About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view ellenreed's profile
    Posted August 26, 2013 by
    Orange Park, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Dragon Con 2013

    Steampunk Futurama


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ellenreed is attending her third Dragon Con: 'We decided to do Steampunk "Futurama" because every year we like to do some type of Steampunk theme and this is "Futurama's" last year on the air so we thought it would be the right year to pay homage to the show. When I attended DragonCon for the first time, three years ago, I remember my favorite cosplayers weren't those that replicated costumes exactly. My favorites were those that mashed up themes or found a humorous play on a character. When I saw a Stormtropper Lifeguard, I realized that mash ups were going to be our thing. Along with our Steampunk Futurama costumes, my husband and I are doing "Hipster Monty Python" where we spin a modern play on Zoot and Sir Galahad - what would they look like if they were urbanites in modern day? We're really excited about that one because we're pretty sure it will be completely original.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    So, what happens when you just want to Steampunk EVERYTHING? You envision every show you watch as alternative history with cogs and copper. Next thing you know, you've spent the entire year leading up to Dragoncon creating a Steampunk Bender and Steampunk Leela!

    We have been cosplaying for years and will be attending DragonCon for the third time. Last year, we brought the whole family (all six of us) as a Steampunk Zeppelin crew. Two of our crewmembers bore a strange resemblance to Steampunked Ghostbuster and, after several attempts to correct passers-by, we gave in and accepted that mash-ups were our thing.

    This year, we chose to 'punk out Futurama in honor of their final year on the air *insert sad face here*.

    Fred, who will be making his way through the halls of DragonCon this year as Bender, began creating his vision with a trip to the home improvement store where he started building Bender from a plastic trash bin, a pail, and a bowl he snuck from my kitchen. As his vision began to take shape, he added Bender's signature stogie and a bottle of beer. But why stop there? Wouldn't a Steampunk Bender also come with his own built-in bar? So, Bender's front hatch opens to reveal a fold-out bar with mixers and shot glasses. The bar is decorated and painted in Victorian style complete with velvet curtain and embellished bar.

    Leela is the result of my obsession with textiles and brocades. i envisioned a Steampunk Leela as all business but with a flair for the era. The biggest challenge we had (as do all cosplay Leelas) was to create her signature eye. So, we created steampunk goggles with a main lens and several auxiliary lenses (to enable me to see but at the same time clearly show Leela's single eye). As a finishing touch, we included 'eyelashes' that serve as antennas to complete the classic look.

    Her costume adheres to her on-screen style but kicks it up a notch with a white and brocade jacket with tails and a high collar. Her white tank is replaced with a satin corset and she rocks a pair of black trousers and platform victorian buckled boots. Her pistol is created from bits found in the bottom of a toy box and enhanced with foam, wood, and plastics which was then painted to resemble a steampunk blaster.

    In total, the costumes took months of evening and weekend work but the overall results were well worth the effort. We can't wait to roll out the finish product at Dragon 2013. Feel free to stop us and say hello. Bender may even share a Bender-Bar-Drink with ya!
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