Happy Hump day! We made hit halfway through the week. As a reward, get to know this awesome cosplayer
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
I’m known across the internet as SoloJonesCosplay. This really stems from 2008, when I was getting more into being a Harrison Ford movie buff after seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at the cinema. I chose the name SoloJones1985 as my screen names for most things, as a portmaneu of my 2 favourite characters of his, then it just sort of spiralled from there into SoloJones cosplay.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE?
Too many to really list. I will admit though I do lean more on the “naughty side” as it were. I’m really partial to fizzy drinks. I love a can of energy drink in a morning, usually Aldi’s “Dark Thunder”. Monster Ripper or Rockstar Punched Guava. During the day, I usually prefer stuff like Lucozade Croft Apple, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper and Tango Apple, though the latter s getting quite hard to find. I do like my apple juice and strawberry milkshakes too.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m 33 and Autistic, best get that out the way to begin with. I’m a toy collector, having amassed a large transformers collection. I’ve been in a locally made comedy series called Tad Bad Dad. One day, I do intend to travel to Japan and be an English teacher.
WHEN DID YOU START COSPLAYING?
You could really say I loved dressing up back as a child. I had numerous dress up kits like He-Man, Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, MASK and all things like that growing up in my youth. I remember as a teenager, when cosplay wasn’t really a thing in the UK and then when 2008 came around, watching Indiana Jone all over again and then deciding “yep…I want to do that”. It really has come a long way in the last 11 years.
WHY DO YOU COSPLAY?
I really really enjoy cosplaying on the floor at the moment. It allows me to shake off the shackles of normality for a weekend and allow my geeky side to play. I love meeting new people, talking to old friends I don’t always get chance to meet in real life all the time, mostly down to the fact they live in different parts of the UK, possibly Narnia, I don’t know. I’ve learned a lot on this cosplay journey and if I ever get popular and become a cosplay icon, remains to be seen.
WHO ARE YOUR COSPLAY IDOLS?
I know this may sound really really corny, but I really idolise the everyday cosplayer. The ones that are on the con floor in hand made or bought costumes, some of them uncomfortable for hours and days at a time. I respect and idolise them. I admire their creativity as well. If any of you end up reading this, please….don’t give up and keep on being awesome. Keep going.
WHAT TYPES OF COSPLAY DO YOU DO?
I guess you could say Indiana Jones fits that movie and comic themeing. but also fits in with actual vintage fashion and re-enactment. I have learned a lot about 1930s-1950s fashion thanks to doing this, as well as WW2 costuming. I probably would never have learned any of this if I hadn’t have started cosplaying.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COSPLAYS?
Personally? I really like my Last Crusade cosplay. I’ve worked really hard on getting it as accurate as possible. Outside of this, I really like the more creative aspects of cosplay. I also like adventure cosplays that fit with my overall theming, like captain america, rocketeer, the shadow, lara croft, nate drake etc.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO COSPLAY BUT PROBABLY NEVER WILL?
I’d probably say either Star Wars or Marvel. I’d like to do a WW2 captain America or Han Solo, but I think the main things preventing me from doing either is mostly space and money. Shame really.
DO YOU MAKE, BUY, OR SPECIAL ORDER YOUR COSPLAYS?
A lot of my costumes have to be special ordered and made. The hat, jacket, shirt and trousers are usually tailored to fit properly. You can buy an off the rack, but again, it’s mostly down to personal taste. The webbing belt, weapons belt, guns, gloves and whip are usually bought and again, the whips can be custom made. Props can be both hand made and ordered from prop makers too. It all comes down to a person’s skill and budget. I did modify a fish tank chalice as my grail and I did make inserts for my diary and grail diary.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT COSPLAY?
I really love most things about cosplay to be honest. I love the fact that on the whole, cosplay feels like a large family that we’re all a part of. We support and help each other, we respect each other’s outfits, we spend time with each other at cons. I love the creative aspect of cosplay too. I love the fact that we’ve all had to learn some sort of skill to be where we are today, whether that’s tailoring, sewing, foam work etc.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING FOR YOU ABOUT COSPLAY?
It is mostly money and storage. Sometimes finding accurate gear at affordable prices can be tricky, though in my opinion, that has improved over the last decade. I can only hope it continues to do so
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER TO COSPLAY?
I’ve only really cosplayed Indiana Jones. I love doing the Last Crusade variant for now.
IF YOU COULD LIVE IN OR VISIT ANY FANTASY WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
Although it’d be really dangerous, I think Marvel would be an interesting one to be in. All those weird and wonderful characters. Either that or Star wars would be perfect imo. I suppose I want to take that risk lol
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COSPLAYS?
I really get inspiration from watching the films, looking at fan art etc. Sometimes even browsing prices on amazon or eBay can spark that nod of inspiration from anywhere too. I’ve seen a picture on facebook and been like “wonder how mich that will cost?” then next thing I know, it’s in my basket.
WHAT ARE YOUR “FANDOMS”?
I have many. I’m first and foremost a fan of Adventure fiction, that can be anything like Tales of the Golden Monkey, Indy, Uncharted, Tomb Raider etc. I’m a massive Marvel fan, primarily spider-man and the avengers. I also like Tokusatsu and Daikaiju films. I love Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and Godzilla films.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH BEGINNING COSPLAYERS KNEW?
The two biggest things aside from space that alll cosplayers should do. Budget and Research. Gather as many photos as you can of your chosen character and outfit, from as many angles as possible. Budget as much as you can. Cosplay can get VERY VERY expensive, especially if you’re buying many suits for different characters or even doing several variants on one
WHAT TIPS OR TRICKS DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER COSPLAYERS?
Other than weathering tips for making it look like you’ve been on adventures, the only thing I can really suggest is when measuring for outfits, do it several times and get someone to help. Work on posing and acting like your said character in photos and videos, If you’re doing outside shoots, please for the love of all that is holy, be respectful of your surroundings and other people, as well as ensure your surroundings match your character’s usual locations.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH NON-COSPLAYERS KNEW?
Please don’t make fun of us for our hobby. It’s expensive, it can be uncomfortable to wear. We are people too and just like you, we have thoughts and feelings. Be careful of our cosplays, we have spent time and money on these and they can be accidentally broken if mishandled too. Other than that, we hope you enjoy what we do. Oh and also, don’t blame us if your kid gets scared and please don’t force the scared kid to interact with often scary characters
WHAT COSPLAYS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
A few variants of the Indy. I’m currently waiting on the parts to arrive for the “Pankot Palace” attire from Temple of Doom at the moment. I’ve gotten the bow tie and tweed jacket at the time of writing this, waiting on the glasses. Other than that, I don’t really have other variants
WHAT COSPLAYS DO YOU WANT TO DO IF MONEY AND TIME WERE NO OBJECT?
That’s easy – World War 2 Cap from First Avenger. Han Solo and a few variants. I’d also have a full wardrobe of complete screen accurate Indy gear, with all variants, neatly categorised into films. I’d probably also have some Young Indy stuff in there too
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR COSPLAYS?
I have an online presence on facebook and instagram. Just search for SoloJones Cosplay on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll find me there. I do post there as reguarly as possible. You can also see me at MCM Birmingham and Collectormania Birmingham. I also post under the name of SoloJones Cosplay on Youtube as well.
Talk to me about conventions.
I do attend at least ONE MCM Birmingham a year and Collectormania. Though this year, I am peppering in a few other ones too, most notably AdventureCon.
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.