It should come as no surprise that as a person who has made a career out of creating monsters (among other fantastical things), Halloween is by far my favorite day of the year. Spending my time in two worlds — adventure gaming, where we slay monsters, and film making, where they’re brought to life on screen — I’m usually surrounded by like-minded people who share my reverence for this holiday.
The parties, candy and fright-fests are all things I love about Halloween, but the thing that fired me up the most as a kid was the chance to create a costume each year. Off-the-rack costumes have come a long way since I was pounding the pavement and knocking on doors in an effort to harvest as much free sugar as possible. But as a kid, the store-bought costumes held no interest for me. There weren’t many to choose from and the plastic half-masks always felt incomplete, so I endeavored to make my own as best I could with limited skills and resources.
Star Wars was a big inspiration and probably accounted for at least half the costumes of my early years. Other subjects came and went with my current interests of the day. Mom often assisted with the sewing and fabric dying, and I recall a great deal of duct tape, tinfoil and paper mache going into those projects.
I’ve all but missed out on Halloween for the last few years due to a hectic schedule and adjusting to the new role of parenthood. But in the latter, I’ve got a new hope for the future. Tonight, Sherry and I will take our nearly-two year old son to the Disneyland Halloween Haunt in an effort to gently immerse him in the festivities of the holiday. We’re appropriately going as pirates, and while the little one shuns the notion of wearing costumes so far, we’re going to do our best to cajole him into an off-the-rack buccaneer get-up that looks much better than anything I ever assembled as a kid.My hope is that as he grows older, he’ll enjoy Halloween as much as I did and allow me to assist him in whatever wild character he wants to bring to life. And if he doesn’t, then I’ll suspend his allowance and restrict his TV and video game time until he agrees to wear whatever crazy creature idea I want to bring to life. That’s the parental prerogative, right? Hey, at least I’m involved!