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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Well Dressed Man, Part 2 of 2

The second half of my interview with Booster Gold cosplayer Nathaniel (nkpercell).

nkpercell at GenCon 2013

BOOSTERRIFIC: Your costume looks great. Can you describe its creation?

NATHANIEL: The costume was based specifically on a storyline in Booster Gold volume two when he traveled back in time and donned his old costume to find evidence of Max Lord's existence [Booster Gold v2, #33]. I mention this because I think the version of Skeets I made is not usually associated with this costume.

Since this was my first attempt at cosplay, there was extensive trial and error involved. I have no experience with costume-making, so I enlisted the help of my mother, who is pretty handy with a sewing machine. I designed the pattern on the fly and she built iterations of prototypes until we had something we liked for each piece. The costume was a combination of purchased items and custom-designed elements. A wig, safety goggles, blue running shirt, and black boots were combined with fabric elements and items made from wonderflex and cardboard. Some parts proved more difficult than others. For instance, I ended up purchasing 2 pairs of gloves and about 4 types of dye to get the yellow gloves, and during the dyeing process basically exploding boiling dye all over the kitchen. So it was quite an experience. We got a pretty late start and built most of the costume in the two weekends before GenCon, culminating in a near all-nighter the Sunday before GenCon. Including all the missteps, it probably cost $200-300.

I sculpted Skeets out of styrofoam based on a pattern I created, and covered it with Wonderflex, which is a heat-activated plastic material I found online. I didn't do a great job with the Wonderflex, as it was my first time working with it, so he has a bit of a battle-damaged look.

BOOSTERRIFIC: Did you enjoy cosplaying as Booster Gold?

NATHANIEL: Dressing as Booster was a fantastic experience. I was afraid it would be really hot, but the weather in Indianapolis in August was beautiful this year. The best part of the experience was meeting so many enthusiastic Booster fans. Two times, people asked me to go see their friend because they knew it would make their friend's day. I was called Green Lantern a half dozen times. One of my favorite parts of peoples' reactions was when they would say "Booster Gold!" and then a couple seconds later, excitedly, "and Skeets!", as they noticed him. This was my first experience with cosplay, but it will certainly not be my last. It was a really good time.

A big thank you to Nathaniel for sharing his experience as Booster Gold. If you missed it, you can find the first part of this interview here.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Well Dressed Man, Part 1 of 2

About this time last year, I interviewed Demyrie about her experiences as a cosplayer. This year, I'd like to introduce you to Nathaniel, who recently joined the Boosterrific Forum to share his own amazing costume. I asked him if he'd be willing to answer a few questions for the blog, and he graciously agreed.

nkpercell at GenCon 2013

BOOSTERRIFIC: What inspired you to cosplay as Booster Gold?

NATHANIEL: The woman in the picture with me, dressed as the fan, is my wife Kimberly. She's actually a big reason for this costume coming into existence. I've been a lifelong fan of comics, but when we met, Kim had not read many comics or been exposed to much of that culture. Over the course of our relationship, I've introduced her to gaming and comics and other aspects of geek culture, and she has found that she enjoys a lot of it. One day we were having a conversation about comics with a gaming friend, and we were looking for a comic that she might enjoy. He suggested the Booster Gold comic (Vol. 2), which at the time was pretty early in it's run. She was interested, so we checked it out, and have read pretty much all of his appearances since then, along with going back and collecting earlier issues of the series. A couple years ago I picked up the fan club shirt for her at a con, and so it just seemed a natural choice when we were talking about doing a costume.

As far as what draws me to the character of Booster Gold, I think there are a number of things that are compelling about him. His origin story is original and lays the ground work for redemption and character growth. I'm drawn to stories that feature strong friendships, and his friendship with Ted ranks with Butch & Sundance, Turk and JD, and Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable. There is a sense of humor and lighthearted fun that is missing from a majority of super hero books, but the character has enough depth to cause emotional moments as well.

BOOSTERRIFIC: Tell us about your history as a cosplayer.

NATHANIEL: This was my first attempt at cosplay. I have been attending GenCon [in Indianapolis, IN] regularly for the last 4 years, but this year was the first that I have brought Kim. I don't really remember what spawned the idea to cosplay, but the fact that she was willing to participate gave me the courage to give it a try. (She also went on a different day as Harley Quinn.) The idea of cosplay appealed to the kid in me, wanting to grow up to be (at least visually) one of these characters, instead of just reading about them. I like to try new things, and it seemed like it could be a lot of fun. I think the idea had been in my head to go as Booster since late last year, but we really only got serious making the costume a month or two in advance. Booster is definitely one of my favorite characters, I don't think I really seriously considered anyone else.

Thank you, Nathaniel. There's more of this interview to come later in the week.

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