It’s time for another interview, this time with Whowantscookies! He’s a cosplayer from the East Coast, who has some seriously awesome costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
‘Whowantscookies’ was inspired by the New Grounds flash clip called “Street Figher: Homelife”. My favorite SF character at the time, Akuma/Gouki, is in the kitchen baking cookies. The rest is self-explanatory and cane be seen here.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2001. In 1995, I started watching rental anime in the “Sci-Fi” *snort* section of the stores. By 1997 I was attending a weekly anime group at Stevens Institute of Technology; many of the members here went to Katsucon and Nekocon, though I didn’t know them well enough to join the nerd brigade. Come Saturday at Otakon 2000, I was inspired to don tights and a wig like I had never known before.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I’m the first to admit I am not skilled with crafting props or costumes outside of the basics (though I can hand sew well enough). I do enjoy helping others when possible. I’m more of a capitalist opportunist; I will pay others a decent ducat to make what I want to wear.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I don’t have much on the horizon right now, but I am aiming to work with Propped Up Creations and them crafting me a King George costume for an Assassin’s Creed III shoot sometime next year. It’s a mammoth product to say the least, but I am genuinely excited.
In the near-term, Nathan Drake from the Uncharted Series is my favorite to wear as I finally have the details on it complete. It’s quite functional and hardly stands out in public.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I enjoy obscure costumes the most since you know they are a real fan if they have gone out of their way to construct an outfit that maybe 10% of everyone will know. Plus, I’m less of a stickler for how well it is constructed and more on how it works. Since I have no talent for creation, I do not judge. If the person wearing it is all smiles and is proud of their accomplishment, that’s what matters most.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Like any subculture it’s going to have power plays, in-fighting, drama, fall-outs, alliances, back-stabbing, and friendships and relationships created, solidified, and broken. The only big difference between the scene 10 years ago and now is that there’s a lot more people in the scene, so all the above virtues and vices are only magnified in scope.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Two things: First, more people keeping in perspective that this is a hobby at the end of the day, and to keep that in mind when making decisions about what you do, who you trust and do not trust. Second, more cultural awareness when costuming characters of other ethnicities or races that are physically divergent of your own; black/brownface being the most prominent example. Ignorance and naïveté in this regard isn’t acceptable these days.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Pick a costume that you are comfortable with wearing since you don’t know how you’ll feel exposing your physique to thousands of people for the first time. Above all, go with close friends that you can trust and who will give you emotional support and cheer leading.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
– San Diego Comic-Con 2011 – Our group won Best in Show for the masquerade of the biggest convention in the US, seen here.
– Tekkoshocon 2003 – Helped found the convention and introduced supplying Bawls to the video game room.
– Anime Central 2004 – Won first place in the Capcom vs SNK 2 tournament.
– Anime Next 2006 – My first Best in Show and one of the most complicated skits I ever did, seen here.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Kratos (God of War) costume took two friends six hours to paint me white and red standing in a bathtub. The air brush particulates were setting off the smoke alarm, so we had to paint by hand.
Thanks for the interview, Whowantscookies! Hope to see you a convention sometime soon!