First name and last initial: Matthew H.
Where are you from originally or reside currently: I am originally from Charleston, SC and I currently run my businesses, Custom Costume Creations and Heroes 4 Hire in Myrtle Beach, SC.
How long have you have been cosplaying: I have been cosplaying since 2008, but I have had years to perfect my cosplaying skills in the theatre, film, and wrestling industries.
Other Characters cosplayed: I have cosplayed and made costumes of over 400 different characters including many Disney villains, WWE/ROH/TNA wrestlers, Shonuff, Naruto, 90’s cartoons, horror classics, etc.
Who or what inspired you to cosplay? My good friend Austin Creed/ Xavier Woods(who is honestly like a brother to me) got me into cosplaying around 2008. I remember my kid sister, Ebone Nicol and I started wrestling independently while going to Coastal Carolina University. There was a particular wrestling show we wanted to work on at a huge convention. That convention was Dragon Con, and they held a wrestling show to kick off the convention’s events every year. Austin was in attendance at the show as well, and the rest is history. Every year, Austin, my sister and I go to Dragon Con as a family reunion of sorts. We spend the entire year researching and creating group cosplays for Dragon Con and other conventions that we go to.
What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying (hobbies, community service, or work)? When I’m not cosplaying, I am successfully running my businesses ( Custom Costume Creations and Heroes 4 Hire) in Myrtle Beach, SC. I also enjoy spending quality time with energetic and precocious daughter. I am also your quintessential geek specializing in different forms of geekery include gaming (board top and video gaming), sports (Attitude Era was the best era/ GO VIKES! Lol), comics, film, and science fiction (don’t get me started lol). I am constantly working on my craft and learning new things from commerce to technology.
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why? I would say the hardest costume I have ever worked on was War Machine. It was the very first cosplay I ever made using EVA foam. It was definitely difficult, but the first few cuts are normally the hardest. It gets better. I love how I am able to perfect my skills with each new costume. Even if a costume doesn’t come out to my liking, I still consider it a learning opportunity to get better.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Also, I love to use this quote when describing my life at the moment. SUCCESS IS NOT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS. HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.”
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? I think the cosplay community should be more inclusive and stop making people feel excluded or dumb for not knowing everything about a fandom. For example, just because one grew up reading every single marvel issue doesn’t mean they can treat the “new guy” who has only seen the Marvel movies as a poser. Everyone should be able to enjoy regardless. Also, the body shaming and cosplay criticizing needs to stop. We’re all on this earth just trying to find our happiness.