This past summer and fall I had the pleasure of hosting authors and their hobbies. Today I'm excited to host Bobby who is featured in The Sound of Sirens by former hobby guests, the brother-sister writing team of Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser.
Bobby, thanks so much for taking time to tell us about your hobby.
|Second book in the Jose Picada, P.I. series
Bobby’s Hobby by Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser
As part of our blog tour for The Sound of Sirens, we thought it would be fun to let one of our characters write a guest post. Without further ado, meet Bobby Newman.
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Cosplay by Bobby Newman
Cosplay by Bobby Newman
This is the place where people talk about their hobbies, right? That’s what Heather and Dave told me. Well, I have a hobby I'd like to talk about. Let me tell you how it all began.
So much of what I am today began in a movie theater. I wish I knew the date, as it was a day that changed me forever. February of 1997 is as close as I can narrow it down. My brother Maks took me to see the Special Edition release of Star Wars: A New Hope. I'd seen the movie countless times on VHS. Seeing it on the big screen with all the new effects just blew me away. Ever since then, I've been a proud and devoted resident of a town called Nerdville. As a kid, my citizenship was limited to reading books, watching movies, and playing games. When it was time to go to college, I looked for someplace with a top art program. I wanted to be the one creating the books, movies, and games. My dad, however, would only pay for my school if I went to his alma mater. Luckily, they had a pretty good program.
Now here we are, a few years later. I have yet to create the great fantasy game, or make the great science fiction movie, or, thankfully, write the great teen paranormal romance novel. I'm okay with all that. You see, I'm part of a small community here in Rochester that engages in what's called Cosplay. To the uninitiated, this is a portmanteau of "costume" and "play." It's exactly what it sounds like. Playing in costume. The general concept is that you make (or buy if you have to, but making your own is way cooler) costumes of your favorite characters from movies, television, video games, or comic books. Common sense says that you should only wear this costume in the privacy of your own home with the shades drawn. I mean, who wants to be seen in public dressed as Mr. Spock or Zombie George Washington? It turns out that there are a lot of people who want exactly that. The typical gathering place is at sci-fi/fantasy conventions, such as Rochester's annual RocCon. Not everyone dresses in costume, but many do. Nowhere else on Earth (or any other planet, for that matter) can you find The Doctor walking around with Pinkie Pie Pony. You can usually get a picture with them if you want. Most people are pretty cool about that. There's almost always a contest, where you can win prizes and awards in a number of different categories.
So where do I fit in? Well, I use my art school education to custom make my costumes. It's part sculpture and part engineering. I've even picked up manly skills like how to use a sewing machine. Sometimes, if you need a hat that looks half watermelon and half cat, you're going to have to make it yourself. There's no way you'll find that in a store.
I normally just wear a costume once. There are just too many cool characters to wear the same things over and over. My very first Cosplay was of an original character. I play Swordz N Spellz. This is an online computer fantasy game. To those who haven't heard of it, it's a MMORG. That's a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game. SNS takes place in the fictional realm of Flowerpox, whose citizens include elves, dwarves, humans, and sentient fungi. My character, a level 55 druid named Grimdavore Habberman the Exceedingly Superlative, is member of the guild Raymetheus's Rockers. Sorry, I seem to be getting sidetracked. I could talk about SNS all day. What I'm trying to say is that my first Cosplay was Grimdavore, complete with his journeyman druid's robe, which was made by modifying a store-bought bathrobe by adding the hood from an old sweatshirt, weathering it to look all beat up, dying it just the right shade of brown, and finally attaching his enchanting runes, which were cut from aluminum foil. It looked okay, but not perfect. I've learned to sew since then. Maybe someday I'll make another one from scratch.
Over the years, I've done Dr. Harkner from Red Sun Setting, Big Bertie from John Patrick, Cintius Pullus from Rome in a Day, John-John from The Toe Jammers, Gravy Boat from Puff Puff Pony, Judicious B.B. from What Would Frosty Do?, Connor from When Kai Was Sick, the Grim Sleeper from Alpacalypse, and Carl Remington from 20,000 Feet and Climbing. Each costume presents its own unique set of challenges and I make sure to try some new technique each time so that I'm constantly growing, constantly learning.
I'm currently in the early stages of assembling the pieces for Sergeant Horace "The Horse" Van Winkle from the comic book My Kingdom. Much of the clothing is off-the-rack, which I usually try to avoid. But if you can hit the thrift shops and find just the right stuff you need, it can save a lot of time and effort, and I'm going to need all the time I can spare for this one. I plan on making all of Horace's cybernetic augmentations, complete with flickering electronic lights. And if I can figure out a way to make his potato-throwing bazooka really throw potatoes, I might have a shot at winning a prize.
So, yeah. That’s me. Dungeon-raiding, cosplaying King of Nerdville. Or at least the mayor.
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Find out more about Bobby in The Sound of Sirens.
dinner with the family can be murder.
Especially when someone is actually trying to kill you.
Connect with Heather and David: