Seven Costumes of Comics: Horror Creatures

I’m a huge fan of the SyFy Channel’s reality show Face Off. As a child, I’d watch a show on weekend mornings called Movie Magic which introduced me to the world of special FX makeup and has led to a fascination with practical effects used in film. There is an amazing amount of artistry and engineering that goes into every makeup seen on Face Off. Creators must design and execute the concept while maintaining realism and believably.

Vancouver Film School Makeup Design by Katie Middleton via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Vancouver Film School Makeup Design by Katie Middleton via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Halloween gives amature creature designers a chance to express themselves and explore now artistic styles. A quick search in YouTube and you will find thousands of tutorials to turn yourself into a deer, sugar skull or creepy doll with only makeup. Others use Halloween to hone more specific skills including creating elaborate, full face prosthetics requiring life molds and hundreds of hours of prep work.

In creating many of these costumes, creators draw inspiration from all sorts of objects and source materials.

uzumakiUzumaki by Junji Ito exemplifies body horror and the creative process involved with horror character creation. In Uzumaki, a coastal Japanese town is cursed by spirals, once you see a spiral, you begin a slow descent into madness. What starts off as a simple fascination slowly expands into full blown horror, all based on the spiral shape. The curl of the eardrum, a mosquito’s retracted mouth, and a snail all serve as inspiration for horrific psychical transformations as the spiral consume you.

The art of Uzumaki is truly horrifying in the black and white manga style, and uses that style to explores a lot of themes. Comprised of many short stories following a young woman named Kirie, and how her family and friends are affected by the curse. For a wonderfully creepy way to keep the Halloween horror spirit alive after tonight, stop by your local comic book shop or library tomorrow and check out Uzumaki.

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