Strange as it may seem, I’m not a big fan of dressing up on Halloween.
Contrary to what most people believed, Halloween—including the weekend leading up to it—was dead (no pun intended) when it came to character appearances. Ironically, my virgin gig was a Halloween parade in Rutland, Vermont, but that was the exception. I cannot recall another job taking place on All Hallow’s Eve.
It makes sense, though. On a day when everyone dresses up as their favorite character, be they living or dead, real or fantasy, an appearance by Spider-Man, even the authentic one from Marvel Comics, doesn’t seem all that special. He’s just another person wearing a costume.
Interestingly enough, every public appearance at which I performed—shopping mall, department, grocery or drugstore—inevitably a parent would make the comment, “Guess you’re all set for Halloween.” It didn’t matter whether it was October or any of the other twelve months, at some point during a signing, I’d hear it, often more than once over the course of a day.
If children were present, I’d quip in character.
“Ugh! Halloween… I’ve got to be real careful. I usually don’t go out if I can help it. I’d feel terrible if I webbed what I thought was the Hobgoblin only to discover it was a kid dressed up as my nefarious foe.”
But if I was mano a mano with the parent, the exchange usually went like this after the tiresome statement:
“I don’t go out on Halloween,” I’d say.
“Really? I would think you’d be all set, with the costume and everything,” they’d reply in surprise.
“And what do you do for a living?” I’d ask.
“I’m a (fill in occupation).”
“Let me ask you,” I’d explain. “If there was one day in the entire year when everyone dressed up like a (name previously-stated occupation), what would you do?”
“Probably stay home,” they’d answer in understanding.
“Ahhhhhhh…,” I’d sagely reply, leaving my interrogator with newfound wisdom.
So... I guess after spending a few thousand days over ten years, dressing as Spider-Man or Green Goblin or Hulk or The Thing or Iron Man or Magneto, having one day where the rest of the country puts on a costume seemed like the perfect day for me not to.