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:

Matthew Haycock
(a.k.a. MattDark)

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

My first cosplay was back in 2006, at the MCM London Expo in October.  I'd agreed to do a joint cosplay with a friend who was cosplaying Kagome from Inu Yasha, so I cosplayed as Inu Yasha himself.

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

I remember when I saw other people cosplaying, they would get so much attention, and they always seemed to have a good time, I suppose ,at first, I wanted to experience how it felt for myself.  I really enjoy cosplay as it works as a great confidence booster.  With so many people wanting to get a picture of you and sometimes wanting to hug you because of who you dress up as, it makes it really fun to do.

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

It would have to be a tie between Inu Yasha and Kaname (from Vampire Knight).  Inu Yasha was just so well-recognised when I cosplayed him, plenty of people wanted pictures and would come up and speak to me.  With Kaname, it was more the feeling of being in a suit and getting other peoples attention with it.  People really seem to like how nice the Vampire Knight uniforms are in general and I really enjoyed the feeling of it myself.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

Again, another tie.  There was the first time I did my Cooro (from +Anima) cosplay, I was waiting in the line for the MCM London Expo in May 2008 to open, and a bunch of people came up for photos, immediately recognising the character, despite being from a new series.  I even had someone come up just to hug me for doing that costume!

The other would be back in the Kaname cosplay.  I wore it to the Amecon 2008 ball and it went down really well, for someone who is generally nervous when it comes to meeting new people, I danced with quite a few people that night.

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

I cant say I've had cosplays go wrong themselves.  I'm a little forgetful and there has been a few times that I forgot key parts to a costume, such as the necklace/collar that Inuyasha wears, or the wig for my Kaname cosplay.

As for making the costumes, that does have its fair share of problems.  For one, I don't have a sewing machine so I cannot do pieces very quickly.  The biggest problem I generally have is trying to accurately get the shape of a costume piece when putting it together.

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

I don't see any reasons why I would regret cosplaying.  I'm sure my wallet would argue about that, but I really enjoy doing it and I doubt that I'll stop anytime soon!

Q:  Is there a particular theme to your cosplays?

I don't think I really have a theme that I follow.  I just generally look for characters or costumes that I think would be fun/interesting to do.  Though I suppose I do generally stick to simpler costumes at the moment

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

I haven't done a proper group cosplay.  I did an Inu Yasha pairing as I mentioned earlier, but it wasn't too different from cosplaying on my own at the time.

I suppose a larger group cosplay would be more interesting, especially when I see the little skits I've seen groups perform around expos and such, like the various Final Fantasy character battles.

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

I have a few cosplays I'm planning to do right now.  At the moment, I'm focusing on Senrei from +Anima and the Baron from The Cat Returns.

I also have a few original cosplays planned right now, but those aren't my main pieces for now.

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

One of my dream cosplays at the moment is probably Chrono from Chrono Crusade, but in his demon form.  He looks so cool, but it looks a little complex for me to do at the moment.

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

First, ease yourself into making a cosplay with more simple costumes.  It is best to build your skills up before making more complex/extravegant costumes, that way you can learn from any mistakes early on. 

Also, be more open when in cosplay.  I think cosplay can bring the best out in people, so you have to be ready to enjoy it no matter what!

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

Yep, you can find me on Cosplay Island as MattDark!

(click any picture for a larger image)

Matt as Cooro from +Anima Matt (left front centre) as Inu-Yasha from Inu-YashaMatt (centre) as Kaname from Vampire Knight.  Right Kaka Extreme, left Sands

Matt as Kaname from Vampire Knight Matt as Roxas from Kingdom HeartsMatt as Kaname from Vampire Knight

Matt (far right) as Kaname from Vampire Knight