Gay geeks and gaymers, we’re here with Shaun aka House McDonald Cosplays from the United Kingdom. He’s cosplayed as Wesker and Jake Mueller from Resident Evil, Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII, Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Vaas from Far Cry 3, and Edward Kenway and Jacob Frye from Assassin’s Creed. We’re gonna pick as his brain a bit and find out more about him and his cosplay.
What conventions/events have you cosplayed at?
Only UK based events. MCM Liverpool, MCM London, MCM Manchester and MCM Midlands Expo. Also, Play Expo Blackpool and Kupocon. I would love to travel to the states for an event or 2.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I’ve been cosplaying for almost 5 years actively. I’m not sure this counts as cosplay but I used to always dress up as Link with little felt tunics made by my step-grandmother as a child, I had a green, red and blue tunic with matching the hat. The first time I started actively doing cosplay was October 2012, I was 19 when I first cosplayed Albert Wesker from Resident Evil 1.
My first cosplay was Hazama from the Blazblue series, but personally, I have definitely improved, I never thought I’d end up hand stitching faux leather or making foam armor back then, but that’s what I’m currently doing.
Cosplay was something I had only heard about from a few of my peers during my college years but I never had the opportunity to give it a shot until there was a trip to MCM Midlands Expo in February 2011.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
One of the most memorable experiences for me is a funny one, May 2013, me and a few other Resident Evil 6 cosplayers had just finished at the Resident Evil photoshoot, were heading back towards where all the stalls were and we decided to butt shuffle forwards across the floor, the same way that Leon, Chris, Jake, Ada, etc. do in the games. Capcom makes it look so easy to do.
What is it about cosplay that you like the most?
For me, the best part of cosplay is the sense of accomplishment when you finally complete the whole outfit, including the prop, and wearing it with pride at events. Also having that one person who comes over to you and tells you they absolutely love your cosplay so much that you feel obligated to give them a hug (this happened recently).
How do you define cosplay?
It’s an art form that doesn’t restrict your freedom with HOW you go about it because there is no right or wrong way to produce costume pieces. Your imagination (and your resources) are the only limit. Cosplay to me means being able to express the love and appreciation towards your favorite fandoms in a way that a pencil/graphics tablet can never replicate.
Cosplay has filled the creative void that was created after I finished University in 2015. I had lost the motivation to pick up the pencil/graphics tablet and produce artwork but the desire to express creativity was always there.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
If you love said character and want to cosplay said character, do it and don’t let the elitists stop you from doing what you want to do. I am physically active so I tend to focus on characters that I am the right shape to cosplay, however I have used cosplay as something to strive for, for example at the moment I’m trying to build up to try and cosplay Simon Belmont from Castlevania Mirror of Fate, whether it be for an event or Halloween.
Has being LGBT affected how you cosplay?
Personally for me, being an out gay man hasn’t affected how I cosplay at all, however it has enabled me to get my current boyfriend into cosplay and now he’s become my cosplay partner in crime (he’s also done the scar for my Vaas Cosplay). I haven’t really noticed any difference, I was out before I actively started cosplaying.
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the past few years? More free and accepting?
It has become more accepting and it hasn’t at the same time. The cosplay community has definitely been more accepting in some ways like you definitely see more males and varying age groups getting into cosplay. The cosplay families are the most adorable. There is still a lot of elitism that goes on over body size, whether someone accurately matches the character, etc. Which I find disheartening and really puts people off which the community really doesn’t need.
Do you have a cosplay “team?”
I used to do Resident Evil cosplays with a few friends of mine, be it Resi 5 mercenaries characters or the cast of Resident Evil 6, and have even done a Street Fighter group, but after that, I haven’t really been in a cosplay team. I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of one again.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
I would have to say Arena Combat Gear Starkiller for my hardest one. I’m learning to make foam armor and the shoulder armor is a nightmare to do, it curves over the shoulder and has an upward lip towards my head. Shaping the foam to achieve that is a challenge.
I make my costumes and I have commissioned some stuff too. My Edward Kenway outfit was commissioned, while my FFVII Cid was partially bought and some parts were modified.
If money weren’t an issue, what would be your dream cosplay?
I have a few I would absolutely love to do, the Rathalos armor from the Monster Hunter series complete with an insect glaive and kinsect. My second would have to be Siegfried Schtauffens second costume from Soul Calibur 3 complete with a gleaming Soul Calibur. Adam Jensen from Deus Ex Human Revolution would be incredible to do, especially for those sunglasses.
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
I’m a massive offender of this one, but one of my cosplay pet peeves is having so many ideas for cosplays and never being able to do them all because more ideas come along. A badly made prop (and I have made a few during my learning process) can break the cosplay in my opinion.
Favorite memory from a con?
Probably MCM October 2012, me and a few friends of mine who I’d only known for a month at the time were in a pub near to the London Excel centre, still in costume and having a good time, only to have found Liam O’Brien (Asura, Caius Ballad, Kain Highwind, Grimoire Weiss). He was a bit drunk at the time and stepped into character Asura from Asuras Wrath and roared. Scared some of the bar staff too!
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
Don’t be discouraged, it’s a strange experience, to begin with, and we’ve all been there. Just have fun because chances are, you’re not the only one in the halls who are cosplaying for the first time. Don’t focus on trying to make it “perfect” on your first attempt, it’s going to make the whole experience very stressful, just have fun and who knows, you might find someone who you can learn from for when you improve it for next time.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I don’t say it enough and I know I should, but I would like to offer my gratitude and say thank you for checking out the work I put into some of my cosplays, I’m surprised that people love the stuff I’ve done and I hope to see your continued support in the future.