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Information Twins: The Origin

This all began as a joke. Years ago, we nicknamed my coworker Ken Captain TMI for a propensity to overshare. By the time that team scattered, we’d made him a name tag and promoted him to general.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we ran into each other on a break and started reminiscing about the Good Old Days. The conversation came round to his old nickname. We joked about how funny it’d be if he dressed up as Captain TMI for Halloween. And I spoke the fateful words: “If you’ll do it, I’ll make your costume.”

I should have known he’d say yes.

So that’s how I ended up hand-sewing a cape. From scratch. Without a pattern. Or a plan. That’s how I roll.

At first, I was very firm: I’d do a cape, and a logo, and that was it. I’m a busy freelance writer, damn it. I don’t have time for this sewing shit. But then I finished the cape, and it went fast and wasn’t an utter disaster, and Ken loved it, and he’d bought a Superman outfit that had red bits that should really be covered up, and….

Yeah. Mission creep. But it was totally worth it (ymmv).

Captain TMI in all his glory.

Captain TMI in all his glory.

The chest logo needs work – now that I’ve had some practice, and since next year we won’t have to cover the Superman logo, we’ll be able to do up something nicer. Still. I bloody love the peacock blue sparkle paint. It even made the felt mask conform to his face. Sheer awesome.

Captain TMI

Well, blue sparkle paint and glitter glue. Next year, there will be even moar glitter. The orange shoes may also stop stinking of paint and be wearable by then.

I swear I’d cover the universe in that sparkle paint if I could. That would require a prohibitive amount of peacock blue sparkle paint, however. This is probably good news for those who aren’t quite so fond of said paint.

Captain TMI and Golden Silence

Here his speaker-shield gleams in the glare of the fluorescent lights. I really wish the lighting hadn’t sucked. The blue sparkle paint is wonderful. So is the gold glitter polish I’m wearing, for that matter. SO MANY SPARKLES!!!!

Of course, a costume is really made by its accessories. I’d considered a Captain America-type round shield, but whilst thinking about how to handle the coloration, I had a brainwave. What would Captain TMI carry? A speaker and microphone, of course! Gotta have some way to broadcast his superpower. Ha.

It’s about this time I also had the brainwave for my own costume. What’s the perfect sidekick/ally/nemesis for Captain TMI? Well, what’s the opposite of Too Much Information? Silence! And what is silence? Golden! Thus, Golden Silence was born.

Golden Silence

Golden Silence. I’m going to have to give some thought to appropriate weaponry next year. This year, it was a cutlass masquerading as a scimitar because that’s what I had on hand. Also, that weird Chinese outfit that was a total impulse buy? So worth it. This is the second costume I’ve built off it. Remember this when you are purchasing an item of clothing that appears utterly useless, and use it as your excuse.

This was a silly thing to do. I’m not fond of gold. This means I have practically nothing that is gold. Also, I have never made a veil before (if you don’t count that crocheted tablecloth-turned-headscarf-for-a-college-project), but I decided Golden Silence would go veiled, much like the Aiel in battle, only more golden. I’m an idiot like that.

So, hours of shopping (which I despise) and hours of designing and sewing (which I actually enjoy), an hour of makeup (which I suck at), et voila – the advent of Golden Silence.

Golden Silence action pose

Now I look at it, I realize the cutlass/scimitar probably wasn’t meant for two-handed wielding. Whoops. But aren’t those golden wrist bracers brilliant? I actually bought a string of beads meant to trim a Christmas tree for two bucks and sewed them on to cut-up bits of old socks. Worked perfectly.

I’ll talk in depth about the veil in a future post – there are some deepish thoughts and definite dilemmas surrounding it – but for now, let’s just enjoy the genesis of a not-so-fully-fleshed character. So, you can imagine that having a twin like Captain TMI would make a person prone to silence – and hiding as much of her face as possible. Also, one might become a bit stabby.

Golden Silence bringing the sword down

I wish I actually knew how to use a sword. I know which way the pointy bits go, and I can fake a few strokes, but my technique is definitely needing improvement. Ah, well.
The katana looks better, but I figured my place o’ bidness would become a tad upset if I brought in a live blade.

This is possibly part of our superpowers, too – something like a good-cop bad-cop routine wherein the villain is subjected to an endless stream of discomfiting information, followed by a disconcerting silence, until the poor bastard can’t take it anymore and cracks. It’s a work-in-progress.

The Information Twins

We’ll work on our presentation over the next year, but Ken had this idea for the back-to-back pose and I like it. It can be read in many ways: the Information Twins have each others’ backs, Golden Silence isn’t speaking to her twin… We were going to do a Wonder Twins thing but couldn’t find appropriate rings in time. Ah, well. Next year.

Regardless of origins and techniques, we definitely rocked the call center. It’s a good feeling when nearly two weeks of extensive work pays off. Of course, people who know more about tailoring than I do came up and said things like, “Oh, wow, you even did a cross something-or-other stitch!” and I’m all like, “Harf?” I just do stuff until stuff does something approaching what I want. I didn’t know there were fancy names for it (and can’t remember the term now).

Back o' the veil

This twist in the veil fascinated and delighted one of my coworkers. Apparently, this is a Thing. I just did it because the veil looked inane and got in my way without it. The gold fabric doesn’t drape well. It is, however, shiny and golden, which was exactly what I required.

People were quite surprised by all this. They didn’t have me down as the type of person who creates costumes. My sitting there sewing seemed to boggle them. Thing is, I was raised by a woman who loved creating things, and knew just how to do it. We were always engaged in some project or other. Having studied at the feet of the MacGuyver of the craft world, I can figure out how to rig just about anything for cheap. It’s an intellectual challenge. I don’t like doing things from kits and patterns for that reason – no challenge. Something like crafting costumes from concept to completion, though, is awesome good fun. And then I can come up with a whole story to go with the characters.

The Information Twins

This might possibly be my favorite picture of us. I love the way Ken rocked his costume. He carried himself completely differently from the way he normally does. Even his goatee looked more noble and superheroic! The oversharing, of course, was completely in character. That’s one of the things that made this so much fun: I could build on who we are, and create something that is uniquely us.

Of course, it takes ten times as long doing it from scratch, but it’s the journey that’s the reward.

Comments

  1. rq says

    Oh WOW! The back of your hijab – I mean scarf – I MEAN HARF… Or whatever it is?? Looks fantastic. So awesome.
    And the peacock blue sparkly paint just gives it all the right tweak.

    In case the freelance writing doesn’t work out, you should try costume design. I bet lots of people would pay LOTS of money for hand-sewn, completely-original, colourful and awesome costumes.
    Also in case that book on Mount St Helens doesn’t work out. I still think you should try that first.

  2. stephencameron says

    hah! That’s awesome. Reminds me a little bit of Mystery Men.

    Did you have catch phrases?

    Well… I am not sure what Golden Silence’s catch phrase could be. Maybe “Mmmmph!” ?

  3. says

    You. Sewing? Next thing will be you telling us how much you love babies or something. One other thing, if you really have stopped smoking, and I hope you have, then you should change your photo on the top of the page.