Gay geeks and gaymers we’re here with Ben Harland from West Yorkshire, England for another Cosplay Crush! He’s cosplayed as Nightwing, Iron Spider, Superboy, Natsu Dragneel and Sun Wukong at places like Thought Bubble, MCM Manchester, and MCM London.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
4 years, seriously 2. 13.
What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?
I can’t even mention it was so bad! But yes, definitely.
What got you into cosplay in the first place?
I’ve been going to small conventions since I was 9, so seeing everyone else inspired me to do it myself.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
Probably as Natsu, there was someone who didn’t seem to be having a good time, but we’re a huge Fairy Tale fan, so I came over in character and it really seemed to cheer them up and help them enjoy the con, and I think that’s what cosplay is about.
What is it about cosplay that you like the most?
Over the past year, making the costume has been a very pivotal part for me, but wearing it is equally as fun, it’s like you’re your own walking art gallery.
How do you define cosplay?
Its subjective to everyone, for me, it means building something from the ground up to make something from my head a reality, but some just love wearing costumes, which is just as okay! It’s how I express myself, and how I test myself.
How has cosplay impacted your own life?
Definitely, I’ve made so many friends and learned so many lessons through cosplay, it’s also helped me face some of my own problems.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
It’s key, but never go too far out of your comfort zone for the sake of being “body positive” do what you feel comfortable with
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the past few years? More free and accepting?
Yes and no. I feel like as a whole it’s become a much more competitive environment due to its drive towards the medium becoming mainstream, but due to this, cosplay is much more widely accepted in the wider world.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
Either the Iron Spider or Superboy. Iron Spider was a pain due to the huge claws (which I’m still perfecting) and Superboy’s main problem is all the puff paint which took forever.
If money weren’t an issue, what would be your dream cosplay?
Renji Abari’s Bankai, with a HUGE Zabimaru.
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
Cosplay posers, such as people misrepresenting a character, and people touching my costume without asking.
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
Do something recognizable, don’t go too crazy, but don’t be afraid to try something new! Just go for it!
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?