Today we have the first of our awesome cosplayer interviews! These interviews are all for perspective. I don’t own any of the information, it all belongs to the perspective cosplayer. Now that I have all of the formalities out of the way, I hope you enjoy our interview with this outstanding cosplayer!
What is your name?
Rus S/ IG @singledad_cosplay
When did you start cosplaying?
I started going to conventions in 2016. My first cosplay was in February of 2017 at the Long Beach Comic Expo. It started as a way for my then wife (now ex) to have a mutual hobby, something we could do together and support each other.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out between us and we parted ways. But the love of going to conventions and creating new and exciting cosplays and characters never left, so I will continue on in my journey!
So you’ve been cosplaying for about 2 years, what was it that drew you to cosplay?
I am an avid geek that loves Star Wars, DC, Marvel, comics, cartoons, and movies. I’m a single dad of three boys and I enjoy being able to create new and exciting characters for them to look up to.
I LOVE going to conventions and interacting with other people, seeing the look on peoples faces when they recognize the characters I portray, and taking pictures with the people I follow and try to emulate. Since I am a stay-at-home dad and full time student, I have more freedom to be able to work on cosplays than most.
For those that don’t know me, I am also a veteran of the US Navy, medically retired as a Chief Petty Officer after 14 years of honorable service. I got out because I broke several vertebrae and ruptured a few discs in my lower back in the line of duty. After several surgeries to repair it, I was still in constant pain daily and needed an outlet to help. I left the Navy and re-invented myself as the best dad I could be, making up for the years I was away on deployments, missed birthdays and holidays, and all the time we spent apart. Now, I have another outlet. Something I can do for myself that helps not only keep me busy when I’m not in school but also gets me moving creatively.
Who are some cosplayers you look up to?
@supermaninsreal76 is a great friend and a true mentor. He has been with me since the beginning of my journey and continues to support not only my cosplay, but my family as well.
@greenarrowcosplay_ja is also another great cosplayer that helps out everyone, giving advice and helping others. @cosplayer_gallery is also know as Con dad. He’s an amazing photographer and works with @sylviaslays, @wonderwomanisreal, and a ton of other cosplayers here on the west coast.
I also follow @women.of.cosplay and @metahuman_activated, great guys that put out a lot of great cosplays and support for cosplayers!
What are some your favorite cosplays?
Of mine? I have my Joker stormtrooper mashup which we did as a family for Palm Springs Comic Con. My boys went as a Jedi Rick Flagg, a Deadshot stormtrooper (yes, as stormtrooper that never misses), and a Killer Croc trooper.
The hardest one I have done so far is my steampunk Bane for Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. Between leather work, paint, glue, and accessories, it took me the longest. I have several that I’m working on now, including a special one for Wondercon.
What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
My kids love the Warhammer 40k and play it every week. I would LOVE to have the skill to put together a Space Marine cosplay to do one day. But hey, I’m not that skilled (yet)… been watching tutorials on YouTube for working with EVA and other materials, making the PVC stilts required for the height (and learning to walk on stilts), as well as getting my body prepared for a day in a suit that cumbersome.
What do you love about cosplay?
I love the interaction at cons and seeing friends. Being able to walk around and meet people of similar interests is always exciting to me. I love traveling and going to cons, the farthest I’ve been is either Las Vegas or San Francisco so far. But I have met some great people along the way and everyone is so supportive!
Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
My favorite character right now is the one I am currently working on for Wondercon. Shhh… it’s a secret. Aside from that, the most reaction to a cosplay I have received is my Joker stormtrooper. Something about the helmet really gets people’s attention. My go-to is a Dapper Mandalorian I did last year for Wondercon and Comic Con Revolution Ontario. Something about dressing up in a suit always make me feel better!
What is a tip you have for beginning cosplayers?
Start slow. Take it easy. You can’t build a cosplay overnight (although there are some people that always seem to wait til the last minute and get con crunch). Beware of frauds that use you and turn their backs on you when they get what they want out of you (namely photographers).
Do it for the love of cosplay and not for likes or to promote a side business. There are a lot of cosplay models out there that just use the industry to promote themselves but don’t actually know about comics or the culture.
What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?
This isn’t easy. It takes time and effort into making the outfits and accessories. So please, appreciate what the cosplayers do. Always ask permission before taking photos. I am a big proponent of #cosplayisnotconsent. Just because people dress a certain way does NOT mean that they are that character. They just love the role and are trying to bring some joy and happiness into the community.
Can you tell us what you are working on?
I am creating a full leather armor suit for the upcoming con season for my secret cosplay. I’ll be posting teasers and wip photos as progress is made. Also have to work on my Voldemort prosthetics and updating some of my older cosplays. It’s busy, but it keeps me happy!
Also updating my Joker trooper and my Dapper Fett. Since the pics were taken, I have undergone quite the body transformation and lost 40 pounds and started working out on a daily basis. This is great for my health, but sucks because none of the clothes I wore last year fit anymore!
If money and time were no object, what cosplay would you do?
Reinhardt from Overwatch suit. A Lex Luthor power armor suit. And, of course, a Space Marine from Warhammer 40k. Just going to take time, but I think I can pull it off!
Any last thoughts you think are important?
Cosplayers should be aware and warned of sketchy practices in the community. There are many photographers and people that claim to be “cosplayers” but aren’t and solely use the industry to get attention for themselves and promote their business.
Photographers that just want sexy “booty” shots and upskirt/downblouse shots need to be isolated and word needs to spread about their lecherous practices. And not all fellow cosplayers are innocent, either. Many just use their “assets” to promote side businesses in soft core porn, selling topless shots on Patreon and Snapchat and sending their used panties along with lingerie pictures.
This is NOT what cosplay is about. Cosplay is not about prostituting yourself for likes and follows. Cosplay is for fans who want to show their appreciation for the community and share their love of the characters.
If people want to see more of your cosplays, where can they find you?
Follow me on IG @singledad_cosplay. I don’t have any other websites or anything like that, I’m just in it for the fun of it!
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.