Though Halloween (that's today!) seems like the ideal time to get all crafty and dress up in a homemade representation of your favorite geeky pop-cultural figure, one serious pixel-art fan says there's more to his work than just making costumes. Dan Cattell first made a splash in game circles with widely-viewed pictures of his work—life-sized video game sprites that are worn as suits and fully moveable by the people inside—last year. "After I debuted the Torizo, I found it on blogs shortly after," Dan told me. "It didn't take long for me and my friends to find a different photo of it on virtually every photo-sharing website that I could name within a minute... but they didn't hit crazy levels of popularity until we did the photo shoot for Nintendo Power."

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The "costumes" are now referred to by Cattell specifically as cosPIX. This is partially due to his receiving angry comments from forum posters upset that "cardboard cut-outs" were getting so much attention—when in fact there's much more work that goes into them than people realize. "They occupy an interesting space between costume design, painting, optical illusion, and sculpture," says Cattell. Most recently he spent bunches of time making a gigantic Ridley cosPix (over eleven feet tall!) which was exhibited at Steadman Art Gallery in New Jersey.

Sure, to some they might just look like "cardboard cut-outs," but what is it exactly that makes them so interesting?

"Calling them 'cardboard cut-outs' doesn't communicate what you experience when you see something that looks Photoshopped straight into reality," he tells me. The costumes have obviously elicited the same reaction in a variety of gamers all over the world. Some of the design files that he shared with N-Sider convinced me that there's more going on than you notice right away.

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Cattell, a recent graduate in animation, is especially focused on how the suits move when they're being worn. Sitting, making robotic movements to resemble in-game animation, going through doors, dancing, and even eating while suited-up are all possible (due to the way the various pieces are attached to the person wearing them), but "stairs are the worst, and usually require some careful side-walking."

"We had a scary incident this year with Ridley on an escalator," Cattell said. "There was a low ceiling at the bottom that nearly took off his head because we weren't paying attention when we stepped on! Luckily, we just managed to tilt him enough just before he smacked into it."

I asked him if he had any tips for would-be copycats who wanted to get their Halloween costume on with the use of the cosPIX strategy.

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"Actually, I don't think that the cosPIX style of costume is well-suited to Halloween. You usually can't see to the sides well and need to be guided when crossing streets or are in a crowd, the cosPIX are usually unappealing from the front if you are trick-or-treating, and they are not comfortable for a casual setting like a party... that said, some of the other costumes that I've been shown by artists inspired by my work were made as inexpensive Halloween party costumes, so don't let me talk you out of it. I encourage other aspiring cosPIX artists to contact me for help and tips and to show me their work when it's done!"

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So what's next for cosPIX? "Actually I'm trying to make a decision! The ideas I'm leaning towards now are a child-sized Mario (...but which game would it be?), Paper Mario, or Doc Louis and Little Mac training. I've got some great locations planned out to shoot that last one at, when Punch-Out!! gets its turn."

And what does the man with the cool video game costumes go as for Halloween?

"I was Jack Skellington for a party last Friday!"

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Brandon said:
Thanks to Dan Cattell for the interview! You can view his DeviantArtwebpage at or watch a time-lapse video of the assembling of the Ridley suit here. What cosPIX would you like to see Dan work on next? Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments.