How to Choose a Halloween (or Any) Costume

Ah, Spring Autumn – when a young man’s fancy turns to love costuming.

If you are planning to dress up for Halloween (or any other costuming occasion), but haven’t yet made a decision on the costume itself, here are some guidelines that I use to help narrow the possibilities:

  • Public Recognition: Is this going to be easily recognizable to my audience?
  • Fun Quotes: Does this character have some well-known / funny dialogue I can memorize & recite?
  • Fun Poses / Actions: Does this character have any recognizable poses / gestures / actions that I can imitate? Funny quotes won’t show up in photos, but a pose or expression, or gesture will.
  • Cost: Approximately how much will this cost to assemble? Can I amortize that cost over time? Can I defray that by using materials I already have, or by purchasing used components, or making my own?
  • Appearance: How closely do I physically resemble this character? How can I increase that resemblance; by dieting, exercise, adding a wig, cutting my hair, dying my hair, applying make-up, wearing contact lenses, adding padding, etc?
  • Comfort: How comfortable will this be when and where I plan to wear it? Will it be too warm or too cold? Will it be heavy? Can I easily move / walk? How well can I see and hear? Can I sit and stand? Climb stairs? Go through doors? Use the bathroom?
  • Re-use: Can I re-use this costume, in whole or in part, on other occasions or for other purposes? Can I find components that I already have and re-use them to make this costume?
  • Easy to Make: How easy will this be to make, or how easy will it be to find the necessary parts? How much time, labor and materials will be required?
  • Timeliness: Is this character in the public mind right now? Is it current or trending? Is there a significant anniversary or date that I can take advantage of (movie release, birthday, etc)?

These are just some simple criteria, in no particular order. I hope they’ve helped you decide.

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Total Recall (1990): Martian Immigration Uniform

I like the looks of this, and this scene. For those who’d like to replicate that uniform, here are some screencaps:

Above are the ‘raw,’ unretouched screen caps; below I’ve attempted to enhance them a bit. Lightened slightly and approximately color-balanced:

Continue reading “Total Recall (1990): Martian Immigration Uniform”

At the Mountains of the Middle Kingdom: a Call of Cthulhu RPG Scenario Sketch

 “…and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China…”

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It occurred to me that this period and location might make an interesting sandbox for investigators. In retrospect, the Chinese Civil War is more complicated than one might suspect (no surprise), though I think the GM could almost make up anything they want to serve the story and likely have no player “Well, actually” them, OR be able to find some kind of supporting evidence via a web search. If it sounds fun, I say do it. Also, it gives you an excuse to relish archaic spellings like “Thibet” and “Peiping.”

Who: The factions:

  • Cthulhu cultists (naturally)
  • Nationalist / Republican Chinese
  • Communist Chinese
  • Imperial Japanese
  • Soviets

What: Investigators are called to a mysterious monastery in the mountains of China. Perhaps an approaching army threatens a priceless collection of Buddhist scriptures? Or maybe what appears to be a humble Buddhist monastery on first glance is in reality a cover for the insidious cult of Cthulhu, pulling strings behind the scenes to make mankind “free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy.” Or perhaps there is a Great Old One sleeping underneath the (actually legit) monastery, and the monks need help to keep it sleeping. This also allows a possible connection to various Hollow Earth tropes.

When: Since the ‘deathless Chinamen’ are apparently immortal, an adventure with this setting could be staged at any time you desire; however, the ‘golden age’ of COC and the forces involved might fit best within 1926-1941. This covers the start of the Chinese Civil War to America’s entry into WWII, after which one presumes it would be more difficult (though not impossible) to casually insert a group of Westerners. Just before and even early in WWII, American servicemen were inserted into China on their own civilian passports, via commercial flights (Pan Am) from the East coast of the US, down to South America, across to West Africa, then to Egypt, then India, and finally through Burma into China (if I recall correctly).

Where: Rural China?

 

 

 

Support the Blade Runner Fan Film “Slice of Life” on Kickstarter

Do you like Blade Runner? Of course you do! Do you like practical miniatures? Of course you do!

Now it’s time for you to do a man’s job and support the Blade Runner fan film “Slice of Life” on Kickstarter!

Magnificently beautiful to look at, and hand-crafted with meticulous care and attention to detail, and with the greatest of respect for the original, this independent homage to BR is a worthy recipient of your support.

Spread the word, and enjoy your Slice of Life!