Back at it with another awesome feature!! This wraps up the 2020 entries, and I hope it brought some light back to your year. Keep reading!! This one is full of Dad jokes and is guaranteed to cheer you up this season ;)
My name is Mo aka DominycanKnyght Cosplay. My preference in pronouns is he/him, although occasionally I have been referred to as IT or That thing over yonder (sorry for the horrible Dad jokes, but just a heads up it probably won’t be the last cringe worthy “dad joke” during the course of this interview). So, where was I? Oh yes, my intro, so I 40+ plus year old cosplayer currently based out of Atlanta Georgia. Father of a very feisty 9 year old and I’ve been with my partner for over 15 years (Wow, has it really been that long? Wow. )
How and when did you get into cosplay?
Well as cliché as it will undoubtedly sound, I’ve been a geek my whole life, more specifically a comic book geek. I’ve collected both Marvel and DC comics since I was about 8-9 years old and I especially love superhero comics. I got into cosplay roughly somewhere around 7-8 years ago and it was influenced in a big way after a few years attending DragonCon here in Atlanta. It is such a huge con and the cosplay scene is just incredible. Many of the attendees that come from all over the world bring their cosplay A game when they attend and I just became so enamored with that subculture. One year I decided to take the plunge and I haven’t looked back since.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
I wish I had an interesting and intriguing story behind my cosplay name, but it honestly just was born from my love of Batman. I love the moniker of Dark Knight that I wanted to create a name that applied the aspect of who I am. Dominican is, of course, is a call back to my Afro Caribbean heritage and NY is paying homage to my hometown and birthplace. The funny thing is that this is a user tag I’ve had since my DeviantArt and AOL chat room days ::insert 90’s flashback here:: All of that combined and you have the mouthful that is DomiNYcanKnyght………..cosplay
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
My secret identity is that of a mild mannered Wholesale Auto Auction Arbitrator, otherwise known as WAAA. (If it sounds like the job deals with a lot of whinnying it’s because, well, it does). The most interesting aspect is that, personality-wise, it’s a complete 180 degrees from my demeanor as a geek and cosplayer. There’s a lot of tense negotiation and mediating, which is obviously nothing like when I dress up like Green Lantern.
I do also love using my cosplay to volunteer with a local group here in Atlanta by the name Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta. It’s such a rewarding way to give back and it is by far one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in cosplay. Although I took a step back from cosplaying and volunteering for 2020 (this was already planned pre-CoVid-19), I am working my way back into the fold and looking forward to doing more volunteering in 2021 and beyond.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
Honestly, I think it goes back to volunteering. Volunteering has afforded me the opportunity to both give back as well as given me a platform to display why representation matters. Why BIPOC characters need to be seen and more accessible to audiences. Cosplaying as characters like Green Lantern and Black Panther have me bring them to a broader audience. That’s not to say that after the Black Panther movie was released that it didn’t tremendously raise the profile of that character, but seeing children see that character in tangible, flesh and blood in front of the is (I hope) an experience that they will carry with them and that seeing themselves in that character, they can in a positive way influence and create the next generation of amazing BIPOC characters.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
Senpai list is as follows and in no particular order:
@thesmoke007 (Please notice me)
@knightmage1 (Please notice me)
@Belle_Chere (She might have noticed me once)
@thatjayjustice (We’ve had Wafflehouse together)
@jonathanbelle (He IS Superman in my book)
What is your dream cosplay? Why haven't you made it yet?
My dream cosplay has varied over time, but currently it’s Batman and it is very slow work in progress, but it IS CURRENTLY in progress.
If you had to choose one current event to make a social stance on, what would it be and why?
If I had to pick only one topic, it would be representation and making sure that people can be seen and heard and that they can see themselves in the mainstream medium. And not just because it’s en vogue or kitsch or because a “quota” needs to be filled, but because it matters and a society needs to be able to see itself in the wide variety and beautiful spectrum it comes in.
What are your thoughts on holiday themed cosplays?
Fun, but I’ve never been drawn to make a “holiday” version of a character. The closest I’ve come to wanting to align and costume with a season is Halloween. I tend to dress like a superhero instead of a darker or more “macabre” type character.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Yes. Measure trice, cut once. I commissioned a bodysuit for a Superman cosplay I did towards at the beginning of my cosplay tenure and the seamstress asked for all but the measurement of my torso. I got the costume (which by all standards of measurement was stellar overall) and the torso was cut so short that I had the worst wedgie/moose knuckle combo imaginable. All I can say I am thankful Superman wears a cape. Needless to say I’ve learned my lesson since (Even though just recently I commissioned a suit and came across the same damn problem).
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Once again, as cliché as this will sound, when it comes to cosplay, just have fun and be yourself. It’s easy to get intimidated by seamstresses and builders and wig stylers when they hit the con floor, but much more important than what you think they may think of your homemade cosplay is whether or not you're having a blast and enjoying yourself and what you’ve created. And even if you can’t create and just buy your costumes, props and wigs, that’s fine too. Never let anyone make you feel like you shouldn’t be enjoying what you’re doing.
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
I’m trying to think of anything before I miss my opportunity for another horrible pun or a bad dad joke. Damn it, lost it,
What social platforms can we find you on? Link them all here!
Photo by candidjohnkim
What a great read and a great guy!! Please make sure you check him out on social media and hype him up!! See ya'll next year!!