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Meet the Cosplayer: Danquish about the desire to bring a hero to life

Character: Scorpion © Will Box
Character: Scorpion © Will Box

Please tell us a bit about yourself: How did you get into cosplaying and when did you start?

I guess you could say I have always been a cosplayer at heart, as Hallowe’en was my favorite time of year growing up and I often made my own costumes and props as a way of bringing my favorite characters to life. I attended my first actual cosplay con in 2010 and I have been hooked ever since.

Character: Subzero of Mortal Kombat © Will Box
Character: Subzero of Mortal Kombat © Will Box

Which characters do you play and where do you get your inspiration from for the designs of your costumes?

I have always been a Ninja, robot and cyborg fan and so I tend to gravitate towards characters that reflect those interests. I have been a long time Mortal Kombat fan and so my first cosplay ever was Reptile from MKII. As my skills developed I took on more ambitious projects, like Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden and then Sam Gideon from Vanquish.

Why do you like slipping into other roles?

Cosplay is pure escapism: A fantasy world where you have the opportunity to bring your favorite characters and heroes to life. When a boy first puts on a cape and pretends he’s superman or a girl puts on a princess dress and pretends she’s Elsa, a future cosplayer is born. This passion and desire to escape doesn’t need to diminish as one gets older.

Which fictitious figures inspire you and why?

While not entirely fictitious, I love Ninja because of the mystery and lore that surrounds them. Pop culture has elevated these iconic characters to near superhero status or super villain – depending on the scenario. I would spend many hours as a kid reading about their history. There’s a discipline factor that surrounds such dedication that I find inspiring.

Do you have role models in the cosplay scene?

Over the years I have been very fortunate to meet some of my personal cosplay heroes and I am sincerely grateful for every opportunity to see them at one con or another and chat, take pics and laugh together.

How many costumes do you own?

As of this moment I have eight completed costumes that I like to rotate with more in the works or in the planning stages.

Character: Sam Gideon of Vanquish © Will Box
Character: Sam Gideon of Vanquish © Will Box

How long do you work round about on a costume? Which costume was the most work so far?  

Each costume presents its own set of challenges and so work time can vary wildly from cosplay to cosplay. That said, my ARS suit from the game Vanquish for example was my most ambitious and time consuming cosplay to date. It took me six months to complete.

What makes a passionate cosplayer?

Anyone who is simply a fan of something……ANYTHING, and seeks to bring that character to life is a passionate cosplayer to me. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Joss Whedon, from the movie Comic-Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, who said: “This is really the place where they can lay down their arms and come together and just be like, ‘Are we not DOPE?! Are we not amazing for being THIS obsessed with something?”.That to me sums it up perfectly.

What was the most exciting experience you had with your fans?

Wow, there have been so many awesome experiences and memories I have had over the years and I am deeply thankful for every one of them. If I had to pick just one experience though, it would be the time I took part in the masquerade at Anime Expo 2013. I took part as Sam Gideon from my favorite game: Vanquish. When I ran onto the stage to act out my little skit in front of a room full of attendees it was quite possibly the most incredible cosplay memory I have to date.

Which characters will you portray next?

Hahahahaha, I can’t tell you that! 😉 *secret* Truth be told, I am sure every cosplayer is plagued with the “I SO WANT TO COSPLAY THAT!!” bug whenever they see a character that sparks their interest. The dilemma being: How to choose?

Do you also play video games? If so, which games do you play most and what was your greatest triumph?

Video games and cosplay are two VERY closely related passions as many cosplayers get their inspirations from characters they play on the screen. I have a lot of personal favorites in my collection including Resident Evil 4 and God of War, but to this day Vanquish remains my ALL time favorite game… I simply adore everything about that game and the day I completed my cosplay and I could assume the character of Sam Gideon in real life, that what was the ULTIMATE “Achievement unlocked” to me.

Character: Shockblade Zed of League of Legends © Will Box
Character: Shockblade Zed of League of Legends © Will Box

Have you been to gamescom before? If so, what made you visit it?

I have yet to attend gamescom, but I would certainly love to visit! (I *am* half German….)

Where can we find you on the internet?

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.