Nert as Kintaro Oe from Golden Boy

Cosplay interviews! A weekly feature on Animetion where we talk to UK cosplayers on what motivates them, plus a cool gallery showcasing their cosplays.  Here we talk to cosplayer:

Jonathan Cullinane
(a.k.a. Nert)

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

Hrm, my first cosplay would've been about 6 years back, at Minamicon 8 as Ryoga from Ranma 1/2.  But that was kinda half-assed and it took a while before I did another so I've only really been into it for the last 4ish years.

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

The variety, mostly.  On the surface it's a pretty daft hobby but the creativity and the sheer number of different talents or disciplines it can take from is insane.  Thanks to cosplay I can repair clothing, know what kind of glue, tape or resin to use for all kinds of repairs, I've learnt about sewing and patterns, I can now use a sewing machine, I've learnt about photography and I have an excuse to have a variety of craft scalpels just lying around...

That aside, it's the people; it's an entire community built upon creativity, sticking stuff together with duct tape, and not taking things too seriously.  That's my sort of crowd.

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

It'd have to be Purple Tentacle, from Day of the Tentacle - an old Lucasarts adventure game from yesteryear.  He's a 4ft tall purple and green cone of camping mat and polycotton and we love him to bits.  Wearing him does mean crouching down and hopping around which is painful after all of 30 seconds, but it's worth it for the recognition on old school gamers' faces!

That was a joint effort between me and housemate AllanC though, so favourite cosplay purely of my own workings...

It's a toss up between Kimura-sensei from Azumanga Daioh, which involved a full-head latex mask and scaring people witless, and Chase Stein from Marvel's Runaways, which involved light-up goggles and giant robot claw hands.  This amused me no end.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

Wearing barely translucent glasses while moonwalking... straight into the audience.  Oops. (Jango - One Piece)

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

A shorter list would've been things that went right...I'm firmly a believer in the saying it's not a true masquerade costume unless it's drawn blood.  Saying that, I've actually come away mostly unscathed which is a miracle for me, but certainly most of my costumes tend to break just before going on stage...one nearly sliced into my ear as the string was too thin (Jango - One Piece), one pair of glasses managed to spontaneously break *both* arms as I was next in line to go on (Bernard - Day of the Tentacle) - handy emergency electrical tape to the rescue there.  A group of rabid fangirls declared Purple Tentacle to be some sort of hentai tentacle and gave it a good kicking - with my friend still in it..

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

I half regretted wearing a costume so creepy looking (Rob Lucchi - One Piece) that no one recognised me and were actually considering calling security...

Other than that, nope. Not for a second. 

Q. Do your cosplays have a particular theme to them?  

"Shows/games that more people should watch/play"  If anything. I only cosplay things I like, and preferably would suit me or at least hide enough of me to not be noticeable.  Generally I see it as a way of promoting stuff that I'm a fan of. 

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

Rarely but it's good fun.  I used to have to make most of the costumes for the whole group to make it happen, which was kinda stressful, but it makes it a lot easier to be recognised and you do get to have some great fun with photoshoots.

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

A little undecided at the moment.  I'm planning on experimenting more with some new techniques, possibly fibreglass and some other ways of surfacing foam, then seeing if I can't go back and finish the Gurren Lagann costume I started a while back, which is on hold pending a rethink ;)

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

Several, but I prefer to keep them a surprise for when/if I manage them ;)

Q:  Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

If you're having trouble working out what kind of costume you could make - just take a look at what skills you already have, or would be interested in learning.  You'd be surprised what experiences you can call on to help put spectacular finishing touches on even the most mundane costume.  Oh, and above all else have fun. There's no point otherwise :P

Q:  Do you have an account with the website Cosplay island/other social networking sites?

I primarily use Cosplay Island, and I'm registered as Nert. 

(Nert also has his own website -
Many Lemons - ed.) 

(click any picture for a larger image)

Nert as Mr Kimura from Azumanga DaiohNert as the Tentacle from Day Of The TentacleNert as Bub from Bubble Bobble
Nert as Jango from One Piece

Nert as Harry from The Typing Of The DeadNert (bottom left) as Azuma Kazuma from Yakitate!! Japan Nert (right) as Bernard from Day Of The Tentacle

Nert as Chase Stein from RunawaysNert as Rob Lucchi from One Piece - photo taken by FatkrakenNert as Ryoga Habiki from Ranma 1/2Nert as Koshi Rikdo - the creator of Excel Saga

Nert as Nozomu Itoshiki from Sayonara Zetsubou SenseiNert (left) as Lester Knight Chaykin from Another World - left is DanovNert (right) as Luke Atmey from Phoenix Wright

Nert (right) as Phoenix Wright from Phoenix Wright.  Left is Allan as Edgeworth from the same game