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Cosplay Confessions is yet another monthly feature I’ve added to my blog, though I’ve recently gotten a bunch of submissions so I may do it twice monthly if this persists. Every month (and maybe twice a month), I plan on featuring a different cosplayer and my interview with them, along with photos featuring their cosplays. This will not only be beneficial to the cosplayers themselves – because any publicity is good publicity when it comes to updating your fans on which conventions you’ll be at, and what you’re working on – but it will also be beneficial to those who are interested in cosplay as a hobby.
Since this is a new feature, I have asked some cosplayers I know to fill out my questions and it’s my great pleasure to introduce a Hellboy cosplayer who is totally dedicated to Hellboy’s character, Ben Santos. Ben is a super-nice guy I first met, I believe, at Coast City Comicon here in Portland, Maine. Ben has been hard at work developing a new cosplay-related site (which we’ll get to later), so it was nice of him to take time out of his schedule to answer these questions. Also – if you want to see the Cosplay Confessions interview I did with his father, a Doctor Who cosplayer, you can check that out HERE.
On to the interview!
QUESTION: Hello! Many people reading this may not know much about you. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been cosplaying?
My name is Ben Santos and I have been cosplaying as Hellboy for about six or seven years now. It started as a Halloween costume at a time when I didn’t even know “cosplay” was a thing. The costume was a huge hit the first year even in the simple form that it was and it inspired me to continue with it. A total love of the character and the fact that it is an independent comic also helped drive my desire to represent a character outside the Marvel or DC Universe.
QUESTION: Do you attend many conventions? Which ones are your favorite to attend?
I have been attending conventions for four years now. Portcon was my first and always holds a special place in my heart. The community there is just so welcoming and supportive. If you have never been, come join us, you will love it!
The next con I attended was a first year convention called In-Con-Ceivable in North Hampton, Massachusetts. 2014 was the first year In-Con-Ceivable existed and I am returning again this year. I highly recommend it as a convention to attend, there are tons of things to do and it has the same welcoming feel that I love in a convention.
Bangor Comic and Toy Convention 2015 blew me away. A first year con that came out of the doors swinging. I got to meet Doug Jones (Abe Sapien from Hellboy and Hellboy II). Not only is he an amazing person he signed my Hellboy Fist Of Doom. The guest list was amazing and had stars from all over. I only went for one day and within fifteen minutes of being there knew I should’ve gone for the entire weekend.
Boston Comic Con I attended for the first time this year and for a larger convention it had a lot of great things. I was able to meet Inbeon Studios and had a great time talking with multiple vendors.
I can’t choose a favorite, each has their own amazing strengths.
QUESTION: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to cosplaying?
Rivet counters. The only place that belongs is in a craftsmanship judging contest. My Hellboy is not 100% accurate, it never will be. It is my interpretation of the character and the best reward I get is when a young child’s eyes go wide and the single word of “Hellboy” escapes their lips almost in disbelief.
QUESTION: What’s one cosplay project you’d like to do in the future?
I am currently working on an Urban Assault Comedian from Watchmen. I would like to have another cosplay which would not involve covering my face in red grease paint. As much fun as Hellboy is, it is one very hot costume.
QUESTION: Are there any cosplayers (professional or otherwise) who inspire you? If so, why?
The rookies. I love seeing someone who has a cosplay and is clearly a first go at it. I know how much work mine has taken to get to where it is and I love seeing people on the beginning stage of that journey, knowing I will get to see it evolve.
QUESTION: What do you think sets you apart from other cosplayers?
The thing I would say that sets me apart is my most recent project. I have bought and will be launching MY SITE in the near future. I am organizing a team and we will be building a fully comprehensive website to work as a hub which will allow people to search for conventions by a multitude of fields such as size (previous year attendance), date, location, genre, etc. Currently, convention knowledge is word of mouth and I want to improve that. The site has another section which is an online Artist and Vendor gallery. The website will be a very useful tool for the vendors because it will allow them to locate conventions that best fit their needs and plan out their schedules accordingly. It will also allow their patrons to have yet another spot to locate them and to see what conventions they are attending. I could go on quite a bit more but please check out the web site and look up our crowd funding campaign which will be live on INDIEGOGO the last weekend of August 2015. There is a Facebook group as well under the same name of Cosplay Convention Center, like it and you will get links to everything we have going.
QUESTION: Any advice for someone wishing to begin cosplaying?
Pick a character you like, take risks and don’t worry if it’s not 100% perfect. Everyone has been there before you, we will offer advice, tips, tricks, and guide you on your path. They say a painting is never truly done, a cosplay is very much the same thing. Consider temperature when you pick your costume is one piece I will share. If you have an issue with heat you don’t want to be wearing a leather trench coat for long periods of time.
QUESTION: Last but not least – do you have a website or Facebook page where people can check out your cosplay endeavors?
Yes. www.cosplayconventioncenter.com as well as the Facebook group Cosplay Convention Center. I accidentally answered most of this in question 6 so please check out the web site and like the Facebook group. Thank you for taking the time to read my interview and thank you to Joe for his support of my cosplay and the http://www.cosplayconventioncenter.com endeavor.
Graduated from Saint Joseph's College Of Maine with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Creative Writing as well as Stonecoast, a low-residency MFA program through University of Southern Maine. Has several screenplays, a novel, graphic novel and a memoir all in development.