And now? "I think we're up to 117 different artists in our shop alone."

Those artists include "intergalactic arms dealer" Elvis Knievel, who makes detailed, futuristic-looking guns from things like vintage radio tubes, glue guns, drills, flashlights, and bike parts. He's got five guns on display in the window of Evermore Nevermore, as well as pieces for sale at Red Hot Robot in Phoenix and Level 9 Gallery in Cave Creek. Knievel, a former ski shop manager, sells about a gun a month for anywhere from $175 to $1,200. He won second place in the Fine Art Sculpture category at this year's Arizona State Fair.

Steamcrow, the collective name of husband-and-wife artist team Daniel and Dawna Davis, recently had a booth near Evermore Nevermore on the Mesa art walk for the first time, but Steamcrow's work — comical monster prints, steampunk beer mugs with gear-heavy art — has been available at Red Hot Robot for months. "Steampunk's a total reaction to living today. We have these plastic computers, and we live these kind of lonely, anonymous lives," Daniel Davis says. "The thing I like about steampunk is, it's the opposite of that. It's a little bit romantic, it's a little bit people acting gentlemanly, and everything's hand-wrought."

The Brose Brothers -- and a growing number of Valley artists -- take their Steampunk very seriously.
Jamie Peachey
The Brose Brothers -- and a growing number of Valley artists -- take their Steampunk very seriously.
Ben Brose wields Wild West steampunk weapons.
Jamie Peachey
Ben Brose wields Wild West steampunk weapons.

Some local artists, like Xac Glover, take a less genteel, Old World approach to the idea of steampunk. Glover, an installation specialist at the Phoenix Art Museum by day, founded Grindwhore in November 2006. Basically, Grindwhore's a group of people who don custom metal costumes and use grinders on themselves and surrounding metal sculptures to make sparks fly. The visual is an imagined post-apocalyptic past, Mad Max-type stuff — dominated by rust and dusty goggles. "I've often thought of this as grindpunk," Glover says. "That's why it fits with a steampunk feel — it's being creative with punk. I like tearing things up and making things I know will be destroyed, which is antithetical to most art."

Though Glover's power tool-driven art is on the more futuristic end of steampunk, the Brose brothers try to pretend plastic and electricity don't exist yet. In theory, all their moving, mechanical props are supposed to be steam-powered (but they usually have to cheat with electrical wiring). They also sometimes use computer programs when creating 3-D models of their sets, but in the end, everything at least looks authentic to the period.

There are many talented steampunk artists in Arizona, but the Brose brothers are getting the most recognition. Their massive sets can be seen only on their parents' lawn and at the Phoenix Zoo, but they frequently wear their costumes and props at conventions and art walks. Sometimes, they act out parts of their stories on the streets or in convention halls.

"Those guys are the epitome of steampunk," Bob Leeper says. "They do steampunk robot gizmos and uniforms, and all kinds of stuff. They have a whole backstory to their characters. They're great. I'd consider them our headliners."

Ryan McMann also booked the Brose brothers, for next year's Wild Wild West Con at Old Tucson Studios. "I love their stuff," McMann says. "They have a very high level of craftsmanship. We sought them out and invited them to the con because their stuff is so amazing."


Ben, Mitch, and Casey Brose were born August 6, 1986, in Los Angeles, fraternal triplets preceded three years earlier by their brother, Jim. "People often ask if there's a psychic connection between them," says their mother, Rhonda Brose. "I just laugh and say, 'No, they've just been together since in utero, and they were kicking and punching even then."

When the triplets were one, their parents moved the family to Arizona — first to Ahwatukee, and then to Flagstaff, where Richard and Rhonda Brose (both geologists) run a consulting company called Four Corners Environmental.

Like most siblings, the Brose brothers fought, but as they got older and started building things together, they became almost inseparable. They were encouraged to pursue music, science, and art. "We always made sure they had unlimited art supplies. They were always drawing," Rhonda Brose says. "They loved to draw any kind of dinosaurs and animals. Of course, the brontosaurus went over 3 1/2 pieces of paper."

The brothers all have an affinity for animals and were first taken to the zoo while still in strollers. Ben and Mitch Brose moved back to Phoenix several years ago and both work at the Phoenix Zoo now. Mitch has been there five years and works as a lighting specialist. Ben joined him about a year ago and drives tour trains through the zoo. "I love that, because when we were kids, our parents would never let us take the train," Ben says. "We had to walk. And now, I'm driving the train. Every day. Ha!"

Casey, who's in Flagstaff working toward a degree in biology (with an emphasis on zoology) from Northern Arizona University, hopes to join them there someday.

In addition to their mutual love of art and animals, Ben, Mitch, and Casey were all in band at Sinagua High School in Flagstaff and played percussion, concert violin, and wind instruments, respectively. Mitch and Ben also became active in the school's drama club, building sets for plays.

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10 comments
Yourmom
Yourmom

LOL Damn "posers" trying to be steampunk. He just wants people to think he's cool. Everyone knows there is nothing more awesome than a 30 year old playing dress-up with a homemade costume.

linaimai
linaimai

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Google in the input: = aamall.us = you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o

ProfessorKillianKilljoy
ProfessorKillianKilljoy

Great article, too bad you had to speak to a poser named McMann. Chub Chubs happens to be well hated in the Phoenix area for his lack of ethic, style, and general attempt to try too hard to be "steampunk". Case in point, see the failed Temporal Rift formerly at Mardis Gras bar in scottsdale. Horrible beyond belief and an amateurish attempt at most.

Unfortunately one has only to see Mr. Mcmann dressed as a cowboy to see that he is simply a hick looking to capitalize on the scene as he was just a cowpoke beforehand. A "Steampunk Trainwreck" as Urban Dictionary tells.

Ryan McMann aka Professor Killian Killjoy aka Pirate Airship captain, aka Mad Scientist, aka Cowboy.

ryanmcman
ryanmcman

@ProfessorKillianKilljoy

Interesting how the one who called me out won't use their own name. I calling you out! Tell everyone who you are if you even have the courage.

Second if your attempt to call me fat, weak at best. Also if you think calling me a hick or cowpoke is an insult thank you. I actually know plenty of people in the community and they are extremely nice people and they don't hide behind anonymous posts online.

Sure the night at Mardi Gras wasn't a success not everything is such as your attempt to insult me.

"Capitalize" Hmmm...Last time I checked when people start a business they don't do so to lose money. With that said we will just say this is another failed attempt to insult on your part.

In the end it appears you are nothing more than a troll.

 
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