Captain Nemo sighted at Darkovercon

Those who attended Darkovercon this year on November 24th and 25th got a chance to see me, dressed as Captain Nemo.

I’m the one on the right, by the way.  Why, yes, that is an electric pistol I’m holding; very observant of you to notice.  Not visible in this photo is the Captain Nemo motto “Mobilis in Mobile” on my chest.  My Nemo costume is based on the original illustrations, unlike the movie versions where Nemo appears either as a Navy Captain or an Indian Prince.  Jules Verne’s Nemo had abandoned connections with the land.  He was no military man, nor did he consider himself Indian any longer.  He was part engineer and part pirate, and his clothing reflected that.


Here’s my electric pistol.  Very steampunk!  The golden, jagged sights on top are reminiscent of the Nautilus submarine from the Disney film of 1954.  True, Nemo didn’t go around carrying a pistol.  The electric rifles mentioned in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea were only for underwater use, and the original illustrations show them to be similar in appearance to standard rifles.  I just took a little creative license.


And there’s the motto.  The Latin translates as “moving in a moving thing” or, more metaphorically, “free in a free world.”  Yes, you can find versions of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea where it’s rendered as “Mobilis in Mobili” where that last word ends in ‘i,’ but I’m told that’s plural, and singular was most likely intended.

Feel free to send me a comment if you (a) think I looked like Captain Nemo should look, or (b) think I looked too silly for words.  While I wait for you to type your comment, I’ll enjoy recalling how a childhood fantasy came real for–

                                                            Poseidon’s Scribe



December 2, 2012Permalink

10 thoughts on “Captain Nemo sighted at Darkovercon

  1. Steve,
    You cut quite a striking figure. (I believe I detect a “family” resemblance to the figure on the left. You’re better looking, though.)
    I’m impressed by your sartorial resplendence, and the attention to detail (which comes as no surprise). The pistol is colorful, and looks as if it could inflict some damage. Great outfit!

    • Margery, thanks so much for visiting the site, and for the comments! I really enjoyed wearing the costume. It’s possible that those attending BALTICON next May could see me wear it again. Fair warning!

  2. Hi Steve

    Thanks for posting a picture of the Nemo version you’re emulating: I’m not familiar with it. Your costume is an excellent rendition! (Wonderful addition of Nemo’s motto.)

    Love the gun. Fantastic paint job. Have you considered (just for fun) adding a battery-operated bubble mechanism? I have an example I could show you… 😉

    • Kelly, thanks for commenting. I’m intrigued about your mention of a battery operated bubble mechanism; maybe you could e-mail a picture or description of what you mean. I did think of battery operated lights or sounds, but decided to keep this gun lightweight and simple. Even so, I could definitely improve it!

    • Kelly, thanks for the bubble gun link. Now I get it! That’s a wonderful idea. If I use it, it will have to be with a new gun in the future. For the one I made, everything is glued shut; even the trigger can’t move.

  3. Hello, I just read 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, I was looking for more information about the story in internet, then I found your post. Your costume is REALLY nice, and your explanation about it makes all sense. I´m a fan of Jules Verne, cosplays and submarine stuff in general (I even have a tattoo with submarine theme), so it was cool to find this post. Greetings from Brazil!

    • Nando, thanks so much for stopping by, and for your comment. Amazing, isn’t it, how many fans of Jules Verne there are today, all around the world!

  4. Hey I like your outfit! I am going to Dragon con this year and I would like to be a female version of Cpt. Nemo. Any suggestions you can offer would be terrific cause I am not sure how to go about it.

    • Thanks for visiting my site, Ellen! I think your idea of a female Captain Nemo is great. If you do some internet image searches of ‘Captain Nemo,’ you’ll get some ideas. Verne had a fairly precise description in 20,000 Leagues, but nobody (except me) depicts Nemo that way. Each visual remake and spinoff of the story (movie, graphic novel, video game) seems to show him in a different way. Some emphasize the ‘Captain’ and depict a naval costume. Others emphasize the character’s Indian origin. Some focus on steampunk. Others show his oceanic nature and decorate the costume with nautili, or octopi, etc. I suggest you go for a steampunky naval costume with oceanic decorations, and a script letter “N” somewhere. In other words, make it obvious that you’re Captain Nemo, or at least your version of that character. In my effort to be true to the text, my costume confused people. I had folks coming up to me and asking if I was a sailor, so don’t do what I did. Above all, have fun and good luck! I’d love to see a photo of the costume you come up with.

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