An interview with cosplayer Joel Garland Jr.

What made you get into Cosplay modeling?

I always loved dressing up as a super hero growing up, so as an adult I figured why not continue

What made you think of your cosplay name?
The black Hokage. Haha well I loved the anime Naruto, so I figured I’m an African American and love that show so I mixed them together

Where do you live? How is the cosplay scene there?

I live in Seattle WA. the cosplay scene is good so far what I know.

How long have you modeled?

I am hitting my 2 year mark in april.

Who’s your favorite character to model?

the Black Panther

 2nd favorite?

Static Shock. Either people remember him very well or they don’t at all.

Do you buy outfits or do you make them yourself?

I generally buy them. If anything is built I help to some degree but mostly buy stuff.

What was your first major project and how did you achieve it?

My first major cosplay would have to be my Black Panther. I achieved it by researching and looking for hours to track down a great looking suit that was also durable to withstand any weather Seattle would throw at it.

When were you first introduced to Black Panther?

I was a kid and my dad was apart of the Black Panthers movement. I wanted to show him that I wanted to be like him, so I researched Black Panthers, lol. It led me to the comic book. (thanks jeeves) I wanted to know more so I read more and more at the comic book store in Oakland CA.

What is an invaluable resource for someone who is starting to cosplay?
The Internet and Instagram. I have found countless cosplayers and local builders in my area just by randomly searching cosplays or characters.

Who’s your favorite character to play?

Black Panther, that’s easy.

What do you feel about the presence of (or lack thereof) POC in the Cosplay scene?

I feel like since there are so many characters of lighter skin tone than some of us POC its kind of hard to relate to some characters. I like that more POC are coming out though.
What are your favorite Cosplay events to attend?

 Emerald City ComicCon or ECCC for short. Rencon, and Rose City Comic Con

Are you watching any dope animes or any shows with Cosplay worthy characters?

Yes I am. I’d love to cosplay the Raikage but I have to hit the gym harder lol.

What are your top 3 favorite animes?

                                    Dragon Ball Z, Naruto Shippuden, and Hajime No Ippo

Who was the photographer of your submitted photos?

Zacklabs, Void1photography, Plainswalker Photography, some fans, and my Galaxy S7


Can you tell us anything about them? Maybe why you dig them as a photographer or a cool story about you two?
Man there are so many good things about each.

Zaklabs is an amazing photographer and also a cosplay builder. Super fun guy to talk to and always willing to talk and help you.
Void1 is also a great guy and knows a lot of spots that work great with the black panther cosplay I have.
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