Field and I ended up basing his Robin costume on Tim Drake’s second Robin look, which coincidentally, was SUPER close to a Robin redesign I’d done in college, which makes sense since the designer (I believe Ed McGuinness) and I both were inspired by Bruce Timm’s second Robin look. McGuinness cleverly added long sleeves, a pouch belt, gauntlet “jags,” and the feathered cape, all of which smartly served to bring Robin’s costume closer to Batman’s than ever before.
For Field’s costume, I’d initially planned on copying my redesign from You’ll Be Safe Here, but Field favored a black and yellow cape rather than the green one, I’d designed, and the hood seemed a bit difficult for me and my mom to work. I’d also planned on the nod to Damian’s tunic, but I didn’t want to attempt modifying the Under Armor fabric, and it looked fine tucked in.
For the feet, I found lace-up Converse boots that only needed a little Plasti-Dip black on the white parts to get them up to code, and they served as a nod to Damian’s kicks. I added DC booth give-away Damian “R” symbol buttons to the side for an extra touch of quality. The belt-buckle and mask are from a Teen Titans cartoon show Robin playset I bought nearly ten years ago to get the included Titans communicator (that, infuriatingly, looks amazing, but doesn’t play the right ringtone). The belt is a simple child’s belt spray-painted yellow.
The “R” symbol is a patch someone bought me a few years ago for my birthday, and I used to wear it on a red cardigan to conventions. That seemed like a good thing to pass on to my boy. The gloves are long costume gloves from Party City, hemmed to the forearm, and the trunks are women’s athletic shorts from Target. I also got him a large wooden dowel and painted it silver to look like Tim’s aluminum bo staff, but we haven’t taken any pictures with it. Yet.
I wanted to post these notes because I find costuming for Halloween incredibly enjoyable, and I was raised by my mom to make costumes at home by modifying easily assembled off-the-rack pieces, because we both agree they end up looking much higher in quality than most store-bought costumes. And I wanted to talk about it because I wanted to show how easy it is to be on the lookout and put together a damn good costume relatively inexpensively over the course of the month, with a few modifications to the original pieces. Also, I wanted to point out that costumes don’t have to be rigidly tied to one interpretation of the character. I feel like this custom Robin looks INCREDIBLY authentic as the Boy Wonder, but clearly is a collection of curated nods to various versions of the character, like many of the designs I made for You’ll Be Safe Here.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the additional info! :)
I finally walked my five-year-old son through some of the crimes this country was founded upon in order to explain the Civil Rights Movement & celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s work today. I barely kept my composure showing Field the full video of I Have a Dream.
He could hardly get his head around the idea that racism exists. And I know he’ll never understand it, for it continues to confound me, and he’s better than I am, and lives in a better world than the one I grew up in. His school is taught in three languages. His closest friends aren’t mostly white, or even all boys.
“That’s SO LAME,” he said. Yep. It’s one of the dumbest, most useless, and most destructive ideas ever conceived. The best thing about racism, sexism, and homophobia is that those who hold to those diseased ideas will die, their numbers and power diminishing, if slowly, in the cold march of time and the hard light of day.
As a child, I remember being proud of the Stone Mountain shout-out in I Have a Dream, not knowing that it was one of the foundational locations of the KKK. I grew up buying glow-sticks and cotton candy there. I hiked to the top of that mountain in fourth grade. The idea of standing there, looking out from where those terrorists plotted their crimes now sickens me. Why didn’t anyone tell us?
There is more sad truth to impart as Field grows older. I think I’m particularly good at explaining things, and even better at explaining them to my son. I want him to know the truth early, and grow to grasp the complexities, rather than be blindsided by it like I was. But I believe he will become a man in a new dawn for our country, as so many fight inch by inch to make good on the promises of our founding documents.
I’m listening to the Mountaintop speech again now, myself. This one’s my favorite. “We as a people,” in the conclusion has always broken me, for Dr. King’s constant implication of inclusiveness. His hope for the future always included me and my son, living in a better nation, being made even better with every new foothold towards freedom in the Land we were all Promised.
We had a merry Batmas on Christmas Eve morning, Surprise Christmas on Christmas Eve night, Spider-Christmas on Christmas morning, and Family Christmas that afternoon. Field, Lola, and D. look appropriately merry.
It was a very good Christmas. I got socks. I was saddest to say goodbye to my Doctor. I was happiest to spend my first Christmas with Ace. <3 <3
I gave my son, who I call “Field” online, my old iPhone. His favorite “game” on it is Brushes, an iOS touch-drawing app we both like. Yesterday, he asked if I thought my friends on the internet (boy does that dude have my number) would like to see them. So, I’ve started a new Tumblr for his art.
I’m his dad, and obviously, and as an artist, I’d like the very fact that he enjoys drawing so much even if I didn’t find his pieces interesting. But I really do. He favors symmetrical patterns and abstract simplifications of pop culture artifacts he likes, and he often chooses to work in black, red, and pink (the last being his favorite color). I find this preoccupation fascinating and curious. I share his attraction to symmetry and order, but it manifests in how I arrange objects in real life more than in my art. Unless you count my instincts for, but complete lack of understanding of, the rules of composition. Maybe this instinct is what I’m seeing in Field’s art.
Anyway, I imagine only friends and family will follow, but here’s the link if you’re interested in checking out Field’s art. You can also request a piece inspired by a character or idea, and I’ll ask him if he wants to take a swing at it.