My friend Brian’s San Diego Comic Con costume is everywhere at the moment. People I know from all different fora have been posting the photos of him and his girlfriend in their They Live alien getup, complete with weird skull-like faces, and (brilliant idea) tshirts and bags with simple messages like “CONSUME” and “NO IMAGINATION”. This is taken from the 1988 John Carpenter film, where aliens have invaded, but no-one notices, until a drifeter finds a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see what is really all around him…
Brian loves this stuff. He’s an old friend of Cassie’s, and one of the first people she introduced me to in Los Angeles. We got on immediately – he’s an Anglophile, scooter AND motorbike rider, and a makeup pro (and proud union member). I helped him set up his website (the sparse original, not this polished new one). Because he’s “industry”, he got me into San Diego Comic Con in 2008 and 2009, and also Wonder Con in SF in 2010. In 2009, he had the idea of us going as a zombie from the comedy film Fido, which is set in a 1950’s suburbia where zombies are domesticated – as long as they have their control collars on. He assembled the costumes (I still have my overall) and collars, and I figured I knew enough about wires and soldering to make the collars functional. In the movie, the collars light up when they are working, and if they’re not, the zombie “reverts to type” and starts eating people.
I had the idea of putting in different colored lights, a buzzer, and a switch down inside the sleeve, so that normally the light would be green, and we would be docile and safe to be around. But now and then, say when people wanted to take their picture with us (which happened a lot) we could flip the switch and the light would flash red and a buzzer would sound, and we would go into “mindless killer” mode. A cool schtick, lots of fun, and people enjoyed it.
Of course, it turned out to be more complex than I had anticipated, and it was only with the online help from a forum pal ‘rocket 88’ and my cybersecurity expert pal Dan in San Diego, who let me go over there and take up an evening of his time soldering and wiring, that I managed to get them working. Well-overdue thanks to them both.
Just yesterday, I hear that Brian got an Emmy nomination for his work on an episode of The Middle, a show I will admit to not having heard of. Big congratulations to Brian, and awesome job on the costumes! Proud of you.