Geoff MacDonald AKA Messiah Complex Cosplay is a Canadian cosplayer from London, Ontario, Canada. A 46 year old father of 3, he's been a geek his whole life. What started out with a leather jacket and a baseball bat 3 years ago has turned into a full-time hobby with over 20 costumes. He's been cosplaying for 3 years and is now dabbling in podcasting and acting.
Photo Taken by OOC Photography
J: Let’s start off with some easy questions, What got you into cosplay? how long have you been doing it? and How many different cosplays do you have?
MCC: A good friend of mine bought me a hat. That’s how this whole thing started. It was a Jayne Cobb hat from the show Firefly. I decided to build a cosplay around that as my first one.
I’ve always been a geek at heart! Getting to dress up and pretend to be some of my fav characters was just so appealing I had to do it. I’ve been cosplaying for 3 years and I’ve got about 22 of them.
J: Why did you start to cosplay, What does Cosplay mean to you and What has kept you doing it for so long? Is cosplay a hobby you could see yourself continuing to do in 10 years from now?
MCC: I remember going to Forest City Comicon here in London the first year and seeing all the people dressed up and having fun. Decided then and there that I wanted to be a part of it.
Cosplay to me is all about making a memorable experience for someone. A fan seeing a version of their favorite character at a convention or event or birthday party or whatever is something they’ll remember. That’s what’s kept me doing it for so long. Of course I’ll be doing this in 10 years. Hell, 40 years from now I’ll be Gandalfing the hell outta this.
J: What is your favorite cosplay to date or cosplay genre and why?
MCC: My favorite cosplay is The Comedian from Watchmen. Sure, he’s one of the most despicable characters in comics history, but hey, he’s also a total bad ass lol.
My genre tends to lean towards TV or movie versions of comic book characters. As I said earlier, I’m a geek at heart. I love comics and superheroes and villains and all that cheesy goodness. I choose TV or movie versions of those characters as they’re typically a bit easier to do and usually have far less spandex involved.
J: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a cosplayer or even as a male cosplayer in a mainly female predominant industry?
MCC: Competition. And I don’t mean I feel like I’m competing with anyone. Just that far too many people in the cosplay community feel like it’s a competition. It’s not. I’m not cosplaying to impress other cosplayers. I’m cosplaying to connect with fans of geekdom and give them a great experience. Look, we all dress up and play pretend on the weekends, so let’s all just do that, okay?
I’m not going to open up the can of worms that is the differences between male and female cosplaying. We all know there’s a difference and we all know what that difference usually entails when it comes to guesting at major cons or monetizing this hobby.
Photo taken by Sergio Mazzotta
J: Do you have any advice or words of encouragement, you would give to someone who is just starting out or thinking about cosplaying?
MCC: Absolutely. First and foremost and above all else, have fun. Don’t let anyone tell you what and how you have to cosplay. Nobody is in charge of this hobby. There’s no barrier to entry. Anybody can do this. Whether you make your costume, pay someone else to make it, buy it or scrounge it from your closet or thrift stores, it’s all cosplay. Some of the snobs in the community will look down on you. Who cares? There’s sooooo many good people in the community as well that will give you tons of love and encouragement. Just throw on a costume and come out to a con!
J: What accomplishment or project(costume) are you most proud of and why?
MCC: In a general sense, any time I get to do something for charity in costume I feel like a real superhero.
J: Who are you favorite cosplayers or people in general, Or that have been an inspiration to you and why?
MCC: I would be here all day if I had to start naming names. I’m not going to do that because I’ll also forget people too. I’ll just say the entire community has been an inspiration.
J: Do you have any Cosplay pet peeves, If so what are they and why do they get under your skin?
MCC: The older guard cosplay snobs who feel all costumes must be made from scratch, patterned and sewn with not a stitch out of line and will look down their nose at anyone who does it differently. This isn’t 15 years ago. Times have changed. This is no longer a niche hobby enjoyed by thousands. It’s a mainstream hobby enjoyed by millions. We have resources now to purchase costumes or have them made or put them together from various pieces. As I said earlier, anyone can do this.
Look, geek culture has never shone brighter. This is our time. So let’s all enjoy it together and maybe leave all the high and mighty judgement's at home.
J: How do you decide or choose a character, what is your process on starting a cosplay to finishing?
MCC: I tend to stay in my lane. What I mean by that is, for the most part, I cosplay characters I bear some kind of resemblance to. I’m lucky in that I have a fairly generic look about me, so it’s allowed me to cosplay many different characters.
Having said that, I won’t cosplay a character I don’t know just because I might look like them. I have to have some kind of connection to that character in order to really get the cosplay down pat.
As for start to finish, it depends entirely on availability. If I can buy the costume online and it looks good, I’ll start there. Maybe make some modifications to it. Like my Captain America or Green Arrow cosplays. If I can’t buy it online, then it’s time to start figuring out how I can put it together, like my Comedian and Cable cosplays. That’s when I reach out for help. I have friends that are great at crafting and sewing and prop making and all kinds of stuff. I’ll engage them with ideas and get the whole thing planned out. Once I’ve got it together, I’ll usually try to wear it to a smaller event first so I can get a feel for it, see what might need improving or what have you. Then, once the tweaks are done, I’ll bring it to a much larger event.
Photo Taken by OOC Photography
J: What are your thoughts on paid and unpaid photo shoots? Do you prefer on location shoots or in a controlled studio?
MCC: Ok, so I’m the model in these scenarios, yeah? If I reach out to a photographer and ask for a shoot, they’re well within their rights to ask me for money for their time. If the photographer reaches out to me wanting to shoot something, I’m well within my rights to ask for money for my time. If we both just want to do it and nobody is bent about giving up their time to make something cool and we agree we’re both waiving any kind of fee, then that’s cool as well. It should all boil down to who’s asking who.
J: There’s so much drama/bullying that surrounds the community. What are your thoughts, and what is some advice you could give to someone who may be going through this or experiencing this from another person?
MCC: Oh man, another topic I could spend 40 pages on. Here’s the thing; I mentioned earlier that there’s no barrier to entry to this community. By that I mean, you don’t have to take a test or fill out a form to be a cosplayer. You just have to show up. Now that the hobby is mainstream, it’s attracted tons of people...and some of those people are assholes. Trouble is, nobody walks around with a t-shirt on saying “I’m an asshole” or “I’m a crazy person”.
Drama is tough and bullying sucks. For myself personally, I just try to rise above it. Lift my shield, as it were. Ignore the drama. Ignore the bullshit. You’re coming to these events to have fun. Keep that in mind. Don’t feed the beast or the trolls. Rise above. Lift. Your. Shield.
J: Ok, let’s shift things over to something different. Tell us a bit about your IG TV series “whatever i am calling this” what inspired you to start it, and what drives its content.
MCC: What inspired me to start it was just observations within the cosplay community. Glaring things we all saw but didn’t really talk about. I still try to shy away from truly controversial topics, but I like to shine a light on stuff that maybe some folks feel awkward speaking about. I’ll continue to do that. As to what drives it’s content, that’s easier. I love the sound of my own voice, obviously lol.
J: I recently saw in one of your IG TV that you were getting a website put together, Tell us a bit about that and what made you go in this direction? What can we expect to see, and what kinds of content will you be sharing?
MCC: Ah yes. I’ve purchased www.messiahcomplexcosplay.com and have a good friend putting the site together for me. A portfolio of my work will be there, of course. A bio. My rates for paid appearances. Links to my socials and my podcast, whenever I get that up and running. Oh, and you’ll be able to book me for your event directly from the site. After that, if I start selling prints or merchandise or whatever, that will also be incorporated in.
J: A website, and IG T.V So what is next? Tell me all your secrets.
MCC: Well, as I just mentioned, the podcast is happening at some point in the very near future. Truth be told, I’ve really gotten a taste for acting. I’ve been part of 3 small Canadian productions so far and I’ve had a couple of voice acting gigs as well. I’m not very good at it yet, but I love doing it and want to do more. So we’ll pull on that thread a bit and see where it goes.
If you want more Messiah Complex Cosplay you can check him out on Social Media or his Website. I promise you wont be disappointed.