Featured Cosplayer: Ryan “Green”
Back in January we challenged the We Are Cosplay facebook community to reach 100 new members. We asked members to post their most impressive costume, prop, photography, art, or other creative spark, with the hashtag- #wearecosplay. At the end of the week we randomly pulled from those tags to select one member to feature.
So we’re happy to bring you, 27 year old, Chicago resident, Ryan “Green” Flennoy. We asked Ryan some questions to learn a little more about the man behind the the hulking facade.
Character wise, who’s on your “done it” list? Who’s the favorite?
“The Incredible Hulk, Colossus (X-Men), Young Hellboy, Red Hulk, Compound Hulk, Omega Red, Duke Nukem, Bane, Goliath [of] Gargoyles, Hancock and Crossbones.
I’d have to say my favorite of all would have to be the Hulk. It’s a classic Marvel character that I have held dear to me since I was a wee “Hulkling”. And getting to bring that character to life is a dream come true. With all the off-season dieting and training, once you get the green paint on you really feel the part. Plus I get to smash crap, pick up people and act a like crazed rage monster, that’s always fun.”
Your must read/play/watch at the moment?
“My must watch it, read it, and play it at the moment are- Watch the Season of Archer; read the new edition of Saga: Part 3; and play the new Dead Rising 3.”
Who are your favorite artists/writers/publishers/game studio/whatever?
“My favorite writers are Garth Ennis (The Punisher), and Mark Millar (The Ultimates); Favorite Game studios would definitely be Gearbox (Borderlands), Epic Games (Gears of War, Bulletstorm), Bungie (Halo), and 3D Realms (Duke Nukem); Favorite Film director Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez.”
What got you into costuming/cosplay/propmaking/fx/photography/etc.?
“I’d say my first time visiting a convention as a civilian in 2011 is what got me into costuming, which happened to be C2E2. I spent most of my life reading about fictional characters and day dreaming of comic book heroes. But it wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I saw my first cosplayer. It was Aaron Brigman, dressed as Frank Castle from Punisher Warzone, and man did he leave an impression! His [costume] was so detailed, not to mention he acted the part as well. It was so good that I didn’t see Aaron Brigman [as] even someone in costume at all. All I saw was Frank Castle come to life. And THAT’S cosplay. The following year I debuted my first cosplay at C2E2, as The Hulk”
Do you think you’re treated differently as a male cosplayer then a female cosplayer?
“When it comes to male versus female cosplayer, I feel that I get treated fairly well by fans. There will always be sensuality in cosplay and there will always be fans than lean more towards how attractive the person looks as that character, to just appreciating the details, accuracy, time spent and over[all] choice of character for that particular person. In most cases I feel women get slightly more attention than men in cosplay and that’s because of the simple fact the WOMEN ARE SEXY. And there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion it can actually add to a character. But in general I feel whether your male or female, cosplayers get treated based on the quality of their costume, the character they choose to do, and in some cases their ability to portray that characters personality and mannerisms.”
What’s your typical process when taking on a new project?
“Planning a new costume usually begins with an idea or a suggestion. As any cosplayer knows, we get a lot of them. Unfortunately not all of them end up seeing the light of day. But for me it’s the characters that I can relate to, or have ever fantasized about being that end up making the cut. Once I have my character committed, then I hit the books. RESEARCH. I need to know that character inside and out. What [and] how many different versions of him exist, weapons, allies, enemies, body type, height, personality, etc.
After I’ve done all my homework, character specifics are chosen, and then i begin building, buying, painting, shaping and putting it all together.”
Have you met any of the artists/writers/filmmakers/etc. who’s work your costume is based?
“In the short time I’ve been cosplaying I have been fortunate enough meet Stan lee who was the mastermind behind a few of my characters (The Hulks, Crossbones and Omega Red); Lou Ferrigno who was the first actor to portray the Hulk, and illustrator of Gargoyles, Kurt Lehner.”
Are your aliases known to everyone, and how do they feel about it?
“I wouldn’t say I have much of an alias, but most people [who] know me outside of my family, know me as Ryan ‘Green’, including work and other circles outside of cosplay. And honestly I kinda like it. Feels like I have [a] secret identity and an alter ego. I guess every superhero needs one right?… And a theme song. I should make a theme song.”
Most interesting Con story?
“I’d say my most interesting Con story would be winning the Wizard World 2013 costume contest cuz I swear to God when I first put on my Goliath costume I thought I looked horrible. [laughs] It was my first time doing it, no test run. And I put it on behind a curtain and had not seen myself in a mirror. [Friends and fellow cosplayers] Michael Perri and Bevan Sukowaty, literally spent 4 hours painting me up that morning and were almost late putting on their own costumes (which till this day I still can’t thank them enough for. Bestest friends and body painters a guy could ever have). Ended up walking around taking tons of photos and wondering why everyone was so excited about my costume. I mean it’s an awesome character from way back in the day that probably [brought] back everyone’s childhood, but in my eyes all I could think of was, ‘this costume sucks! Can’t wait to get this thing off, stupid 50 pound wings’. Which actually snapped in half and broke before I even made it from behind the curtain for people to see me. Luckily for me, [another friend and cosplayer] Scott Whipple was there with a giant roll of duct tape and his humongous arms to mend my 50 pound wings back together. Long story short, our group entered the contest which consisted of Kayla Smith as Demona, and James T Wulfgar- effing badass cosplayers which I felt lucky to have the privilege just to walk around with. We entered the costume contest just because and [so] all our hard work wouldn’t go unnoticed. But after seeing all the other contestants we pretty much gave up and had no intention on winning. Oh and did I mention that my wings snapped in half again as soon as I got up on stage? Yeah that happened. But somehow the clouds parted and the cosplay gods shined down on us and cut us a break. We won best cosplay group! Honestly till this day still don’t know how or why, but I guess that’s what cosplay is about. Having an idea, following through with that idea, literally pouring your time sweat and heart into it and then proudly wearing it no matter how uncomfortable or horrible you think it looks because YOU picked the character, YOU made the costume and YOU had the nads to put it on and wear [it] in front of hundreds of people. Cosplay is YOU. We Are Cosplay”
What Con are you most excited to one day attend, or return to?
“If I were to list my top favorite Cons I’m stoked about going to every year at the top of my [is] Dragon Con. That place is life changing. Then it would be C2E2, Acen, Wizard World Chicago, Superman Con, Detroit Fanfare, Kollision Con, Ramencon and then a few others get added on to the list every year. I’m all up for [exploring] and finding hidden gems, and I recommend that to all cosplayers. Never judge a Con by its cover”
What do you like to do when you’re not costuming… other hobbies?
“When I’m not costuming, I like to work on costumes. [laughs] Which is pretty much every cosplay I imagined. But as far as hobbies I spend most of my time in the gym. I’m a firm believer in that my body is just as important to my cosplay as the actual costume itself. I’m a personal trainer and I love helping other people work out and achieve their goals. I do a little amateur fighting in an MMA circuit. How to blow off steam, unplug and gets me cut for cosplay season. I spend a crap ton of time on my Xbox and PS3. Read a lot of Marvel Comics, just starting to get into DC. Favorite pastime is probably just cuddles with my bulldog and Guy Ritchie or Tarantino movies”
Costume groups, or solo- which do you prefer?
“When I cosplay I love working with groups and solo projects. I think that group cosplays have so much potential because you bring together so many awesome characters from a single comic book or genre. Scott Whipple and the SCF put together some pretty amazing rosters and shoots for conventions. But then there are those solo characters that stand alone, make for awesome photoshoots and cosplays.”
What’s next? Dream project?
“Can’t say that I really have a dream project because the dream project is always the next project. There are a few select characters I would like to do but they either have already been done so well by others that it’d be pointless for me to even attempt. [laughs] Or they’ve already been done by friends and I couldn’t see myself doing a friends character. Here are a few of my characters currently on the work table for 2014-2015… Thundercat’s Panthro; Tekken’s King; Ghost Rider, Borderlands 2 Roland; and G.I. Joe’s Roadblock.”