Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Kaluohs : Black Cat from DC Comics at Florida Geek Fest
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Kaluohs : I enjoy shooting in a location that matches the character. I’ve done a number of shoots with @PhotosNXS in an abandoned building in Goldsboro North Carolina and it makes a huge difference in the impact of the photo. Shooting on a convention floor can show the character, but it’s clear that you’re in a convention center.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Kaluohs : I do have a variety of characters, but I did notice that I cosplay a lot of “bad guys” when I was trying to find characters fit for visiting kids in hospitals. There’s a lot of great groups out there like Cosplayers for a Cause, but I don’t really have any Disney princesses or anything. It’s a lot of video game characters or gender-bent villains.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Kaluohs : (1) Hot glue is liquid gold, but it’s not the most permanent option – beware of this! (2) Craft sewing basics can really come in handy in a pinch. Even a simple cross stitch or backstitch can help secure things or make a rough hem. (3) Never leave home without safety pins! You’ll also never know how handy these can be.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Kaluohs : One year after Holiday Matsuri, some friends and I went to a new Indian restaurant that the shuttle bus driver recommended to us on our way there. We figured, since they were advertising it on the shuttle, that there would be other cosplayers there from HoloMat or maybe even a special. When we got there, we were the ONLY ones in costume and the patrons (who were very confused by our attire) kept thinking we were the entertainment for the grand opening of the restaurant and would come up to our table asking us when we were “going on.” One woman actually said they were done eating, but they didn’t want to leave before the “show.”
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Kaluohs : There was a little girl who came up to me with her mom at DragonCon in Atlanta and she thought I was Elsa. I was really a gender bend of Mr. Freeze, but she saw my snow-covered costume with the glowing blue lights and she kept showing me her tablet that was playing Frozen. I knelt down and she kept asking questions about my outfit and why I had a helmet on. I tried my best to go along with it, but by that time I hadn’t watched Frozen so I didn’t even know what to say – she was just so sweet!
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Kaluohs : Since my gender bend of Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin isn’t exactly canon, I get a lot of weird looks when I wear it. It’s just glowing armor with ice/snow effects on it, but the chest consists of two circles of lights and I get a lot of “Tron” comments. I’m not sure that anyone has ever guessed that costume right, but it’s still one of my favorites because of how elaborate it is and how much effort went into it by other artists as well. The bodysuit and armor were both commissioned, but the paint/finish was all done by me.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Kaluohs : It was maybe my first or second year cosplaying when I was able to cosplay at DragonCon in Atlanta. Not only that, but it happened to be the 10 year anniversary of DragonCon and the group I was cosplaying with (Inside Out) was asked to participate in a photo shoot for Atlanta Magazine. I guess it was one of those “right place, right time” type situations.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Kaluohs : I do have a lot of cosplays that have props, but I definitely choose when I bring them. I also try to incorporate pouches, or hidden pockets as much as I can for things like snacks, money, or my phone. It can be really hard to carry an extra bag around the whole time, especially when you already have props unless you have someone with you who can act as your “handler.”
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Kaluohs : I haven’t ever lost a cosplay piece at a con (that I know of), but I do have a weird situation where I lost a giant pink Ariel Disney princess dress and I still for the life of me can’t remember where it went to. I remember wearing it for an event and then -boom- never saw it again… so I guess if you happen to find a pink Ariel dress with the arms cut off, hmu. Lol
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Kaluohs :I think cosplaying as a group can be cooler because you get to interact with the characters the way they would in “real life.” It’s also a lot harder to coordinate and then you have to make sure they all match and are built at the same level. You can’t have some that looks like it’s from Heroes of Cosplay with the others looking like closet cosplay.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Kaluohs : I have some craft skills, but I know I can’t fabricate it ALL myself. I know some people are “purists” and feel like you’re not a true cosplayer if you don’t make EVERY SINGLE PIECE of your costume YOURSELF FROM SCRATCH and for the people who do that – I sincerely appreciate your commitment and talent. But, I also believe that you can make an incredible cosplay while recruiting the help of other talented artists. If you know 3D printers, seamstresses, or other craftsmen, support them with commissions! It doesn’t take away from your talent, just never take credit for anything you didn’t make.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, etc)
Kaluohs : I’d have to say that either the Furiosa prosthetic arm or the Crimson Viper wig were the most complicated to make work. The prosthetic arm was made with a lot of recycled and found materials that were hard to attach to each other, but it really worked for the apocalyptic “found materials” vibe that fit the Mad Max theme. The Crimson Viper wig was just challenging because it needed to be such a long braid and sit so high up. Living alone, it was hard to have the wig on and braid it at the same time, so it was hard to get the balance just right so it needed a lot of wig tape to keep in place which was awkward. Would definitely make both differently if I ever made them again, but a great learning experience either way!
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Kaluohs : Honestly, I personally think that commitment makes you a professional. I’ve seen some cosplayers who make costumes regularly, but they don’t all have to be movie-quality. You can take closet cosplays seriously and be professional about it, but I don’t think that the “professional” status should be limited to a certain price point or level of investment.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Kaluohs :I love how cosplaying lets you transform and become the character you’re dressed up as. Even if it’s just for a photo shoot or a small event, you can feel like you have super powers, be someone ultra-powerful or badass.
Cosplayer Of The Week: Kaluohs
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?