Article and Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Meet Robby Eccleshall, a resident of Cornwall and a dedicated cosplayer, who has been making waves in the cosplay community with his stunning portrayals of various beloved characters. Eccleshall’s journey into cosplay began when he attended CAPE with his son Aeries in April of 2016, marking their first convention experience together. Here, he was captivated by the vibrant and creative atmosphere of cosplaying. Drawing inspiration from his love for Spider-Man, Eccleshall donned the iconic suit and instantly fell in love with the transformative power of embodying a beloved character.
Over the past seven years, Eccleshall’s dedication to his craft has been unwavering. While juggling his responsibilities as a house insulator, a skilled cook known for his mouthwatering ribs at Ribfest, and a soccer coach, he consistently finds time to work on and plan his next cosplay. Eccleshall’s talents have not gone unnoticed. He has been invited as a guest to prestigious events such as Vermont Comic-Con and FanaticCon. Additionally, his skill and passion for cosplay have earned him the honor of being published multiple times in various cosplay magazines. Notably, he has graced the cover of three of these publications, solidifying his status as a noteworthy figure in the community.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What is your favourite thing about cosplaying?
“My favourite thing about cosplaying is becoming a character and bringing them to life. Seeing them in a comic, videogame, or movie, saying, “Hey, I could do that,” and putting in the work to pull it off. I love the fact that cosplay branches out into so many things! It’s not just a superhero; over the years, I’ve seen so many talented people pulling off amazing cosplays that I never even thought possible, and the community’s creativity is all-around amazing. I’ve always been a fan of art, and cosplay is one of the coolest ways to show your artistic skills, craftsmanship, and creativity.”
2 – Who is your favourite character you cosplayed as, and what do you like about that character?
“This is an extremely difficult question. Most of the characters I’ve cosplayed are favourites. I always get asked this question and I try and narrow it down to 3. Leon S Kennedy (Resident Evil), Red Hood (DC Comics), and Gambit (X-Men Marvel Comics). If you were to ask people five years ago which character I was most known for, it used to be Spider-Man, as I’ve done multiple versions over the first few years; however, now, if you ask people, I believe they would say Gambit. Gambit has always been my favourite X-Men since the 90s cartoon and the one I always get complimented on that stands out.”
3 – Do you attend conventions? If yes, tell us about your favourite convention experience.
“Attending conventions is probably one of my favourite things to do for many reasons. The atmosphere is always so cool; everyone there is often there for the same reason; they’re into some of the same stuff that you are! It’s cool to go to some of these conventions and see all these talented cosplayers or people appreciating the work of your cosplay and asking to take photos. Some of the best friends I have made over the past few years are cosplayers, and we’ve become close friends. Another part is getting the chance to meet the celebrity guests. It could be your favourite show or movies that you watch, and seeing the people that acted in these roles and getting to talk to them and get a photo or autograph is an amazing opportunity that not everyone can say they have ever done. I love all the conventions I attend because it’s just a great time and fun memories, but my favourite one to date has always been Montreal Comic-Con.”
4 – Do you collaborate and cosplay with others? Tell us about it.
“I often cosplay and collaborate with others! I started with cosplaying with my son and daughter, and we would stick with a theme. For example, Spiderverse, X-Men, DC, Walking Dead, and so on. Now I often cosplay a lot with friends sticking to group themes or duos. I love doing photoshoots with others, sharing that experience, and seeing the end result of everyone coming together in the photos. One of my best collaborations was a video shoot at Montreal Comic-Con, organizing a group of 40+ Marvel cosplayers to make a cool video – which can be found on YouTube.”
5 – What advice do you have for people just starting in cosplay?
“The best advice I can give is to stick with it and keep trying! Don’t underestimate yourself because you have no idea what you are capable of creating until you try! I started with a $50 spandex suit at Spirit Halloween. Have I failed on building things in the past? Of course! Have I been frustrated and irritated that things weren’t working the way I wanted? It still happens to this day! The more you do it, the better you will get. Many of the things I discovered with my builds were all trial and error. Some materials adhere better than others; some are paintable, while others may not. Just keep trying and see what works for you! Also, now there are so many YouTube tutorials to help you out and give tips and step-by-step instructions. Or, when in doubt, ask another cosplayer! Most of us are friendly and often willing to give tips and pointers for materials and builds and some of the best places to get things!”