Edmonton Expo - Four Questions: Bob the Reaper

Bob the Reaper is one of the personas of a local to Edmonton cosplayer who spends his free time building costumes based on characters he likes, or entirely of his own design.

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Ryan Troock: What was your first costume?

Bob: This would have been in about grade four and I had watched an Alice Cooper special on TV - this would have been about 1974 or 75 - and my dad had a vampire cape. I put that on with a vest, a tie, dress pants and some Dracula teeth, and then I had my eyes painted up like Alice Cooper’s. My music teacher told me “wow that’s a really cool costume” and that’s pretty much where it started from.

Except from grade one when I played a snowflake. I didn’t get first snowflake though, I was like fifth or sixth snowflake.

Ryan: can you tell us a bit about the materials you use for your costumes, and how you come about them?

Bob: These kaleidoscope goggles that I’m wearing I actually found one evening when I was searching at Value Village. On their shelf of miscellaneous Halloween props these goggles were just sitting there, and they were like $4.59 - I was looking at them and wondering, should I buy them? And apparently I did.

This leather pouch is actually something I made about 20 years ago. I made this Braveheart costume and I needed a pouch to keep stuff in. Ever since then, I use this with costumes where I’ll need to carry something around and the costume itself doesn’t have a pouch.

I first started working with leather on my Orc Costume, that was really the first time I started dabbling in the field of leather as a medium to express myself.

Ryan: Tell us about your this Orc Costume - was is your first large-scale costume project?

Bob: Yes - so this costume was kind of a mix between the Ring Wraiths and the Orcs from Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings. You don’t really see them because the film is kind of dark. I meshed the two together to get that kind of image. I like how it all flows together.

 The orcs in Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings (IMDB)

The orcs in Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings (IMDB)

This was the first costume I worked on where all the bits were hand-made. I dedicated myself to a work that covered my whole body, form the tip of my toes to the top of my head. I kept adding to it every year - I would do the chest part one year, then the legs the next, then the mask - and it just kind of grew over a number of years.

Funnily, there was a KISS concert that I made these really tall boots for, and I actually combined those with this costume to turn it into more of a Gene Simmons/KISS kind of thing.

Ryan: What are you working on next?

Bob: This is something I started about two or three years ago, and - procrastination is just a bad thing when it comes to costuming -  but I’m working on one of the Feudal Samurai Warriors from Sucker Punch - the one that has the rotating machine gun. I don’t know when I’ll have it done, but hopefully at some point!

 Feudal Warrior (IMDB)

Feudal Warrior (IMDB)