I’ve loved comics and superheroes ever since I was a kid. That was a long time ago, but I haven’t given up my “kid spirit”. Around 2000 I saw other people online starting to do superhero costumes, and with the urging of a friend I decided to get my first costume – the classic Spider-Man. That was before the first Spider-man film. Cosplay was not as respected or popular then, and I was a little shy to run around in public in spandex. But I started out wearing the Spidey costume at comic conventions and on Halloween, and I was HOOKED! I quickly found out that I enjoyed the freedom and, yes, the attention of being a superhero. Since then I’ve gotten a dozen and a half other costumes including Nightwing, Aquaman (Alex Ross “Justice” version), Barry Allen Flash, White Lantern Flash, Tempest, Booster Gold, Metamorpho, the classic Jim Starlin Warlock, New 52 Captain Cold, Mr. Miracle, Gold from the Metal Men, the 80’s red and white X-Men Angel and more in the works. They’ve created for me by some talented costume makers – AJS Costumes in Burbank and Outrageous Outfits in Austin, Texas.
I like characters with bright, colorful costumes – characters that aren’t mainstream and aren’t done a lot but are still well-known enough to have cult followings. Those kind of characters are harder and harder to find these days. I always like the yellow costume that Daredevil wore in his first few Silver Age issues. I’d never seen anyone do that suit but finding the right dark red was difficult. That part of DD’s suit is often black in the comics with touches of red. That’s hard to do in real life. But my costume guy found a good dark red fabric with a shine, and so we went for it! I’ve gotten a lot of compliments for that retro-look outfit, and it’s fun to hang with other Daredevils and Marvel Knights and face off Kingpin or Electra.
As most cosplayers know it’s fun to let out your inner hero, inner heroine or inner villain and get in touch with your creative, playful side. It’s very rewarding to work hard on a costume, go for accuracy and details and have it turn out well. It’s a blast to get together with other cosplayers and photoshoots. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world in the cosplay community, and it’s great to see how popular, respected and HUGE cosplay has become. And I’ve put cosplay to good use for charity work, producing superhero-themed fundraisers for people with HIV/AIDS for over 12 years. And I think what I like the most is when little kids come up to you in costume and are so happy to see their favorite characters in real life. That’s when you feel like a real hero.