It seems like Jack-O-Lantern designs, like fashion designs, are cyclical. When I was a kid, before pumpkin carving kits were sold at every local drug store, only the most patient artistic genius could carve a pumpkin to resemble Captain Kirk or Darth Vader. Every time I saw a well-carved pumpkin while trick or treating, it was an experience of almost divine awe.
But with the onslaught of cheap pumpkin carving technology, anyone can make a ridiculously ornate Jack-O-Lantern face. This has made seeing an orange, gourd-shaped Sulu in a dark window positively common place. Oddly enough, it is now to the simple Jack-O-Lanterns that I look with awe. Only a pumpkin with crudely carved triangles for eyes and a demonic, flame-spitting rictus for a grin can really hold my attention these days.
Still, I’m in the minority. For your pumpkin carving pleasure, I present this excellent compendium of science fiction themed Jack-O-Lantern designs. Size up your pumpkin with an artist’s eye and envision its platonic transformation: would it best be carved into the visage of an original Star Trek crew member? Is it a creature from Pan’s Laybyrinth? Should it immortalize the face of one of NBC’s Heroes? Or is it a Firefly kind of pumpkin?
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