train. Win.
2D Goggles by Sydney Padua
A webcomic following Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime. We’re only just starting to get into it (thanks to recommendations from you, dear readers!) – but it’s wicked good fun.
Film & TV:
Hellboy, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Hellboy: Blood and Iron/Sword of Storms
As aforementioned. Yeah, not really steampunk. But some of the elements are there. Who loves Hellboy? We do! We do!
Fullmetal Alchemist (anime)
As aforementioned. The anime, and full length anime movie, is just as winning as the manga.
Howl’s Moving Castle (anime)
Like everyone else on the planet, we love Hayao Miyazaki. Howl is one of Thea’s favorite films, period. Whimsical, beautifully animated, with top caliber vocal talent (Christian Bale, yo) – and, oh yeah, it’s steampunk. Real steampunk.
Castle in the Sky (anime)
Another Miyazaki. Howl, this film, and the next on this list are some of Thea’s personal favorite films (the other Miyazaki you MUST WATCH IMMEDIATELY – not steampunk though – is Spirited Away), and they all have a steampunk veneer. Sky pirates, airships…this is a classic.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (anime)
More Miyazaki. Post-apocalyptic and environmentalist with a steampunkish aesthetic, Nausicaä is another gem.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
A very clever, fun film (even if it’s not the best movie and takes a while to get going). And it’s young Uma Thurman!
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (animated movie)
Disney’s take on steampunk/sci-fi, and a movie I really enjoyed when I was younger (this and Disney’s Treasure Island are pretty fun, imaginative takes on animated SF). And I really like the animation – very different from what Disney was doing at the time.
If you’re looking for straight-up steampunk in the most traditional sense of the word, look no further. Steamboy, set in an alternate 19th century England dominated by steam technology, also features some strong vocal talent (hello, Patrick Stewart). It lacks the magic of Miyazaki’s films and doesn’t really go anywhere, but it’s still worth watching. Especially if you’re looking for honest steampunk.
While Gaiman’s novel isn’t really steampunk, the film adaptation takes some liberties and has some of the trappings. Most notably, the sky pirates in their lightning-capturing dirigible.
Final Fantasy VI
Classic, old school RPG that is actually SET in a steampunk world. Pretty self-explanatory!
Skies of Arcadia Legends
I still play this on my gamecube occasionally (this and my old metroid games). In a Verne-ian setting, Arcadia is an RPG that rocks. Airship combat. ‘Nuff said.
If you haven’t heard of Bioshock, you’ve been living under a rock. These games are AWESOME. Beautiful cinematic graphics and storyline, clever, and – oh yeah – totally steampunk in its aesthetic. Ok, it’s at its heart more of a Sci Fi Pulp Noir sort of deal, but the Verne-inspired, steampunk look of Big Daddy warrants a place on the list!
Phew. And that’s it from us and our list. Now, bring on your favorites (that we have inevitably missed)!