Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

We are about to go on an awesome cosplay journey with…

NERDSOCIETY.COM: Thanks for taking the time to interview with us at, would you be so kind as to state your name? Stage name? Where are you from?

KNIGHTMAGE: Thanks for the opportunity. My name is Michael Wilson. I go by either Michael “Knightmage” Wilson or just Knightmage. I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio; now residing in Youngstown, Ohio.

Deadpool Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

NS: What was it that got you into cosplaying? How did the “light bulb” go off telling you, ‘this is what I want to do?’ Were you introduced into cosplaying by someone?  You have some amazing costumes, do you make your own costumes or do you acquire them from other means?

KM: It sort of just happened. It all began when I decided to make a Halloween costume in 2011, which was the John Stewart Green Lantern. After making that costume I was asked to help out at a local charity event for a young boy who was battling Leukemia. From that, I made Captain America and Batman, all being used for various charity events and birthday parties. Pretty well known cosplayers started taking notice of me online. When asked what conventions I attend, I said: “none.” I’ve always wanted to attend a convention but never had the time. I also knew of cosplaying but never knew exactly how large that world was. I attended my first convention in the fall of 2012 and I’ve been hooked ever since. The hobby has certainly turned into a passion.

I try to make everything that I can with my costumes. I always say that there are some amazing costume and prop makers out there but to me it’s more rewarding to know that it came from your own hands. Also I love the challenge and learning new techniques. If anything, there are only two people that help me with my costumes; my girlfriend who is an excellent seamstress and the one who taught me to sew–for more difficult jobs that I can’t figure out she’ll take over. Also when the costume calls for it and I can’t do it, I call upon my friend Josh who is a very talented airbrush artist. I’ll explain what detail I want to see and he’ll create that. I’ve learned so much from him. I’m getting better and better in that department but he’s still the tops.

NS: What does cosplaying mean to you? Is it something fun that you do for personal enjoyment? OR is it something that you do for other reasons? You seem to do a lot of charity work; tell us about that?

KM: It certainly started off as just something fun to do. Again, now it’s really turned into something more. Meeting and becoming friends with so many people in the cosplay community as well as seeing the impact it has on others, I’m always learning something new as to why I do it. Cosplaying means something different to everyone; for me it’s a multitude of things, mainly inspiration. I’ve found that you can really inspire others, young and old in a positive way through cosplay. It’s also a form of escape; it’s a chance to become someone else. You put a costume on and you often feel that you are that character.

The charity work is something that words can’t describe. The feeling is absolutely amazing. There really is nothing better than a little one running up with arms out wanting a hug from their favorite superhero. That’s a lasting impression not just for them but for me too. I try to advertise a lot of what I do, not for recognition but, to try and inspire (there’s that word again) other cosplayers to get more involved. I don’t think many really know the influence and power they have. One of my ways of giving back is raising money for different charities. I started getting invited as a guest at different conventions and was asked if I sold prints of my costumes. I didn’t but, thought of a neat idea to give my fans something and really help in the process. I give away my prints for FREE at conventions with an option to donate to a specific charity. A different charity at every convention I’m a guest at. This can also be done online but, I had to set a price for that. I don’t charge for event appearances or birthday parties, instead I ask for a donation to a charity. I’m proud to say that within the first 6 months I raised more than $2500 spread out to several different charities. I’m also proud to say that recently I was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Award. I was and am really honored by that. I’m not in it to make money. I’m in it for the fun. So why not help a bit along the way.

NS: WOW! That is an impressive and wonderful thing to do! Congratulations on the Volunteer Award, you truly deserve it!

On Individual costumes:

NS: Tell us about Cyborg; what an amazing costume!?! What went into putting the look together for such an awesome character? Also, what do you like about this Teen Titan?

Cyborg Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: Thank you. There’s two versions of Cyborg I had the pleasure of wearing. The first one is one that I created for my own pleasure. It was my first time working with foam to create that much armor. I tried the Pepakura method, which is taking a 3D model on the computer, breaking it down in pieces and printing it out. After that, you piece it together like a puzzle. I wasn’t really a fan of that so I decided to wing it. I like to create things in my own vision. For my first build like that, I think it turned out pretty good. I’m proud of it but of course hindsight being 20/20 you now know the areas that could be improved. The second Cyborg suit was built for “Project:LEX.” Put on by “Superhero Photography” by Adam Jay, it was a huge photo shoot that was inspired by the DC Universe Online Cinematic Trailer. The suit was built by “Dark Iron Productions” and Geoffrey Graves and detailed by me and Josh. I loved wearing that suit. Mobility wasn’t great but that made it that much more fun to wear. I’ve always been a fan of Victor Stone AKA- Cyborg. I mean, who doesn’t want to have cybernetic parts?

NS: What a bad-ass Venom! Why did you choose to be the villain over the hero Spiderman? What went into making the costume/make-up?

Venom Mixed Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: Thanks. The base costume was an old Black suit Spiderman outfit I had. I just cut the face off so I could go with a Symbiote “taking over” look. That’s black liquid latex, contacts and fangs. Not much went into the makeup. The suit I wanted to look like Symbiote worms all over. I textured it with hot glue then the entire suit was airbrushed for detailing. After that I decided to do Anti-Venom and Agent Venom; I always loved the concept of Venom. Between all of them I would say Agent Venom is my favorite. Armed to the teeth and I really think I put a unique look to the character with the webbing all over and the web shield.

Venom 2 Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

Agent Venom

Venom Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!


NS: The Tick just looks amazing, what is your interest in the series and character? What went into creating the costume? It is—for lack of a better word…perfect!

Tick Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: The Tick was one of those, “wouldn’t it be funny if” moments. Loved the Tick cartoon and live action series. I never really got into the comics though. It was a fairly simple costume consisting of a blue body suit, craft foam antennas, big white eyes and a pearly white foam mouth piece. The physique detailing is really what gives it that comic feel…just wish I had the voice to go along with it.

NS: We recently interviewed Todd McFarlane the creator of Spawn, tell us about what went into making that costume; it seems that there is a lot of make-up and design. What is your personal interest in the character Spawn?

Spawn Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: I think every cosplayer has that one “lightning in a bottle” costume. One they’re so completely proud of but probably couldn’t duplicate it if they tried. Spawn is that one for me. I always loved the character and especially his look–such a great anti-hero. This was the first costume I completely sewn myself; the hardest thing was the cape. All I could think was that I wanted it to wildly flap in the wind. I also wanted to take it a step further and do the burnt face so I could take the mask off and still be “in character.” The face is a gelatin base with an application of light black makeup which is very cheap and very easy to apply. When I and my friend were detailing the suit we kept thinking of new ideas to try. When it was finished I had no idea it would get the reception that it did. I was completely blown away. When I received a message from Todd himself that’s what really humbled me and made me think “wow, I guess this really is good.” Again, I don’t think I’ll ever get that reception from another costume and I’m totally ok with that.

Spawn 2 Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

NS: What were (are) some of your own favorite costumes; feel free to tell us your thoughts on them?

Snake Eyes Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: Wow, that’s tough now that I have a closet full. Batman is definitely still one of my favorites; mainly for the reaction it gets from the kids–all kids recognize Batman. It’s just an awesome feeling seeing their eyes light up. Spawn is another one on that list, primarily because I feel like a badass in it. I made the chains long so they’ll clink when I walk. I feel as if people step away in fear when I walk by. One more favorite of mine is now Snake Eyes. I’m a huge G.I. Joe and Snake Eyes fan. He’s so noble and cool; a soldier and a ninja. I really love being in that outfit with all that gear. I don’t know…every costume is special to me in some way. I think I really love them because they’re my own vision. When I make a costume it might be inspired by a certain look of a character but I’ll never 100% try and duplicate it. I want my own stamp on it.

NS: You seem to travel a lot to different areas of the country to cosplay, where are some interesting places you’ve been and what kind of memories do you have of being there?

KM: I’ve been lucky to have the experiences and chances I’ve had in the short amount of time I’ve been doing this. Going to L.A for “Project;Lex,” was incredible. Working with and finally meeting some of the people I look up to in the cosplay community. It really was awesome and I’ll never forget that time.

NS: Does it get to you when there are shows that portray “backstabbing and hate” in cosplay instead of focusing on why people do it in the first place? Isn’t it about the creation of the costume and being able to play your favorite characters?

KM: Do those shows get to me? Not really because that’s the basis of those shows. Can you blame a scorpion when it stings you? What upsets me is when I see it in everyday life and not on the TV screen. I truly believe this should be a community of uplifting and supporting and all about fun and even some healthy competition. There’s too much of an aura of ego and arrogance going on; too much business-like thinking. Not everyone is in it for money or fame. But I think if you show that there’s more good out there than bad all will be ok.

NS: What advice would you give for aspiring cosplayers?

Moon Knight Cosplay Interview With Knightmage!

KM: Cosplay for you, to your standards, not others. It’s about whatever makes you happy. There is no wrong way to cosplay. It doesn’t matter your race, gender or age and that’s the beauty of dressing up as characters from fictional universes. Any and everything is possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips and advice. This is a social community and there are tons of people out there just waiting to help. Always stay humble and grounded. If you start to become well known don’t let that go to your head. I always say someone can have amazing costumes but it doesn’t mean their personality matches it; which in the end takes away from their work. Lastly always have fun. When you lose your smile that’s when you know it’s time to stop.

NS: Outside of Cosplaying, what are some interests you have? Music, Movies, Animation, etc…, do you collect anything?

KM: Music, the gym, huge movie buff as well as a wrestling fan. I don’t have much free time but, when I do I just like to relax. But, I’ll be honest, most of that time is spent thinking of my next costume. 😉

Be sure to “like” me on Facebook at and follow me on Twitter@Knightmage

WE, the team at would like to thank Knightmage for his time and his awesome photos, and answers to these questions.  I personally feel that Knightmage personifies the essence of cosplaying—no offense to other cosplayers by the way.  There is just something really special about his views and charitable work that makes him stand out as a stand-up kind of guy.

Thank You.

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