By Michele McDonald Globe Correspondent,May 23, 2015, 6:00 a.m.
Steampunk defies easy explanation. It has to do with an imaginative mix of artisanship, Victorian-era fantasy and reality, the science fiction of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, admiration for the inventor Nikola Tesla, and an idealized remake of the Industrial Revolution era’s technology, engineering, and philosophy.
Participants in the Watch City Steampunk Festival in Waltham in early May share a kind of easygoing counterculture celebration of creativity and individuality. Debra DiFranco (above), of Abington, came dressed as a vampire hunter, with garlic, a bottle of holy water, and a gun with silver bullets hanging from her belt.