This made my day! Fabulous librarian and graphic novel guru Robin Brenner made a Rapunzel outfit and sported it recently at ALA. (Which reminds me...I will be doing a costume contest around Halloween. Dressing up as characters from any of my books gains you entry. Send photos.) This outfit is what we called Rapunzel's superhero outfit from calamity jack. I love it.
In rapunzel's revenge, Rapunzel wears pretty ridiculous clothing for the first half of the story. Then Jack buys her some new garb. In the script when she first puts it on, we described it to Nate Hale (illustrator) as the moment Superman emerges from the phone booth. It's her kicking-butt clothing, the clothes that express the kind of girl she's become. Jack buys them for her, showing how well he knows her, and how highly he thinks of her awesomeness. This is a lad who is not intimidated by a powerful girl. You gotta love Jack. (He was pretty easy to write. I happen to be married to a man who is the least sexist person I've ever known. Can you imagine I'd marry him otherwise? How lucky his three daughters are/will be to have a dad like him!)
In calamity jack, Rapunzel goes to the big city and tries to fit in with how she thinks Jack wants her to be. She spends the first half in a cumbersome (though lovely) Victorian dress. At one point she goes out to buy Jack a piece of clothing (I won't spoil it if you haven't read it yet). It is the one thing in all the world he would want and best expresses who he is. While she is out, we decided she would shed her constricting garb and buy herself a new, updated superhero outfit, one that combined elements from the previous but with a slick, urban style. This is Rapunzel Kicking Butt in the Big City. Nate grew up in a theater family and has a wonderful sense of costumes. He did lots of research and sketches until he found just the right look for her. I LOVE the jacket. She's so awesome in these clothes.
Nate really is incredible. I could pour over calamity jack for hours, examining all the little details he includes. Genius. He created a live, bustling, turn-of-the-century, steampunk/fairy tale city and perfectly expressed a hundred different characters. Pure genius.