Things have a way of working themselves out… aka the Death and Dream story

Things don’t always go as you want them to or even more rare, as you plan them to. Thus is the story of how our plans to make the Darkness and the Angelus for Phoenix Comic-con 2011 turned into a pretty-darn-good-if-I-do-say-so-myself version of 2 of Neil Gaiman’s endless Death and Dream.

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First, let’s start with the factoid that I don’t think there’s been one event yet that Garrick and I haven’t been rushing to finish something up until the day of the deadline. Ah, such is the life of procrastinators…That been said, I actually had Darkness and Angelus planned out for over a year! Serves me right for planning ahead!
I have loved the Darkness/Witchblade for a while now so it was only natural that I would bribe Garrick into dressing up like Jackie. We had planned a few different ideas on what we wanted it to look like from the classic Darkness and Angelus to a more modern “plain clothes” take on these characters. When doing “over-the-top” characters, I usually like to take a “plain-clothes” approach to translating their costumes into real life. Not everything that’s drawn will look good in person. So I decided to base these ideas off of a few concept drawings I had seen.
The Darkness/Jackie Estacado
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I had an idea (I know it’s rare…) since Garrick and I were working with EL wire so much for all of the TRON stuff, I thought how great would that be to try to incorporate our new-found skills with that and use it for something different. Since I though Garrick would be more comfortable in a nice suit instead of another spandex catsuit with many felted muscles underneath I thought it would be fun to show the duality of the Darkness in a way I have never seen any one portray him.
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My idea was to make a panel on the inside of the lapel of the jacket that was composed of between 10-15 pairs of glowing eyes. We would make this by cutting varying sizes of EL tape and cutting the shape of “darkling” eyes out of electrical tape and taping that on top of the EL. Through the placement and the setting on each battery pack we could achieve a flickering effect in varying degrees for each set of eyes so they would look like they are living in the dark of the jacket. This would only be a low-light or night time costume in order to show off the effects properly. I was pretty proud of myself for this one, too bad it hasn’t happened yet…
The Angelus/Original Host
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The Angelus I decide to take the same approach to. Not only am I not comfortable wearing next-to-nothing, but that doesn’t really challenge me as a designer either. So I decide to take a page from Adam Hughes and his “Women of the DC Universe” spread and model the Angelus’s clothes after Wonder Woman’s dress. The two characters are similar in the way they carry themselves and their attitude and WW pose in that picture struck me as a pose the Angelus would take, hense where I got the dress idea. Gladiator heels were then a must and the wings and color scheme were going to be modeled after Stefan Sejic’s drawing of the Angelus Timeline.
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Alas, this also was not meant to be just yet…
Now that you have that background of planning here’s one giant run-on sentence about what actually happened.
(deep breath!)
We went to Goodwill to find Garrick a nice suit and pants and found one that also had some colored cumber buns that I could re-purpose for Zatanna, in the same trip I found a black double grommeted belt that was in my exact size which I bought because I had always wanted to make a Death costume and you don’t really find things like that often so we went home to order the wigs and the feathers but decided to wait on the feathers because it was only a month away and we didn’t know if we were going to get them in time to actually finish them properly so I decided to do a plain-clothes version of Witchblade since Jackie and Sara had a baby in the new issues both the costumes would still go together (see picture below) but then we
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ran out of time to make the Witchblade and the Darkness gauntlet and the wigs came in and they were awful, mine looked like a tranny and Garrick’s looked so emo it hurt so…..
(deep breath!!!) I remembered buying the belt and thought “hey I have black hair, and black pants, and black boots, and a black blazer, and a smiley face pin that Ron left at the house that come free with the jackets he bought (that left at home when packing for con…), and white make-up I should go as Death” all I would need is an umbrella and an Ankh so I told Garrick and forced him to be Dream by re-styling the emo wig with tons of cheap hairspray, doing a test run of the makeup, and having him try it all on with the suit we had just bought and there you have it, that’s how Death and Dream were born!
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I just recently bought some black contacts for Dream and some grey ones for Death so hopefully we can get a photo shoot set up soon!
We had a great time at Phoenix Comic-con this year, went as Zatanna and Batman on Friday because well it’s hot hear and any excuse for me to bust out my “no pants” costume the better! We were able to spend time with people we hadn’t seen in awhile and we even made a bunch of great new friends! Here’s a collage to show everything: (not I forgot my camera in the hotel most of the time so i can’t take credit for any of these photos, thank you to the talented people who took them!)
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2 thoughts on “Things have a way of working themselves out… aka the Death and Dream story

  1. Haha! You are too cute and funny and yet very talented and creative. I always know that no matter how much time, what you choose or rechoose, you and Garrick come out looking amazing!
    So glad to have such a brilliant friend and co-costume conspirator.

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