He is vengeance. He is the night. He is… New Jersey BatDave, with this week’s COSPLAY SPOTLIGHT!!
Why do you cosplay?
I cosplay because I truly feel it’s an emerging art form combining graphic design, tailoring skills, theatrical abilities and so much more. It allows for an amazing range of personal expression for each and every individual who embraces this incredibly creative lifestyle.
What was your first cosplay?
I am a few years older than the average cosplayer, and did not even know what the term ‘cosplayer’ meant 5 years ago. But I have been creating and designing my own costumes since I was a little kid. My first real attempt was my homemade ‘Robin The Boy Wonder’ suit, inspired by my love of the 1960’s Batman TV series. (See Robin photo)
Do you make your own cosplay costumes, if so, which ones, and how long does an average costume take to make?
With the exception of my ‘Adam West Batman’ costume, which is a museum-quality professional costume used for when I appear at shows with the 1966 Batmobile, I always try to incorporate as much of my own designs and handiwork into a character. I highly recommend checking out thrift shops, dollar stores, flea markets and yard sales to augment a costume, weapon or prop.
What is your favorite character to play?
My favorite character to portray is, of course, any incarnation of The Batman, yet oddily enough, I seem to get the most positive feedback from the public is when I switch to The Green Hornet or Kato.
Amongst animation, comics, movies, or video games, what is your biggest inspiration for cosplay?
My biggest inspiration for cosplay is based upon my lifelong love of all things pop culture. Comic books, old TV shows, horror movies, vintage toys, etc. And I have a very strong affinity towards the 1930’s pulp heroes such as Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Black Bat and many more.
Have you ever made any mistakes that you’d warn a first timer about?
Mistakes or advice?? Two things I would tell a new cosplayer… Just HAVE FUN but be sure to develop a thick skin to criticism as soon as possible. Cosplaying should always be an enjoyable experience which sometimes gets overshadowed in this competitive world. I can’t tell you how many times i have seen a cosplay buddy give themselves a nervous breakdown because their costume is running behind schedule or it came out looking terrible. And remember… you may be cosplaying a character that has tens of millions of avid fans who may possibly NOT like your interpretation. And they will surely let you know. Try not to take the criticism personally and even learn from it when possible. Always maintain a healthy respect for the history of your chosen character but don’t be afraid to take chances either. Some of my favorite current cosplay involves gender-bending and franchise mash-ups. It’s all good.
Are there certain characters that are easier to cosplay as than others?
The easiest character to cosplay is MYSELF when I am portraying the bumbling yet well-intentioned not-so-superhero BatDave in our ‘BatDave & Buster The Dog Wonder’ movies. My filmmaker partner Dennis (NJ Spider-Denny) Pellicano have released over 30 fan films over the last 3 years focusing on comic cons, parades and horror shows up and down the east coast. We have met a ton of wonderful people along the way, including quite a few childhood heroes as well.
In closing, my last words of advice would be: Life is very short, don’t listen to those who dwell on negativity and doubt, be kind to others and enjoy every single moment of the live that you are living.
(All photos except me as young Robin were taken by Dennis J. Pellicano)
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