Halloween is kind of a big deal for me. This year I was sad not to be able to throw an enormous party, but it did give me an opportunity to put some more thought into my costume than usual.
I always go as something comic-book-related; typically I go as a super-villain (I broke that tradition last year and sort of regretted doing so). In the past I’ve chosen characters based on my personal affinity for them and a balance between the feasibility and potential awesomeness of the costume. I kind of ignored that this time. This year I went as Dr. Manhattan. Like every other self-respecting geek, I love Watchmen, and there were some personal resonances that made me want to go as doc.
I’m supposed to be dressed the way Dr. Manhattan was when he made a TV appearance in the comic. There isn’t anything particularly important about that scene — it’s just the only one where he isn’t naked (I wasn’t that committed to the project).
I think people tend to have a confused reaction to Dr. Manhattan when reading the book. It’s very tempting to view him as a sympathetic character. For one thing, he’s omnipotent, and people naturally find themselves sucking up to all-powerful authority figures. Also, his backstory does make him something of a victim. Finally, he’s helpless — in a sense — and people mistake helplessness for innocence. But this is a bad judgment. In truth the guy’s actions are abhorrent both before and after his self-imposed exile. So I feel comfortable including him in the “villain” costume list.
At any rate, the costume was well-received, though most often as “blue man” or “blue man group” (on the way home a woman yelled out to me that her brother-in-law is an actual blue man group blue man, an admission that I think left us both embarrassed). Choosing a costume that’s so thoroughly makeup-based is definitely a pain in the ass — I think it’ll be a few years before I go down that road again. And to be honest, people mostly just liked the contact lenses: they worked great, thoroughly disturbed people, and seem not to have blinded me. And hey! At a mere $25, I think they’re well worth the investment. A+++, would stick into my eyes again.