It’s October… That Means It’s Time For Halloween!

I celebrate only two holidays in my house. One is Halloween and the other is commercial Christmas. Commercial Christmas is entirely different than “real” Christmas – and it’s a post for another time. Right now it’s October and that means that Halloween has been in full swing for a few weeks (at least in my house).

My tree is up, the decorations are out and soon I’ll be purchasing and carving pumpkins. The only other lingering detail is the costume. I haven’t been able to make a costume for the past few years – and time probably won’t allow for it this year, either. That does not, however, keep me from thinking about costumes.

Costumes, like comic books, are a great form of escapism. And often times the two are closely related. Whether that is a good thing or not – well – that’s for the individual to decide. For example – last weekend I was having a conversation with my friends who have a little two-year-old boy. The mother was sad because her son vehemently wants to be Spider-Man for Halloween this year. Not that she has anything against Spider-Man, but at the age of two she was hoping to still get away with a cute pumpkin costume.

On my way home from work yesterday I passed a costume shop and the front window was littered with monsters, pirates, nurses and of course superheroes. Usually I can just ride by and not think too much about it. I think that my vision of costumes has been severely influenced by attending conventions. The costumes at conventions range from “WTF??” to “OMG!!”  Or – to put it another way – “why did you even try/I have NO idea who or what you are” to “was that costume used in the movie/you have WAY too much free time.”

So when I pass a store that is selling costumes it is usually just benign. Yesterday I decided to stop and take a look. I was appalled at the quality/look of many of the costumes. This prompted research when I got home. I began scouring the web to try and find the “hot” costumes of the year – both for kids and adults. And – although I cannot tell the actual quality of each costume – some of the pictures seem pretty clear that it is low. Maybe it doesn’t matter – maybe I’m just spoiled because every year my mom would help me make awesome costumes. That means that if I was Batman – I wasn’t wearing a ski mask with black cardboard ears taped on. There is nothing wrong with the ski mask approach – it’s just not how we rolled. But if your dropping money on a costume you want it to be at least decent – or comparable in quality and price.

So what are the “hot costumes” this year? Well – from my highly scientific poll – it’s pretty obvious – they’re mostly from hit summer movies! In most cases I’m going to show the kiddie versions – but many of this also have adult counterparts.

Iron Man 2008 Movie Light-Up Muscle Chest Child Costume – $44.99

The good – This costume apparently has a light up chest… it sort of looks like Iron Man. A child will LOVE the “muscle chest.”

The bad – Gloves sold separately ($5.99).  It doesn’t fly.  It is “soft” not very “iron-y.”


Batman Dark Knight Deluxe The Joker Child Costume – $32.99

The good – Um… you decide.

The bad – What’s going on with that mask? It scares me… a lot… and not the way that The Joker scares me.


Batman Dark Knight Deluxe Muscle Chest Batman Child Costume – $32.99

The good – Well… it is indeed dark… and it comes with muscles.

The bad – Okay. I’ve got to be honest. I’m not a fan of the fake muscle stuff. And that cape looks like a tissue.


Indiana Jones Deluxe Indiana Child Costume – $34.99

The good – Relive all the fun that was Indiana Jones and something about a crystal skull. Jacket and hat included!!!

The bad – Oh… those aren’t real leather? And do we need the jacket to say “Indiana Jones”? I think that Indy has hit icon status and doesn’t need a name tag. Whip not included ($4.99).


The Transformers Optimus Prime Deluxe Child Costume – $42.99

The good – It’s actually okay. Given that it’s not metal. The boxiness is MUCH better than the fake muscles.

The bad – Doesn’t transform.


So – if you’re in the market for a Halloween costume – there’s a plethora of options; anything from standard Supes (with muscles for adults) to Zenescope girls. But – I’m sticking with tradition and making my costume (if I have time…).

Happy Trick-or-Treating!


  1. When I was a kid, I used to always make my costumes.  It was hella better than this expensive stuff because you never felt bad about throwing it away when it was all over.

  2. The only costume…correction the BEST costume I ever wore as a kid was a full head to toe Cookie Monster costume. It was big, blue and furry. So for halloween in Chicago (where it usually rains or snows on halloween) being wrapped in a furry blue costume came in quite handy.

    Thanks Mom!!

  3. Missed you, Gordon! me and my pals always go go way over the top for Halloween, and if I have time I prefer to make my costumes. This year I’ve had to make two, as a friend’s 30th birthday is a few days before and she’s named a Tim Burton theme for it. So for the birthday I’ll be Sweeney Todd, and (utilising most of the same costume but with different accessories) for Halloween I’m being Gary Oldman Dracula.

    Is it just me or are those pre-made costumes stupidly over-priced for quite bland quality?

    @Gordon – Also, it might be fun if you did a post where the iFanbase could post pics of themselves on Halloween night in costume. You know, see what people wore and how their night was? Just a thought. 🙂

  4. Everybody get ready to see a lot of Jokers this year.

  5. Probably going out as either Wesley Dobbs "Sandman" or as one of the mormon fellows that tries to get you interested in his beliefs while you’re on public transit.

  6. I hadn’t shaved in about a week and half.  When i shaved i 1st shaved my chine and it dawned on me.. I could do a mutton chop wolvie. So other then that i dunno

  7. thinking about going out as a budget robin. just a robin tshirt with the R, green shorts, green chuck taylors, domino mask, cape and voila budget robin.

  8. My buddy and I are going as the leads from Hot Fuzz.  We were thinking of doing comics characters, but our body types don’t line up with any duos we actually like.  I’m short and an average weight while he’s a bit taller and overweight.  I’ve gone as Shaun from Shaun of the dead before (his brother was actually Ed) so it just made sense to us.  We’ll be rocking the aviators, flack jackets, guns and of course ticket book/notepads (your greatest weapon) all night while takling in british accents, which we’ve done many times on stage together so its no big deal.  Damn I love Simon Pegg.

  9. As a kid, we were poor.  So I would wear my batman pajamas, with the velcro cape, and use it as my costume.  My older brother was Superman and younger brother was Robin.  It was great stuff, wish I still had that cape

  10. It was always a family tradition to go to the Halloween store around this time and pick out our costumes….God I miss those days, and now I feel really old. But hey I just need a quick shave and hair cut…and who’s gonna tell the difference between a 19 year old man and a 10 year old kid huh? 🙂

  11. I never really dug Halloween growing up. I got a cool flight suit the other day from a buddy of mine in the air force, so I think that along with a few of the random patches I’ve collected throughout the years (including one that’s the SHIELD emblem and one from WIll Smith’s squadron in Independence Day) and a pair of aviators will do the trick for a college halloween dance (hey, it kinda worked in How I Met Your Mother…)

  12. I’ll actually be dressed as Dr. Greg House M.D. Cane and all. I’ll try to get a picture taken and post it up on my website for anyone curious to see it. 🙂

  13. @johnpavlich: Dont forget to trick out your cane like House did. 🙂

  14. I’m gonna go as Punisher….Got the T-shirt and black BDU’s……All I need is temp. black  hair dye and stubble……..And some razorblades to put into the reese’s pb cups………

  15. I am going as the magic mirror and my wife as the wicked queen.  when your head is shaved the options are limited

  16. I’ve been a superhero for the past few years and made everything. First it was The Punisher, which was the easiest because I had the t-shirt and trenchcoat already. Last year I was Wolverine. Made the claws out of gloves, cardboard, and duct tape. Wore a flannel shirt (like the movies) and grew out the sideburns for that authentic touch.

     While I’m going as John McCain this year, I’m already making both a Deadpool costume (and I’m not very good at sewing) and a Green Arrow costume, which isn’t too complicated, but I’m running out of time. I figure that I should put some work into it because it’s my favorite holiday of the year.

  17. @crushercreel – I feel your pain.

  18. C’mon there’s a tons of good costumes for bald, white guys:

     Lex Luthor

    Daddy Warbucks


    Vick Mackie


    Grant Morrison

    …that’s about it.

  19. I get to decide what to dress my kid as for his first Halloween.  That’s a lot of responsibility!  We’ll be looking at these pictures for years! 

    I think we’re going with the Flash.  Sort of ironic since he can’t walk, but he’ll be the fastest crawling baby around! 

  20. Beaver Boys!!! Shrimp…White wine.

    All it takes is a white hat, white shirt (tight), white shorts (uncomfortably tight), a plate of shrimp and a bottle of white wine.

    Its a blank check to be obnoxious and drunk. 


  21. Great article as ever, Gordon. On a side note, but kinda related: everyone should check out the book Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld. (The deluxe version even comes with an audio cd)….but it talks about his trials and trevails during Halloween and his misadventures with his Superman costume…hilarious.

    Heroville: Grant Morrison…hilarious! Great idea. Connor: i think you should bet some Mutton chops and go as Ron!

    I always dress up at my Pediatric Office as Superman…now i even have the plastic hair. I always try to get my wife to dress up as Wonder Woman… during Halloween….but she never wants to play…*sigh*

    …and avoid clowns at all costs….. *shudder* 

  22. You can always go with a classic and cut two holes in a sheet and be a ghost.  Or if you want to get all post-modern, cut a couple dozen more holes, and be Charlie Brown as a ghost.

  23. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @crushercreel @conor – Wouldn’t bald guys have more options?  You can wear wigs.  You’re a blank slate.  

  24. @PaulMontgomery That was my first thought too!  I will be going as a priest from the 70s.  Giant Fro…small blue lensed glasses…cross chain…and long robe!

  25. I generally don’t do costumes, ’cause they’re a lot of work and I tend to look stupid.

    But yeah, I expect an army of Jokers on the streets this year…


  26. yea im going as captain america this year i got a huge ass plastic shield and everything or gonna go as roarcharch

  27. going as Iron Man ;D

  28. Haven’t thought of one yet but my wife is thinking about the President from BSG.  I don’t think I could pull off Adama without some serious pock-markey make-up and some weight so I’m stumped.

    Also, bald guys, an eye-patch and glass of scotch could make for a pretty bad ass Colonel Tigh.

  29. As a kid I always made my own costumes to some extent wether it was doing it all from scratch or just taking parts from other costumes and putting them together. One year when Mortal Kombat was big me and my friend made our own costumes and went as scoprion and subzero. In the last years i have not dressed up, but this year will be a return to form of sorts and im dressing up in the cheap funny way either going to get a name tag sticker and write God on it like Oz from Buffy or just go with a t-shirt ninja.

  30. Just had a flash next year right i dont have time to do it but i wanna go as Jakob Whorssman

  31. I’d like to be buff enough to dress as Vic Mackey.


  32. A buddy and I are going as Bunson and Beaker.  Although we toyed with going as the McPoyles from Always Sunny.

  33. @AMuldowney – Bunson and Beaker? Dude, that is AWESOME! Good thinking, sir 🙂

  34. Whenever I was a kid I was Batman 4 years in a row.

  35. In…I think…fifth grade…yeah, fifth grade…I read in an installment of Calvin & Hobbes, Calvin begging his mom to make him a halloween costume transforming him into a barrel of toxic waste. Of course she denied it (I forget why). MY mom however was way cooler and helped me pull it off to a tee. I don’t know if Calvin’s mom wasn’t open-minded enough, or jut not talented enough to do it, but my mom was both. Took an old plastic "Rubbermaid" trashcan sans lid, bolted shoulder straps to the inside lip, cut out the bottom, spray stenciled "WARNING! TOXIC WASTE!" and a beautifully rendered haz-mat symbol on both sides, and applied quick dry compressed foam insulation around the outside of the lip to simulate the waste bubbling over. It was a hit. Of course that may have gone over a little differently if done today. There was no school terror alert level in 1994.

    In eighth grade, my best friend and I did our first of many "theme" costumes. It started as Bob and Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) from SCTV and Strange Brew and ended a couple years later with Dante and Randall from Clerks. That one was a triumph indeed, since my friend actually managed to find acid wash jeans to play randal, and I was able to dress completely in black and white.

    Since then, its been a series of lazily conceived or purchased costumes, with the exception of a Jesse Custer costume one year for my LCS’s costume contest. I won second place. First went to a guy in a Ghost Rider costume who actually lit his head on fire. As cool as my costume was, I did not feel cheated at all. That guy totally deserved it.

  36. Two years ago at a Halloween party, one dude showed up wearing nothing but very small cut-off denim shorts. I spotted him and yelled "Never-Nude!" (from Arrested Development). We were all laughing at what a hilarious costume that was. Until two more guys showed up and hour later with the same costume. Lemme tell ya, the neighbors in the apt. complex were more than a little worried seeing three guys in cut-off denims, a priest, a cowboy, and two white Flava Flav’s hangin out front smoking cigarettes for most of the night.