Interview with Snow Hawk Cosplay

Ed Campbell AKA Snow Hawk Cosplay is a Canadian cosplayer from Barrie Ontario. Who in his spare time shares his love for nerd culture through cosplay. 

Photo taken by Ryan Parent of True North Nerds

J: What got you into cosplay?

SHC: I used to write for a comic book and nerd themed opinion website. I started doing a series of articles on cosplay and why do cosplayers get into cosplay. The finale for the series was for me to try cosplay myself. I had met Dee Elle Cosplay and explained my goals to her, and how I wanted to cosplay Thor for my first cosplay. She fabricated the costume for me, and I debuted Thor at Fan Expo 2013. It was only supposed to be a one shot deal, But I got hooked and have been cosplaying ever since.

J: And how long have you been doing it?

SHC: 6 years. Fan Expo 2013 was my debut as a cosplayer.

J: Why do you cosplay?

SHC: Cosplay has combined of the hobbies I was doing into one singular hobby. I used to customize action figures, and set up dioramas and story lines for photo shoots. After I got into cosplay, I did the same thing but on full size scale. There is art involved in the crafting process, and writing and storytelling in the backstory and character development.

J: What has kept you doing it for so long?

SHC: The friendships I have built within the hobby has kept me going. If it wasn’t for the friends I’ve made, or the team up projects I’ve worked on, I would have been out of the hobby years ago.

J: What is your dream cosplay or bucket list cosplays?

SHC: My dream cosplay was Batman. I said I would never cosplay Batman unless I could be proud of it. I debuted my Batman in 2018 (full version of the character, not the Knightmare version). I still want to upgrade and change the costume to get it exactly on how I envision the Dark Knight. My retirement dream cosplay will be Robocop. I know that will be a lot of work, but I hope to do it someday.

J: What is your fav cosplay and why?

SHC: My favorite cosplay is Thor. I have the most fun cosplaying that character, and it is the one that is instantly recognized by people. As the character has evolved in the MCU, there is a lot more humor attached to the character (although, he is funny in Thor and Dark World). Plus getting to carry Mjolnir or Stormbreaker is just a lot of fun.

Photo taken by Very Frank Pics

J: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a cosplayer or even as a male cosplayer in a mainly female predominant industry?

SHC: One of the challenges I have felt I have had within the hobby has been recognition. It has been tough for a married guy in his 40’s to get the following or reach that I would like to achieve. At times it feels like “sex sells” in the cosplay industry, and it’s not something I feel comfortable doing (or if anyone would ever want to see it from me?). My family follow my online cosplay presence, and if I wouldn’t show my family what I am doing, then I won’t do it.

J: What are some words of encouragement you would give to someone who is just starting out or thinking about cosplaying?

SHC: If you have every thought of cosplaying, just do it! It is a fun and rewarding hobby, and can help you delve deeper into nerd and geek culture. Make a suit, buy a suit, or just pretend. It doesn’t matter just get out there and have fun.

J: What accomplishment or project are you most proud of and why?

SHC: I’ve been lucky enough to have some accomplishments that make me very proud. I was featured twice on Marvel’s Cos-toberfest. I have been featured at several local Comic Cons in my area. This year I have a more involved role with the Barrie Public Library BPL Comic Con as a cosplay coordinator and host of the event. I am excited with this because it is something I can have a lot of fun doing.

J: What is your favorite con and what con is your dream con that you hope to one day attend if you haven’t already?

SHC: Niagara Falls Comic Con is my favorite convention. Due to the distance, we always stay in Niagara Falls and I think that adds to the fun of the event. For dream cons, I look forward to being able to go to the Ottawa and Montreal Comic Cons. There are only 3 big Canadian cons left that I haven’t been to, Fan Expo Vancouver being the 3rd one.

Photo taken by Rajeeman Photography

J: Who are you favorite cosplayers?

SHC: There are so many to list, and I would hate to forget to mention any of them. But in no particular order, and some of the ones who are closest to me, King of the Freaks Cosplay, Red Ledger Cosplay, Messiah Complex, Medieval Mad Love, Marvelous Girls of KW (and entourage) and Dee Elle Cosplay

J: Is there anyone (cosplayer or otherwise) who has been an inspiration to you and why?

SHC: There are too many to list for inspiration, but I know that my friends within this hobby truly inspire me and make me work harder to have a body of work I can be very proud of.

J: Is there any celebrity you are dying to meet and why?

SHC: Being a huge wrestling fan, Hulk Hogan is one of the celebrities I am dying to meet. The other would be Lynda Carter. Now that she is on the convention circuit, I am hoping she comes to a Toronto area event.

J: What is your favorite material or medium and why?

SHC: I prefer working with recycled materials. Most of my cosplays have been made from old materials I have found and I enjoy the challenge of working to make it into a functional prop or cosplay.

J: What is your favorite genre of cosplay and why?

SHC: Super Heroes is my favorite genre. To me it doesn’t matter if it’s Marvel or DC, it’s the genre I love the most. The majority of my cosplays are super heroes and it is the one I identify most with.

J: What is your favorite comic book and why?

SHC: Right now my favorite on-going series has been Thor (the God of Thunder series where Jane Foster was Thor, and the new Thor volume, where Odin son has regained the mantle of Thor. It has been a great story narrative since Marvel Now and Jason Aaron has told an amazing story.

J: How many different cosplays do you have?

SHC: I have approximately 20 cosplays, with several variations on a few of them.

J: What are your thoughts on paid and non-paid photo shoots?

SHC: Since cosplay is expensive to begin with, I prefer non-paid or pro-bono shoots. I will pay for a photo shoot, but I do expect professionalism, delivery and value for my money. For free shoots, I do not expect anything extra from the photographer because it is their time they are committing to my cosplay.

Photo taken by Northern Cosplay Studio with Megan Murray

J: Do you prefer on location shoots or in studio?

SHC: I prefer on location shoots. The environment can lend a lot to the feeling and story of the shoot. Some of the best shoots I’ve had, had a lot to do with the environment and surrounding of the location.

J: What are your thoughts about the drama that surrounds the community, do you think it’s always been that way or is there more drama now with geek culture becoming so mainstream?

SHC: That is a question I always avoid when it comes to interviews about cosplay. I think talking about drama helps build the drama culture within the community. But that being said, I will make an exception this time and give a few of my thoughts. Drama has been within the community since my first day into the hobby. It takes passion to create cosplay, and with passion also comes the intense emotions that lead to disputes and issues with other cosplayers. Social media helps build and intensify this drama because people go online to vent. Other cosplayers see and read these posts and take a side. Do I have issues with some cosplayers? Yes I do. Do I post about it? No I do not. I keep my personal feelings offline when it comes to issues or drama I have with people. I have a few friends I trust, and I will vent to them and get it off my chest. I don’t think the drama will ever go away, because no matter if it’s cosplay, home or work life, there is always drama. It just depends on how you deal with it.

J: So what is next for you? any projects, hopes or goals for the future?

SHC: I would like to create a larger online presence for my cosplay brand. I would like to have Snow Hawk Cosplay a wider known name within the cosplay community. I would like the opportunity to be involved in more larger scale conventions and expand my cosplay horizons by adding new projects that test my skill and creative levels.

Photos Below taken by

Northern Cosplay Studio, Rajeeman Photography, Very Frank Pics and True North Nerds