Cosplay, Culture

Cosplay: Eight-Dollar Jacket and a Priceless Conversation

The stories that I hear from people with a difficult childhood, but they had Batman as a release, as a safe place to go. It’s just amazing. – Kevin Conroy

So last Friday, I was fortunate that L.A. Comic Con was only half day because that gave me a little extra time to pull together a last minute cosplay. A sudden revelation hit me that Batman: The Animated Series is under represented so I decided to pull off the easiest character within reach: billionaire and philanthropist Bruce Wayne. 

A quick dash to the thrift store in search of a double-breasted brown coat was all I needed to make this whole thing work.

Boom. Found it. 10 minutes. $8.

When I arrived at LACC, a few people took stabs of my cosplay and eventually validated my existence. If not, no biggie. I just like wearing suits.

While slanging coats at the Hero Within booth, a man named Tim approached me and said “Hey, you’re Bruce Wayne from Batman the Animated Series.”

Bruce Wayne With Hero Within Founder and CEO Tony Kim

He then told me stories of how the show was his saving grace from being bullied every day at school. He continued “I thought I was doing something wrong, and I couldn’t figure it out.” I’m floored. Batman, a cartoon was salvation for a kid being beat up in a living hell.

It was because of BTAS that Tim took the initiative to enroll in martial arts as a kid. He still practices today.

I told Tim that he better tell Kevin Conroy that story before the con ends. As the longest running Batman, Kevin loves hearing inspiring stories like that. Trust, I have the interview to prove it.

Bruce always do pensive (Photo by Tiffany Chien)

It was a moment like this that had me so grateful that I:

  1. decided to cosplay because it sparked connection.
  2. attend these cons so I can swap real life inspiring stories.

That eight dollar blazer had me feeling like a billionaire, and the stories we exchanged were priceless. Being able to connect with people over fandom and fiction in order to embrace and change our reality is crazy, but this is proof that it’s possible and needed.

What show or movie has impacted your life for the better? How have you shared it with others?

Share in the comments below!