He says, “Batman and Iron Man are favorites of mine because of what they accomplish with no extra powers.” He customizes his cosplays to his own personal taste and to his vision of the character. “None of my cosplays are exactly ‘screen accurate,’” he adds. “Even my Batman is a combination of three different movie versions, but it ‘suits’ me well….Bringing these characters to life feeds my artistic and creative side.”Another featured cosplay guest, Captain Cody, portrays a wide range of characters, from Spider-Man to Han Solo to Branch the Troll. Captain Cody advises people, “If you have something that you want to do, don’t put it off or give it a second thought. Just go for it. That’s what this community is about.”
His own first cosplay, Captain America from the 2012 Avengers, started with a Halloween costume that he wanted to make better. “I took it in and made a new belt, gauntlets, gloves, boots, and a steel saucer shield,” he recalls. “Then I found out there was a whole community for doing stuff like that, and it’s been half my life since then!… The community is amazing and I’ve found some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had while cosplaying.”
Iron Knight agrees. “If you are a novice or first time cosplayer,” he says, “don’t worry about anything, except how you represent yourself. It doesn’t matter if you buy a costume off-the-rack, or build one yourself. If you are more interested in the creative side of cosplay, there is an abundance of tutorials on the internet to help guide you, or you can construct it with your own ideas. You will enjoy the cosplay experience more if you portray characters that have a personal meaning to you. Iconic characters mean a lot to many people in different ways, so be aware of that and represent the character accordingly, but above all, be mindful of the families and children any time you are in cosplay.”
Captain Cody, who will be participating in panels during EV2017, says, “I love talking and sharing ideas with people, and I always learn so much more from other people than I’m usually able to teach.” He’s planning to premiere a new cosplay that he is “crazy excited about”—he reports, “I’ll be working with Hero Hair to transform me into a completely different person.”
Iron Knight is excited about EV2017, too; among other things, he is looking forward to the special meet-and-greets and photo ops he will host for children and youth over the course of the weekend. He will feature an iconic character each day, so there will be multiple opportunities for the unique experience.
Above all, both cosplayers say that the community is awesome, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner. Iron Knight says, “Cosplay has many aspects to enjoy, whether it’s focusing on the inventive element and contests, being the character, working with kids to make a difference, or just having fun and hanging out with your friends. There are also different types of cosplay groups that you can get involved in, or you can be involved in a little of everything. When I started, I didn’t know anyone who attended cons, let alone who cosplayed, but I jumped in head first. So, don’t worry about it. Just get involved, if you are interested in it. You will meet a lot of great people along the way.”
Escape Velocity is going to be a great time to make your cosplay debut or try out a new character. The Cosplay 101 panel will provide advice and support for newbies from experienced cosplayers. The Cosplay Dance Off and CosFashion Show will give you a chance to strut your stuff. And if you’re looking to take it up a notch, check out the fight choreography workshop with DC Stunt Coalition! Check out the schedule for a more complete list of programming.