For as long as I can remember I have always worn home made costumes. I have never NEVER worn a prepackaged shit bag costume with the name of the character printed across the chest. My mom always worked with me when I was a little kid to make sure I had a cool costume, and since then I have worked every year, usually starting in mid September to make the sweetest costume I can. The first costume I ever remember being in was a Smurf when I was about 3. The outfit it self was the bottom of some all white footy pajamas sewn on to a blue tight fitting kids turtle neck. I painted my face and hands blue and mom made me a really authentic looking Smurf hat. Then to make the whole thing even better mom dressed up as Gargamel to take me trick or treating.
The next great costume that really sticks out in my brain was when I was five. I was obsessed with the Karate Kid movies and my mom went out and bought me a little gi and painted the tree logo on the back, then she made me an exact replica of the headband. I played in this costume for months after Halloween. The year after that I first started to really get in to comic books, I was obsessed with them, and Batman in particular. Tim Burton hadn’t yet released his Batman film, so the only movie out was the old Adam West Batman movie. My mom and worked on making this great blue and grey Batman costume. It took about six weeks of work, but we made the mask out of multiple layers of shaped paperboard and a Zoro mask to fit my head exactly. We made the ears out of layers of paperboard as well. After gluing everything together we covered it all in blue cloth and glued it tight to the mask. For the gloves, we used blue snow gloves that my mom sewed extensions on to to make the gauntlets; then we covered more paperboard fins with blue cloth and sewed them on. For the boots we started off with some square tipped dress shoes that we attached big tubes too to make them in to boots. We made the tubes out of a layer of paper board, a layer of chicken wire for strength, and another layer of paper board. Then we covered the whole thing in blue cloth and such to make them look real. A grey leotard worked as the Batsuit. My mom made a batman logo out of black and yellow cloth and sewed it on to the chest. For the utility belt, we found a firefighter toy set that had a great plastic yellow belt with all kinds of pouches and that looked really good. My mom made a sweet ass blue cape sewed it on to the back of the mask and I was set. I loved that costume so much I went Trick or Treating in four different towns just to show it off.
The year after that I wanted to be a California Raisin. They had some costumes for them, but they all looked like shit, and there was no way I was wearing the same exact costume any one else could have. This costume took the most amount of work of all my child hood costumes. I started off making a chicken wire frame big enough to go from the top of my head down to about my knees. Mom then made a special pad out of card board and carpet padding all sandwiched together. She attached helmet straps so I could lock it on to my chin, and then the put it on the inside of the frame to protect the top of my head from the chicken wire dome. We cut holes in the side of the frame so I could stick my arms out, and then padded the holes so the wire wouldn’t cut me. Then the hard work started. We sat down and made a shit load of papier-mâché to cover the frame. We wrinkled it all up to look more raisin-like and then made all the facial features. We then painted the whole thing brown, painted the eyes, lips and teeth their respective colors, and then sprayed on a sealant. Once I slide on the black tights, black shit, white gloves and wing tips, I was ready to go.
After that, most of my costumes were cool, but nothing that really stuck out in my mind until my first year of high school. In the summer between 8th and 9th grade I grew about a foot, and during 9th grade I continued to grow until the time Halloween rolled around and I was about 6’4″. I decided I would use my height and make myself a big scary grim reaper. Of course I couldn’t go with a normal costume because that would ruin all the fun. I knew the skull had to be important. That would really make my costume different then any other grim reaper out there. By the time I was in 9th grade I had moved into the apartment my parents had on the house. It was a huge place even in comparison to some of the actual apartments I have had since then, and I and all my high school friends pretty much lived there and made it our hang out. In that spirit I knew I had to have some kick ass Halloween decorations. I was in the local seasonal decoration shop and they had all their Halloween stuff out. I found this really cool resin skull that was just a little bit bigger than my head. I bought two, one for decoration, and one to solve my grim reaper skull problem. I cut a hole in the bottom for my neck, and then cut the skull in half from top to bottom. I attached a small latch on each side just out of view from the front so I could put the skull on around my head and lock it on. For the cloak I got a bunch of really cool material that looked like black crushed velvet and made a robe with a hood. After painting the skull to make it look aged and gross, I attached some stuff to make it look like scraps of flesh and muscle that was all decayed. Under the cloak I wore an all black body suit, but looking at the get up in the mirror it didn’t look right. I decided to leave the robe open and make a cool body to put under it. I went out and got a couple of really realistic looking decorative skeletons and started cutting them apart. I stuck the bones on to the body suit so they could be seen from under the robe. My friend Justin had the great idea of buying some cheap masks and putting them under the bones to make it look like souls trapped in my rib cage. The bone gloves were a project all to themselves because I again wanted to avoid rubber. I painted my hands the same color as the left over bones (leg bones and arm bones) from the skeleton, and then I cut the bones all up to fit around the tops of my fingers. All said and done the hands looked really good. I think they were my favorite part of the outfit. The final part was the reapers sickle. I grew up on a farm so I easily enough could have used a real blade, but I probably wouldn’t be allowed in to any parties while wielding that. Instead I made a “blade” out of a plastic yard rake. I used a band saw to cut off all the “fingers” of the rake and cut out the blade shape. Then I used metallic paints to make it look as realistic as possible. I reattached the converted rake head to the long wooden rake handle and painted the handle black. All said and done it looked pretty good as well. The thing I didn’t count on was that the thick resin skull didn’t let any heat out, and the material of the robe didn’t breathe. When I went to the parties I was sweating so bad I about passed out.
Some of my other high school costumes were Elwood Blues, Lemmy Kilmster and Donkey Kong. In college I was Amok from the movie the Specials, as well as some other costumes influenced by heavy drinking. Two years ago however I got back in to really taking my costumes seriously. I went as Dr. Frank N Further. Let me tell you, I am 6’9″ and it was NOT easy finding fishnets for a guy my size. I must have watched RHPS nine times in a row to make sure I had every detail of the costume perfect, and it must have worked because I won the local costume contest. The place holding the costume party ruined it though. They made me wear black shorts because my Man Sack kept falling out of the woman’s underwear I was sporting. Then last year was the ultimate costume. I went as Tithead from Little Nicky. I wish I could find a picture of it since there is no way I can explain how good the boobs looked.