Sam Cino aka Cino Creative is a Canadian Cosplayer from Thorold, Ontario. He's an advertising photographer/social media advertiser consultant by day and builds cosplays and plays games in his spare time. Also a small dog enthusiast as well as a referee for various professional wrestling companies in Ontario.
Photo Taken by Sean Arbuthnot
J: What got you into cosplay? CC: Pro wrestling! I was in various school plays when I was a kid (Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar), and always enjoyed helping out backstage.
This got me into pro wrestling (which is literally super fit theater kids doing their own stunts) and ended up working for Niagara Falls Comic Con as 'the wrestler' handler. I met some guys there who had Judge Dredd (Karl Urban, not Stallone!) cosplays and seeing as I had some bits for that already from my historical reenacting hobby (which is basically LARP with real guns [completely safe too!]) I jumped in.
J: And how long have you been doing it? CC: I never kept score. Guessing 2015/16.
J: Why do you cosplay? CC: I have literally no idea! It was fun getting to know people with similar interests. Then I started building my costumes and props, and it just took over. Probably deep down on a psychological level its an escape from real life for a bit.
GEM: What has kept you doing it for so long? Friends who cosplay. Group costumes are awesome!
Photo taken by OOC Photography
J: What is your dream cosplay or bucket list cosplays? CC: Either the original Doom guy, or the Doom slayer (original Doom / Doom 2016). Id also love to do a Space Marine from Warhammer 40,000 (and be 8 feet tall) or a Commissar from that fandom. Id also love a functioning Iron Man suit (at least the helmet and light up hands!)
J: What is your fav cosplay and why? CC: This is a tossup. Dredd is my first and when you put that leather suit on with the body armor and helmet you feel like a tank. This is tied with Batman (Dawn of Justice "Batfleck") because little kids always have a happy freakout "OMG BATMAN" and when the wind hits your cape just right you feel like a badass.
J: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a cosplayer or even as a male cosplayer in a mainly female predominant industry? CC: As a cosplayer - cosplay has become mainstream and people have latched on to it as a way to 'get famous'. Some of these people are really rude and if a person's first introduction to cosplay is through that person and is a negative experience, you are now tainted by associated to the hobby.
As a male - I haven't had many challenges as I hang around with cool people who aren't jerks.
Photo taken by Unknown Edited by Wonder Woman 905
J: What are some words of encouragement you would give to someone who is just starting out or thinking about cosplaying?
CC: As that one shoe company says - Just do it. Anyone who judges you negatively is a jerk.
J: What accomplishment or project are you most proud of and why? CC: Stormbreaker. Took me nearly a month to build it and I am certain I was going insane near the end. But I finished it. It isn't perfect, but it is *mine*.
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? CC: Close to home that I work at - Niagara Falls Comic Con. The organizers James and Chris have always treated me well. However the downside to working at a con is you can't always dress up and I miss hanging out with my friends.
J: Who are you favorite cosplayers? CC: @Altered_State_Cosplay (I will always blame him for teaching me how to foamsmith 📷 ) + @t.h.e.invasion + @kwmarvelousgirls + @snowhawkcosplay + @alex.farfar3 + @graysongridcosplay + @bigredcryan + @amazonpricessw + @judgebrown905 + @judge_905 + @daycosplay + @Messiahcomplexcosplay .......and a girl called + @vfxjenn
J: Is there any celebrity you are dying to meet and why? CC: I never got to meet Stan Lee and I will always regret it. I met Karl Urban for all of 3 seconds. I hope to get his autograph on the picture we took and chat for a few minutes longer about Dredd. He wants the sequel. We want the sequel. CMON HOLLYWOOD. Also, Schwarzenegger seems cool. Lastly - podcast host Jocko Willink. He changed my life.
J: What is your favorite material or medium and why? CC: I use EVA foam the most. I like making things with it, but I HATE SANDING IT. I HATE SANDING ENTIRELY. I am like using my sewing machine, but I cant hand sew at all and need to learn.
J: What is your favorite genre of cosplay and why? CC: Superhero (landing!). Especially in groups. So fun. We did a big X Men shoot at Fan Expo in august and it was amazing.
J: What is your favorite comic book and why? CC: Tied for Batman / Spiderman. I have the cover to Spiderman 601 hanging poster sized in my room.
Photo taken by Robyn Iwaskiw
J: How many different cosplays do you have? CC: Probably too many. Batman, Dredd, Fallout suit, 3 different spidermen, Wolverine....probably forgetting a few. I just realized most of my costumes involve covering my face. I now know how Tom Hardy feels!
J: What are your thoughts on paid and non-paid photo shoots? CC: It's whatever. You do you. That being said - if you're advertising a product, GET PAID. DONT WORK FOR EXPOSURE. They can afford it.
J: Do you prefer on location shoots or in studio? CC: As long as it fits whatever we're going for and has access to a place to change!
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? CC: Definitely more drama now that it has become mainstream and the 'fake nerds' (ugh) are using it as a way to get famous and gatekeep against certain people.
Just let people do their own thing, man.
J: So what is next for you? any projects, hopes or goals for the future? CC: I am only in competition with myself. My next goal is a mashup of my Batfleck and Frank Miller's Dark Knight returns. I'm also on a fitness journey which helps with the characters I portray. That said, cosplay is for everybody and every-body. As long as you have fun, get after it.
Photo taken by Unknown