In1605, the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes published his book ‘The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha’. The story, published in two volumes a decade apart, tells of a middle-aged man who becomes so obsessed with the concept of chivalry, that he takes it upon himself to go on a series of quests to right the wrongs he sees in the world. The problem is that many of his perceived wrongs and foes are in his imagination, and to others he just seems mad. Nonetheless the work is regularly listed as one of the ‘great novels’ and it is a good example of an early Fantasy novel.
Meanwhile, in 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man, makes his first appearance in a comic strip on this date. In a world now filled with super-heroes and graphical novels, Popeye’s exploits may seem a little tame, but ‘back in the day’ when he appeared in comics and a long-running series of TV cartoons, the adventures featuring Popeye, the love of his life, Olive Oyl, the baby Swee’Pea and the villainous Bruto, had children gripped. The key to Popeye’s success (and strength) was spinach, and despite his being a cartoon, his exploits greatly increased the sales of the vegetable – US farmers have raised statues in his honour! An additional legacy in this country is that a chain of hamburger restaurants were named after the scrounging character J. Wellington Wimpy. So today we celebrate heroes, whatever form they take.
Heroes can mean something different to each one of us. For example, you may have a footballing hero, or a person who has played an on screen hero, such as Harisson Ford as Indiana Jones. Other costume opportunities come from dressing up as one of our armed forces, heroes every single one of them and we stock a great range of uniforms ranging from Naval officer costumes to 1940s Home Guard uniforms. You could also go down the tried and tested route of wearing one of our superhero costumes – we have a large selection for both men and women.
Another option is to go to the fancy dress party as one of the emergency services, who have to be heroic in sometimes very difficult circumstances. Robin Hood was a hero to the poor (but not the rich), so as you can see being a ‘hero’ is subjective, but does create an interesting fancy dress theme.