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punk'in carving
Art By :iconraggedy-annedroid:

So it is Halloween.  I am a cosplayer.  Here it is, the greatest of all dress up holidays!  And I am always disappointed.  Here are the top 5 reasons it sucks to be a cosplayer at Halloween.

1) Friends (including friends of friends) come out of nowhere to ask for costumes.  They just ask for a little help.  On their giant full body armor masterpiece.  The week before Halloween.  Because you know, you make costumes and it's easy for you.  And the price?  Well, it's "for a friend" price.  Which is always "free" or "I'll pay you $20 never" which boils down to "get you a shot of Jack sometime."  Sadface.

2) Costumes in my closet everywhere, but none for Halloween.  Yes, I have over 60 costumes.  No, none of them will ever be recognized at a Halloween party.  One year I dressed as Pris from Blade Runner out on the town, which I thought would be somewhat popular.  How wrong I was.  The only response all night:  "R U A SEXY RACCOON?"

3) Stains.  Yes, stains.  As in, I do not want to wear my precious costumes that I spent workweeks creating to a bar where some jackass is going to back into me and spill a beer/neon drink all over it and stain it for ever.  No, "sorry" doesn't pay the drycleaner.  (A free shot might pay the drycleaner, depending on how many people I can convince spilled their drink on me.)

4) A general ennui for Halloween costume parties.  Maybe it's like dudes who watch too much porn.  I have been to so many insane costume conventions and judged so many awesome costumes that the run-o-the-mill mass-market store bought costume do not excite me.  I have been overstimulated.

5)  Losing costume contests to Vaginas.  It didn't happen to me.  But it could have, had I not heeded the cautionary tale told by my friend.  Hours of construction slavery, an afternoon getting into an uncomfortable costume, wasted only to lose to a gag costume  for a $1000 prize.  Not me.  No thanks.

So what is the solution for a cosplayer on Halloween?  Dress head-to-toe in full character and give props to the one person who recognizes you all evening?  Or just mix-n-match pieces in your cosplay wardrobe to create something recognizable?  Let me know what you went as for Halloween and why!

I plan to go super casual tomorrow if I go anywhere, that is.  I might just stay home in my robot pajamas.  Kind of a costume, right?

And if you are wondering about this awesome piece of art, it is a collaboration with multi-talented artist Justin Murray who is currently working on Mortal Kombat as a main character designer, hullo!  And he has worked on God of War, Alien vs. Predator, and lots of other projects.  Check out his crap!  (It's not crap, btw.)

Hey, if you haven't checked out my full collections of costumes, it's at!  CHACHACHECKIT.
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Foayasha Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yeah, Halloween isn't really my favorite, but I usually attend a convention that weekend, so its a little different. This year I cosplayed as River Song for a Houston halloween party downtown, about 10 people knew me. I wasn't funny looking, cool looking or clever, but hey... at least I got to be River Song. Last year I was Jay, from Jay and Silent Bob. And no, I would never be Madame Red, Inuyasha, Pandora or any of my other wonderful costumes on Halloween for these exact reasons. I feel you girl.
Tetsugo Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013

Why I'm wearing this:…

It's great because it's kind of halloweeny. He interacts with zombies and skelletons the same. He's instantly recognizable, kids love him, and (one of the best parts) if he stains, it's not really a big deal. He's supposed to be dirty. XD

I must be a pretty lucky cosplayer, cause nobody comes to me for costume advice. Or maybe that says I'm just not very good. XD

For everything else, yeah, I feel you.
I don't do contests anymore.

KEArnold Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I had the same thing happen to me recently at a convention I was at.  My ren faire character lost to a drunk guy in a pink dress with a sombrero on.  It's pretty aggravating.  As for the costume getting dirty it isn't so much of an issue as i portray a goblin.
kalashnikovmarine Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Flight suit. Like a boss.
YachiruFoxTailFairy Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
this this forever this. also loosing costume contests to ass and tits red riding hood or some cheep stuff like that
blitzacetidus Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
One of the reasons Halloween sucks for me is that--- People who know i make costumes expect to see something COOL on Halloween--- but if i DO wear a 'cool' costume it seems like I'm trying too hard, but if i dont, then I feel like im wasting my time getting dressed at all. @_@ Ungh Halloween.
Sansansan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Cool enough, for the past two Halloweens I went to my sister's art club's parties and a lot of the people in there are gamers, anime nerds, etc. So my costumes actually got a little recognized. I never really get to go out on Halloween very often though, so I never really have too many of these problems.
nyunyucosplay Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I feel #2. I use Halloween as my time to do something more mainstream, that everyone should recognize. Well...the last two years were Peter Pan's Wendy (all the little girls were Rapunzel that year...but no love for the classics) and Hello Kitty, and I think those barely got recognized. We'll see how Miss Frizzle goes this year. I definitely don't put the same quality into Halloween costume that I do convention costumes. xD Pinked edges and hot glue = good enough for Halloween.
pinkerchu Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013
I am rocking sugar skull makeup and some of my black buckle and chain covered clothing. It's all I can be bothered to do, even though it's my favorite day of the year. Most of my time and effort goes to helping decorate or work larger halloween events.
Melenea Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
where I live Halloween isn't celebrated that much but there still a lot of partys to go. But sadly our society there is a little non-creative and the only "costumes" you see are vampires,witches and all that kind of stuff -.-
ShadewithoutSun Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013
I won $500 at a local contest with a cosplay it was incredible
relentlessravenous Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Since I already have the N7 hoody, I figure I'll go as civilian Commander Shepard.
Darkest-Neko Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I am going as Louise Belcher. My whole family is cosplaying with me. I won't care if anyone recognizes us cause this will be special for me.
WendySonali Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
Also, by the time October comes around, I'm already mega burned out from the other bunch of cons that just happened in the spring and summer. -_-
CloakVindermill Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You really summed up everything I feel on Halloween. To be very honest with you, I may not cosplay this 31st. I went to two conventions in October. It's time to see somebody else sweat in the costumes for once! >;D
Animus-Panthera Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The only time I ever wore a cosplay to a Halloween party it was a schoolgirl outfit, and I figured even if no one knew the character people would understand a sailor fuku when the saw one (I still got asked, "so, what are you?" constantly, so I guess I was wrong). I actually almost never dress up for Halloween anymore... Last year I was a robot, but I literally just wore my own regular clothes and spent an hour doing the makeup.
Kikukina Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In the most recent years, for Halloween I have been many different things. I'll go back as far as I can remember though, going from this year back. This year, I am Flo from the Progressive commercials (all the clothing being used are also work clothes that I wear, I bought the name tag and "I <3 Insurance" pen, got a bumpit to get the proper height she has, the electric blue hair band, as well as bought the eyeliner and lipstick, I normally don't wear make-up otherwise I wouldn't have to of bought any), last year I was a cop (used a store bought costume but added some of my own things like some wicked, heeled, ankle boots, fishnet stockings, and these really awesome handcuffs I got from my favorite store in the world, the Asian Gift Shop at the mall in Independence, MO), the year before that I was Abby from NCIS (I had a very cute black mini skirt on, platform black combat boots, a black bob hair styled wig, black lipstick, the works on the nails, and a very cute red and black striped shirt as well as arm warmers, a fake tattoo of a black widow on my neck, and thigh high black stockings with red stripes at the top), the year before that I was a cop (the first time around, I didn't have the boots then, so I had borrowed a pair of my friend's that year), and then the year before that year I was a pirate :] 

For most reasons, I choose the costumes that I did mostly because I felt it on the whelm to dress in them that year. It's not even Halloween and I already know what costume that I'll have next year, Garcia from Criminal Minds :D I've already gotten the nails, lips, and glasses figured out :] I just need to pick on of her outfits that she wears, remake is as my own, and buy the jewelry that I'll need~ My ears will have fun next year with that one~
cuntycuntz Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I cosplay at Philly Comic Con every year, so not nearly as much as your average cosplayer, but I know the ropes so to speak. This particular year I decided against going obscure and/or original for a Halloween costume and opted instead to take the cliche route for once. I bought an affordable, run-of-the-mill Dracula costume and modified it to my satisfaction using cheap materials I already had lying around. Doing so sated my undying need to customize any costume I get my hands on, but I also didn't waste too much energy (and next to nothing cash-wise), which was a nice change of pace.

But then, one costume is never enough, is it? I attempted to complete one or two more costumes (again, nothing too fancy or flashy), following the same course as before - buy whatever you don't already have for as cheap as you can (because wasting cheddar on a super-elaborate, cosplay-approved costume is one thing, but some of us can't afford to drop that much dough on some chintzy Halloween getup) and then bundle together the materials you've got at home to finish a perfectly excusable semi-homemade Halloween costume, or two, or three. Maybe it's just me, but that's enough to appease the yearly itch that incessantly begs you to create a new costume once Autumn rolls around.
numbah10luxord Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
It's quite simple for me when it comes to Halloween. One of my friends who is not a cosplayer happens to be the biggest Halloween fanatic I know and every year she throws awesome parties. I base my costume off of what theme she has chosen for her parties. I only give half effort in these costumes though and will where wal mart brand costume pieces because it's just a one time thing for me and I tend to get decent results. Last year I was lazy as the theme was zombies and I don't much care for zombies so it was just ripped clothes, splashes of fake blood and make up tricks for bruises/rotting flesh. This year however I got super inspired. The theme is Grimm fairy tales and I got chosen for the magic mirror, so with inspiration from Steam Powered Giraffe I am doing a steampunk coin operated magic mirror.
DB-8 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How is losing costume contests to vagina different from any other cosplay contest? 
Mister--Jake Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The fact they worked hard on a costume, and someone is dressed as a 'slutty nurse' or similar and they win instead of the hard working cosplayer
DB-8 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sounds like everyone is just a bunch of butt hurt haters. If you actually go to a bar many have multiple costume contests (not just most sexy), and not to mention that in modern times Halloween is all about getting laid or getting candy. You get drunk/crazy and have fun, it's not about who worked the hardest on what, thats what convention are for. It seems like cosplayers are purposely putting themselves in this situation for attention and something to complain about. Make your own party with your cosplay friends- wow problem fucking solved! 

nyo-kun Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
Most bars chose a winner based not on the merit of what was made, or how the character is portrayed, but more on the volume in which the drunken crowd cheers. Being as most of the crowd will likely be college-aged drunks, a costume as poorly made and as thin as no-name brand one-ply toilet paper will have a MUCH larger positive response than something a cosplay put their blood, sweat and tears in to. 

Case in point, a friend of mine made and wore a magnificent costume, with some of the best detail work ever. She lost to a guy dressed as a last-minute lego man, which he used last year to win as well. It was very sad to hear about it.
Mister--Jake Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you missed the authors point for the journal. It's not the problem of entering contests, it's the fact that something sleazy male or female will almost always win in a stand up competition that has no genre
BuckRogersBarker Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
You need to get organized. I brought in a group of costumer friends into town and we targeted some parties where there were cash prizes. A couple of them came away with a couple hundred dollars.

But yeah, like vampires in the Buffy series, most of us take the night off.
screaM4Dolls Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
So much this.
AshTheViz Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
This is so true! I had a friend not understand why I wouldn't do my Ursula costume, despite the fact that I've put in $300 and counting on it. Even explaining my fear of stains and rips on it, she still didn't get it. 

The one time I wore a cosplay costume (Snow White evil queen) to a party, I was freaking out all night about dirt and drunk people. Plus it was so heavy and long that I was struggling with lugging it around everywhere. People loved it, but I was super uncomfortable. 

This year, I am throwing together a zombie Star Trek red shirt costume since it is cheap and I won't care if I ruin it. I may end up adding it to the cosplay collection though, as it's been a lot of fun to make. I'm still worried about people not understanding why I'm a dead one or calling me Spock or Kirk, but oh well. I've hit that point where I'm over it. 
Conconhead Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
OH the last one. I was Athena, in a beautiful white chiton with a full sized bronzed shield, gilded helm, owl on my shoulder, and a spear taller than myself.

I lost to a gumball machine made out of trash bags and balloons...
Alice829 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
Love it! And so true... especially the bit about STAINS!! (you forgot kids covered in chocolate who want to touch the pretty costume while their mums look on and think it's adorable. And have no understanding why you are being "mean" and enforcing "look but don't touch".) "R U A SEXY RACCOON?" just killed me. :) I think we do cosplay a lot, and Halloween is for everyone else to get their fix. It's only polite to abstain - in robot pajamas!
Cobheran Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
SO much this. I actually don't even bother to do anything special for Halloween anymore despite being a huge fan of the holiday
DeadlightsGirl Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
My cosplay choices are made by me. My Halloween costume choices are made by my 8-year-old daughter, since my Halloween plans usually consist of taking her trick-or-treating anyway. If she doesn't change her mind, this year the two of us plus our roommate will be the Powerpuff Girls...and if she does change her mind and wear something from her own costume closet, well, the three of us have really cute dresses (I made them) to wear this spring, and I'll throw on something from Hot Topic and white go-go boots like I did last year.
Planning to go as Captain Jack Sparrow since he's a widely recognized character anyways. 
OtakuPortrayals Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Well... I'd say just go to a convention on Halloween (depending on if they're holding any in the area) such as Youmacon in Detroit, Michigan.
CynicalCadaver17 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Student Photographer
I try to do something recognizable on Halloween because I realize with a lot of cosplays I want to do, no one will no what it to me there isn't much of a point getting all worked up if no one knows who I am. Halloween for me is time for a lot of candy and some cheap costume. 
HeavensDawn Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I'm going to make a custom cosplay for Halloween. It involves dressing kind of casual/punk which is my usual attire. But I put a twist on it by wearing some colored contacts, adding a few chains, wearing black gloves, and attaching arm blades with LEDs. 

Its comfortable to wear (though somewhat heavy). I have yet to meet someone who recognizes my past cosplays on Halloween. I'd suggest just wearing whatever is comfortable on that day. Chances are, people arent going to whip out a camera to take a pic like at a con when they do recognize what you're dressed as.
pixiekitty Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
haha just realized this was posted last year! I'm soooo behind!
pixiekitty Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
I agree on all of these points! I never know what to be for Halloween, and most of the time I don't really even care to dress up. I just do it because the people having the Halloween parties say we have to. This year i'm wearing a lab coat and being a Dharma scientist from Lost. Easy and casual, and I can get away with basically wearing normal clothes! But I did find myself trying to think of what parts of random costumes I could put on to make something generic and recognizable, but I got lazy.
Stargazer-Gemini Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Student General Artist
I have a thing where cosplay and Halloween have to be separated - otherwise you're cosplaying and not celebrating.
I love looking out for classic horror costumes and those cheesey pun costumes like wearing a literal coat of arms or something =P
NekoCathy Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
((5)  Losing costume contests to Vaginas.  It didn't happen to me.  But it could have, had I not heeded the cautionary tale told by my friend.  Hours of construction slavery, an afternoon getting into an uncomfortable costume, wasted only to lose to a gag costume  for a $1000 prize.))

Say that again. I went to a night club on one Halloween night with a friend who went as Lulu from FFX. She made that damn costume herself, put in a LOT of work into it, the costume was well made with excessive belts and high quality fabric material, and she had the whole physical complexion down for the character. That dress was HEAVY to walk around in a crowded techno/hip-hop urban club with. And even though she was a super hot chick, she didn't even get to come up on stage for costume judging and was turned away... and the guy who won $1K  only covered his body, legs, arms with fucking cereal boxes, and called himself the "cereal optimus prime." Da fuck indeed! It was something totally half-assed that he just threw on in a couple hours.
KamuiYamato Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually attend Youmacon every year on Halloween. I used to have to deal with all of these points on a yearly basis but thanks to Youmacon I can enjoy my favorite holiday and a convention all in the same weekend!
Ketastrophe Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Student Filmographer
I do the same thing! 
SunsetSovereign Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OH MY GOD I AGREE COMPLETELY!!! I hate it so much! I produce awesome cosplays that get recognition at cons for the character and craftsmanship but end up getting upstaged by a slutty cheaply made costume that has threads handing from the seams and hem because the male judge likes boobies. This is why I can't enter contests in the community during October. For some reason the judging criteria NEVER covers the actual craftsmanship and creativity that went into the costume and it's a load of bull!
pinupangel Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013
AuroraMaryte Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013   Artisan Crafter
I agree so much on all of this.  Especially 2, 3, and 5. 

I used a cosplay last year- it was a lolita Thor, so I think some drunk party goers actually got what I was supposed to be unlike some years past.  But it was spilled on and everything and I had nothing this year to wear unless I did that again. 
I have a beautiful dress from one of my cosplays, and thought of wearing it on the pirate themed cruise my friends are doing Friday(people at cons even confuse it with POTC sometimes, so figured everyone on the boat would think I was Elizabeth Swann)...but then I realized if someone spilled a drop on it I'd rip out their throat.  Possibly literally.  And it has a train, I know it'd be stepped on.  And I'd be uncomfortable all night, but would lose a costume contest to some asshole wearing something they threw together for like $10 but that is super short and skimpy.

So yeah.  Decided to only do the Saturday cruise anyway, not the Friday one too, but my main point is, I threw together a witch costume with a corset top and tiny 3-tiered skirt I had(and am going to use for FFXV Stella, but they're black, they won't stain...I've had the skirt for forever, it doesn't get stains on it), and my boots from my AC3 Pioneer cosplay.  Bought a hat and broom yesterday.

I have soooo many costumes, but had nothing to wear for Halloween.  My mother thought I was crazy. But going as a witch.  XD
CatTheTerrible Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so accurate. I just don't want to spend the whole night explaining to a bunch of strangers what I'm supposed to be. So I'm gonna throw on a scary unicorn mask and some fancy clothes, and call it close enough.
Rojozorra Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
All of this but most people don't ask to borrow things from me since only my friends kids fit my costumes. And I won't make something without a price anymore it always turns a "I want you to make this for me" into a "eh... let me get back to you" And then they never call about it again.

Last year I made a quick Mad Moxxi from Borderland last year and wore her out (by quick I mean I worked for almost two weeks straight since I had to sew ribbons onto the curtain I found that was the only fabric to work, I even left out a few details like the back patch, the belt buckle and the blue swirls, and after I finished my spats I realized I sewed the buttons in the wrong place), I think lost in the contest I attended to a rented Vegas Showgirl because she was "brave" and sparkly don't get me wrong she looked amazing but you know it makes me wary to wear something that elaborate again on Halloween. It takes me less time to get into Rachel Alucard from Blazblue than it does to get into Moxxi, I thought I might actually stand a chance to win something since Borderlands 2 had just come out, and even though it was from the first game she was pretty recognizable the game sold tons of copies. The other thought was if she gets stained that's ok I need to stain her anyways, so no biggy (if that curtain can even stain properly). But only a few people recognized me and I didn't win any level of prize not even 3rd place. I own 3 or 4 premades and one I've added junk to and altered quite a bit, two of them are tween costumes and both the adult costumes I own don't even fit. I hate wearing the same costume year after year but what's the point of getting really dressed up if I barely get noticed and don't stand a chance against someone who has just spent tons of money on their costume instead of making it?

I'm thinking I'll just wear black and paint my face to be the Crow this year. Because even if I don't get recognized at least I'll be comfy and warm.
RagemoreRoberts Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Student Photographer
All of this. All of the above.
McEvanSandwich Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you know what I went as! lmao. Hung out with my friends for a while and got good remarks. I will probably post a couple pics on my profile!
JiaJem Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Aw, yeah! Post pics! :D
lunaladyoflight Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I definitely got a lot of messages about number 1. I agree on all of these. My coworkers all assumed I'd be completely decked out. Considering Youmacon starts tomorrow and I worked a 4:45am shift I was like nope!
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Submitted on
October 30, 2012


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