During an unseasonably warm day in February, we here at Geekhammer ventured out to our local experts on cosplay and sat down for a brief interview with Anthony Wilson the owner/creator of Wilson’s House of Cosplay to better understand what they do, the services they provide, and the exciting world that is cosplay. We also were lucky enough to sit in on a photo shoot of a new cosplay that Justin Williamson was working up for the local Classic Plastics Toy and Comic Expo.
Geekhammer: Can you tell us the process for getting started in the realm of cosplay? What factors do you need to consider?
Anthony: The answer honestly depends on your definition of “Cosplay.” There is a video being shared on social media right now of Adam Savage talking about what cosplay is. He defines it as embodying the character that is being portrayed. i find this to be a good definition, but also slightly inaccurate to what Wilson’s House of Cosplay embodies. I want people to have fun and stretch their boundaries of their comfort zones and to get out and make the world a better place. If you want to dress as your favorite character, then do it. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you think your costume is. it doesn’t matter if you spend $20 or $2000 on your cosplay. If you are showing your love for a character of creation than I will always encourage and support that. That being said, the biggest factor for any cosplay is planning. Figuring out HOW to portray the character you love. Your budget is going to play into that, but it isn’t going to define it. Some cosplayers are content with slapping a Spider-man logo on a shirt and grinning ear to ear about their accomplishment. Others will spend countless hours and pennies going over exacting details to make sure their portrayal is more accurate than any reference content to elude to.
Geekhammer: What goes into character development for cosplay?
Anthony: For us this will be determined by the cosplayer we are working with. Are they entering a contest that has very strict rules about materials and usage? Are they submitting to the 501st for approval? Perhaps, they are just making a Halloween costume for their best friends annual party. Budgetary constraints play a factor in design and planning as well. A $20 prop and the same prop priced at $200 are going to have different looks and details, which is going to determine how much research and planning we put into it. We always give each prop and costume everything we have, but sometimes there are limits and time constraints.
Geekhammer: How does the “convention” culture fuel cosplay and what are the positive and negatives of that culture?
Anthony: The convention culture is always a fun. Cosplay for yourself or making a costume for Halloween is one thing, but being in the midst of fans and like-minded individuals are always enjoyable for me. Of course, it is heartening to be at a convention and be approached by someone who just gets what you’ve accomplished. interacting and getting into discussions are how we meet people and make friends. There are some voices that are starting conversations about cosplayers having their own conventions and getting them out of and away from the content creator venues. That is weird to me, I know some big name cosplayers have done just that and made a name for themselves through cosplay and in that create a distraction from what the creators are promoting. To me in the end, we are all fans and are just trying to show our support in the way we feel comfortable in doing so. Not everyone is a skilled artisan, but some of those people are creators and makers in their own right. I know people that can’t draw a stick figure to save their life, but if you ask them to sew a corset they will have it done in an afternoon.
Geekhammer: What advice would you have for plus size people who are interested in cosplay?
Anthony: DO IT! Whomever you want to cosplay, whatever you want to build, just do it. Cosplay has always been and will always be for the fans. it doesn’t matter what ethnicity, gender, or body shape you are. If you love something and are a fan of it, don’t be afraid to share it with people. there will always be people who don’t agree with it. Who will be negative and nasty. If you’re not the ideal shape and want to share your love of Wonder Woman because she inspires your strength, then you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way of that.
Geekhammer: What does Wilson’s House of Cosplay provide for the community, what are your future plans?
Anthony: Inclusive cosplay for everyone!