It’s time for another interview, this time with Moogleborg! He’s a talented cosplayer and photographer from California!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias, as well as my eternal nickname, is Moogleborg. At first I choose it to simply give myself a name on Battle.net when I first played Diablo and eventually it grew and stuck to me.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
The first cosplay that I did was of Vergil from Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening back at Fanime in 2007. I contacted my friend Heulangel to make the jacket and the Yamato katana for it, while she also made a jacket and Rebellion sword for my twin brother, Strider Ryuki, to be Dante.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I have not physically worked on a cosplay myself, but I always look forward to putting on my cosplay for the first time to see how snug and comfortable it is and to see if it is able to withstand some of my martial arts techniques. ^^ That, and also making sure that they’re able to be cleaned safely without any cosmetic damages to them.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Eventually, with enough support and practice, in the future I’m hoping to make and do cosplays based off of various Tokusatsu series, such as series from Super Sentai and Power Rangers and the Kamen Rider series. Not just the characters, but also the riders and sentai/rangers that they transform into.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I love that there are a lot of cosplayers that work on their cosplays that not only give out incredible detail on their outfits, but it also goes wonderfully no matter which environment and scenes that they are in. Depending on who takes their pictures and where it’s taken, there are some details on their cosplays that are not usually visible. But given the right scene, it gives a wonderful sense of uniqueness and life to the character that they are cosplaying. Cosplayers like Heulangel, Blueskad00, Bekalou, artisticpsyco, Rosa, Hime-Costello, and a few others that I know of are wonderful examples.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I have a strong and incredibly positive view of the cosplay scene. With all of the various new anime coming out it gives cosplayers both new and current more characters to cosplay as. When I got into anime, I started watching both anime and western animation more often and once I started getting into manga, I started reading western comics more often as well. I soon started getting into more obscure and less known works of both western and eastern cultures and it made me think that it would be an interesting surprise to see various obscure characters being cosplayed at a convention. They’re also characters that I tag in my photo albums in Facebook and Deviant Art to give people a bit of a surprise whenever they look at my photos.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
One thing I’d like to see change is cosplayers attitudes towards the shonen genre. Due to various shonen anime and manga series gaining popularity, a lot of people are incredibly quick to cosplay as the characters from them. Soon, there are so many people cosplaying from one or a few particular series that people either start shunning the series or shunning other series, claiming that the series that they’re cosplaying is as the best. Then it winds up becoming a small mini war against various series. This is sadly common towards shonen series, however I do hope that everyone will realize that no matter what the genre, all series are different. I take my own approach to any series, either in anime and manga or western works and see for myself.
I’d like this change because I really do not like to see people feel uncomfortable about the series that they are cosplaying from. What I highly respect about cosplay is that there are a lot of people out there who have done incredibly hard work on their cosplays and I always want to see them feel good about who they cosplay as. When I was younger, I was bullied and discriminated a lot and to me, it is one of the worst feelings in the world and one of the worst things to ever experience.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Start off with a character that you’ll be really comfortable cosplaying as. Go with a very simple outfit and see how that goes for you before heading out and cosplaying more variations of the character. Also, don’t ever be afraid to get your picture taken. There are a lot of people who not only want to take your picture, but also want to get to know you personally. That is fine, but don’t ever forget to let the person know about your own personal space, even if they are a stranger. Simply giving them the ‘silent treatment’ will not work. Talking to them could mean the difference between a future cosplayer or photographer who want to follow in your footsteps and either start cosplaying or take pictures of you professionally, or someone who just wants to help establish a network connection with you. Just don’t hesitate to put your foot down and start chatting with them if they either don’t follow through with their plans or if they start to become a creep towards you. I’ve had my share of both stalkers, random strangers, harassment and abuse both in and out of cosplay, but it never stops me from reaching out to everyone to try to get to know them.
No matter which character we cosplay as, we’re all human beings. And while everyone’s preferences, experiences and life styles are different, we all need to reach out towards each other and share most of our experiences and also communicate. I always do my best to encourage all of my fellow con-goers, even if there have been some that made me incredibly uncomfortable upon my first encounter with them. But once I get to know them, I eventually do my best to support them the best way I can. And I hope the same happens with a lot of people too.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
The only convention I have mostly attended is FanimeCon. It’s the only anime convention closest to my home in San Jose that I can easily get to and enjoy myself in. I have familiarized myself with the venue ever since it started being at the San Jose Convention Center back in 2004. Ever since I have also started to attend Fanime there, I have started to gain a whole lot of friends, which thanks to them, have given me the courage and strength to continue attending the con as well as live in life. They’ve given me unbreakable optimism and patience to eventually continue on with photography and cosplay.
I have also attended Anime Expo in 2010 to attend the concert held by May’n and Megumi Nakajima. It was one of the most wonderful experiences that I have ever experienced in a con and I hope to eventually attend Anime Expo again in the future. Eventually I hope to venture to more conventions to do cosplay and photography there, but I will always attend FanimeCon.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My jacket for Ash Ketchum/Satoshi from Pokemon was made by my friend Heulangel and has gotten a lot of praise from a lot of con goers. Eventually I’m hoping to get a much larger jacket for Ash since its been feeling a bit small on me recently due to the weight training I’ve been doing. I hope that it gets as much praise and respect as my current jacket. And I will always cosplay as Ash Ketchum forever.