Greetings gay geeks and gaymers! This week we’re talking to Justin Eaton. He’s a single doggie dad, foodie, and an awesome cook. He’s been cosplaying for over four years now. You probably have seen his Red Hood, Captain Cold, Mighty Morphin’ White Power Ranger, Super Megaforce Blue Ranger, and Mauldalorian cosplays. Justin Eaton’s been to C2E2, Wizard World Madison, Wizard World Chicago, Denver Comic Con, Villains Con, Heroes and Villains Fan Fest Chicago. He just moved to San Diego, so you’ll probably see him at some of the upcoming events!
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I always loved Halloween and dressing up. I was 39 when I officially started cosplaying.
What got you into cosplay in the first place?
I have always loved sci-fi and comic book characters. When I saw someone dressed in a full foam articulating Iron Man armor, I thought that would be amazing to do, but I do not have the skills. It lingered in the back of my mind, but I never had anyone to cosplay with. I met James Resse (Muscle Geek Physique) who took me to my first comic con and encouraged me to cosplay. I have been hooked ever since.
How do you define cosplay?
To me, cosplay is wearing a costume and enjoying being in it. It’s bringing that character/actor/persona to the public. Some people might not ever get to meet their idol, but as a cosplayer, you can bring that idol just a little bit closer.
I have met the greatest people in the arts of acting, sewing, painting, and physical fitness. They have all influenced me to be a better person as both a cosplayer and other parts of my life. I love my cosplay family, and we have had so many adventures together, and I hope much more.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
Not everyone can have an Adonis physique. Just enjoy yourself and be who you want to be.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
I have had quite a few experiences, but one that made me laugh was wearing my MMPR White Ranger Costume. A father with his kids said, “Hey look kids, power rangers!” The daughter said, “What is a power ranger?” Dad, “OMG, WHAT?! You do not know what a power ranger is! We are so Netflixing that show when we get home!”
What’s an interesting fact about yourself outside of cosplay?
I was an amateur MMA fighter at one time. I still continue with martial arts and advanced firearms training. I actually would like to put all of my skills to use one day as a stuntman.
Besides cosplay, what other nerdy/geeky things do you do?
I watch all of the TV shows and movies that are comic book/sci-fi related (Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, CW Shows, Marvel and DC Movies and TV Shows). I play Star Trek the Collectable Card Game, and I modified my truck to look like Ironhide from the Transformers Movie.
Do you have a cosplay “team?”
Yes, I do! James Resse (Muscle Geek Physique), Kevin Gadazalinski (flame water cosplay), Michael Jacob Brubaker (the intern).
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
My Mauldaorian (Mandalorian variant from star wars the clone wars) Originally I was going to purchase the armor, then paint the parts myself, assemble the suit, and do a majority of the costume myself. The armor maker I originally went with kept dragging out the delays and excuses. He finally admitted he could not finish the armor and it was fighting to get my money back. By that time the con was three weeks away and I needed the costume. I found Darth Cleavage (Jen Berglin) who did a great job in turning out my costume fully formed, painted and ready to mouth in two weeks. I had to pay extra to get the costume, but I had already scheduled photo shoots and made promises the costume was going to be ready.
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
When we are trying to get a breather from wearing helmets and costumes all day and someone asks if we can get back into costume right away for a photo. We are usually polite and tell them we need a water and bathroom break. It becomes a bit annoying when they wait around staring at you and ask so when are you getting back into costume.
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the last years? More free and accepting?
It has grown exponentially! I remember 20 years ago the only cons available were star trek or a few random sci-fi related cons. The comic book and cosplay worlds have exploded over the last few years. All you ever saw was star trek or alien costumes. Now you see costumes from almost every genre, and they are all elaborate and fabulous.
What is your dream cosplay?
Captain Rex from Star Wars the Clone Wars. Being in the military, I can relate to the clone troopers. I loved how he was a great leader and supporting character without having to be a Jedi.
How long does it take to think of a character to be?
I have a list of characters I would love to be, but my budgets have limits. It takes anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to conduct research on a cosplay. Collecting photos, discussing with the cosplay crew, researching price quotes, looking for prop/costume makers then finally deciding on how the costume will be created and assemble it.
Who is your favorite cosplayer?
My Cosplay Daddy: James Resse (muscle geek physique) He is an inspiration to be around.
What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?
The Red Hood. I believe I have the sense of being more personable, interacting with the crowd and not just being a statue.
What’s a tip you give to others who want to get into cosplay?
Be friendly to other cosplayers. I have been alone at a con and have to see cosplayers from the same show/series, and they ignore you. We obviously have something in common if we are cosplaying a similar interest. Say hi, be friendly, and you may make a new friend.
Just get out and do it! It is scary, especially if you are alone. Do not be afraid, embrace your dreams.
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank you all for your support, likes, follows and kind words. I truly enjoy the life of cosplay. If you need help or someone to cosplay with, hit me up! My cosplay Facebook page. I am also on Instagram.
I would like to give a shout out to my agent Mobile Monicker Productions. Support your troops and veterans any way you can!