Friday, April 23, 2010

If I glue gears to my turtle, will it be steampunk?

In my company, one of the buyers' jobs is "trending", watching the market and anticipating trends that seem likely to get big in the near future, so that the company can move quickly to exploit them. Over the past week, one of the higher ups has gotten a "feeling" that steampunk is about to go over in a major way, and has several buyers compiling trend reports. As most of you probably know, there isn't exactly a massive corpus of mainstream published steampunk material, so they're all fighting over the few materials out there and picking my brain (I'm the closest thing to an expert in the building, since I'd heard of steampunk before last week). It's turned into a joke among the buyers, because they're being asked to intensively trend something that as far as they're concerned barely exists.

In an amazing moment of synchronicity that's made the graphic novel buyer almost explode with irony, after spending a week trying to tell her boss that this genre barely exists in a commercially exploitable way, she received at random, addressed to a long-gone ex-employee, a sample issue of Weird Tales.

The steampunk issue.

With a full page back cover ad for the Steampunk World's Fair, which is happening in three weeks, 20 miles from here.

We had an animated discussion. :)

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