Friday, October 28, 2011

Graphic Memoir Halloween Costume

Here's a costume idea for those who read a certain kind of comic book, the kind that's rarely even referred to as a "comic book," but rather, "graphic novel." You know what I'm talking about. They feature cleanly drawn black and white characters with believable hairstyles and no superpowers beyond preternatural self-reflection. 

I love them so much!

Popular examples are: Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings
And my personal hero Alison Bechdel's Fun Home

Last year, when I was still within the nurturing bosom of writing school, I was working on my own graphic stuff:

So I thought it would be fun to dress up for halloween as myself in my graphic memoir:

(I wish my hair was this big)

It is a very easy costume. Here's how to get the look!

1) First, select black, white and gray clothing that looks like something you would actually wear. (You don't want to be mistaken for a mime.)

2) Next white out your face and hands and any exposed skin with drugstore clown makeup, then dust over that with baby power.

3) Then take a black eyeliner and draw anywhere a line would be in a drawing, including along your jaw and under your nose, and between each finger on your hands. 
Here's a dubiously helpful example of where to put the lines. Pro tip, don't bother with your smile lines, you'll end up looking like a crone.

(The best part about this costume is you don't have to mess around with complex shading dots, which are really hard to get right, and often end up looking like small pox anyway.)

4) Next, make your props out of poster board. I drew a big head of hair like I've always wanted, cut it out, then hot glued it to a headband. Then I drew a beer and attached a little loop of paper behind so it could slip over an actual beer. Add any paper accessories you like, the more the better, in fact, as you are going for a 2D image here, and the paper really helps people get it. (I even made a paper wedding ring, mostly because I was a newlywed, and we are very annoying that way.)

5) Finally, and most importantly, make your captions. I cut down about a dozen sheets of poster board, drew a rectangle in each one and strung them together at waist level, along with a sharpie on a string. I wrote the first one, so that people would get the idea, but kept the rest blank. All through the evening, other revelers could come up and write a caption about what was happening, thus narrating the memoir. Things got pretty weird! But also fun!

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. This is great! I clicked over from the Hairpin and think this is totally one of the best costume ideas ever. I might have to use it someday.



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