Maker Comics: Create a Costume!
Create a Costume! is another outstanding entry in the Maker Comics line. Kids these days want to dress up for conventions and other gatherings, and the emphasis here is very much encouraging do-it-yourself.
Guided by the Costume Critter, a hamster in a hat and cape, Bea and Parker learn how to decorate, modify, and repurpose secondhand clothes into outfits that can be used for
- a magical girl or boy
- a witch or wizard
- a space traveller
- a superhero (including a shield and a belt with pouches)
- an alien or monster
Readers learn how to create a pattern, add details to basic clothes, cut and pin fabric, craft headgear and props, and use a sewing machine. There are a lot of instructions and details, so aspiring costumers may find themselves going over key pages multiple times. The directions here seem workable, and the pictures help a lot, but they do seem a bit intimidating as well. Some readers may be interested in knowing what goes into cosplay without wanting to try it to this degree.
There are plenty of safety tips, too, on protecting yourself from the sharp items used in sewing; using tools and potentially toxic paints and glues sensibly; and designing costumes while considering visibility and long-term comfort.
One favorite moment is a short, small one, but it’s where Parker is intimidated by the idea of dressing up as a favorite superhero. “What if people laugh at me?” he asks. Bea reassures him with compliments for his bravery and being a good friend before reminding him it’d be fun, which is the important thing. Later, the hamster gets the final word, saying “Making a costume because you love a character is more important than looking exactly like the character.”
The book also includes some convention preparation tips and guidelines on costume rehearsals and repairs, as well as advice on photo etiquette, convention safety, and protecting yourself.
Maker Comics: Create a Costume! is a great introduction to expressing imagination through creativity with fabric, foam, and other ways to make outfits. (Review originally posted at Good Comics for Kids.)