Hey it’s almost time for another round of WIDOMW (What I Did On My Vacation) posts. Last year was a flurry of events including events promoting my new book (at the time) – Lost Boys of the Bronx– The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang. ( c’mon you knew I had to advertise it at least once LOL), NY Comic Con, an Irish-American Writers party with some big names, a Halloween Parade, and a few charity events – where one sparked one of the greatest nicknames ever – the Peeping Princess… Click the WIDOMV category over there on the right to read some of those adventures…
Starting Friday (10/7), I’m starting another 2-week October vacation. Now if you’re from my regular day-job, I will be in Cuba without phone or email and please stop reading right now however.
Ok, good it’s just my friends now, so I can be honest – I’ve got a few events lined up – NY Comic Con, the annual Irish-American Writers & Artists Awards party, my best friend Jeff’s show down at the Brighton Bar, and God knows what else… Check my Facebook or Twitter page to see where I’ll be, and check back here after the fact and I’m sure I’ll have a report of what happened…
But my biggest plans for the next two weeks may not sound thrilling to some, but to me it’s heaven. For the next two weeks, I’ll be splitting my time between my home-office and the local Scotch Plains library working on taking a big chunk out of my new book.
“What new book?” Well, you may want to check out this link for a little better background on me and my project. But, the short version is that for the last few months I have been interviewing some really cool & interesting people who get dressed up in costumes for various reasons and finding out what makes them tick. The reasons people put on a costume are a lot deeper than you would think.
Well anyway, speaking of really cool costumers, I attended a really cool costuming event yesterday (10/1/2011) down in Flemington, NJ called SuperHeroes for Hayley. It was a charity event set up by HomeTown Club in Somerset, NJ to benefit the family of a 12 year old girl with brain cancer. The Star Wars costuming group I belong to called the 501st Legion – NorthEast Remnant Garrison was requested by the fabulous Amber Love and we showed up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Saturday morning.
Events like these are great because there are so many perks to it. First and foremost, it’s a charity event for a specific cause, and in this case, person. Hayley was too sick to make it out, but knowing that we are helping out her and her family is a really great feeling.
Secondly, these events are just plain old fun. Because it is not a “canon” event (where you have to look exactly like you walked off the screen of the Star Wars movie set), there were some freedoms you could take with your costume. In the spirit of “Superheroes for Hayley”, I decided to turn my TIE Pilot into a Super-TIE Pilot with the aid of a cape. Jackie turned her Imperial Crewman in a Super-Imperial Crewman by adding a Green Lantern belt buckle. (Hey its not the partying you guys are used to, but we got quite a positive reaction from our super-accessories – LOL)
Also, this particular event was very popular – we had about 30 costumed characters from both the Star Wars (501st Legion, Rebel Legion and Capital City Jedi) and comic (DC, Marvel, Dark Horse) genres. And the costumes were awesome as you can see by the pictures below. The Superman who was there was a dead ringer for Christopher Reeve and was very popular – There were also great costumers there such as Ms Marvel, Golden Age Flash, Green AND Orange Lanterns, Batman & Bat Girl, SuperGirl, a pair of Captain Americas, and a bunch of X-Men. There was even a Static Shock, there, but he called me old, so he gets billed last LOL
Our 501st group had the added distinction of being comprised of RiffSurfer Squad members… Originally created when many of the members of the band The RiffSurfers got into costuming together, and ended up having our own little costuming clique. Currently the RiffSurfer Squad roster is James Hannon (TIE Fighter Pilot), Jackie Hannon (Imperial Crewperson), Jeff Hornlien (Han Solo), and Johnny Rox (Sandtrooper). At this event, we had an official induction of Andres Feliciano (Tusken Raider) since he became one of us this day.
Anyhoo, with all these characters, there were some great photo opps – There are some attached here, but there were MANY photographers there that day – so a quick google search will find many more…At so many points there were interesting combinations… Superman, Batman and Spiderman were chilling with a Tusken Raider; The two Captain Americas were talking trash to the X-Men; and so many more….
And with all great events, a great nickname emerged Golden Age Flash (aka Andrew) was named Captain ThorJob. I originally planned to just leave that to speak for itself, but I’ll soon forget the reasons behind the nickname if I don’t.
Andrew’s costumes have a tendency to be mistaken for other costumes… His Golden Age Flash has commonly been called Captain Marvel for the big ol’ lightning bolt on his chest. But for some reason people thought he was Thor today (I don’t see it, but maybe people got confused with the Greek god Mercury (who he does look like) and the Norse god Thor – who knows? I get called Darth Vader all the time in my TIE pilot.) The new one is that Andrew threatened to throw his WW1 Doughboy helmet at someone, and was called OddJob from the James Bond franchise. And of course, someone combined these three characters together and Captain ThorJob was born.
The weather was worrisome with expected showers throughout the day, but it didn’t rain until we were already on the way home. And the temperature was a wonderful 60-70 degrees with a nice breeze which was great for feeding air into my black plastic helmet.
During the day, there were some great funny moments
- At one point, we were taking group pictures during the day, and the cars just wouldn’t stop coming…So after we had the large group and Star Wars photos taken, Johnny Rox and I were on traffic detail (John in his Sandtrooper, me in my TIE Pilot). The first car to come upon our road block stopped, and John walked over to them to tell them to hold up… Now John had his Sandtrooper rifle, and the old guy in the car didn’t wait for John to get near, he just started backing up trying to get away from John… It was kinda funny – especially since he didn’t kill anybody backing up in a panic
- We were taking some small Star Wars group pix with a family that had 3 young boys (prob between 6 & 9 years old). The first kid got into photo position perfectly. The second kid was more of a problem and darted out into the parking lot traffic to avoid the pic – Jeff as Han Solo caught him before he got too far and carried him back and plopped him right into position. The third kid saw this and when the parents went to get him, he looked at Jeff and just about pooped his drawers thinking Jeff was gonna grab him too…I wish I had the kids facial reaction on camera! I think he put holes in his sneakers trying to claw his toes thru them and into the ground. Thank God I had a helmet on so that the parents didnt see the tears coming down my face from laughing so hard… (yeah, I’m going to Hell)
It was a great day – There were 30-40 costumers from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, the 501st & Rebel Legions, and the Capital City Jedi there. And there was a lot of mutual respect and tomfoolery between all of us in costumes. But the best part is that we helped raise $1,000 for the family of a little girl with Cancer. And the family was deeply appreciative of us for coming out.
Afterwards, all our RiffSurfer Squad guys and Andrew (Captain ThorJob) in the Mennonite (less stricter Amish) owned Dutch Farmers Market that the event was in front of, and the all you can eat buffet-style food was awesome… I also realized that 3 of the heartiest eaters I have ever known were at the same table… Andres (who is legendary), Jeff (almost as bad as Andres), and Andrew (who recently ate a pound of Bacon because he “felt better after being sick”) and just hearing their past eating exploits got me nauseous – but in a good sort of way. LOL
If you read this far, thank you! If you would like to be a part of my new costuming book mentioned above, drop me a line at email@example.com
More pictures here