Cosplay Spotlight: Michael “Knightmage” Wilson


Michael “Knightmage” Wilson, welcome to the COSPLAY SPOTLIGHT!!!!!

Why do you cosplay?

Simply for the fun and joy it brings not only to me but for others as well. The fun of tapping into your creative side in making the costumes of characters you love. The fun of celebrating the love of a fandom with friends who share the same as well as the passion for costuming. The joy in seeing others marvel at you and knowing they may possibly be inspired by your creation. The joy of you being proud of your creation. The joy in making a kid smile because Batman gave him a “high five” or using your creation to help in some way, raising money for charity, lifting spirits at events or hospital visits, etc. To me it’s all about not just having fun for yourself but impacting others in a positive way too. One year ago cosplaying for me started off as hobby. It’s now a passion.

What was your first cosplay?

Green Lantern John Stewart was my first costume. It originally was just a Halloween costume (at that time I had never attended a convention). I loved how it turned out so I decided to make another costume and then another. I see the imperfections in that costume and while I may do another version of it I won’t touch that original. It will always be my favorite. I wore GL to a few charity events but my first convention costume was Batman. I’ll never forget the reactions I got from it. Made me feel like I really put together something awesome.

Do you make your own cosplay costumes, if so, which ones, and how long does an average costume take to make?

Yes, I make my own costumes. When I first started I had my Batman cowl commissioned. After that I really got into the mind set of wanting to try and do everything myself or atleast have a small “team” that I could always count on to help make it happen. That team consists of only two people. My girlfriend Gwen who is an excellent seamstress. She’s the one that taught me to sew. For the more difficult jobs I’ll hand it over to her until I can learn it. Second is my friend Josh who is an extremely talented artist. After i’ve completed the costume i’ll envision certain details and he creates that. With every costume i’m learning something new and I love to challenge myself. From learning to sew to making armor to making casts to makeup. It’s never ending. Don’t get me wrong, there’s amazing costume and prop makers out there but personally I find it more rewarding and something to be proud of when it comes from your own hands.

What is your favorite character to play?

That’s a tie between Spawn and Batman. Spawn because frankly I feel like a complete badass when i’m in it. When I walk I feel like people are fearfully getting out of the way. I specifically made the chains so they would “clink” when I move. Batman because of the reation it gets from the kids. Every kid recognizes Batman. Their eyes light up and all they want is a hug or high five. Such an awesome feeling.

Amongst animation, comics, movies, or video games, what is your biggest inspiration for cosplay?

All of it! One thing they all have in common is they teach that “anything and everything is possible”. There’s no constant. Depending on the media that a character is in. Depending on the artist, director or writer, the character is never the same in all of them. I translate that to my costumes. There doesn’t have to be any certain way a character has to look or be done. Cosplayers are artists just like everyone else. You can take your own creative liberties with it.

Have you ever made any mistakes that you’d warn a first timer about?

I wouldn’t say i’ve made this mistake but I think it’s good advice. If you go the route of commissioning work for a costume, before you fork over the money do your research on the person/company. Just because someone looks as if they do excellent work doesn’t mean their work ethic is the same. Bad product, late product, no product. I’ve seen so many people get jammed up because of this. Also this is more of a warning to be ready for: We live in a social media age. If you step out in costume there’s a 99.9% chance your photo will be taken. From that photo there’s also a 99.9% chance that it will end up somewhere on the internet. With that being said the internet, as wonderful as it is, can be a really cruel and harsh place. You’re not going to please everyone, no matter how good you look and there’s critics galore. Be ready for the negative hateful comments. And truthfully much of it is jealousy filled. Don’t let those comments deter you though. The cosplay community has way more positivity and support than the negative. As long as you remember that and keep in mind why you started cosplaying in the first place none of the negative will matter. And lastly, always stay humble!

Are there certain characters that are easier to play than others?

For me personally no. I only do characters that I already really enjoy so becoming them to portray for a photo shoot or something is never an issue.

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