2008-10-31 15:56 - General
My office runs a Halloween costume contest each year. Last year was my first, and I had little to no advance notice. This year, I brought the heat. I planned ahead, and spent a few weekends working on the costume, all home made by the way, to come up with something pretty awesome. I've been very lax in posting recently because I haven't seen or done much of note. Hopefully the wait will be worth it. Click the thumbnails to the left for the full shots.
I decided to do Marvin the Martian, one of my favorite cartoon characters. (Probably second only to Wile E. Coyote.) As an extra bonus, he's pretty easy to make. There's only two major components: the helmet, and the skirt. He's got very distinctive shoes as well, which help to add to the allure of the whole package.
The helmet is a paper maché base for the sphere. The "sideburns" that stick off are cardboard, wrapped to meet around in the back as the collar. The visor is also cardboard, with an unfortunate but still not prominent seam in the middle. The eyes are just a shape cut out of the black area, with a white stocking stretched behind them, to let me see out (at least, enough to not walk into walls) without letting you see in.
A pair of work gloves, with my pinky and ring fingers smashed together, and the gloves' pinky fingers cut and seamed off, add to the "cartoon-ness". I also spent quite a bit of time (and more money than the rest put together) on the shoes. He's got a very distinctive pair of shoes, with the black stripes and red areas.
I did quite a bit of research before I started putting this costume together. I searched all over the 'net and found somewhere around a dozen different costumes that people have made in the past: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (scroll down), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
They gave me an idea of what not to do much more than ideas of what to do. Besides one which I'm convinced was professionally made (showing up only at theme parks and conventions), I'd hardly be caught dead in most of them. A couple resort to blackface, which I find especially displeasing. And none of the "skirts" stuck out like they do in the cartoons.
Next, I turned to online videos. I found a list of every cartoon Marvin has been in, and turned to Google Video. I'll spare you the links, but a search for the name of each of these cartoons will find it visible for you, immediately. It's surprising how much variation Marvin has seen. Sometimes he's red with a green helmet, sometimes he's green with a brown helmet, and there's a few other variations in there as well. But all the merchandising (the actual source of his name, he was never named in the cartoons) agrees on the red-and-green scheme, so that's what I chose.
The best news of all: I won first place in the office contest! There was some good competition, but I managed to edge them all out. You can see me and my office mates' costumes on Flickr.