So you want to read about me? You really don’t have anything better to do? Alright fine… I’ve never been good at writing bios but I’m going to give this a shot. I suppose my journey down the rabbit hole started back in August of 2009. A video game was released that I found myself absolutely hooked to which was uncommon for console games; Batman Arkham Asylum.
To be perfectly Honest, I was never really much of a Batman fan. Sure – I appreciated The Dark knight movie, and I read the occasional Batman comic. But I would have never have concerned myself a Bat-fan. However, on a bored whim I downloaded the Arkham Asylum demo for my PC. So after joking a bit about how Batman’s head was drawn I sat down and gave the game a shot. I can say without a bit of hesitation that I was simple thrown back at the game-play, story, and overall atmosphere it offered. After I finished the game I found myself wanting to go back and check out all the little Easter eggs! So, like any lazy modern gamer, I went on my computer and started “Googleing” for all the games secrets. By chance I happened to stumble across a picture that still today is seared into my head. It was a picture of a hand-made life sized Batman cowl that looked identical to the Batman from the Video game. I decided that I must have it. After convincing the creator of the cowl to sell me a copy I realized that I had the start of an incredible costume… and so the adventure began.
I decided, like most rookie costumers, that I was going to design the “Ultimate” Halloween costume. The goal set for Halloween 2010. I hit the internet hard hoping that I could find some resources on how to pull together a proper costume. After Weeks of internet searches I was surprised to learn how many people out there actually had tread the same path. I found it almost overwhelming how large the community of batman costume nuts was! Very quickly I started to piece together what I figured was the “best” pieces I could find by buying from various vendors and prop makers. The more I researched the more I realized how expensive this hobby could be and started to lower my expectations. By Halloween 2010 my first Bat suit was completed!
Now, my first outing was not as exciting as I figured it would be. After spending all that time putting the suit together I was honestly expecting the evening to be a lot more rewarding. We went out to a local bar had a couple drinks and came home. So there I was suit with a Bat suit I spent all this time, energy and of course money on and I was simply not satisfied tossing it into the closet. I had to find other uses for it. So I started looking for excuses to toss it on. Movies, kids birthdays, random comic book store appearances… and to it wasn’t that exciting. I was either met with very odd looks, disrespect or occasionally plain hatred! I figured that maybe I was being crazy and was about ready to put the suit back into the closet and move on.
At this point my old man, who is no longer with us but we’ll get to that, was flipping through a local newspaper. He came across an article saying that a group of costumers were going to be at a local park doing some fund raising for the BC children’s hospital. They were doing superhero themed photos! My dad figured this would be right up my ally. He excitedly told me the group and encouraged me to reach out to them. I tried to reach out to them and unfortunately it looked like the group had already figured themselves out and didn’t need any additional help.
The costume had been sitting in a closet for a few months but I kept trying to find lame excuses to wear it. I found kids the easiest thing to work with as I’m not really a convention guy. My Dad had absolutely loved what I was doing trying to work with the kids so he encouraged it. He even gave tips on how to work with them on a regular basis. I kept trying but I found it very difficult to work by myself doing these things. I often dragged him out to act as a “handler” so if I got lynched by kids I would have a hand. It worked out okay…. but I knew this wasn’t going to last. My dad had been diagnosed with a fatal illness and was going to pass away very soon…
Now we skip ahead a little. My dad had passed away and at his wake/funeral I was told that there was going to be a toy show at one of the local arenas. They were giving discounts to people who dressed in costumes… I decided to leave the wake early and check that out as I figured he would have gotten a kick out of that. When I arrived there I ran into the same costume group that was running the photo shoot I talked about earlier. One thing lead to another and within a month I knew I was on a stage with my suit taking pictures with very excited kids for the BC Children’s hospital! I couldn’t have been happier to wear the suit! I knew right then and there that this was the track that I had to take for me to utilize the costume!
A few months later I decided to form another group with several friends. We called it “Heroes Inc.” The group was more focused on community events then fund raising and essentially got me out of the house every weekend. That was 3 years ago by this writing… I have since upgraded the costume, added new versions, and basically tried to embrace as many aspects of Batman as I possible could!