What's Cool About Deadpool

  • February 23, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

When it comes to comic book characters, move over passé, standard fare because there’s a new guy in town.  No, he is not Spiderman’s evil twin.  Although admittedly, he does look a little bit like Spidey, this guy’s a lot crazier and is likely packing guns.  So who is this spandex-wearing nutcase?  Let us introduce you to Deadpool.  Popular with the comic book crowd, Deadpool has now officially arrived on the silver screen in a quirky and unabashedly sassy film representing the eighth installment of Marvel’s X-Men film series.  Here are a few of the basics about one of this year’s most memorable comic book characters. 

So who is Deadpool?  Deadpool used to be a mercenary and an assassin, at one time being more of a triggerman than anything akin to a hero.   A major health crisis came in the form of a cancer diagnosis.  For Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool), cancer changed everything. Being utterly desperate for a cure and hoping to stop his rapidly spreading disease, Wade signed up for the Weapon X program.  While a part of the Weapon X protocol, Wade’s body was infused with the Wolverine’s super charged healing factor.  That’s the point when things began to get very, very interesting.

The Good News and The Bad News.  For Deadpool, the good news is that the healing factor has cured his cancer.  The bad news is that the “cure” has left his body extremely scarred and hideously disfigured, obviously very upsetting for this once rather a dashing fella.  Additionally, Deadpool’s mind is now regularly racing in the most bizarre, nearly insane sort of way. 

To conceal his deformities, Deadpool dons a Spiderman-inspired spandex look, sans the web shooters, of course.  Although Deadpool looks up to Spiderman quite a bit, he prefers real tough guy weaponry and is well known for his clever use of a couple of ninja-like katanas, in addition to a whole arsenal of guns and deadly knives.  

Deadpool’s rather remarkable healing ability makes him something well beyond invincible.  Even a complete decapitation can’t stop him--he’d just simply put his head back in place, heal himself up, and go about his day.  It’s entirely possible that this ability to heal has contributed to Deadpool being more than a little bit nuts--he’s far battier than Batman--and when it comes to being a bit rough around the edges, he’s simply unsurpassed.

In addition to being a turbo healer, Deadpool is unyielding and athletic.  He also can teleport himself out of trouble and can disguise himself at will into just about anything or anyone, including other superheroes.  Talk about confusing! 

Although more of an antihero than a superhero, to know Deadpool is to love him.  The guy seems to have a genuinely good heart.  Don’t let the fact that he’s killed many alter the fact that deep down, he may be a really good guy.  In his new movie, Deadpool is on a mission to seek out and destroy the man responsible for ruining his life--you won’t want to miss it.  But be warned, for this rather irreverent film you might want to leave the kids at home. 

Deadpool.  His story is now showing at a theater near you.  His epic costume is waiting for you at Halloween Express!

What's Cool About Deadpool

Presidential Legend: Unforgettable Honest Abe

  • February 15, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

When it comes to memorable presidential personas, there aren’t many past presidents that stand out like Abraham Lincoln.  Not only did Honest Abe have a striking and rather dashing look, but his life also is the stuff of which real historic legends are made.  In honor of Presidents Day, we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you of some of the most memorable facets of one of the United States’ most celebrated past presidents, and then give you a few ideas on how to put together an Abe Lincoln costume look of your very own!

Interesting Abraham Lincoln Facts and Points to Ponder:

•    Abraham Lincoln did not drink, smoke or chew tobacco.
•    Although he read the Bible daily, Lincoln did not belong to any one specific church group.
•    Abe purportedly battled depression throughout most of his life.
•    Abraham Lincoln disliked being called “Abe” and preferred being called simply, “Lincoln.”
•    Rumors suggest that Lincoln used his legendary Top Hat to store his important documents.
•    Lincoln had incredible perseverance and never gave up.  Lincoln had a failed business, lost a significant legal case he tried before the Supreme Court, had two failed runs for the Senate, lost a VP run and also failed to win his first attempt at running for president,
•    Abe Lincoln allowed his cat Tabby to eat at the dinner table.
•    Lincoln’s dog was named Fido.
•    Abraham Lincoln was the first United States President assassinated while in office. 
•    Abraham Lincoln was the first president to sport a beard.
•    Abraham Lincoln was very tall (about 6’4”) and had rather large feet, somewhere between a size 12 and 14.
•    Abe Lincoln practiced law although he had no actual law degree.
•    Mr. Lincoln was said to be an outstanding wrestler. 
•    Abraham Lincoln led the United States out of its greatest domestic crisis--The Civil War and the ultimate abolition of slavery.

Dressing up as Abe Lincoln is a lot of fun and is perfect not only for Presidents Day, but for many other patriotic holidays as well as school or civic events.  To create an entirely fantastic Abraham Lincoln costume look, you are going to need:

•    A black suit, black pants and a vest.  Abraham Lincoln often preferred a tailcoat.  This look was quite popular during Abe’s era because it was less constraining while riding horseback. 
•    A black bow tie.
•    A Stovepipe Hat.  (or Top Hat.)  This hat became very popular in Europe during the latter part of the 18th Century.  The stovepipe hat has become a critical part of Lincoln’s traditional look.
•    A short black wig.
•    A Lincoln-style fake chin curtain beard.  Remember that a perfect chin curtain has no mustache, but has full beard growth from the jaw line up and over the chin.
•    Optional:  Gray face paint and a black liner pencil.  You can give yourself an aged look easily by adding some dark shadows under your eyes and cheekbones with gray face paint.  Lightly lining in your natural wrinkle lines with a liner pencil will add a few character lines, also emphasizing a more aged look. 
•    Practice your serious face.  Lincoln had a rather sad and somber countenance, so get into the role by practicing a more stoic demeanor! 

Have a Happy Presidents Day--from your friends at Halloween Express! 

Be My Valentine, Mr. President

  • February 09, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

With Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day happening so close together this year, we thought we would help you celebrate the Valentine’s-Presidents’ Day long weekend by giving you a few extra reasons to fall in love with some past presidents!  Here are some rather astonishing facts about former presidents that we’re betting you didn’t know! 

No Wooden Choppers!  George Washington had severe dental problems throughout his life and because of this, he lost most of his teeth and was forced to wear dentures.  Although rumors have circulated that George's teeth were made from wood, the Father of the Country’s chiclets were actually fashioned from hippopotamus ivory and wire. 

Playing Hooky?  In his youth, apparently John Adams enjoyed skipping school on a regular basis, opting instead to go fishing or hunting.

Presidential Skinny Dipping.  John Quincy Adams was said to take regular early morning swims in the Potomac River, completely in the buff.

Foul Fowl.  Andrew Jackson had a parrot that had learned a lot of curse words.  At the president’s funeral, the parrot eventually had to be removed because the rather rude feathered friend wouldn’t stop with the incessant swearing.

Okey Dokie.  In addition to sporting some rather epic mutton chops, Martin Van Buren is likely responsible for the word, okay or OK.  President Van Buren’s “Old Kinderhook” supporters became known as O.K. clubs.  Eventually, this was shortened to a mere OK, meaning, all right.

Presidential Pet.  William H. Harrison was known to keep a pet goat while living in the White House.

It’s All in the Name.  Zachary Taylor’s nickname was “Old Rough and Ready.”  President Taylor earned this moniker while serving in the Seminole War.

Hot for Teacher.  Millard Fillmore married the woman who had once been his teacher at the New Hope Academy.

The Bachelor.  James Buchanan was the only president never to marry.  He remained a bachelor his entire life.

Wanna Rustle?  Apparently Abraham Lincoln was a relatively decent wrestler that you didn’t want to mess around with.

Whiskey a Go-Go.  Andrew Johnson had a few too many shots of whiskey before his swearing in and appeared intoxicated during his inauguration speech.

Now That’s Horsepower.  Ulysses S. Grant somehow managed to get a speeding ticket for riding a horse too fast down a Washington street.  The fine was twenty dollars, which back in his day, was a mighty hefty fine.

White House Drought.  During his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes banned all alcohol from the White House.  He was trying to gain the support of the anti-alcohol prohibitionists.

Sharp Dressed Man.  Chester A. Arthur was well known for his style and flair for fashion.  Said to own over 80 pairs of pants, President Arthur’s nickname became “Elegant Arthur.”

Completely Wired.  Benjamin Harrison was the President when the White House became outfitted with electricity.  It’s a shame that afterward a terrified President Harrison refused to flip any of the light switches to avoid the possibility of electrocution. 

Dual Duties.  President William Taft was the only ex-president to date that would subsequently serve as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Call the Doctor!  Woodrow Wilson had a Ph.D.  He was the only president ever to earn a doctorate.

You Bet! Warren Harding bet the White House china during one hand of a poker game…and lost.

Say What?  Herbert Hoover lived as a mining executive in China for some time before his presidency and spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese. 

Please Follow Me to the Loo.  If you happened to be in the midst of a conversation with Lyndon B. Johnson when nature called, apparently it was not uncommon for him to ask you to accompany him to the bathroom.  He would just continue the conversation while taking care of business.

I am NOT a Crook!  When Richard M. Nixon was in the Navy, he asked the top poker player in his unit to teach him how to play the game.  He became such a good poker player that he used some of his winnings to fund his presidential campaign.

Model Behavior.  Both Gerald and Betty Ford did some fashion modeling in the 1940’s.

Worked for Peanuts.  Although he studied Nuclear Physics at Annapolis and could speed read at up to 2000 words per minute, President Jimmy Carter was most remembered for being a peanut farmer.

Be My Valentine, Mr. President

Mardi Gras: The Mystery Behind the Mask

  • February 01, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Humankind has worn masks for well over nine thousand years.  Whether it was for protection, ritual, celebration, or just for use in the performing arts, the mask is both part of ancient culture as well as it being a practical accessory.  Throughout history, masks have been created in a vast array of styles for a wide variety of reasons.   Mardi Gras and mask wearing are hopelessly entwined, as masks are an integral part of the Mardi Gras tradition, both historically as well as into the modern day.  

Why Wear a Mask?  No one is sure when Mardi Gras revelers began to wear masks or exactly why, although some theories have surfaced that may explain this time-honored tradition.  As far back as the 13th century, laws and ordinances were on the books that strictly prohibited certain behaviors when done while wearing a mask.  For example, gambling or tossing garbage were considered particularly egregious to do while masked, and thus became illegal.  It’s safe to say that by this period in history, some folks had figured out that hiding behind a mask made it that much easier to be a bit naughty and to conceal one’s identity at the same time. 

Mardi Gras is a time of raucous gaiety because it celebrates the last opportunity to eat, drink and be merry before the onset of Lent.  It seems likely that many folks would embrace the idea of wearing a mask during the celebrating, primarily to conceal their identity while engaging in behavior that may not have been a part of their ordinary, everyday life.  Mask wearing may have even been an act of defiant rebellion--as if to say, “I am going to do whatever I want, and no will ever know!”  Masks may have protected the identity of Mardi Gras partiers, but in the process, the mask also became an integral part of Mardi Gras history and tradition. 

Mardi Gras masks come in many different styles, shapes, and sizes, from those that cover only a small portion of the face, to those that cover the entire face.  Some Mardi Gras masks are very elaborate, artistic and ornately decorated.  Others are very simple and functional.  Some types of Mardi Gras masks such as Venetian or masquerade styles are traditional pieces, with roots that go back for centuries. 

No matter what your Mardi Gras celebration plans include, undoubtedly a mask of some sort is going to be an integral part of your Mardi Gras look.  Halloween Express has a huge collection of masks that will fit the bill perfectly for all your Mardi Gras celebrating.  Venetian masks, masquerade masks, stick masks, half masks, ribbon masks, feather masks, fantasy masks, animal masks, lace masks--and so much more! For an unforgettable undercover look that embraces all that Mardi Gras tradition offers, our mask selection has got you covered! 

Happy Mardi Gras from your friends at Halloween Express! 

Mardi Gras: The Mystery Behind the Mask