Cosplayers are one of the best parts about conventions. They bring a ton of enthusiasm and joy with them to cons, and really embody the fan spirit. I got a chance to hang out with Adam Frey not too long ago, and he shared with me some of his insights into cosplay!
Bleeding Cool: How long have you been cosplaying?
Adam Frey: I think I go back to 2002 on a technicality. I made a near-complete Boba Fett costume for Halloween back when I was in law school, before I even knew what cosplay was. I just really, really wanted a Boba Fett costume because I was a Star Wars nerd at the time. I stumbled across The Dented Helmet forum and discovered the madness of how to create a full Fett suit, so I spent an entire summer cutting pieces of industrial plastic while my sister sewed the cloth components.
Anyway, then I got married, joined the military, moved around the country for a few years, and became a parent, so I didn’t have a lot of time for conventions or costumes. I finally got reassigned to Maryland in 2012 and went to my first Baltimore Comic-Con, and then I really learned about the deep, insane world of cosplay.
By 2014, I decided to finally give cosplay a go, so I made a half-decent Scarlet Spider costume (which still needs some work, LOL — I wore Crocs because I didn’t know how to make cosplay footwear) which I wore to both BCC and the next year’s Free Comic Book Day. By then I’d fallen into the DC-Maryland fan community, so I guess that’s when I really considered myself a cosplayer.
What was the inspiration behind your costume?
Ha! This needs a bit of backstory. Somewhere around 2015, I got it into my head that I wanted to try crossplay — that is, cosplaying as the opposite sex. People can do some amazing crossplay, so I think I wanted the challenge of seeing if I could “pass” for a female character. I was originally going to do a Jim Balent ’90s Catwoman, and assembled a lot of the costume…except the mask, which I couldn’t sew myself. The person who was supposed to make my mask never finished it, so I was kind of stuck with some lady accessories which I couldn’t use.
From there, I somehow got the idea to go as Power Girl, which I debuted at Third Eye Comics on FCBD 2016. They absolutely loved it, and I wore Power Girl again at Halloween Comicsfest and BCC 2016 and it was a big hit. At that point, I developed a reputation as a crossplayer, and my friends at Third Eye kept expecting me to do another female character.
I really can’t sew, and I don’t have the time to work in my garage for hours on armor or sheet metal. (If I had my druthers, I’d do Angela Odinsdotter — and maybe if I get the time in the future, I’ll do it.) But I really wanted to do another female, and I realized that Poison Ivy’s New 52 look would work for someone at my level. It was really just a matter of getting a black morphsuit and hot gluing leaves all over it. That, and I couldn’t let the Third Eye folks down.
Also, come on: Ivy is hot.
What do you like about cosplay?
I’m impressed that the cosplay community is so damn open to letting people be whatever they want to be. If you’re a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy who reasonably looks like Chris Evans, then you can be Captain America, and that’s cool. But if you’re a black woman in a wheelchair who wants to be Steve Rogers, that’s also cool, and nobody has a place to complain when the cosplayer is legitimately having fun.
I am absolutely floored when I see someone who’s made working Iron Man armor with lights and electronics. But I’m no less floored when I see a kid who’s made a cute little Iron Man suit out of spray paint and cardboard boxes. That kid has a ways to go, but he’s learning and experimenting and using his imagination to take his fandom to the next level.
My Poison Ivy was a big hit this year, and I’d like to think it turned out pretty good. But I saw a lot of other Ivys at BCC and all of them did something a little different, and all looked good in their own way (and a lot better than me). I appreciated the opportunity to see what they’re doing and get ideas on how to up my game and make it better. And more importantly, I liked that we all got along with each other. I joked about “Who wore it better” with them, but really: we were all Ivy, and we were all enjoying ourselves.
Do you have a fan page or Instagram you’d like to share?
Nope, but I do post stuff on my personal Facebook page. I also regularly do comics, film, and TV news and editorials at Pop Culture Uncovered if anyone wants to read my stuff. :)
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