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June 11, 2007




I'm sorry, but as a WFMU subscriber I just couldn't bring myself to appreciate this epic story of your long lost friend "THE ELABORATE COSTUME MAKER"

In my view, the internet is already plenty full of Star Wars websites, and role-playing costume websites and Star Wars role-playing obsessive websites and costuming blogs and role-playing blogs.

As a somewhat settled and normal and fun-loving human being, I'm puzzled as to why folks are so fascinated by grown adults who participate in often creepy child-like activities?

There's a technical term for this sort of behavior: neotony - it's when under-developed childhood characteristics are brought into adulthood - neotonous behavior is when people don't grow up in a normal, responsible manner -just look at George W. Bush, Paris Hilton and others, who not only are big babies but they're big babies who influence our lives down to the wars we wage and the sunglasses we wear.

I've always looked forward to reading this blog every day (becasue it provides an alternative to mainstream culture) and if 10,000 word essays on "ELABORATE COSTUME MAKERS" are what's on the menu, then count me out.

Besides, the whole kitschy "Star Wars" thing was played out back about 1985. "Star Wars" culture just doesn't cut it for me, especially in a blog that I pay for with my fund drive dollars.

Better luck next time



Poppycock and balderdash!
If I had any criticism about this blog, and I do, it would be that there is far too many posts that are nothing but links to other sites, popular news stories or flavour of the week internet crazes.
This article was a personal and unique take on a creative individual who would have otherwise been lost in the huge Sci Fi fandom miasma that the interent houses. If I wanted to nitpick I could also point out that it was only partially Star Wars related.
I say "more" to original content like this and the weekend's excellent Stringbean article.


PS. Bring back the message board.


If I had any criticism about this blog, I would cite its preoccupation with mutation and skin disease.

Not crazy about the costuming stuff, but the Gotham City outfit did put me in the mind of Red Grooms.


I am into both role-playing and Star Wars collecting and contrary to popular opinion the two are NOT mutually exclusive

These wonderful costumes do show us something about ourselves as a society and I would hope more people would be more open-minded about fetish art such as this

In prehistoric days, such costuming was a sign of power and mastery over the elements- this gentleman is showing his own mastery over the elements by shaping costumes and i applaud him for it - meg NJ

Nick The Bard

WFMU. Serious Business.

So I'm assuming the green staff is supposed to be the DSII laser?


Yeah I think WFMU should limit itself to determining exactly how many godfathers punk had.

Morgan W

I think they have them other places, but here in Portland we have Renaissance Fairs every once in a while. Have only been to one, but it's nothing but people dressed up in period clothing or variations on period costuming (speaking in horrible Renaissance English accents,too!)

for me, anyone who dresses up other than Halloween night should be considered with great suspicion-especially anyone freaky enough to put a DEATH STAR on their head

if some extreme costuming person like this moved in next to me I'd call the cops then move as far away as possible-life's stressful enough without Death Star costume people threatening my peace and quiet-

to use a cliche "get a life"

Brian Nicholson

Oh man, that last thing at the end is a reference to Paper Rad's Trash Talking... another level of amazing thrown on top.


I think the costumes are kinda tacky. They don't look like much fun to wear, and the "craftiness" behind them is pretty limited, it looks like a bunch of toys and cut outs glued to fabric and cardboard. I guess the internet is desperate for its next distraction.

Bonnie Burton

Hope you don't mind, but I blogged about your awesome interview on the official Lucasfilm Star Wars blog here:


this article was fascinating. my husband and i have a healthy relationship with costuming and role-playing, though I tend to do most of the dressing up

Ron Davis

i'm happily married now, but back in high school when all my buddies had the hots for Carrie Fisher I had a big crush on Chewbacca. nowadays, whenever my kids put in an old Star Wars movie I have to leave the room

it was mentioned up above, but i think the real fascination people have for costuming and Star Wars idol worship is pure sexual fetishism- why else would anybody want to hide in a big ugly Death Star mask? Like Frank Zappa said "it's all leather and plastic"

Zack B.

Wow, it is amazing to me how threatened and frightened some of these boring people are by this guy's creativity. I think it's great that someone can go outside the norm and try something other than the typical costume fare. Who wants to see another damn idiot dressed up as Luke Skywalker, or a sailor on Halloween? These are well thought out, elaborate representations of the films they are based on, I give this guy two thumbs up. Here's to not staying inside the lines! And as far as that Morgan person is concerned, I don't think anyone who is this creative would really take any interest in having you as a neighbor either... you might just sap that creativity right outta him...


I co-manage a costume shop here in Queens (Rubies) and I can tell you that after nurse, cop and Little Bo Beep costumes "Star Wars" character outfits are our most popular rentals. The Princess Leia slave girl costume is especially in demand - last week was the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars and we were completely rented out of Star Wars costumes and peripherals (sabres, etc)

Who knows juust how many of these costumes are rented for bedroom activities - a good third of our overall rentals appear to be fetish or sex-related

Chris R.

I appreciated the article and Dave T.'s creativity, even if it isn't precisely music-related. Is creaming your jeans over a rare 45 really much more "grown-up" than getting excuted about favorite movies? I don't think so; we all have interests. Let 1,000 flowers bloom!

Dale Hazelton

Maybe the best way to vote "no" on a certain topic is to simply not respond to the post. Costumes aren't my cup of tea either, but you have to appreciate the creativity and uniqueness of Daves work. My suggestions for non-sci-fi films to costume up:
1. The Battleship Potemkin
2. Fitzcarraldo
3. Modern Times
4. Birth of a Nation
5. Smokey and the Bandit


Nice observation, thanks.

Brian George

Dale Hazelton wrote:: "Maybe the best way to vote "no" on a certain topic is to simply not respond to the post..."

Making responses to a post (any post) is what this comments section is all about. If only positive comments were posted here then it would be very dull reading overall.

If I don't care for something, I have every right to voice my opinion here- especially since I am also a WFMU subscriber.

Even here in 2007, I'm seeing much too much "keep you opinions to yourself" stuff around here - and it's a bit unsettling.

Dale Hazelton

Hey, I'm all for freedom of speech. My response was in reaction to a couple of the comments that seemed to me to go beyond being an opinion on the topic, and bash Dave's character. I just felt that phrases like "creepy child-like activities" and "get a life" were simply personal attacks. Everyone has likes/dislikes, hobbies, aspirations -- if they don't agree with your own, don't think you are justified in tearing the person down. People can obviously say whatever they wish within the relative anonimity of a web blog, but maybe their words can be a little less caustic.


Hey Dale,

You sound kinda like the O'Reilly Factor. (Shut up!) Hope yer not related to Rich.

I have to agree - the Stringbean article was by and far an amazing read. And I live in Nashville. The article about Dave T. Smith was not. Please note that this article was linked on the Geek culture site BoingBoing. Which is where it ought to have been originated, rather than here. Slashdot would have been even better.


Can't wait to see the JFK assassination costume.


Oh - and I'm a "subscriber" (?! - it's a not subscription) also, like that fucking matters (WHERE IS MY SWAG?).

Keep it up, Mark.


Fun reading! A great non-sf costume would be...THE TOWERING INFERNO!

fatty jubbo

I am amazed at people's extreme reactions to this article. Even though I could care less about geeky Star Wars/Batman sort of stuff- I still feels this fits into WFMU's aesthetic...I mean the guy is creating a whole goddamn scene and walking around with it. Mark Allen is great at bringing really interesting stories/articles to this blog.

Dave T. Smith

Thanks to all for the input.
But for my detractors...where to begin?

/911, what's your emergency?/
[OHMYGARSH, there's a guy moving in next door!]
/Really now. I'll ask again, what's your emergency?/
[You don't understand...he's got a Death Star!]
/A death star? Like in the movies?/
[Yeah, exactly!]
/Even at that, I'm sure it would fall under the Second Amendment./
[No, it's not a weapon. He's going to wear it!]
/He's going to wear, what...the death star?/
[As a costume! And it's not even Halloween!]
/But he's at least wearing something, correct?/
[He was when he carried the thing in; looked heavy.]
/Are you aware that it is a criminal offense to crank call 911 operators?/
[I'm not a crank! Get the police out here! He's going to interrupt my peace and quiet!]
/(sound like you're doing that already) So you'd like to report a noise disturbance...at two in the afternoon?/
[Well, not so much of a disturbance, really.]
/Then I'll ask again. What's your emergency?/
[He's engaging in rampant neotony!]
/Monotony and excess noise typically don't coexist./
[Neotony! He doesn't fit within my preconceptions of a good neighbor.]
/But he hasn't even finished moving in yet./
[Next thing you know he'll be playing with LEGO and watching cartoons. See? Now he's moving in a...a... Television set!]
/But is he actually breaking a law?/
[Not that I can ascertain. But he's going to...I just know it.]
/Sounds like he's broken the boundaries of one box and you're trying to force him into another./
[I'm an adult, forchrissake, and things must be categorized!]
/Don't worry, ma'am. We've got your address and the police are on the way./
[Arrgh! Never mind. I'll just move back to Jersey.] *click*

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