Sketching and Cosplay (costume competition) is his passion. Meet 26-year-old graphic designer-turned-Cosplay specialist Gaurav Thakur who is called the Spiderman of India. He has won the Best Costume Award at Comic Con thrice.
“Cosplay is about living your fantasy of becoming your favourite superhero. It is about being innovative and to think creatively. The history of Cosplay dates back to 1873 when it was first held in Japan and became a rage from there on. It then gradually moved to other countries but in India, it was organised for the first time in 2013 in Delhi,” he says.
With Comic Con Delhi just a month away, Thakur will be conducting a workshop today in the Capital’s Unplugged Courtyard from 5 pm on how to start your own costume of your favourite superhero. “Anybody can easily make a good costume through do it yourself (DIY) tricks that can cost as low as Rs50 to Rs50,000. From light bulb, cardboard of cereal box to different fabric and buttons that are easily available in the market, one can make an innovative costume of their favourite character,” Thakur tells you. He also tells you what are the right places to buy props, wigs, and materials.
Since childhood, Thakur has been a big fan of Spiderman and it took him many years to live his dream. “I didn’t do any Cosplay in 2013 but researched a lot on the Internet to understand how you can create your costume. In 2014, I was Wolverine from X-Men movie. I made the claws with the wooden planks. But when I did Spiderman, people were laughing at me. That’s when I decided the give India the best Spiderman suit,” Thakur says.
It not only took him one-and-a-half years to complete his Spiderman costume but also took him that much time to develop the physique. “I started wearing ladies jeggings to take measurements. I bought spandex bodysuit, dyed it and made 3D patterns on it. I joined a gym to lose weight and get the proper body look. When I wore it in Comic Con in 2015, people, especially kids, were so happy to see their superhero in front of them. Some even asking me if I could throw webs and crawl on the walls? It was very exciting,” Thakur recalls.
But since then there was no looking back. Thakur made another Spiderman suit that took six months to complete. But the challenge posed when it came to the Ironman suit. “I used form sheet and gyming pad to build the armour that could fit perfectly and make walking easy. It’s exhausting to wear costume for nine hours. You can’t eat and drink because your face is all covered. It’s a tough,” he says.
The problem he says is lack of motivation from people. Thakur did everything on his own from stitched the costume and detailing of 3D liners. “You have to be self-motivated and focussed as nobody supports or encourage you. It’s easy to give up and buy a suit online. I feel sad that people don’t appreciate your work. There are around 300 Cosplayers in Delhi but we’ve to wait a whole year to represent our work,” Thakur says.
The fact that people mistake Cosplay for a fancy dress competition is another problem. But, slowly, it is becoming a serious business now with international competitions and prizes. “Cosplay is not a fancy dress show or a Halloween. It’s about feeling like a superhero and developing the persona and nature of the character. Halloween is for fun, look scary, dance, drink and come back. In Cosplay, you get trophy, heavy cash prizes and even trip to exotic places. The winner also gets a chance to compete at the international Comic Con Cosplay competition,” Thakur says.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper- http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/lets-cosplay.html).