Cosplayer Of The Month: Kruser Cosplay
Hello, Friends! 😀 today we have a great cosplayer of the month! He goes by the name: Kruser Cosplay! He is based in the Pacific Northwest of the US and specializes in armor crafting. One of the shining qualities Kruser Cosplay has that really made me want to make him Cosplayer of the Month of November is the fact that he is not only wicked talented at crafting but he is also a husband and a father!
How he finds the time to be incredible at everything is something I’ll never figure out! You can really tell he puts his heart and soul into everything he does and I am so glad I came across his page.
I hope you enjoy our interview!
The Geek Lyfe: There may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Kruser Cosplay: My name is Josh Kruse. I’m a married father of two. My wife Heather and I said, “I do” 10 years ago. I have two boys (Jacob 9 & Jaxson 7). I’ve been in the communications industry for 10 years. When I’m not at work you can find me in my garage working on some kind of a project.
TGL: How long have you been into cosplay and what led you down this path?
KC: I’ve only really been involved in costuming/cosplay for about 3 years. The first “themed” semi-accurate costume I ever put together was for the Game Stop midnight release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 back in 2009. I put together a decent Simon “Ghost” Riley. At the time, I had no idea what “cosplay” was. I just wanted to make a badass costume that looked like leaked Ghost images.
TGL: What has been your favorite moment?
KC: Favorite moment? Do I only get to pick one? lol I have been fortunate to meet some of the most creative, supportive, and simply awesome people through this hobby. Being able to compete on stage at Emerald City Comic Con this year was a pretty amazing moment. However, at the risk of sounding completely corny, my favorite moment is when I see someone else’s face light up when they look at a costume I made. As corny as it sounds, its completely true.
TGL: What was the worst day for you in your cosplay career, what happened, and how did you deal with it?
KC: Worst moment. Easy. Isaac Clarke from Deadspace was the first costume I made from EVA foam. Heather and I went to Jet City Comic Show in Tacoma and it was the first time I had wore Isaac if I remember correctly. We got in the doors and onto the convention floor and within the 10 minutes I encountered something I really didnt expect. Call me naive. Two guys did a double take and started laughing out loud. It was beyond obvious they were laughing at me. As we passed each other, one cracks off with, “Man, Isaac really let himself go.” Needless to say I was pretty pissed. With one comment, it discounted the countless hours spent making my costume.
My pride in it was gone right then and there. I felt stupid, insecure, and out of place. I’ve always been comfortable in my skin and for the most part, a pretty confident person. But at the time, cosplay was new to me and unfamiliar. I had taken a step outside of my comfort zone and my first experience was pretty negative. I looked at my wife and just said, “Lets go.” We walked out of the convention center and back down to the parking garage. As we made our way through the garage, Heather and I were talking about it and she had me calmed down, but I was still pretty bummed.
We were almost to the car when I heard someone behind me trying to get my attention. It was Eric Jones of Coregeek Creations. He was in his gender bent Sgt. Calhoun costume and looked awesome. He stopped me and asked about Isaac. He asked to see the helmet, the plasma cutter, the rig on my back, how the stasis emitter in my hand lit up, everything. He had nothing but questions and compliments on the build. His positivity and genuine interest in what I had made completely redeemed my excitement about continuing to make costumes and props. It was definitely the worst moment, but ended in one of the absolute best. Fast forward a couple of years and Eric is a good buddy and I cant thank him enough for the time he spent spreading positivity to a stranger that really needed it.
TGL: When you aren’t doing this, what do you do in your spare time?
KC: Spare time? What is that? I’ve got kids. They take up most of my non-cosplay time. My oldest son races quarter midget race cars. That alone takes up nearly every Saturday and Sunday in the summer. Most of my spare time is spent on my duties to the Mandalorian Mercs Costume club. I am currently the Alor’ad (captain/leader) of the Washington clan. OYA! A lot of “spare time” is spent hosting armor parties, helping recruits get their kits ready for approval, time on the forum, planning events, etc.
If I do happen to have a free weekend, I love to go target shooting. I am an avid gun enthusiast, big game hunter, and 2nd Amendment advocate. I’ll get together with my non-cosplay buddies and head out to the woods to have some good ol’ “group therapy.” Get it? That was an accuracy joke. But, we live in a pretty rainy place and when its just too wet, I plop down infront of the good ‘ol Xbone and play video games to decompress. Dead Space, Bioshock, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, you name it. I collect retro games as well. I still have every console I’ve ever owned all the way back to my Atari 2600. I am most proud of my original NES collection. I’m sitting at about 430 titles. My wife absolutely destroys me at Dr. Mario. I’m still convinced that she cheats somehow. The boys love the retro games too. I figured that they need to have a well rounded gaming education. Gotta raise them right!
TGL: What geek medium(Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
KC: The biggest medium is a toss up between video games and Star Wars. Video games were the inspiration for the costume that caused my cosplay to take off, but Star Wars has been my single greatest geek love for as long as I can remember. It was my introduction to science fiction and has found its way into my daily life. While at work, I pass the time with audio books. 99.97% of them are Star Wars books. The other .03 are Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series. They are by far my favorite non-Star Wars fiction.
TGL: If you could take a character from any universe to come to our world and be your best friend forever who would it be and why?
KC: Any character from any universe to be my best friend forever? Boba Fett. Hands down. He’s my dude. Even though he typically works alone, we’d be an unstoppable duo.
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
KC: Oh man, future projects? So many plans, so little time. I was comissioned to make the sword Tessaiga from the anime Inuyasha and fabrication on that will begin in the next week. However, my next big project will be a fun one. Another amazing local person in the cosplay community that I met early on is 405th member Aliya Mathews (Huntress Crafts & Cosplay). She has been trying to get me to make a Spartan for a couple of years now. I am finally going to break down and make one. It will be losely based on the Mjolnir Power Assault Armor/Orbital. I’m going to try to have it done by for Rose City Comic Con 2017.
TGL: What advice do you have for any aspiring cosplayers out there?
KC: The best advice I could give to an aspiring cosplayer would be have fun and ask questions! If you are inspired by someone, reach out to them. If you have questions, ask! Everyone that I know loves helping others make cool stuff. I wouldn’t be where I am at if I never reached out. Steven K. Smith (SKS Props) inspired my Isaac Clarke build. He built his Isaac using different materials and wrote a great tutorial on the RPF. His build was (and still is) amazing, but I didn’t have the skills he had to make it the same way he did. Still don’t have the skills he has. LOL. But, I reached out to him asking advice on certain things and he was more than willing to answer any questions I had. He’s a super cool dude and he was a huge help when I made Krang. His answers and advice were paramount in sculpting, moulding, and casting Krang’s head.
TGL: Out of the costumes you have done in the past, which one has been the most difficult and why?
KC: Krang. By far Krang. Before Krang, I had never sculpted, made a mould, or knew what slush casting was. I learned so much on that build. Krang was such a fun and educational build. YouTube videos for hours. Every single molding and casting video, available was watched. With each build I like to challenge myself. I try to incorporate new materials, techniques, tools, lighting, etc. Then, I wore Krang. The education continued! I learned that enamel doesn’t flex.
I built Krang with the intention of entering him in the ECCC costume contest. I thought I had him finished early and wore it to Wizard World in Portland, OR. After 6 hours of wearing Krang, the paint near the neck opening and arm openings was all cracked and looked terrible. I was bummed out. This just wouldnt do. I had met Brett and Beverly Downen (Downen Creative Studios) at Rose City the year before and started picking her brain on how she skinned the torso of her Briarios build in 4-way stretch fabric. After Wizard World, Krang was completely cut apart. All of the flesh tone painted EVA foam torso was cut out and new pieces were made, skinned in batting and 4-way stretch flesh tone fabric, and reassembled. Thanks to her tips, he came out pretty good.
I want to give a huge shout out to Kruser Cosplay for taking the the time to answer a few of our questions! Be sure to check out his Facebook page for more incredible Cosplay shenanigans!