While comic conventions have been around for quite some time, cosplay is becoming more and more popular, and certainly the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a part of that. From March 29-31, Comic Con International’s Wondercon took over the Anaheim Convention Center. Cosplay was front and center, with fans donning their favorite Marvel costumes.
Thanks to social media, cosplay groups have become more and more organized. One group of guys assembled quite an impressive group of Captain America cosplays on Sunday morning to pay tribute to both actor Chris Evans and Captain America as we know him in the MCU.
We talked to organizer Kevin Jasper about his concept for the Captain America meetup at Wondercon.
TMR – Kevin, what was your inspiration for putting together this group?
KJ – After hearing that Avengers Endgame might be Chris Evans’ last appearance as Captain America, I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to his incredibly inspiring performance. I was re-watching his earlier MCU appearances and I noticed the remarkable Craftsmanship behind his costumes. As a Cosplayer, I know how difficult it is to build a costume that both looks great, and functions properly. I then mentioned this observation to my good friend Jay, and he told me how he had been considering making a “Rescue Cap” costume (from when Captain America saves the Howling Commandos in the First Avenger movie) for Wondercon 2019. So when we got to talking about both of us possibly Cosplaying as Captain America on Sunday of WonderCon, I realized we could probably rally some more Captains for a photo shoot! This led to me to have the mental image of all 10 Captain America costumes posing on the fountain in front of the Anaheim Convention Center, proudly paying tribute to the impact that Chris Evans and all who worked on the movies have had on our lives.
From left to right, where you’ll find the cosplayers on Instagram:
USO Cap – Shawn Richter @batcap50
Rescue Cap – Bryan Martin / @jayperiod
First Avenger Cap – Michael Mulligan / @captaincosplay
Avengers Cap – Joe Palone / @badmojo_art
Strike Suit Cap – Matt Mullis / @captaineddiemullis
Age of Ultron Cap – Joseph Vanderhoff / @jpeterparker23
Civil War Cap – Jeff J. Knight / @rockus
Infinity War Cap – Kevin Jasper / @mightythorcules
Endgame Cap – Jon Vash / @jonvash
TMR – How did you go about finding cosplayers to fill out the roster, in an attempt to get all ten Cap costumes?
KJ – I’ve been a Thor cosplayer for a long time now, and I’ve have had the honor of meeting many Captain America cosplayers over the years. When I had the idea for this photo shoot, I thought through all of the people I met who share a similar appreciation for the MCU (and would likely be attending WonderCon 2019). I sent out a massive Instagram DM to these cosplayers and within an hour we had 5 of the suits lined up. This was the beginning of a month of work as we sought out other cosplayers who have worn the suits we were missing. I honestly think I looked through every single post on Instagram that was tagged #captainamericacosplay! I sent out dozens of DMs to potential cosplayers, however many had either sold their specific suit or weren’t attending the convention. Eventually we ended up with 8 of the 10 suits committed to the photo shoot early Sunday morning. However, as we arrived at the fountain we actually ran into a cosplayer wearing the Age of Ultron suit (a suit we were missing)! After I asked and explained our concept, he joined our photo shoot immediately.
TMR – What was it like to have all of these Captain Americas together at Wondercon 2019?
KJ – It was without a doubt the most inspiring photo shoot I’ve ever been a part of. Every Cosplayer was incredibly on point with their presentation, cosplay, and love of the character that it was incredibly emotional to see. I honestly still can’t believe how well our shoot turned out, and that the goal I had months ago actually became a reality. I am also extremely glad that we had Ryan Meinerding, the designer of all of Captain America’s MCU costumes, join our photo shoot so that we could directly show him our appreciation for all the work he has done. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience!
Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios: “I’ve only been appearing at conventions for a few years but the way the Marvel cosplay community have welcomed me has been amazing. It’s awesome to see the love for the characters and the craft and hard work that goes into the costumes. As a big Captain America fan myself, being invited to take a photo with these guys and seeing all of Cap’s costumes that I worked on through the MCU was a real blast.”
While the focus of the meetup was definitely Captain America, a couple of Peggy Carter cosplayers who were friends of the group also took part.
Pham already knew a couple of the Captain America cosplayers, but seeing them all in one place was quite impressive.
“Truly to see all of Ryan’s work in one place, all at once was heartwarming. Part of what got me involved in the cosplay community was wanting to see things from my favorite films and television shows in person and this was definitely a culmination of that. And to be able to do so alongside some very dear friends and the creator of the designs themselves made for a meaningful experience. “
Photographer Bill Ostroff of First Glance Photography was chosen to photograph the meetup.
“When I was approached online by Shawn Richter to shoot a little project at WonderCon, I was curious, as I’ve been friendly with Shawn for many years and assumed it might likely be a Captain America Shoot…it would not be surprising to assume that, but when he had mentioned it would be a group shoot of all the Captain America cosplay variations from all the films, I was a little more than intrigued. The main goal of the shoot was to incorporate the designer as well into some of the shots. We setup an early shoot pre-con and scrambled early in the morning to shoot at the convention center fountain, which tends to be filled with cosplayers all day long, I thought we had gotten pretty lucky to have the area to ourselves to shoot a few iconic images of the Captains in front of the Anaheim Convention Center.
We headed to a more private spot at the convention center to shoot more group shots with Ryan Meinerding and to spotlight the outfits and the cosplayers while it was still early and the weather wasn’t too hot.
I think we achieved everything we wanted from the shoot and more…The entire shoot lasted less than an hour and we were able to get Ryan to the shoot and back to his booth before the convention started, all in all, I’d say a successful mission and as you can see for yourself a pretty great homage to the Marvel Captain America looks. We are all looking forward to Avengers: EndGame…and this shoot was definitely a great experience!”