Conversations in Cosplay: Crimson Coscraft On His Undying Love For Batman, Never Skipping Leg Day and Why 3D Printing is the Future of Cosplay
Creating an effective cosplay is about so much more than just having the right costume. Dedicated cosplayers spend a lot of time thinking about how that costume will relate to their body, and the effect that relationship has on their overall image. They think about how they move to create presence in the space around them. They think about the perfect materials to use to create the desired visual effects for their characters. Cosplay crafting requires a lot of intense and intricate skill, whether you’re sewing everything by hand, building things out of Worbla or digitally designing 3D printed pieces.
Once a cosplayer has their costume and their make-up and their workout sorted, there still remains the issue of how they’re going to present and share that cosplay. Make a video? Take a picture? Do a photo shoot and edit themselves into fantastical settings?
When it comes down to it, truly impressive cosplay is a far more complex process than many people realise. Though this does encourage creative types to collaborate on bigger and better projects, very rarely does a cosplayer manage to fully embrace every aspect of the art.
Stevie Dee, known to many of his followers as Crimson Coscrafts, has a rare talent for living up to expectations from almost every angle. We caught up with Stevie Dee to see just how he manages to cover so many bases.
PC or Mac?
What is a Mac? Haha.
What is your favourite cereal?
What is your favourite curse word?
I think if you asked my friends they would have to say “Cunt”.
If you could pick a world from any video game, where would you live?
Gotta be Arkham City from the Arkhamverse.
What fictional character from movies, comics, TV or video games have you secretly crushed on?
At the moment, it’s got to be WonderWoman, Gal Gadot … mmmmmm mmmmm she is stunning!
If Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters asked you to choose the form of your destructor, what would you think of?
A massive Rampant Rabbit Vibrator.
What got you into cosplaying?
Going to MCM London ComicCon about 4 years ago. Saw some dude dressed as Batman and thought, “Fuck, I need to do this”.
What was the first character you ever cosplayed?
First character was Daken, Wolverine’s son.
How did it feel going out in cosplay for the first time?
It wasn’t too bad as Daken, when I did Bale’s TDK I actually shit bricks, breeze block sized bricks.
How does it compare to how you feel showing off new cosplays now?
Now? I still get nervous, but I really like to get in character. I had the most fun as The Black Mask, add a bit of swagger to the walk, act like a proper arrogant mobster, had a lot of compliments on that.
What do you think of that first cosplay now?
I kinda wished I had shaved the sides of my head to be more faithful, I am all for getting accuracy as close as possible now. It’s like a perfectionism sort a thing with me, I costume for me, not anyone else.
When did you realise you were first getting noticed as a cosplayer? How did it make you feel?
When my Arkham Origins suit went viral through the NYDaily website, that’s when it hit home. I’m kinda okay with being recognised and the notoriety, but in a sadistic way it’s cool. I generally hate everyone, so I am not too fussed about going to a convention and going to photoshoots. It’s all about the con goers and how they perceive you. If you have a constant stream of people wanting a photo with you, you know you have done something right. You go to a con solely wanting photos with “photographers” then you are doing it all wrong.
What makes a character jump out at you as something you have to cosplay?
It has to be something I am interested in, I won’t just cosplay a character I have no knowledge about.
What’s your most memorable con experience?
Seeing someone dressed as Elmo and dry humping it!
What’s your favourite character to cosplay?
Jason Todd, I identify with his cocky and brash nature, he also has a lot of hate, which I also identify with. I also identify as a transformer.
If you actually had to live as one of the characters you’d cosplayed, which one would it be?
Daken or Jason, they are complete sluts.
A lot of the characters you cosplay are often depicted with signature weapons. How do you feel about the restrictions a lot of conventions are placing on prop weaponry?
I understand why they do it, but as long as the weapons are checked at the door by security then it makes it fun for everyone.
You recently made a short film depicting the death of Jason Todd. What inspired you to do that?
Being the Jason Todd fanboy I am, I immediately took a shine to the Robin suit featured in Batman V Superman. I set out to recreate it as accurately as possible with the help of some very talented guys. When I was close to completion, my photographer, Lucas Ambrosio Photography, suggested we do a location shoot with the suit based on Under the Red Hood’s Robin death scene. I jumped at the chance and I can safely say I am in love with what was produced visually.
Clearly, a lot of effort went into making the costumes and the scene as a whole very accurate. What as the most difficult thing to get right?
Working out… I like to try and keep in shape in general, but with the Robin costume, it has the added hurdle of “short shorts” (WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS, I WEAR SHORT SHORTS” – Joe Family Guy) Whilst I am not keen on the short shorts, it’s how it looked in the movie, so with no additional info on them, I went with bare legs. The last thing you want is to look like you have chicken legs or look like you have missed leg day, so I made sure I concentrated on building my legs up so they looked the part in the costume. Some would call this method cosplaying, but I guess it keeps me in shape and allows me to push myself, which also helped with Aquaman this year.
You’ve said that the Robin costume took you out of your comfort zone. How?
Most of my costumes previously have been “clean” a little bit of weathering and ageing, but nothing to the extent I did with Robin. I researched techniques on how to make a costume look used/worn/battered, etc., used these techniques on the costume and it really did bring it to life, in my opinion.
How do you feel about the finished short?
Love it. Cotton media did a wonderful job on the grading, the shots, the editing. It was only meant as a teaser for the now released photoshoot.
Do you have any plans to do something similar in future with other characters? Would you like to?
Yes of course, I want to really make this a thing now, I would rather do one or two decent costumes a year, pushing the boat with each one. The next is going to be Deathstroke, which has been a long time coming.
Who is your favourite Batman character?
Jason Todd/ Red Hood.
What’s your favourite Batman story?
Oh Gods, I have many but let’s go with the obvious and say Death in the Family.
What did you think of Jared Leto’s Joker?
I loved what I saw, sorry what LITTLE I saw. I feel he has really encapsulated the dark psychotic nature of who the Joker is. I feel sorry for him as he didn’t get the screen time he deserves. I really hope he is brought back in the Batman Solo. Warner Bros, the cunts, owe him this!
Is Batman your favourite comic book hero?
I would say so yes, I remember as a kid saying to my mum, “one day I will be Batman”, and I did become him in some form or another.
Anyone who follows you knows you’re a fan of Arkham games. What’s your favourite game?
It’s a controversial decision but I really loved Arkham Origins. I’m just replaying the remastered Arkham Series and I am sat there with a constant hard on!
What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever made?
At the moment, it’s looking like Deathstroke, the sheer amount of work that has to go into the paint job is disgusting and a ballache, but I am gradually getting through each of the nearly 20 pieces.
Have you ever given up on a cosplay idea because it was too difficult?
Are you working on anything new now?
Working on Deathstroke and Arkham Knight V2.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Rubber, it’s wonderful but a fucker to paint!
What inspired you to use 3D printing in your props and costumes?
Erm, I was actually approached by my good friend Kevin from Gauntlet FX about 4 years ago now. He noticed I was a 3D Artist and he wanted to get into 3D printing himself. So from then we formed a wonderful working relationship of reach-arounds and props/costumes.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to print for a costume?
Actually nothing to out of the ordinary, but always wanted to print some superhero themed dildos.
Are there any pieces or effects you still prefer to create by hand?
Nah, I always want accuracy, so 3D is the way, you are always open to cock ups when doing stuff by hand.
Are there any characters you’re looking forward to cosplaying in the future?
Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman, no idea how I’m gonna do his suit, but I will work it out somehow. Movie DeadPool is on the cards as everyone I know seems to think my personality is very reminiscent of his. I do like masturbating with my Pink Unicorn though…
Who are your favourite cosplayers working right now?
I am a little out of touch with Cosplayers as there has been an influx recently of power hungry wanting to be “cosfamous” turds. I have always admired Volpin Props and my good buddy Cosplay Chris, but who doesn’t? If I could be arsed I would love to do YouTube videos but I have very little time in life as it is.
Outside of cosplaying, what do you like to do with your time?
I have a 2 year old son called Damian Wayne, so most my time is with him, I do like to play video games, go to the gym and watch movies.
Do you have any advice for aspiring cosplayers?
Do it for you, enjoy it, don’t compare yourself to another, only try to better yourself. Make the competition with yourself, not against others. Cosplay characters you love, not what other people love. Don’t be an attention whore striving to be “cosfamous”. Seriously though, unless you are Nigri or Yayahan or the like, you ain’t gonna make money from it or be as famous as them just by getting your tits out. Last bit of advice, wear deodorant, the sheer stench of a con can be nauseating. BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER!