It is Father’s Day in the UK this Sunday (June 15th) so I decided to speak to some dads around the world who cosplay with their children. I found out the impact it has had on their family life and bonds it has created. It was a pleasure seeing their pictures and hearing their stories. I hope if I ever have children I will be able to share such a rewarding and fun hobby with them.
Jon Robinson, USA
Page: Robinson Creations
Number of children: 3 kids, 7 year old son and twin 4 year olds boy & girl
How long have you been cosplaying for? I have only been cosplaying for about a year. Last year they announced a local con and I have always wanted to go. I figured I might as well dress up too. I was poking around the internet looking for ideas when I came across a group of Warhammer 40k costumers called Obscurus Crusade. I knew I had to build a Space Marine. So 200 hours of work (and more money than my wife thinks I spent) later and I had a costume. I was very nervous when I showed up at the con. That all vanished as soon as the first few people said how awesome it was. I entered the costume contest as a beginner and ended up taking 2nd in the intermediate category.
Your favourite cosplay? Since I have only done 2 so far, my Space Marine is the most fun. it gets the best reactions. I even got a nod from Karl Urban as he was heading to a panel by at the con.
Do your children/family cosplay? So far my kids haven’t really caught on yet. My oldest wants to dress up when I do, but gets tired real quick of everyone wanting pictures. My daughter wanted to dress as Hulk and my youngest son went as War Machine. Mostly because we already had those costumes from Halloween.
How has cosplay affected your family? So far it hasn’t had too much effect. I have always had my hobbies and the kids like to see me dressed up. My wife is supportive as long as I keep a good balance between home life and some of the charity events I get involved with.
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? Kids love to dress up. It doesn’t have to be anything special. Let them decide how they want to. If all your kids have are Halloween costumes, let them wear it. Everyone will treat them as the best dressed cosplayer there. Also you don’t have to go to a con to get involved in cosplay. There are usually costuming groups around. You can get involved with many groups that do charity events to running around the woods in some scenario. They key is to just have fun and enjoy it. I truly believe that anyone can cosplay. Don’t let anyone discourage you. Start small; check your local second-hand stores to see what you can find. You don’t have to jump in feet first like I did
Alex Kopp, Germany
Page: Madman’s little Workshop
Number of Children: I have 3 children aged 9,11,13
Started cosplaying: I started in 2011 when I built a Tanith costume for my son.
Favourite cosplay: My favourite are all from Warhammer40k . My wife and kids helped me build them and then we drove to Oberhausen (Space Ritter).
Do your children cosplay: My wife and daughter cosplay Sister of Battle Armor. My Oldest Son was a Tanith Sniper and a Space Wolf Armor and my youngest son wore an Ultramarine Armor. I love to make costumes, whether it’s for me or for our children and I have made so many new friends .
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? If your children want to dress up, get them involved and make them build something.
Jon and Joe as Batman and Alfred
Jon Fisher, United Kingdom
Page: Wheels Of Steel Cosplay
Number of children: Joe, aged 10
How long have you been cosplaying for and how did you get started? I started taking my kids to MCM Expo in 2010. I’d never seen cosplay before that and I was amazed by the quality and inventiveness of the costumes. My son wanted to dress up in his Harry Potter costume in 2011/12, and then in 2013 we came up with the idea of incorporating his wheelchair into a costume. I wanted to create something that would make him proud of his wheelchair, and I couldn’t think of anything cooler than a Batmobile. Once the “Batmochair” was made and Joe had his Batman costume, I had the idea of dressing up as Alfred his butler, as I would be pushing him around in his chair all day! So, really, I’m just there like a supporting actor for the star of the show.
Your favourite cosplay? Batman and Alfred, because of the response it got, and because it inspired other wheelchair users to have a go at doing something similar.
Do your children cosplay? Joe has been Ron Weasley, Batman, a Jedi, and Iron Man. We’ve got quite a few other cosplays planned for the future.
Joe in his Iron Man copslay, which father and son built together
How has cosplay affected your family? Working together building the costumes has been a great father/son project. The reaction from people at events stopping us and asking for photos and telling him how awesome he looks has done loads for his self-esteem and confidence. He’s proud of how cool his wheelchair looks. Hopefully other people will see the great way the cosplay community has responded to what we have done and be encouraged to have a go too. I’ve created photo albums of each wheelchair build on his page so people can see how I made everything.
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? Go for it! But make sure it’s something they want to do. Let the ideas come from them and don’t try and persuade them to dress as something they wouldn’t choose themselves. Obviously with babies you can get away with this one for a while, but they’ll probably hate you for it when they’re teenagers. Above all else, make it fun!
The Super Maians, photo by George Fairbairn Photography ASWPP
Tiago Cid Maia, United Kingdom
Page: The Super Maians
Number of children: I have two boys, Guilherme, better known as Gui, aged 6 and Connor who is 9 months old.
How long have you been cosplaying for? I’ve been cosplaying for a bit over a year, LSCC was the convention that got us addicted to this amazing hobby and way of life.
Your favourite cosplay: From the ones I have my Robin is still the one I prefer, but my dream cosplay is Fireball Hikari from Saber Rider – and one day I will make it!
Do your children/family cosplay? Yes, we all cosplay as a family, both my kids and my wife. My wife Sonia started as Princess Leia, then Miss Martian and Arcee. This year she did an Imperial Chinese original character of the Assassin’s Creed, Steampunk Batgirl, Wonder Woman and next LFCC she will present her new Emma Frost cosplay. Gui started by doing Batman, Superman and Man of Steel variation, Rumble and also Luigi. This year we made a Roman Gladiator orig. character. Assassin’s Creed and a Steampunk Batman. At LFCC he will bring his new Dark Knight and Nightcrawler. Connor had his first cosplay on in the maternity ward within only 6 hours of being born, and his first convention he was 3 weeks old. He already cosplayed Jedi, Thor, Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Optimus Prime, Western Cowboy O.C. Assassin’s Creed, Steampunk Robin and Green Arrow, at LFCC he will bring his new Ant-Man. I have previously cosplayed as Robin, Roy Mustang, Soundwave. This year I made a French Musketeer O.C. Assassin’s Creed, Steampunk Green Lantern and I just finished my Red Skull.
The Super Maians by Shades On
How has cosplay affected your family? No doubt cosplay changed our lives, now we have an activity that we all share and bring us even more together. It was a great way to meet new people and make friends. It’s a way of breaking the daily routine and I recommend it to everyone.
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? It all depends, the sooner you start your kids the easier it gets. If they grow up doing this it’s going to be natural and normal for them and they will probably face all the commotion at conventions easily. In the event your kids are a bit more reserved regarding big crowds, costumes, photos, I would start with few hours at first in small conventions.
Tony’s daughter in her RWBY gear which he helped build
Tony Debellis, Canada
Number of children: I have two daughters aged 17 and 15, they started cosplaying at 13 and 11.
How long have you been cosplaying for? I dont really cosplay myself (but am in the process of researching a Space Marine costume) rather I am the build it guy – props weapons etc. I got started about 15 years ago building and designing Halloween displays for my front yard.
Do your children/family cosplay: They both mainly cosplay as anime characters most recent being Ruby from RWBY and the oldest as Mikasa from Attack on Titan.
Tony’s daughter in her AOT cosplay
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? Best tip I can give is try to use recycled and reclaimed materials if at all possible, shop thrift stores, watch for back to school craft sales, and try to instill in them that a quality cosplay does not need to be expensive.
Pierre Courtemanche alias Halley, Canada
Number of children: I have one daughter, Stella, 1 years old.
How long have you been cosplaying for? I’ve been cosplaying for nearly 10 years, and my girlfriend for 5 years. I’ve begun in the same time that anime convention appear in my vicinity with two simple costume: a Star Trek Voyager uniform and Tuxedo mask from Sailor moon.
Your favourite cosplay? Hugues from Full Metal Alchemist: there is not that much resemblance, but it’s so fun to roleplay the character.
Wonder Woman duo!
Do your children cosplay? My daughter already has two cosplays; Wonder-woman (in tandem with her mother, Patricia, also in Wonder Woman, and a hand-made Moogle costume From Final Fantasy.
How has cosplay affected your family? Becoming a family changed a lot of money that we could spend on cosplay: we use the same ones more often, and I prefer to wear something less complex and more convenient to help with the baby.
What tip would you give other parents/families looking to get their children into cosplay? From day one it was a certitude she will cosplay, and so far, it was no problem because we took the time to think our way in advance, taking shift to take care of the baby in activities. When she will be old enough, she will decide if she want to pursue this way, but as cosplayer parents, I say there is no “too young” cosplayer.