As promised, here are some pictures and details of the finished Superman costume. These were taken in a dark nightclub on Saturday night, where Anna and I went to meet some friends and fellow caricaturists. I had a lot more pictures but many were just so blurry I couldn’t post them. Some of the artists we met there had some great costumes, and I don’t have pictures of everybody. Too bad.
Me in the Supersuit… a little bulgy in places.
Zack Wallenfang as Steve Irwin
My ravishing wife Anna as Kryptonite!!
Kelly and Jim Hungaski as a yard Flamingo and Gnome
Anna and I
The Superman suit is a kind of modified version of the “Superman Returns” movie suit. I actually really got to like that version after seeing the film and doing the parody. The textured and patterned nature of the material made sense (it is supposed to be Kryptonian cloth) and looked great on the screen. I really like the 3D “S” emblem, and even the little mini “S” symbols in it that makes the texture grew on me. The belt also looked good. For the purist, the costume seemed to depart from tradition for no reason, but on the screen it worked. Unfortunately the materials were custom made for the film, and it’s apparently a lot easier to make sculpted, latex armor than a blue stretch material with diamond patterns in it. So, I did the best I could to match the movie look and changed a few things along the way I did not like about the new movie look.
I had a line on some authentic blue 4-way stretch material with the exact diamond pattern in it from a guy who was having it printed in bulk via a dye-sublimation process. This was pretty expensive and when the delivery date kept getting pushed back until it was uncomfortably close to getting the suit made in time, I canceled that order and went with a close color in regular spandex from Spandexwear. I had them reverse the material so the glossy side was in and the more matte side was out. These bodysuits are well made and inexpensive, I used a black one for the Batsuit.
One thing I disliked about the movie suit design was as the speedo-like shorts he wore. Let’s face it, wearing shorts on the outside of your pants is just weird and cannot look cool. Still, with those low riders in the movie Brandon Routh looks like he has the torso length of a weasel. I went with more of a trunk with a higher waist. I got them for $8.00 at NYDancewear. These have no texture like the film version, but the color is close.
Since I had no patterns on the bodysuit or trunks, I really needed an impressive “S” emblem for the chest. Fortunately I found someone called the Bronze Armory who makes a flexible urethane “S” symbol that was cast right from one of the movie ones, complete with the little “S” pattern in it. This emblem seems bigger than the one Routh wore in the movie, which is fine with me as I thought his seemed a bit small. The makers have an eBay store and sell all sorts of cool movie prop replicas. Anna had to help me superglue it to the bodysuit.
Also made by the Bronze Armory, this is a nice urethane replica of the movie belt. I think it and the symbol are a little thicker than the actual movie versions, but they look pretty convincing.
As usual, the most expensive part of the suit. The actual movie boots are a very unique and odd design, with a wrap around calf and inset textured leather. No one makes and exact copy, but Motorcowboy, the company I got my bat boots from, make a pseudo-movie version with at least the right color. They aren’t the movie boots but they are great looking boots just the same.
This was another thing I needed to get right. In the movie the cape seems to tuck into the shirt at the top along the collar, and is a dark red leather-like material with a brighter red lining. It is also without seams except on the edges. I found a guy via eBay who makes these using red pleather material, and creates the movie look at the neck by sewing in a metal curve along the collar and attaching two straps at the corners, which go in front of each shoulder, under your armpits and snaps between your shoulder blades at your back. Works well and hold the heavy cape in place, but limits arm movement a bit. No texture here either, but the nice leather look and the right color.
All in all a pretty good Superman costume. Next time I plan on wearing it, I will have to step up the cardio the month before and lose a few pounds because spandex isn’t kind to even a little bulge in the old waistline!
Oh, I also have to give props to my neighbor Tracy, who is a hair stylist and did the color job and hairstyling for me. That really made the look. You have to love Halloween… it give us grown up geeks an excuse to wear our underwear outside our pants and get our nerd on in public.
758 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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