Cosplayer of the Month is a new series of bi-monthly articles about a local or regional cosplayer.
Geek Out Huntsville’s Stephanie Schrenk had the chance to interview local cosplayer and president of the North Alabama Cosplayers Club (NACC) Josh Harrison. His official cosplay name is Doppleraver (named after Hodor actor Kristian Nairn himself), where you can often find him around town in his legitimate Hodor cosplay, or carrying around his own Iron Throne.
When did you first get involved in cosplay?
I always did Halloween costumes as a kid and have done some costumes for other occasions such as Live Action Role Playing sessions (LARPs) but I really started getting involved in cosplay in 2014 when I decided to go back to Dragon Con as Tywin Lannister from the HBO show Game of Thrones.
That kind of kick started the cosplay craze for me and I got really serious about it when I decided to attend a show in December 2014 in Nashville, TN called Rave of Thrones.
Because this show was created and performed by DJ Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor in Game of Thrones, I decided to create (with some help from my seamstress Mom and my family) a detailed Hodor costume complete with Bran Stark mannequin for the show and I’ve been cosplaying regularly ever since.
How many hours does it take you on average to complete a cosplay or prop?
That’s a hard question as it varies wildly depending on the complexity of the cosplay or prop. The biggest and most complicated prop I’ve built to date is my replica of the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones and it took me and my friend James Curley about 4 weeks to build it working on it several hours every night.
I’d estimate it took around 150 – 200 hours to complete from initial fabrication to final painting. My more complex cosplays usually take that same range (3 – 4 weeks and 150 – 200 hours) but it varies depending on whether I create, purchase, or modify the pieces of the cosplay, whether I am familiar with the materials and techniques for the cosplay, whether I’m building solo or with help, and many other factors.
What was your coolest cosplay moment?
Oh man that is a tough question! I’ve had so many cool cosplay moments and the unique social experiences I’ve had through cosplay is probably my favorite thing about cosplaying.
If I had to choose a couple of my coolest cosplay moments, though, they would be when Kristian Nairn (Hodor) stopped his Rave of Thrones DJ set to give me a shout out and a fist bump while I was dressed as Hodor and more recently, the comics legend himself Stan Lee telling me “that is an awesome costume sir!” at our Dragon Con 2017 photo op while I was dressed asGanondorf from the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.
Are there any professional cosplayers that you look up to?
I follow and look up to a lot of professional cosplayers, but the one I would single out that has really inspired me is Ryan Wells. Ryan is a cosplayer out of the Pacific Northwest who is known for making large elaborate cosplays and props like the bug from Starship Troopers, Falcor from the Neverending
Story, the Skeksis from Dark Crystal, and more and is just incredibly talented. He’s able to bring to spectacular life these characters from my childhood and these really cool large monsters and props. And although we’ve never met in person, the thing I really like about him is that he seems like just a normal guy like me who cosplays because he enjoys it and enjoys connecting with people. There are many other professional cosplayers and prop-makers and builders I admire as well but honestly my main inspiration for upping my cosplay game comes from our own talented local cosplayers in the North Alabama Cosplayers Club who I admire and am amazed by on a regular basis.
What is the most challenging cosplay you have ever done?
The most challenging cosplay I’ve ever done is Ganondorf, the Gerudo villain from the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. This cosplay was so challenging because there were so many firsts for me – my first full foam armor build; my first time using body paint; my first time having a significant wig/head piece; my first time wearing prosthetic ears; my first time building a sword; and more. It was also challenging to me because it was done mostly solo and was an intense time sensitive build – being completed start to finish in the 3-4 weeks before Dragon Con 2017.
You can check out his cosplays on Facebook as Doppleraver Cosplay or on Instagram as doppleraver_cosplay.
To learn more about NACC, visit their Facebook page at North Alabama Cosplayers Club or Instagram asnorth_alabama_cosplayers_club. Check out their official website at www.northalabamacosplayersclub.com.