Midwest BSFA and Airship Ashanti are sponsoring a Cowboy Bebop online costume contest and we’ve narrowed the contestants down to four finalists! Check out the finalists and visit the Facebook invite for the concert (https://www.facebook.com/events/1215545841880985/) to vote in the poll for your favorite cosplayer!
I made Spike’s costume from modified patterns with the exception of the yellow shirt and tie. We went into detail about how the costumes were constructed on our Facebook page which I have linked below, but it took me quite a while to get Spike’s wig just right: I ordered 2 wigs from Arda Wigs after a lot of mulling over which color to get. The wigs I wanted were on back order, so I waited a few weeks for them to arrive, only for them to be stolen right off my porch! I re-ordered just in time for Naka-Kon, the convention where we were going to debut our cosplays (Steve Blum, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn were guests…we had to make it happen!). I separated the wefts from one wig and added them to the second, trimmed it, and hand curled all those spikes with a flat iron and a rat tail comb! It was a labor of love!
I would like to submit my cosplay of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop to the contest on behalf of our group, Pros and Cons Cosplay. We’re twin cosplayers from the Midwest who focus on cosplay craftsmanship and increasing diversity and inclusion in our geeky spaces. Spike and Jet were incredibly fun to wear! Not only because we got to hang out as characters from one of the best anime anime ever created (fight me), I think our character choices matched our personalities a little, too!
For a more detailed look at my costume, the shirt I cut the collar off and the bottom and then let my husky play with it for a few days so it would be more stretched out and worn [it took another full day to get it back from him]. The shorts are just Spanx I had and cut to length. The googles I bought and rub and buffed to make silver. The wig is a Epic cosplay wig, Apollo, copper, that I shock upside down and hair sprayed and glued until satisfied. I currently am refurbishing my old laptop to be more like Ed’s and am also waiting for the last few pieces for my boyfriend’s Spike costume that I completely made, so you may get another entry from me if it gets here in time!
My Jet Black cosplay was a true labor of love. All of the shiny metal parts (boot armor, shoulders, eye piece) are all made from polished aluminum that I designed, cut, tig welded, and polished myself. No paint, no plastic, no foam. The blue coveralls are heavily modified fire resistant nomex coveralls as Jets coveralls were supposedly a flight suit. Even the material is authentic. I did all the painting, tailoring, and modifications to the coverall. The boots are knee length leather linemans boots. I designed, built, and attached the aluminum components to the boots to emulate Jets armored boots as closely as possible. The boots as worn in the anime are not really possible in the real world. Jet’s bionic arm/hand is a quilted and airbrushed sleeve with glove that I designed, sewed, and air brushed myself. I wanted a soft, form fitting arm that moved like Jet’s arm. Foam and plastic would lack fluid motion. The beard and hair are real except for the black styling wax I use. I shave my head and beard in the style of Jet. No costume or wig hair. All real! The scar is collodion with colored highlights so it shows better in pics. The aluminum eye piece so iconic with Jet was designed and hand forged by me. It’s attached with pros-aide 2. The shoulders are aluminum as well and attached with magnets and velcro. The logo on the back of the coverall is hand painted by me based on screen shots from the anime. T-shirt paint allows for the coveralls to be washed along with the arm and glove.I think that’s everything! Basically, other than a few purchased items like the coveralls, black wrist bands, and leather boots; I made, designed, and altered everything on this costume myself. All disciplines from sewing to, painting, to tig welding.
Why Cowboy Bebop
My oldest son, currently 24 and an accomplished cosplayer, watched Cowboy Bebop on adult swim. It was a bonding time that was incredibly special to both of us. Jet being the “Dad” of the show always held a spot in my heart. As as a tribute to those fond memories and to honor the art that is Cowboy Bebop, I created this cosplay. I hoped that I could at least do Jet justice. At Mechacon 2318 I met Mr Beau Billingslea. His approval validated my efforts. We are now Facebook friends and he has expressed the following to me in a post “You are very special to me Brady! Your Cosplay touched my heart.” I’m just happy that I could bring a beloved character to life, make fans smile, make Beau smile, and make my kids proud.
The suit was made from scratch by a friend of mine, who goes by ‘Belle’s Domain’. We decided on the materials and she used structuring for the shoulder pads and the jacket fastens with poppers to get the right kind of slouch. The wig was made from scratch by me, using Kanekalon synthetic hair, hot glue and an old pair of tights. This was then cut and styled and was a more recent addition to the costume. I blended 4 parts black with one part dark green to get the correct shade that fit with my references.
Cowboy Bebop wasn’t my first anime, but it remains my favourite to this day. The music and visual aesthetic makes it one of the most unique and immersive series in my opinion, and the emotional depth allowed down to the fleeting score kept me invested until I had recommended it to all of my friends.