Greetings gay geeks and gaymers!
We have another exclusive interview with another cosplayer named Erich, who goes by the name Brooklyn Link. He can sew, he can dance, he can sleep standing up, and he’s cosplayed as several version of Link from Legend of Zelda, Sylveon from Pokemon, Gambit, Emma Frost, Rogue, and Jubilee from X-Men, Jack Frost, Harry Potter and even Draco Malfoy. You might have seen him at New York Comic Con, Katsucon, East Coast Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con, and Anime Expo.
What’s an interesting fact about yourself outside of cosplay?
I am a Graphic Designer, and I moved to New York from my hometown of Las Vegas. I also like to make duck noises while walking around for no reason.
How long have you been cosplaying?
I have been doing it for a little over three years. Not counting when I dressed up as Link for Halloween when I was about ten years old.
What got you into cosplay in the first place?
Someone told me Hyrule was in danger, so I put on the tunic. Kidding! I started cosplaying because of a cosplayer named Li Kovacs (PikminLink). Her flawless Twilight Princess Link cosplay inspired me to make my own.
What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?
My first cosplay was my Twilight Princess Link, and I still wear it all the time! I’ve improved it piece-by-piece throughout the years. It could still use some work.
Which character have you always wanted to cosplay as but haven’t yet?
I’ve always wanted to do Squall from Final Fantasy 8, and I’m working on that now. I eventually want to do Cloud and Zidane also from Final Fantasy and Fierce Deity Link from Majora’s Mask.
You’ve put a lot of time and energy into your cosplays. What was the hardest or most expensive?
I make almost everything I wear myself. I sew, style wigs, work with leather, do light prop work, etc. I’m commissioning someone right now for a big prop, and I’ve used old clothing or bought pieces and repurposed them for cosplay. One of the most recent cosplays I made was out of scrap fabric and cardstock. The hardest and most expensive were Hyrule Warriors Link, only because I wanted it to be as high-quality as possible. It’s made of velvet, real leather, real chainmail, wiring for the scarf, and the first foam armor I’ve made so far. It took me months of hard work and saving up to get all the pieces together.
What is it about cosplay that you like the most?
Free pizza! Nah I wish. My favorite things about cosplay are creating costumes and props and watching the character come to life, and also going to cons and making friends from all around the world that is into the same fandoms that I am into. Who knew wearing costumes is such an ice-breaker!?
Every cosplayer has a different way they define cosplay. What’s yours?
Cosplay originally comes from combining the words “costume” and “play,” and that’s how I define it. Wearing a costume and having fun getting to play as someone else for awhile is what it’s all about. Cosplay means being creative, being inclusive of others, and making friends. It also helps me deal with my shyness and provides an escape from stress and negativity in the world by giving me a creative outlet and letting me live in my imagination for awhile. And doing epic JoJo poses in pictures, of course.
How do you think it’s changed your life?
I have met some of the best friends I have now from cosplay. I’m always traveling to different states and new places for cons. I feel like I’m a happier and more creative person because of cosplay.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
Everyone should love their appearance and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Everyone should cosplay whatever character they want, regardless of their body shape and size. Everyone should also refrain from making critical personal remarks about others unless invited to do so. Respect looks good on everyone!
Besides cosplay, what other nerdy/geeky things do you do?
I play video games, sketch out character designs, fanboy over anything Nintendo, read comics, and collect toys, plushes, and other stuff.
Has being a minority affected your perspective on cosplay?
The only minority groups I belong to are the LGBT community and the Hispanic community. I would say I’m probably drawn to cosplay more from LGBT-friendly and racially diverse fandoms because of this.
I feel like a lot of minorities are already attracted to the idea of cosplay because a lot of cosplayers tend to be outcasts and social “minorities” – those who have been picked on for being different, for whatever the reason. I feel like in general, there’s not enough minority representation in ANY format out there, but I think the majority of the cosplay community as a whole tends to be quick to defend minorities and celebrate diversity and representation, which is spectacular! Of course, as with everything else, we can and should always do more to improve that.
Every cosplayer’s heard someone say they didn’t like their work. What would you do?
Cry and quit forever. I’m joking! People have, and I just tell them it’s rude, laugh it off and move on with my life. Or block them if it’s on social media. A lot of people say things specifically to provoke a negative reaction from people, and I think it’s important to not let them get away with it and not let them affect you negatively. I cosplay for me, not for them.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, how does it feel when someone says they love your cosplay?
Blush like crazy! It’s always nice to hear someone say they love my cosplay, and it automatically makes my day! I always thank them and try to find my favorite thing about their appearance and repay the compliment. Spreading the love helps everyone have more fun!
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
My only pet peeve is people with negative attitudes. It’s fine to have a negative opinion of something (we all have them), but if it isn’t hurting anyone to keep it to yourself, then do it. That, and wearing spandex. I hate wearing spandex.
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the last years?
I feel like I haven’t been in the cosplay world long, but it’s gotten bigger! More and more people are getting into cosplay every day, and it will be interesting to see what develops as it becomes more mainstream. For me, I focus on having fun and meeting awesome people, so the people I associate with are the ones that are already free and accepting of everyone.
What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?
My next events are FlameCon in Brooklyn August 20-21, and after that, I will be a guest cosplayer at A Video Game Con (AVGC) in New Jersey September 10-11. Both are awesome events that I highly recommend attending!
What’s a tip you give to others who want to get into cosplay?
My best tip for any beginning cosplayer is to learn all you can from as many places as possible – online tutorials, friends, panels, taco bell sauce packets – remember that we all start somewhere! Don’t be afraid to try things you haven’t done before, and never forget that cosplay is primarily about having fun. Learn all you can, have fun, make every moment count, and don’t let anyone bring you down. Also, stay hydrated.
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
Two things, thanks for being my friend and sorry for how awkward I am in person, haha.
Check out more of Brooklyn Link’s cosplay on his Facebook and Instagram