Though he has only been cosplaying for a year, Arsenal Cosplay has already accomplished many things in the cosplay world, including helping to found a charity cosplay organization.
Tell me what got you interested in costuming and ultimately cosplay.
I got into cosplay as a way to express myself, as my outlet to be happy, to be around my closest friends and loved ones. I started cosplay last year at Phoenix Comicon 2014. I watched the first season of Arrow on TV and bought a full costume. I also turned my daily driven car into a comic character: the Green Lantern.
Is that how Themed Ride Car Club came to be?
Themed Rides Car Club was started by myself and my best friend Frank last year due to our love of cars first. We just incorporated our love of comics and such into them.
You’ve also cosplayed Grifter and Punisher, among others; what’s your favorite character to cosplay?
My favorite character to cosplay will have to be my Deadpool, because I feel I can be him while in costume, breaking the 4th wall. Just being out there it’s amazing the feeling.
How do you compile your cosplays?
Some of the characters I cosplay as are former military. I myself was in the U.S. Marine Corp, but due to injury was medically discharged. Examples: Grifter, Punisher, Deadpool.
So you have access to some of the materials already: fatigues, holsters, etc.
How do you come across the other pieces of your cosplay costumes? Do you ever have to do any fabrication of your own?
Majority of my cosplays are purchased online or in stores. I have made certain things for some of my cosplays.
Tell us about Heroes and Villains of Tomorrow.
Heroes and Villains of Tomorrow is a local nonprofit charity cosplay group. We do charity events for children throughout the valley, Saint Mary’s food bank, Salvation Army, and Kids Need to Learn to Read. One of our big events is the charity car show held by Heidi Chapp of Vendetta Arts Studio at the Brass Armadillo antique mall in north Phoenix, every second Saturday. Myself, Chris Hartzler, and Jocelyn Annamarie Gangestead founded the organization in May of this year and we have been very well received so far. We at Heroes and Villains of Tomorrow have one goal: to put a smile on a child’s face.
That’s amazing! It’s great to see cosplay being used for more than just dressing up. A great cause indeed.
What’s the next big cosplay/cosplay event you have planned?
Heroes and Villains of Tomorrow has been invited to attend VETfest in Avondale Arizona today (November 14th) from 8am – 5pm. It is a veterans’ event.
If you had to pick the next big cosplay for you to do, with no limits to resources or supplies, what character would you like to do next?
Honestly at the moment I feel I have my lineup of characters I would like to stay with for a while.
What do you think are the three most essential items for any cosplayer’s closet or workspace?
I would have no idea where to begin to answer that. There are too many essential items for a cosplayer!