The problem is that most licensed rock costumes are of artists who we know better as people than as their onstage characters. Slipknot wear insane outfits, but at the end of the day, they’re humans — Corey and Shawn and Mick. The same can be said for Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie, who are open about their onstage personas just being exaggerated aspects of their personalities. It feels odd to wear an overhead latex mask of a guy who you know is from Michigan or eats vegan.
On top of that, the costumes are either hard to get right or easily cobbled together from smaller, cheaper pieces. Real talk, unless you wear an exact Corey Taylor jumpsuit, you’re sort of going as “Slipknot guy.” On the other hand, you can pull together King Diamond with any overcoat, top hat, and greasepaint. Either you need to go to ridiculous expense to be your favorite rock star, or you sort of have to half-ass it.
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But with Ghost, it’s the best of both worlds: you want the licensed costume, but you can get that pretty conveniently in 2019. Sure, you can wear any pope costume and face paint, but let’s be honest, it’s not quite right — you want those sweeping winged arms and that ‘G’ with the inverted cross in the middle. At the same time, the licensed Ghost costume isn’t annoyingly hard to put on or walk around in, so it’s not a massive inconvenience the way, say, a GWAR get-up would be.
Not only that, but the introduction of Cardinal Copia made it that wearing a Ghost mask is somehow just as appropriate as wearing the face paint. Copia’s unmoving facial prosthetic is deeply unsettling, and makes one wonder if any of the previous Papa’s faces have been painted, or are somehow overlaid with some sort of foam rubber. The result is that Ghost Halloween costume pieces feel totally necessary, right down to the masks, but don’t need to be theater-level expensive.