I asked the Make and Craft crews to tell me about their favorite Halloween costumes and if they had any special costume plans for this year. Some of the stories are absolutely hilarious. This is a two-parter; look for the second half tomorrow!
Brian Jepsen (contributing editor): As a kid, I was drawn to vivid psychedelic imagery (hey, who wasn’t?). The trippier, the better. I was sucked right into HR Pufnstuf as well as Lidsville, my two favorite kids shows. I was thrilled to be able to dress up as HR Pufnstuf one halloween, and this photo remains one of my favorite pictures in my family’s pile of slides. For this Halloween, I want to be a half-ape sorcerer/taxidermist with a +4 Amulet of Awesomeness, or if that doesn’t work out, whatever I can find in the basement that isn’t covered with dog hair.
Shawn Connally (managing editor): As a kid I was a Bookworm, complete with green tights, a green stocking cap, green facepaint, and a big cardboard box wrapped in butcher paper as the book. My favorite childhood costumes for my kids are Woody Allen and Charlie Brown. I used electrical tape, leather patches and black paint to make them.
Phil Torrone (senior editor, Make): In the 5th grade after reading The Metamorphosis I really wanted to be a giant bug. I convinced my grandmother to help me construct a huge insect costume for the annual Halloween contest in the tiny town of Inverness, Florida where I grew up. I learned how to sew and the costume turned out great, the best part was each insect arm (3 additional ones under each arm) worked great when tied to my arms with fishing wire. When I went to the local “Roller barn” a roller skating rink, all 8 of my arms would wave around as I struggled on skates. I carried around a slightly rotten apple too but I don’t think anyone knew this book and knew the reference so I had to throw the apple away. I won first place and remember speaking in to the microphone when they asked about the costume and saying “Kafka’s Gregor Samsa from The Metamorphosis” – the announcer asked what type of bug that was and then gave me the prize, a gift certificate to come back to the Roller barn.
For this year I’m going to dress up as the demon barber from fleet street Sweeney Todd. Luckily for me I don’t need to really do anything besides ditch my electric shaver for a blade. I sorta dress like this now and almost have a nice gray stripe in my hair already.
Saul Griffith and Natalie Zee Drieu after the jump…
Saul Griffith (columnist): We didn’t celebrate Halloween in Australia when I was growing up, but we did have the Easter hat parade. One year, I wanted to be a unicorn and got carried away. I built the frame for the neck and head out of chicken wire, and the unicorn’s horn was a Christmas card tree, and I stuffed the rear legs with panty hose. We covered the whole thing in white cotton. My parents helped a lot, but I was unswerving in my vision, even though the end result looks only slightly like traditional representations of unicorns. I can’t remember why I insisted on the long neck. I guess I wanted to be tall. Maybe it’s a giraff-icorn. When I went to school, I ran into the ceiling fan and it cut the horn off. I wanted to be upset, but it was actually pretty cool. The dog in the photo is Otto. He was my best friend.
Natalie Zee Drieu (senior editor, Craft): In 2nd grade I was obsessed with superheroes, especially Batgirl. I knew I wanted to be Batgirl for Halloween so I begged my mom to make me a costume. I’m sure she was happy about this because it was one of the easiest costumes for her to make. She took a simple leotard and embellished it with felt to make all the accessories: logo, cuff, and belt. She then sewed me up a silky cape and also mask with ears which was so cute. For some reason, I hated having the mask over my eyes so I never ended up wearing it. Who knows why – I was 7 years old. But long after Halloween, I would still put on this costume and zoom around the house. I wore it till all the felt pieces pretty much just started to fall off.