One thing that Comic Con India has brought to this country is the cosplay culture. You dress up as your favorite comic characters or superheroes and compete for a prize. Some people have made cosplaying an integral part of their lives. Gaurav Thakur is one such guy who is now known as a professional cosplayer. His cosplays are so accurate that you can't find a single flaw. Gaurav is the first Indian coplayer to be representing India at the San Diego Comic Con 2017. I had a chance to chat with Gaurav after the Delhi Comic Con 2016.
Here's what we talked about:
Q1. You are a professional cosplayer. When and how did you decide that you want to do this at the Comic Con?
Ans. In 2011, when Comic Con happened in Delhi for the first time ever, I visited there to see the craziness, because I have been following Comic Con way before it happened in India (Other countries). I saw couple of cool Cosplayers, and it just happened and I started to work on the R&D for my own coplay. In 2014, I officially cosplayed (Iron man and the Spiderman). Wolverine was a huge hit, since it was a gaming version. Spider man was just a start (I stitched 2 t-shirts together and made patterns manually). People don’t care for random cosplay’s (I felt that day), so decided to show them the real thing.
I spent 1 and a half year to develop my skills and the R&D I was doing before the comic con helped me. In 2015 I presented The Amazing Spiderman Cosplay, which was a replica from Movie. All the patters/stitching/dye/colours are done by me.
Q2. Your costumes are totally realistic and you design them by yourself. How much time and effort do you have to put in to come up with the perfect costume?
Ans. It always depends on the creativity and the observation, but the most important thing is resources (which is hard to get here in India). But, I managed everything even if it’s a spandex (fabric), foam, hand carving, wood work, stitching, art skills and yeah sleepless nights. Difficult part is to understand all the patterns from the movie and applying it on the fabric.
The Amazing Spiderman: 1 and a half year
The Amazing Spiderman 2: 7 months
Iron Wolverine: 1.2 Years
Deadpool: 6 months
Black Panther: 1 year
Spidey from The Civil War: 7 months
Q3. You have portrayed iconic characters like Wolverine, Spiderman, Deadpool etc. All these characters are totally different from each other. As a cosplayer how do you prepare yourself to be a particular character?
Ans. My first glance always is, can I portray this character or not? Then I start R&D, like how much it will take, costing, resources, and my body build. I have to join the gym so that it won’t look weird on me to wear spandex (skin tights).
My personal favourite is Spiderman, I used to Photoshop my pictures in Spidey suite. I had a dream 6 years back, today I am living that “I am the Spiderman”.
Deadpool was the toughest one till now, since my personality doesn’t portray that character. But, I survived and it’s the best costume till now. Girls, teens, youth, Comic Con, even my abroad followers liked it. “I just Nailed it”-people say
Q4. You’re going to be the first Indian Cosplayer to represent India at the San Diego Comic Con 2017. How do you feel about that and what do you have in store for San Diego?
Ans. Wow, this thing gives me goosebumps, and at the same time scares me too. I feel like I have achieved the biggest thing in a very less time period. Officially I started in 2014 and 2016 my work become exceptional that people are scared of my skills and in 2017 I am representing India.
Feels like too much responsibility and expectations on me. For San Diego I will be representing my IronWolverine concept only, since it was very new and pure, and luckily no one ever created this prototype. I will upgrade it a little more with lighting and make some part working. Finger crossed, hope everything went well and I make the country proud.
Q5. Any suggestions for the budding cosplayers who will be reading this article?
Ans. My only suggestion would be;
Go slow, and take it as a hobby in first go. You might require funds to make one costume; sometimes it cost you 500 and sometimes 50,000 INR. Stays focused and develop your skills; all depends on your creativity.
Don’t always rely on others, or purchase things. Because trust me once you start your project you will understand the feeling of creating something awesome. Stay motivated, understand your character, use old/un used items.