Continuing our new regular feature - cosplay interviews!  Here we talk to UK cosplayers on what motivates them.  This week:

Name: Christian R. Allan

Q: When did you start cosplaying and how long for?

Since last November, but the preparations have been much longer!

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

You get to share the admiration and popularity of any particular character you choose.  The only price to pay is hard work, dedication, and a lot of bloody papier-mâché in order to bring a character faithfully to life.

Q: What has been your favourite cosplay?

I’m split between Vegeta (from Dragon Ball Z -ed.) and Dr. Eggman (from Sonic The Hedgehog - ed.). Both involved special body suits (one to make me muscular, the over for fattening…) and a lot of pain!

Not only did Tab Kimpton, the costume designer, bring their exaggerated anime look to life (including the use of a pencil in my hair to sculpt a true Saiyan mane) but I was able to play those characters perfectly i.e. be a glorified bastard, much to the enjoyment of those around me.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

The last London Expo, I met Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor, Doctor Who) whilst cosplaying Walter C. Drornez (Hellsing) and then ended up operating a Dalek!  Best day ever!  Oh, we also won the Expo masquerade; a cherry on the cake!

Q: Have you had any cosplays go wrong/encountered problems whilst making cosplays?

Well, we once left Seras Victoria’s (from Hellsing - ed.) make up kit (including vampire teeth, eyes etc.) in Southampton… which was a problem as we were entering the masquerade as Hellsing and competition is fierce.  We proceeded to call up Seras’ mum, who then caught a train up to London.

I, as Walter, then left the Expo Centre (unbeknownst without my Underground ticket) to meet her at Waterloo. Trapped behind the Underground barriers, I grabbed the make up kit over them, tubed back to Greenwich, won the competition, had a celebratory Chinese, and slept. Yay!

Q: Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

If money’s low and you’ve spent £100 on a Dr. Eggman fat suit, you feel slightly stupid.  The rewards, however, far out way the misery though.

Q: Have you ever done group cosplay? If so how did you find that experience?

We’ve only won as a group, so I guess it works.  You find that everyone is able to bring something unique into a group.  I’m good at acting the parts, whilst Tab can make the costumes/look sexy etc. It’s all about being mutually beneficial…yay friendship!

Q: What cosplays are you planning?

Currently Pegasus from ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ (I’m branching out of angry characters to camp ones.)

As for other characters, too many… We come up with funny skit ideas, most of which we give up on straight away.  For now, Eggman is here to stay… Oh, and something big involving two legendry characters from Pokémon…

Q: Do you have a dream cosplay?

It’s not anime, but… Wallace in the Wrong Trousers (from Wallace & Gromit - ed.)!

Q: One piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

Just have fun.  If it’s not fun, don’t do it… Oh, be sociable.  Seriously, why make all that effort to be a cool and popular character if you’re not going to even engage in friendly banter with people!

If, however, you’re more interested in the competitive side of cosplaying:

- Spend money on your costume
- Make sure the costume isn’t commercially available i.e. bought of eBay…
- Choose a character you can pull off both physically, and personality wise (i.e. act)
- Entertain the crowd!

Oh! Most importantly [Garth Marenghi voice] don’t do drugs.

Q: Do you have account with the website Cosplay Island?

I do!  I am on there as Uber-Nerd!




All images copyright Christian R. Allan, Tab Kimpton & Matthew Fielder