Featured Cosplayer: Justin Monk

Q: Hello, Justin Monk. Thank you very much for agreeing to be our featured cosplayer for this month. How did you get interested in designing costumes and cosplay?

A: Thank you very much, Bryan, for having me! I got interested in costumes from a very young age. I loved dressing up for Halloween and any excuse I could at home. I often found an excuse to throw on striped pajamas to become Beetlejuice or coveralls and a backpack to bust some ghosts. I jumped in after seeing the fantastic Star Wars lineups for The Phantom Menace. People dressed up as everything from the franchise and celebrated with each other. I wanted to do that when Attack of the Clones was coming to theaters. So I had my first accurate stab at a Jedi costume made, and I showed up at the theater as the only one in costume, but I was cheered on, and I loved it!

Q: I understand you have designed costumes for some films and television shows. Please tell us a little about that.

A: In 2016, I moved to Vancouver, Canada, to bring some of my talents and out-of-the-box thinking to help bring something new to the current CW superhero costumes. The company I worked for collaborated with some of the industry’s best and most amazing creative designers and builders from all sides of the spectrum.

Being a big fan-boy allowed me to see these new projects in a light that my bosses and others involved weren’t as enveloped by. Years of knowledge and love for all these characters gave me a particular reputation and a desire to help make things as accurate as possible. Aside from my insight, my portfolio contains textures (like the little lightning bolts on The Flash), 3D elements like belts, emblems, and more, as well as painting and weathering. I work on so many different characters across many shows and films, including non-superhero ones, that I stay busy.

Q: What is your favorite superhero costume of all time?

A: My favorite superhero costume of all time is Superman. Every version speaks a lot to its time and its actors. Each of them has elements I like that fed into my custom version.

Q: How do you choose what characters you are going to cosplay as?

A: When I decide to make a costume, it comes down to a few factors. Can I pull it off? I don’t have to look exactly like the character, but I want to feel comfortable in the costume and feel like I belong in it. It also has to be cool—at least to me. Bonus points if I can add something of my own flavor to it.

Q: Of all the costumes you have designed, which is your favorite?

A: Being part of a build team for so many costumes makes it super hard to decide, but when we were tasked with bringing the 1990s John Wesley Shipp ‘Flash’ back to screens, that was amazing! Costume designer Kate Main arranged for me to get my hands on the ORIGINAL costume, which allowed me to match all the 3D items and details, like the color, as closely as possible. We nailed a version that reflected the original and made life easier for the actor. Plus, Mr. Shipp is incredibly lovely and was okay with my extreme geeking out during all his fittings, even after seeing him at conventions.

Q: What is your favorite comic book of all time?

A: I don’t have a favorite comic book of all time, but I love Superman: Birthright, For All Seasons, and Ultimate Spider-Man.

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you could tell us about?

A: I have some upcoming film projects. I also worked on some textures for the new Robyn Hood TV show with Builders Anonymus in Toronto, so I’m looking forward to that. My upcoming project list for my costumes includes The Witcher Season 2 armor and the Gold Zeo Power Ranger costume.

Q: Thank you, Justin! Where can we follow you?

A: Follow @ThisJustInOnline on YouTube and Instagram!

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