Cosplayer Interview

Cosplayer of the Week: Dan Gruden

Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
Dan Gruden : People started saying I looked liked Stan Lee and my granddaughters said that I should attend a Comic Con. So I bought a sweater and a pair of sunglasses and went to Megacon. I didn’t even make it out the parking lot before I was being asked for pictures. When I went in I was waiting line to get a ticket people started coming up to me and requesting photos. Got my ticket and a line of people started following me for photos. I couldn’t believe it because when I look in a mirror I only see me. Go figure.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Dan Gruden : Well that was my first cosplay as Stan Lee.
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Dan Gruden :   I plan on doing all the comic con in the area.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Dan Gruden : I’ve been in two. One at Infinity comic con and one at Tampa comic con. Didn’t win but I don’t expect to. The other cosplayer put a lot of work into theirs. I just buy sunglasses and a sweater. LOL.

Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Dan Gruden : I like doing photo shoots with other cosplayers and the attendees. It’s a lot of fun and the people are great.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?Since I can only do Stan Lee I guess you can say that my favorite. Lol
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Dan Gruden : All cosplayers are my favorite each one. They all work so hard on their cosplay.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Dan Gruden : My favorite cosplay tips by friendly to everyone. Everyone there are there to have a good time. Acknowledge other cosplays that’s what their there for. Be sure to have a good time yourself.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Dan Gruden : This is isn’t funny but the reactions I get from gasps to tears and can I hug you.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Dan Gruden : My best in-character inter action was with an about an eight or nine year old. He truely believed I was Stan Lee and he wanted to know why I killed off Black Widow and Iron Man. I told him it’s just a movie and you never know they may just come back.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
Dan Gruden : My best photo so far is the one where in a black sweater with a black background with fist coming forward.
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Dan Gruden : My best stores for cosplay are JCP, Amazon and Macy’s. Just regular clothes and shoes. LOL
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Dan Gruden : Luckley I don’t have to buy wigs or any of that. I just continue to age. Lol

Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Dan Gruden : The biggest comic con was MEGA con.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Dan Gruden : The only prop I carry around are my sunglasses.

Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Dan Gruden : Usually solo but I’ve gone around with the Shield Group like they were my body guards. The reactions we’re great.
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?Like I said before I think all cosplayers are my all-time favorite.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Dan Gruden : Since I’m new to all this due to Covid19 I’ve yet to be on a panel. I would like to but I think need to be better known.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Dan Gruden : What would I say to my past self? Get started earlier before Stan past away.
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Dan Gruden : My ultimate dream for cosplay is to be recognized as someone who want to keep Stan Lee’s legacy alive for the public.

Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Dan Gruden : I think there are Pro and Semi Pro cosplayer. The Pro is someone who does this year after year and goes to all the major cons. Semi-Pro who all the local shows just for the pure fun of it.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Dan Gruden : My favorite part of cosplay is meeting all the people that attend and inter acting with them.
Leo Nocedo : Make up your own question!
Dan Gruden : I’m hoping I can go out to the San Diego comic con and maybe get some cameo roles someday.
Dan Gruden : I’ll be attending a Celebrity Look Alike convention on Labor Day Weekend in Orlando (Sunburst Convention and Showcase of Celebrity Impersonators) at the FLorida Hotel & Conference Center. There will be a large number of talented Celebrity Look Alikes and Entertainers there.

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Leo Nocedo is a cosplay photographer who has been using a camera for the last forty years in many forms , in the military and professional studios in Miami and New York city . He got his start in cosplay photography attending conventions with his brother Juan Nocedo . He keeps on doing what he does to honor his late brother .

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