Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

It's the weekend and so I can't track down that photo of Suze as Leela without going to work. And eff that. So I thought I'd post a picture of an even older Halloween costume of mine.

I made this poor-man's (literally) Judge Dredd costume way back in 1989. Yes, we had color photography back then. This was back when I would spend months on my costumes because, well, I had the time. The helmet alone took a month of sculpting and sanding with wire and papier mache and then painting and applying the poly. The rest of the suit was child's play by comparison. And the helmet still looks funny. I had trouble getting the inside right so it would sit on my head properly and still allow me to see out the eye slits. Never did get it right. But check out the stubble I'd grown in anticipation of dressing up. Today, that's about a half-day growth. Back then, it was a two-week affair.

The night these photos were taken, my lady friend (who shall remain nameless because I don't want to get sued or maybe killed by my wife who is returning home today) just slapped something together with whatever she had in her closet. Kind of weird that she had that red gown in her closet but...whatever. She then declared that she was going as Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Despite being impressed that she knew who Hippolyta was, I had to think, "Really? At 5'4"? And wearing white cowboy boots with fringes?" But I decided to keep my reservations to myself because I was already in dutch with her roommate for leaving green smudges all over the furniture. This suit wasn't intended for the long term, you see.

We ended up going to a Halloween party being thrown by one of her classmates and it was a huge bust. We were the only ones in costume (OOPS!) and felt really stupid. We ended up leaving early and, as we were walking back to Rhoad's Hall, we nearly bumped into a guy running out of an apartment building, screaming "Oh God! Oh God!" at the top of his lungs. I'd never seen anyone so freaked out. The next day, we read the paper and found out why. There had been an unauthorized party going on on the rooftop of the building we'd passed. The only way to access the roof without a key was the fire escape. The ladder leading up sort of curled around the overhang and, so, anyone on the ladder would be hanging, at least part of the time, with their back to the ground. It was a pretty difficult climb up and and a worse one down. For one young lady, apparently the only one NOT drinking at the party, it was fatal. The poor girl lost her grip and fell about 10 stories to the ground, landing on the hard cobblestone alley floor below. She was killed instantly.

Though I don't remember her name, I've thought about the girl who fell from the roof often. That school year, my last in college, was not a particularly good one for me and it felt like that night was an omen of things to come.

At least the costume turned out okay. Though most of the people I passed that night would pump a fist in the air and yell, "Awesome! Great Captain America costume, dude!"


Craig Zablo said...

You were da Law!

Heywood Jablomie said...

Nice post Matt! The costume came out pretty good though, considering the pain in the ass I'm sure it was to make. And just a thought, but maybe it was a good thing the lady friend was wearing that, I'm assuming, bag on her head? That costume was pretty bad hahaha!

Matt Wieringo said...

Heh. You know I retouched that in, right? For reasons of my own personal safety.

Eric said...

See, I thought that you guys were going as that famous couple...Judge Dredd and the Unknown Comic.

Heywood Jablomie said...

Oh I see that now! Either way I think it works better for that costume. Regardless of what she might have looked like, good gawd those boots with that gown were bad, even for the 80's!! =)

Brian said...

Nice work with the photo shop Mike, the bag looks like it was part of the costume, a strange part, but a part none the less.