Category Archives: Geek culture

Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow TV Show

CostumeThat’s me! For the San Diego Comic Con 2013, I decided to spend some time as the Headless Horseman from the upcoming Fox TV show Sleepy Hollow (premiering this coming Monday, Sept. 16, 2013). I made the costume from scratch, and based it on the logo image from the show, and a lot of repeat viewings of the trailer.

Now, the important part of the story (which I’ve buried to the second paragraph), is that I know the guy who originated the show! Phillip Iscove is the stepson of Harriet’s recently discovered half-sister. And yes, I carefully crafted that sentence because calling him my nephew would be completely misleading. The story of Gayle coming into our lives is a long and amazing journey which is best told by she and Harriet, but we’ll keep things abbreviated and just say the experience has been beyond wonderful. Gayle and her husband Michael have been amazing additions to our lives, and their son Phillip is wonderful. For the last 10 years he’s been trying to break into Hollywood as a writer. He wrote a pilot for Sleepy Hollow that was picked up by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci (the guys involved with the Star Trek films, Transformers, Fringe, and a bunch of other genre products). They loved it, and we’ve been following (voyeuristically) his progress. Couldn’t happen to a nicer, more deserving guy.

Sleepy Hollow ImageSo, when I was thinking about a costume for this year’s Comic-Con, I went right to the most bad-ass image I’ve seen all year: that revolutionary war themed headless horseman swinging an ax and firing a machine-gun. The character has a fantastic costume which includes an historic coat, all of those weapons, and the technical challenge of looking headless!

I spent months working on the costume including making the coat from a historic recreation pattern (and thanks go out to Harriet and her home ec training for constantly clarifying what the hell I was reading, e.g. facing is on the inside of the coat). I built the ax and shotgun shells from wood and paint, but the guns (toys and reproductions) and gun belt were purchased.

It was all unveiled at the SDCC 2013 and it was a hit! Lot’s of people wanting photos, a couple of interviews (Playboy video?), and I even won a Hall Costume Award from the Costume Designer’s Guild. I was the only home made headless horseman, but there were 10 others that Fox put together to promote the TV show. They were everywhere, and when folks say they may have seen me, it was most likely one of the Fox models. It would have been cool to be the only headless horseman, but I hadn’t really anticipated that and so it wasn’t really a disappointment. The whole thing was way cooler than I imagined, and I’m curious to see if there are more home made costumes next year, when the show’s a hit.

Here are a couple more pictures from the Con.



What is a geek, nerd, and dork?


Okay, there is a lot of discussion in the inter-webs about the difference between a geek, a nerd, and a dork (and dweeb for completeness’ sake). I happen to think that the differences are based on the way our ear has been trained to hear them, and that’s due to the personal experience of the listener and regional differences. However, I came across this diagram some years back, and I now use it to clarify my use of the terms. I have a high enough opinion of my social skills to believe I fit into the geek category rather than the nerd, dork, or dweeb categories (and, of course, I’m an engineer who LOVES Venn diagrams).

The attitudes towards each of these labels has been changing over the years. With the undeniable success of some high profile geek/nerd/dork/dweebs the terms have been subject to the same sort of “reclaim the terminology” fervor that I’ve seen in the younger feminist movement (and other movements as well, I just have more multi-generational experience with the feminists). As I’ve watched the younger generations of geeks claim their culture with unreserved pride, I’ve taken to thinking of myself as an “elder geek” and will talk about this more in future posts.

For now, I want to clarify how I’ll be using these terms and where I identify in the whole universe of fandom.