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Tell us all about your first cosplay experience.

Well my first true cosplay experience was Katsucon 4 back in 1998, I was dressed as Alberto of Impact from Giant Robo. A simple costume: three button suit coat, fancy eye piece, felt beard and mustache, finished with a cigar. My friends and I performed the “2nd annual Big Fire Bar BQ” skit. Not only was the skit well received we received plenty of praise for our costumes.

How would you react to the statement - "There are no good male characters left to cosplay as"?

People just are not looking hard enough. There is no limit to the amount of interesting costumes for people of all shapes and sizes. I think a lot of people worry more about trying to dress in a costume that is popular and easily recognized than a good costume.

What's your perspective on the pros and cons of cosplaying today compared to 5 years ago?

Well I think that things have improved over the last five years. Costumes are superior as well as many of the performances. Some of the costumes taking home awards five years ago would not win today. This is a good thing, more complex costumes, and more entertaining skits. However the downside is novice cosplayers can be intimidated, afraid to try, because they do not think they will be able to make the same quality of costumes.


As a cosplay judge, what would you look for in picking winners?

I look at the quality of the costume, how well it was constructed, and the methods used. Recreation is also highly important, how close it looks to the original and what changes were made to help make it. Lastly if I am judging a skit I look for originality, how well I can hear, see the costumes, and general how much fun the cosplayers are having on stage.

Any plans to cross-play as a female character?

No not really, unless I make a mecha with a female pilot or a kaiju that happens to be female.

Where does your inspiration in life originate?

A good attitude, when I’m in a good mood I can get a lot accomplished, inspiration comes and I have a drive to get things done.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Rich, yup haven’t made it yet, so I guess I will keep having to work at it.

How important is cosplay to you today? How about 10 years from now?

It’s a nice hobby. I enjoy making costumes, trying out new and different ways to make them, learning new skills. I hope in 10 years I still feel the same way, trying to make interesting and different costumes.

What's the best way to deal with criticism?

Listen to see if it is constructive. Very few cosplayers have perfected their craft. However if it is an attack, feel free to defend yourself, but don’t take it too far. Try not to sink to name calling and silly insults, state your argument and be done with it. Last bit of advice - don’t try to get the last word in, it can really hurt your point of view to take an argument too far.

If you had the resources to make the ultimate costume, what would it be?

It would probably be a movie quality suit of armor, Dust Gead from Borgman, maybe Knight Survive from Kamen Rider Ryuki, or a Mecha like the Jagd Mirage, or GaoGaiGar.


See more of Dave Z's costumes

Dave, you have an impressive collection of costuming accolades. Not only is it great to see another guy cosplayer take this art seriously, but also challenging yourself to do even more elaborate characters. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the progress you achieved can serve as inspiration for many other burgeoning cosplay artists looking to spread their wings of armor. Thanks for sharing and best of luck to you on your future projects.

Garry aka Prof.Tomoe

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