I was eyeballing my bookshelf for a quick-n-dirty costume, because I putzed on doing anything interesting for Halloween, and might find myself in need of one. I came to a disturbing realization about the relative distinctiveness of male and female major characters in media I’m fond of.
Lisbeth Salander: Black clothes, black wig/temp dye, and some costume punk jewelry. Best with a couple sheets of inkjet temporary tatoo stock for wasp and dragon. Recognizable to anyone who knows the character.
Mikael Blomkvist: No matter how hard you try, just a dude in a suit.
Dolores Haze: White top, white skirt, $2 heart-shaped sunglasses. Done. Plaid skirt and white button down with said glasses would work too. (Fun fact: those glasses are from the Kubrick movie, not the book.)
Humbert Humbert: Dude in a suit. (Unless you do something creative and likely to end in a public indecency charge)
Various William Gibson Pieces:
Cayce Pollard (Pattern Recognition): Black tube skirt, black bomber jacket, clunky boots. Recognizable to anyone who knows the character – Hell, major plots are based on her taste. (sidenote: you can now get a black MA-1 lookalike for less than $50, instead of $600 for the Buzz Rickson’s in the book. Rothco even makes them in long to get around the “bomber jackets look like halter tops on my frame” issue.)
Molly Millions (Neuromancer) – Silvered dollar-store sunglass lenses adhered to your eye-sockets, unpainted aluminum-can nail extensions. Done.
Henry Dorsett Case (Neuromancer): Not even a memorable physical description.
Hubertus Bigend (most recent three novels): Granted, he’s recognizable, but an International Klein Blue suit isn’t exactly easy to come by, even as fabric stock.
Ready Player One:
[Redacted for thpoilerth]
Note that this isn’t total lack of ideas: there are some excellent costumes I can think of, especially from old video games, but not many fall into the “Less than $20 in readily available parts” range that my level of give a fuck supports. It doesn’t help that Female-As-Male-Character costumes are, as a rule, cute, and Male-As-Female-Character costumes are, as a rule, creepy. When we were kids we made jokes about Halloween parties always degenerating to girls in costumes and guys in indistinct black outfits. It’s true because it’s our culture.
Pretty sure if I end up needing a costume, my laser printer, a piece of elastic, and some poster stock will be making a rage comics face happen at the last moment.