Name: Beth Grimes
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Cosplay Affiliations: Probable COSplay
You have an unusual twist when you cosplay. Tell us about it.
I have made detailed screen-accurate cosplays, but I love doing mashups and puns. It started last year with Purple Rey (a play on Prince’s Purple Rain and Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). It was such a hit I decided to follow it up with Garth Vader (Garth Algar from Wayne’s World dressed as Darth Vader), then this year’s Edgar Allan Poe Dameron (The famous author plus Poe Dameron, dashingly handsome pilot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). I have a list of more ideas to tackle as I get the time and resources! I can’t wait to do more!
What made you choose to cosplay puns?
I am a nerd and a comedian. I love combining those two worlds. I’m a circus clown, and as part of that community my friends and I are constantly coming up with visual gags/jokes to use in shows or to amuse ourselves. Essentially this is a continuation of a thought process from clowns and comedians from way back- a hundred years ago or more. Circus clowns during the 19-teens through the 1960s would have made costumes like this based on current events or celebrities at the time to get laughs as they strolled down the track during parts of the show. They were called “walkarounds”. I wouldn’t use them in shows today but they are GREAT for cosplay at cons. Pun cosplay also allows me to be more creative and it gets people’s brains going when they see those types of cosplay. I like making people think, and I love making people laugh. Sometimes it takes a minute for them to get it, but the reaction is ALWAYS worth it.
Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?
I wanted to come up with another pun costume for this year’s CONvergence. I decided Edgar Allan Poe Dameron was the funniest sounding one on the list and I should make it happen.
How long did it take to make your Cosplay?
I procrastinated so I frantically put the costume together in under 2 days. I had all day Thursday to paint and find pieces, then Friday late night after I got home from day 1 of the con, then Saturday morning to finish.
What was your biggest challenge?
There were a few challenges- Coming up with the makeup and figuring out how to make the oxygen hose box on the front. I found a plastic electronics case at a surplus store and covered it with foam core to make the boxy shape and the buttons. I studied photos of Edgar Allan Poe to get the face right.
What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?
I try to spend as little as possible when doing cosplays. The most expensive part was the flight suit. (I had to buy one due to time or else I would’ve sewn one) The ensemble cost about $80.
What special techniques did you use?
I was able to dismantle a padded army surplus belt and spray paint the pieces to resemble Poe Dameron’s flight vest. To make the vest I hemmed a winter puffy vest for the base. I didn’t count on the vest being filled with down. I am used to cotton batting. Upon the first cut the down showered out of the vest like confetti. Our cat was quite amused. I, on the other hand, still had wet spray paint on my arms and hands and they were now covered with tiny white feathers. Never, ever, cut open a down vest.
What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?
I decided to go with greyscale makeup since it would make the character more recognizable. It adds to the melancholy and goth look. Without the greyscale I’d just look like Ron Swanson in a flight suit. I didn’t have time to do any makeup tests, so I woke up early Saturday morning hoping my makeup would turn out in the first go. At first I glued on a mustache but when I went to trim it I cut too much off. I decided to draw on the mustache. I’m very pleased it turned out the way it did!
If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?
I am in process of re-making the vest. The original vest was very stiff since the front panels were originally a belt. I need a vest that allows for more movement. I also intend to incorporate more Poe references than just The Raven, although the BB-8 Raven is my favorite part of the costume.
About Cosplay in general:
How long have you been doing Cosplay?
My first cosplay was the Mike Meyers version of Cat in the Hat at Wizard World 2009.
How often do you Cosplay?
Not nearly as often as I want!
How many cosplay do you do?
I currently do Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp version), Floyd Pepper (The Muppets), Professor Trelawney (Harry Potter), Purple Rey, Garth Vader, and Edgar Allan Poe Dameron
What do you want to make next?
I have a list of ideas. *HINT* My next pun will be an homage to my favorite silent film comedian and an iconic 1980s movie.
Favorite cosplay moment?
Last year, as Purple Rey, and my boyfriend as Purple Ren (Kylo Ren), people who knew Prince and worked for Prince came to us and told us their stories. It was an amazing experience!
Favorite fandoms to follow?
Star Wars, Star Trek, Borderlands, Slapstick Comedy
What kind of sewing machine do you use?
Whichever one runs! Currently I’m using a Sears Kenmore.
What materials do you like using?
PVC, Cardboard, Craft Foam, Plasti-Dip
What materials do you want to try?
leatherwork and 3D printing (getting a printer this Fall!)
What materials do you wish were easier to work with?
What techniques are you dying to learn?
I will be learning to make my own special effects makeup prosthetics very soon. I also just learned to ventilate so I need to practice some wig-making!