Cosplay Closet Essentials: AZ Eighth Doctor
The Doctor is in—AZ Eighth Doctor, that is! From his classic Eighth Doctor cosplay to Star Trek and more, AZ Eighth Doctor has a wide range of cosplays for all to enjoy. You can view his past and latest works at https://www.facebook.com/AZ8thDoctor/ and on DeviantArt at http://jzlobo.deviantart.com/gallery/43670930/Cosplay
What first got you interested in cosplay?
“Well the first convention I attended was Phoenix Comicon back in 2008, with a friend and her sister who was cosplaying as Link. I saw how much fun she was having and knew I had to get in on the action. Later on that year, I had the opportunity to go to San Diego Comic Con and so I bought a unitard, some red safety glasses, modeling clay and various other bits to put together my very first costume, Astonishing-era Cyclops. In some ways, it’s still the costume I’m most proud of because I came up with how to make it without the helpful resources I have now and put it together mostly myself. But I guess if you drill even further back, I’ve always had an interest in dressing up ever since my parents got me some Ghostbusters PJs when I was three. Combine that with the awesome proton pack toy and I guess that was my very first cosplay, which got me wearing costumes all year round when the mood struck me. When I reluctantly admitted I had outgrown the PJs, I moved on to a Red Ranger Halloween costume and then a TNG Starfleet uniform. (Ironically, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween…)”
You’re most known for your detailed cosplay of the Eighth Doctor from Doctor Who. What about the character drew you to him?
“When I slowly found myself drawn into the Who fandom, it happened to coincide with my growing weary of spandex and having no pockets. I knew I wanted to cosplay a Doctor–it was just a matter of choosing the right one. Eight got my attention because his hair was like mine–no, really. So I went out and bought the TV movie and despite its awfulness, I absolutely loved him in the role. Here was a romantic, energetic Doctor (who was really well dressed). And well… it all snowballed from there. I never expected him to become my ‘trademark’ character, but I just have way too much fun being him.”
What are some of your other favorite characters to cosplay?
“For me, the characters I enjoy the most are the ones I can have the most fun being. Superheroes are still my least favorite on the comfort scale, but when I do charity work with the Justice League AZ as Nightwing, bringing heroes to life for kids–there’s no words for how amazing it feels. I’ll never forget the time I was patrolling the con floor with Batman and a three year old ran up to me and wrapped his arms around my legs. (I’ll pause here for the collective ‘awww.’) It also amused me to bring a laser pointer that day. Every single Catwoman went for it.”
How much time, on average, do you spend making/putting together a cosplay?
“It’s hard to say. When I get it in my head to make a new costume these days, I tend to slowly accrue the pieces, starting with the rarer/harder to find parts first, and usually wait ‘til I can find deals or sales. My leather ‘Dark Eyes’ Eighth coat I spent over a year trolling eBay for, ultimately paying only fifty-five dollars for it, and that’s with shipping. Patience will save you money.”
What is your dream cosplay—one you would love to do if you had unlimited time/funds/skill?
“Oho! I have so many. I guess my next ambitious project is Rincewind, the cowardly ‘wizzard’ from the Discworld novels. But I’ve always wanted to put together a Death’s Head costume–he’s a robotic ‘freelance peacekeeping agent’ from the Marvel comics who canonically ties together Transformers, Doctor Who, and the Marvel 616. (No, really, look him up!) And I have always wanted to buy a gorilla suit and modify it into Optimus Primal. Beast Wars/Transformers was my first real geek love, and I feel it’s my destiny to homage it in cosplay someday.”
What do you like most about cosplay?
“There’s so much to like. I guess the escapism is the biggest appeal, setting aside reality or your own persona for a little while and getting to be someone else. Camaraderie is another bonus–you can make so many friends through cosplay. Coming up with funny photo ideas comes in a close second.”
What is your favorite fan moment from the conventions you’ve been to?
“Hm, offhand I would have to say the spontaneous Marvel/DC dance-off at Tucson Comicon 2011.”
Any other nerdy/geeky interests?
“I’m a writer! I’m actually hoping to have a novel published by next year. I have one written up, it just needs more polishing before I feel confident enough to start submitting to publishers. I wanna borrow a trick from Terry Pratchett and have a diverse range of casts sharing a universe. My novel’s a sci-fi adventure story featuring teenage mercenaries, but they and the characters from my werewolf dramas might bump into each other someday…”
And finally, name three items that you consider essential to any cosplayer’s closet.
“A black longcoat. It’s just a cool thing to have, cosplay or not, which is why so many characters wear them. Black boots, again for the versatility. Actually pretty much any black item of clothing can probably be used in some costume at some point. A sewing kit, safety pins, and electrical tape. I’m not kidding, these things can be a cosplayer’s lifeline.”
Featured image photo credit: Tao Photography