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The ComicsAlliance Halloween Dog Costume Spooktacular 2011

Around here, we see people in costume pretty much all the time, to the point where we’ve even got a weekly feature devoted to them. At Halloween, however, the entire world goes costume crazy, and people even start dressing up their dogs.

Why do they do it? I have no idea. But just like last year, I’ve looked around for the questionable best and definite weirdest costumes from the world of super-heroics, sci-fi and fantasy to bring you another spooktacular look at Dog Costumes!First up, a truly alarming trio of Star Wars based costumes, starting with Darth Vader:

Given that the world of Star Wars comics, books, video games and action figures have gotten so obsessively in-depth that they’ve produced an entire novel trilogy about Lando Calrissian’s personal moustache trimmer, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that this costume was actually meant to represent some canine Sith Lord that exists within the expanded universe. Either that, or it’s advanced marketing for the next special edition, in which the entire cast will be replaced by dogs in costumes, giving us the only watchable Star Wars film in 29 years.

Anyway, this is actually a great costume for a demographic that usually goes underrepresented in the marketplace: People who are into dressing up their pets for Halloween, but still don’t want to do much in the way of a costume for themselves. Just wrangle your pet into this bad boy, put on a black bathrobe and some kind of hood, and there you go: You’re the Emperor. Just be careful: at some point during the evening, your dog will most likely try to shove you into any completely inexplicable bottomless pits that you may have in your living room.

And speaking of bathrobes, we have Yoda:

You know, it’s weird. I see the green ears and the little green hands and feet, but for some reason this doesn’t look at all like Yoda to me. I suspect it’s because it’s pretty difficult to make a dog wearing goofy clothes look like anything other than a dog wearing goofy clothes, but it doesn’t help that this costume comes across less as a 900 year-old Jedi Master than a dude in a tan leisure suit dressed for a chilly winter.

There is one redeeming quality to it, though: With a pair of scissors, you can lose the costume’s hands and feet and be pretty close to dressing up your dog as The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Draw three dots on a tennis ball, teach him how to fetch, and you’re there.

Finally, completing our Star Wars costume trilogy, we have this monstrosity: Princess Leia:

Before we go any further, I want to stress that this costume is something that actually exists now. One year ago, when I did my first look at dog costumes, I talked about a Princess Leia costume and the only thing I wrote about it was “Well, at least it’s not the slave bikini.” Finally, we have empirical proof that there is no thought so terrible that it will not be made into horrifying reality once someone writes it on the Internet.

Probably best to just cleanse the palate my all-time favorites: The Red Power Ranger.

I know I covered this one last year, but it’s not like it got any less awesome over the past twelve months. Seriously, of all the dog costumes I’ve had to examine for my job — and believe me, there‘s a phrase I never thought I’d write — this is the only one that I think is legitimately awesome. I’ve already established that I would buy this thing even it wasn’t Halloween just by virtue of it basically being a luchador mask for a dog and I’d be honestly surprised if CA editor Caleb Goellner didn’t already own this.

But it doesn’t stop with the mask either: The shirt — at least on this particular dog — is hilarious in a completely different way. It’s just so oddly puffy makes him look like that big bulldog from the Looney Tunes cartoons. There is nothing about this costume that is not fantastic.

The Harry Potter costume, however, is the exact opposite:

Seriously, guys? I realize that the dog costume industry isn’t exactly geared towards quality — and when you’re making costumes for something that tends to spend its days rolling around in the yard, that makes perfect sense — but come on. This is not a costume. This is a dish towel with a pair of fake glasses attached to it.

It does, however, have the redeeming quality of allowing us all to imagine what it would look like if, instead of a multi-billion dollar series of books and movies, the Harry Potter franchise had experienced a more modest level of success and spawned a live-action drama series on the WB. This show would, of course, have had a “Blimey, Ron, we’ve been turned into animals!” episode during its budget-stretched fifth season, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what it would look like. Probably not what the makers were going for.

The same goes for Dracula over here:

This is another costume that I actually like, but not because I think it’s a good Dracula costume. Trust me, I know from Draculas, and son, that’s no Dracula.

But with that high collar and that color scheme, it is totally a costume of Doggie Destro!

All you need to do is swap out the bow-tie for a sweet red amulet and figure out how to give your dog an set of miniature wrist-missles, and it’s perfect. And honestly, if you’re not already the kind of person who thinks about inventing tiny, adorable wrist-missles, then I honestly don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

Between Destro and the Red Ranger, things are actually looking up for dog costumes this year. But lest you think that we won’t descend into a carnival of horrors, allow me to direct your attention to the sheer madness of the “Cuddly Lion” costume:

This has nothing to do with comics, but it’s the sort of thing that, once seen, must be shared in order to spread the madness to a more manageable number of people before it crushes one’s sanity to a pulp. Much like the non-Euclidean geometry of the dead city of Rl’yeh where Cthulhu lies dreaming, this is something that should not exist in a rational world, so there’s a good chance your eyes will not let your brain process what they’re seeing. If that’s the case, allow me to confirm for everyone:

This is, as near as I can tell, a “sexy cat” costume made for dogs.

There is nothing I can add to it that will not turn almost immediately to mad gibbering, so I’m just going to move on to the best dog costume of the year:

Whoops, sorry. That’s the best Dogg costume of the year. And every year. But it does leave us without a legitimate champion, so if you‘ve managed to dress a pet up as a comic book character for Halloween, let us know about it in the comments or via email! We’d like to see ‘em!

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