#49 Reporting from TeslaCon!

Image courtesy of TeslaCon

One of the difficult things about writing con reports for Beyond Victoriana is that I’ve always missed something. Whether it be a panel, a cosplay, or The Biggest Story from the con, I know that since I’m only one person, I can’t be everywhere at once to record it for the blog. Not to mention all of those great con events in the community that go on that I can’t attend. So for future conventions, Beyond Victoriana will be extending its con coverage to include features from on-staff and on the ground.

TeslaCon is the first event we’re trying out with this new format, and justly so. What makes this con stand out from previous ones is its mission as steampunk’s first “immersive convention.” Organized by Eric Larson (Lord Hastings R. Bobbins) as an elaborate role-playing convention, TeslaCon featured not only the usual panels, vending, fashion show and other events, but was built around a central murder mystery storyline and run by a crew of dedicated actors on staff.

Panelist Austin Sirkin talks about his impressions of the con, staff member Wendy Zdrodowski unravels TeslaCon’s murder mystery run by Steampunk Chicago, and Captain Anthony LaGrange of The Airship Archon gives an attendee report. Photo coverage is also provided by Jessica Coen and Shannon Sofian, featured in the articles and after the jump.

So even if you were stuck at home like me, you can still get a taste of the TeslaCon experience, thanks for the dedication of our reporters and photographers.

Interested in sharing your TeslaCon experience? Feel free to share & link your reports and pictures  in the comments!

But to begin, here is the awesome Teslacon 2010 opener from Jon Sovey on Vimeo.

The Reports

Austin Sirkin

As the opening credits of the convention rolled amidst bomb-carrying ravens, a firebombed London and a staged murder among the crew by poisoning, I had to wonder to myself, “What strange and wondrous world have I found myself in?” That world, of course, was TeslaCon, the first convention of its kind: an immersive, in-character steampunk convention in Madison, Wisconsin from November 5-7 2010.

Read on in “A Strange and Wondrous World”.

Wendy Zdrodowski

While this is the first “immersive” convention that I have attended, I have been a character performer at renaissance faires for 28 years. I have also worked on interactive mystery events at SF conventions before, so I had a very clear idea of what I was getting myself into.

Read on in “A Murder is Afoot!”

Captain Anthony LaGrange

TeslaCon was assuredly not like any other convention that I have ever been to before; this was a “Full-Immersion Convention”. The entire weekend was spent in either character or persona in accordance with the convention’s theme: a weekend aboard an airship bound for England.

Read on in “”Full-Steam (& Full-Immersion) Ahead!”

The Pictures

Jessica M. Coen is a freelance photographer, mixed-media artist, avid con-goer and Steampunk enthusiast. She lives in Bedford, MA with her fiance, Jeff and 3 adorable ferrets. Stay updated and learn more at: http://www.facebook.com/AlterTheEarth.

Jessica’s Pictures on Flickr

Two pretty attendees in lovely skirts.

Cherie Priest and her fellow panelists have a laugh.


Taxidermy panel

Red Fork Empire group

Another lovely steampunk.

Shannon Sofian writes: “I’m a Victorian and Steampunk enthusiast who’s been attending cons for quite a while. I am a beginner at costuming but a mad hand with accessories. A librarian by day, I am obsessed with research and have remarkably strong search-fu.”

Shannon’s Pictures on Flickr.

Awesome Mechanical Parrot is Awesome.

Note: According to commentor, Ziggy, this gentleman is weaing a hussar-braided jacket. Click image for the costume source.

Writer Mark Donnelly

Another Middle Eastern-influenced outfit.

A touch of (lower) class — steampunk chimney sweep!

EPIC mask


Filed under Conventions, Review

6 responses to “#49 Reporting from TeslaCon!

  1. Jon

    The Teslacon Opening Video is now posted at

    and no longer available on youtube.

  2. Ziggy

    The Jacket you mention as having a middle eastern influence is actually a fairly standard hussar-braided jacket as depicted here http://www.costumes.org/history/victorian/CPG/13/gallery/pages/13_12.htm in a period tailoring manual.

    The con was an absolute blast, though.