I’m just going to put this right here…
Hey! Snap out of it! I am sure all of your minds have been blown by the awesomeness of this video: Traci Hines as Ariel, and my Who’s That Geek, Leo Camacho as Prince Eric! Not only is he the most perfect Prince Eric the world has ever seen, but Leo seems made for Disney cosplay. He’s donned a few particularly fabulous costumes, including an epic Aladdin and Jack Sparrow (pictured later in the post).
Leo’s cosplay prowess is not limited to Disney – he’s done a fabulous Darkwing Duck and Wolverine as well. He’s into Disneybounding, as we all should be. For those who don’t know, “Disneybounding” is a term coined by Leslie Kay that refers to building an outfit around a Disney character. And be sure to check out some of the other great cosplays under his belt like Team Rocket Grunt and Broba Fett. (Don’t ask.)
Leo as Darkwing Duck and Wolverine!
Did I mention he is a fantastic cartoonist and sketch artist? If you check him out on Tumblr you will be sure to see a lot of sketches, but he also has a really rad gallery on DeviantArt. Be sure to scope out “The Unusual Suspects,” “Sure, she’s got everything,” and “Malware detected.”
And a final note on the geekiness of Leo… his day job is so awesome, he works for Google Lunar XPRIZE!!! Space and robots, ftw. Obviously since you now love him as much as I do, check him out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if we’re offering suggestions here, my suggestions to Leo for future cosplays would include Captain Hook, Clark Kent / Superman, and Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. Thanks again to Leo for answering all of my questions in a most thorough manner!
1. Obviously the world would probably most easily recognize you as “that guy who did the perfect Prince Eric.” What was your first cosplay, what is your favorite cosplay you’ve ever done, and what is your future dream cosplay?
Ha! Yeah, the Prince Eric thing is pretty funny. It’s gotten to the point where people who haven’t seen any of my Prince Eric stuff online just randomly tell me I look like him. He’s a stud though so I guess that’s a good thing!
Before I was a Disney prince, I was a Disney pirate. My very first cosplay, and conveniently my favorite, was Jack Sparrow from Pirate of the Caribbean. I always thought the character was cool in the films and for me personally, the fun in cosplay is channeling the characters you get to portray, so naturally this seemed like a fun first pick albeit an audacious one. It took me a few iterations to get it right. A trip to the thrift store and about $60 worth of material provided a pretty passable Jack for the time. This was before the huge cosplay wave hit the mainland and crappy costumes were still considered “not bad”. After SDCC (my first cosplay outing) I put the costume up on ebay for $40 and it sold for $450! I though to myself “Well maybe I should use this and make a good one!” I did just that and I still rock it occasionally to this day. I mean, who doesn’t like acting like a drunk pirate in public?
Who knows what the future will hold. I have a few in the pipeline I want to get out there including a movie accurate Prince of Persia, the male demon hunter from Diablo 3, and possibly some old school stuff like Keith from Voltron or Link from Zelda II. Lets see what time, opportunity and budget allow for!
Leo as Jack Sparrow. Spot on, and why is the rum gone?
2. Apocalypse! The world ends, and all people are destroyed, except for you and 1 other person (real or fictitious) that you have to re-populate the Earth with. Who is it?
Allison Brie from the show “Community”. That girl is really something. I’m all about those hot nerdy girls. We could make beautiful thick eyebrowed babies and make each other laugh all day. She also seems tenacious so that might come in handy when warding off zombies and such. I would also have to take Kate Beckinsale into consideration as well. I mean, she has experience fighting vampires and werewolves and that could prove handy in a pinch. Tough decisions. Life is hard.
3. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? How about now?
My favorite cartoon as a kid was undoubtedly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was (and still am) a MASSIVE fan and I definitely had turtle fever. I collected, literally, every single toy and I drew them non-stop. I still do these things but I’m saying I did that as a kid too. Let’s face it. I’m still a kid. Today I might have to go with a few other jewels in the animation museum like Samurai Jack, Adventure Time, Archer, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I really like cartoons btw. Like, a lot.
4. What would you tell someone who was just starting out in cosplay, but was nervous or scared?
(Leo had posted to Tumblr a while ago and provided 5 tips to new cosplayers… and here they are!)
a. Love to cosplay. You’ll know you love it before you even do it.
b. Find a character that resonates with you. The main reasons my cosplays work so well is because I tend to find characters I look like and that is like a 75% advantage already. This isn’t for everyone though and it’s not important. I do think it’s important to highlight though because I am no master costume designer and this is why I get away with any praise at all. Secondly I look for characters who’s personality I feel I can channel. I can be a bit of an actor so I love this part and it come naturally. Lastly, I find characters I think look cool so that I can feel cool when I become them. Find who you want to be and do it. That’s what cosplay is all about
c. Take on tasks that you can manage and give yourself time. Never cosplayed before? Then don’t pick a complicated character with 40 layers of armor and expect to finish it in a week. You have to keep in mind that cosplay has become a refined artform over the last 15 years here in the states, roughly and many tricks have slowly surfaced over that time. Don’t expect to master more complex techniques over night. Give yourself time to learn and fail and rebuild. Manage your expectations and you will get more done sooner and be able to add more later
d. Don’t be shy. I know its hard to go in public dressed as a dinosaur robot with a 12 foot neon sword that looks like a dildo. Own it. I know you have to get gas before you leave. Look at people and laugh with them. It is ridiculous and that’s why its fun. Tell them the story. share the positivity. Fuck it. After all, you are a dinosaur robot with a dildo sword. Who can stop you?
e. Don’t judge others. Not everyone will be amazing. No one deserves to be slammed. Be constructive and offer tips but never shut someone down. This community is held together over the love of wearing silly shit pretending to be a fucking cartoon or something. Who are you to judge? Shut up and be nice.
5. Your drawings are fantastic! What medium do you prefer to draw on, what tools do you use, and what are your favorite things to draw?
Thank you! That means a lot considering I have no real formal training or anything so I’m glad you enjoy them. I always prefer to draw with a regular ol’ mechanical pencil. I generally follow up by inking with some Copic Multiliner pens and then perhaps some Copic Markers. My favorite means to add color is digital, so I usually scan my images in, clean them up, then color them in photoshop. I have the Cintiq tablet now but I used a general old Wacom crap-tablet 2000 for a long time. I actually colored most of my pieces with an optical mouse for a LONG time before I started with tablets. The point is, any tool is viable if it feels good to you. I encourage people to play around and try new things and find the groove that fits you best!