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–