Showing posts from October, 2010

Comics To Keep You Up At Night

It's the day before Halloween and you don't have a costume yet; you probably aren't planning to hit the town except maybe the local video store to rent horror movies. Not all of us have the desire to dress as our favorite comic book characters, but there is an alternative to enjoying the holiday with comics in mind; seasonal reading of course! Grab a cup of pumpkin spice latte and dig into your bowl of Halloween candy while you read some of these spooky tales.

Arkham Asylum
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dave McKean
Publisher: DC
If you like...: David Lynch films, Victorian horror stories, The Shining

One cannot have a list of eerie tales without Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum. The Dave McKean drawn graphic novel is one hell of a creepy story no matter what time of year you pick it up. The book follows two parallel stories about Arkham; a present day Batman entering the madhouse after it has been taken over by the inmates, and a look into the asylum's troubled begi…

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap - Part VII

Peter Parker / Jimmy Olsen

These two are together since they require a lot of the same items. Both are photographers for major newspapers (albeit in different universes), and both are fans of sweater vests. Here’s what you’ll need for either costume:

A camera; doesn’t have to work, but an older 35mm one with a neck strap will look bestKhakis White shirt tucked in, with sleeves rolled up to the elbowsSweater vestFor Jimmy Olsen, a bowtie; for Peter Parker a regular tie or nonePress pass with newspaper and character name on it (I found a sample of one made for Parker's Daily Bugle)Manila folder containing photos (for Jimmy, blurry shots of Supes flying through the sky, Peter will have better pics of Spidey)
These costumes are so simple yet accurate, I’m disappointed there aren’t more of them at Halloween or at the cons. All of the details add up and even people who are vaguely familiar with the characters will enjoy your costume.

That's all folks, if you don't have a costume ye…

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap - Part VI


Okay, so you kind of need to look the part for this one. But if I had blonde hair right now, I’d totally go as my favorite Slayer. I think the best way to get this costume across is to dress like Buffy during her most stylistically iconic era, that being during seasons 1-3 where she wore skirts and had a French manicure most of the time. Later seasons have her wearing a lot of turtlenecks. And Leather pants. So many leather pants! This is just a loose guideline for how to dress like Buffy:

Mini skirt and white tank top ORA spaghetti strap dress, a red satin one will look very 90’s chicJean Jacket or skirt length shirt to wear over outfitBoots. Cute ones, preferably leather knee highsManicured nailsSmall hoop earringsA big gaudy silver cross necklaceC ring from Angel (and these are pretty easy to find at thrift stores seeing how popular they were in the 90’s)Frosty make-up (think pinks and whites)The stake (this is all you really need to make the costume)
Again, without the blo…

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap - Part V

Matt Murdock / Daredevil

This costume is far more comfortable than Daredevil’s tight red leather suit, and is probably less embarrassing considering the general public associates that with the terrible Ben Affleck film. Here’s all you’ll need:

Suit, button up shirt, and red tie; nothing too flashy or expensive (he’s a lawyer but not high paid)A pair of red tint sunglassesA walking stick covered in red tape with a white tip (electrical tape will look best)Having waves of ginger-tinged hair will help
If anyone asks who you are, just say a blind lawyer. If they don’t get it yet, they probably won’t appreciate it when you tell them you’re Daredevil. It’s also pretty easy to use the same method as the Clark Kent costume, but replacing the Superman logo t-shirt with a scarlet red tee that has “DD” on the chest. Again, a sharpie will do the trick here since his logo is nothing terribly intricate.

(More comic book themed costume ideas here, here, here, and here!)

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap - Part IV

Scott Pilgrim / Ramona Flowers
These costumes require a little more DIY action, but from the number of Scott / Ramona’s I saw at the recent Chicago Comic Con, it’s a pretty easy costume to make. If you plan to wear it this weekend, better set aside an evening to make a trip to your local thrift and drug stores. Instructions for both costumes are after the jump!

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap - Part III


It’s tough thinking of easy costumes for the ladies. There aren’t a lot of iconic alter ego costumes, and as much as I love Alias, Jessica Jones is obscure, even for comics. If you are a Neil Gaiman fan, there is a 78% chance that you already own a Death costume. Those of us who didn’t go through a Goth phase during high school can still easily come up with the necessary items:
All. Black. ClothesFishnets in some form will help, leggings, sleeves, shirtHeavy black eye make up / lipsBlack chipped nail polishMessy dark hair (I think making it look like The Cure’s Robert Smith is best)An ankh symbol necklace
The ankh charm may be the only thing you’ll have to hunt down, but I think even cutting the shape out of cardboard and painting it black will do just fine. Being pale will also help you with this costume, but with that many black accessories, short of being Jersey-Shore orange you will look the part. People who aren’t familiar with the Sandman comics will have little reason to que…

$2.99 Comic Books - Too Little Too Late?

With the recent announcements from both DC and Marvel that they would release all new comics at $2.99, I find myself torn between feeling relief / confusion / skepticism. This drastic measure is no doubt a direct result of rumbles amongst fans and retailers alike the past few months, not to mention slumping individual issue sales. Until these changes hit the shelves, it's hard to say how this gamble will play out for the big two - will it be a winning move or a bust? Here's a look at the possible outcomes from both sides.

Cheaper Books = More Customers = More Sales

2010's mantra among fans seems to be "less is more" as pull lists have gotten shorter and shorter for many regular customers. Citing high price tags and waning interests, fans are finding that they can live without the five ongoing Avengers titles and stick to one or two. With the prices being lowered, those that dropped a title for the high price tag may decide to start reading it again. A 25% discount…

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap Part II

Unless you run in knowledgeably nerdy circles, this costume probably won’t be easily recognized. Random strangers on the street may recognize the name Constantine but they will be confused when they see you don’t look / act like the Keanu Reeves catastrophe. But for the H-Blazer fans that see you on Halloween, this obscure costume is sure to leave a lasting impression. Here’s what you’ll need: A tan trench coatBlack pants and suit jacketBlack thin tiePack of cigarettesA crossA small bibleVial of holy water (a clear hotel size shampoo bottle filled with water marked “holy water” will work great)Carefully disheveled hairBritish accent
This costume is all about attitude. No gimmicks, no “ah-ha” moments upon viewing. You simply have to be the character. With the necessary props and a reluctantly badass attitude, once they realize who you are, comic book fans in the know will love you forever. If you have an equally nerdy pal willing to go along with it, have him dress up as a cab…

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap

Not willing to splurge on the $100 Batsuit with utility belt? Want to avoid the embarrassment of going to a party dressed in the same Joker costume as your co-worker? Or are you simply too broke to go for a store bought costume? There are plenty of comic book character costumes you can make from items in your own closet. Keep checking back as I will continue posting ideas until the holiday weekend arrives!

Clark Kent

It may not be as fun to dress up as Superman’s alter ego, but you’ll certainly get more props for creativity. And let’s be honest, most of us can pull off Clark more easily than Kal-el. Here’s what you’ll need: 
Jacket and dress pantsA button up dress shirtRed or blue tie you won’t mind parting ways withSome bendable wire, or a thin wire hangerBlack rimmed glassesSuperman logo t-shirtTwo safety pins

Most of these items are pretty self-explanatory (glasses, suit) but what makes this an awesome costume is that everyone will know it’s Superman, but you won’t have to wear a cape…

24 Hour Comics Day - Chicago

Update 10/21/10: Here is a link to the completed comics created at Graham Crackers Comics in Edgewater, along with a video shot on location by Cameron Keleher!

With the changing of the leaves comes the desire to lock one's self inside their apartment and hibernate for several months (at least that is the urge here in Chicago, where the nightly temperature is dipping closer to 30 degrees every night). Perhaps that is why 24 Hour Comics Day works so well as an annual fall event; it's a great catalyst to keep creators motivated during the cold winter months. Here's the gist of the project: create a 24-page comic book in 24 hours. The experience forces artists to finish a complete comic book, typos, scribbles and all. No more putting off that idea, or waiting to be inspired. Besides the opportunity to overcome creative blocks it's also great exposure, with all of the completed works scanned and hosted on websites for public viewing (see above links), and a few are selected …