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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Trunk or Treat 2014 - Invader Zim

As mentioned, we participated in the school Trunk or Treat event again this year. Last year I kind of regretted signing up to have a car at the event, as we were kind of still adjusting to our new school routine, and all the other work craziness and things that were going on at the time. This year I found the time to help with the planning committee, assembled a room basket, took off a day to help set up for the Trunk or Treat event, and host a car. I guess you make time for things that are important to you, and we collectively have determined that this event is important to us.


So I was tasked with making costumes. We were using one of Hank's favorite shows as inspiration - Invader Zim. The show is about 15 years old now, but he has been watching it through Amazon Instant Video. Just putting it out there, as we encountered somebody tonight who has Amazon Prime, but didn't realize that entitles them to a good amount of free content through Amazon Instant Video. It does, and, well, between that and what content we buy or rent through Amazon, we are even considering dropping Netflix, so yeah -- check out Amazon Instant Video if you have Amazon Prime!


Hank was Zim (in his true Irken form), Everett was GIR (dressed as a dog), I was a girl from "skool" named Gaz, and BT was Gaz's dad, Professor Membrane. For all the costumes, we tried to buy what we could to fit with the concept, and then embellish. For Hank, I bought a maroonish striped t-shirt, black pants, and black hi-tops. Zim wears pointy boots, but figured these would get more use afterwards. I made him a hat to wear instead of opting for painting his face green or something. I winged it on both of the hat patterns -- the backs look kind of funky, but overall I think I did a good job capturing the head shapes of their characters. For Zim's eyes, I found clear plastic eggs filled with slime at the dollar store, and colored the inside of the egg halves pink. There are pipe cleaner antennae on the hat -- hard to see in any of the pics.


An important element for Hank's costume was the Irken Pak. You can read way more than you would ever need to know in everyday life about this pack by following the link. The pack stores the Irken aliens' knowledge and personality, and is filled with an endless supply of cool gadgets. I made a round bottom drawstring backpack with straps. I attached whatever the pink triangle things are from Zim's outfit to the pack. Finally I made a pink collar for Hank to wear. Since hardly anybody recognized us, you can imagine the pink received some looks and comments. I for one am ready for all the gender bias bs to be filed away with all the other outdated stereotypes and discriminatory behaviors our society has perpetuated for far too long. Stepping off soapbox now.


For Everett's outfit, I bought a long sleeved black shirt and black pants. I used his skunk costume to make the pattern for a GIR body suit to be worn over the pants and shirt. I used duct tape to add the zipper detail. His hat was made in a similar way to Hank's Zim hat. The eyes were made from a styrofoam ball. Couldn't be happier with how his costume turned out!

I don't have any pictures of me dressed as Gaz yet, but I know some folks took them, so will add when then become available. I wore a purple wig, a black and white striped shirt under a black sleeveless dress, and purple and black striped tights. I added a felt skull to a necklace to complete Gaz's outfit.


BT had a lot of fun putting together his Professor Membrane costume. He bought a lot of "real" elements for his costume (rubber boots, rubber gloves, goggles), and although they seemed like big ticket purchases, they weren't that bad in terms of price. Definitely shows that assembling a costume can be cheaper than buying the poorly made costumes available today. He bought a lab coat that I modified. This was the hardest part of the costume figuring out that I had to do. Unfortunately I was doing it the night before we needed it. If we had just one more night, I would have been ok, but stayed up most of the night, with my model unable to assist in fitting as he was asleep. In the morning, when I basically threw the coat at him to try on, I figured there was no way it would fit. It actually did! My only mistake was that I should have made the buttons for use with real buttonholes, versus just using velcro. Everything would pull apart when he moved. I hadn't done the buttonholes because I wasn't sure how the whole thing fit -- again, just one more night!


As a final element for BT's costume, I made Professor Membrane's signature lightening bolt mohawk thingy by attaching a felt zigzag piece to a plastic bald cap from Daiso.


While I was working on costumes, BT was making a wonderful replica of Zim's house. I was thinking it would be my height or so. BT measured the back to the truck, and figured out the dimensions that would maximize the width of the truck. Yet again, we ended up with a structure taller than our house, lol. He built the frame with 2x4s, and the covered in cardboard we scrounged from a furniture supply store. He figured out a way to highlight the windows, and allow for dollar store clip lights to be included behind them. Electrical tape was used to make the roof opening at the top.


He bought a few ducts to stick out of the house, and made a satellite dish on the top using a dollar store candy bowl and oil collection kit. You can imagine everybody was impressed with the huge scale of the house, even if they had no idea what it represented.


I made all the extras -- the camera fish were made from pink balloons with paper features added on. I made a men's room sign for the door (Zim tries to fit in to life on earth, but doesn't understand all of the elements he is imitating when he builds his house). The front porch light had a tap light behind it. The gnomes are a distinctive part of the front yard decor -- I added red lights for their eyes, as they, too, serve as security for the house. And -- it wouldn't be Zim's house without the I heart earth sign!


There were some specific categories for the contest portion of the event, and we knew we weren't going to fit in any of them. Next year we were thinking we would do something more recognizable, and try to do something interactive and with animation. Hmmm....

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