Cosplay is an art form that I greatly respect and truly enjoy. Although I am a cosplayer myself, I get just as excited as every other fan girl when my eyes rests upon a cosplayer who literally look as if they stepped out of the pages of a comic book. One of my personal favorite cosplayers is Jonathan Carroll. Not only does he cosplay two of my favorite characters (Batman and Superman) with striking detail and stunning accuracy but he's also one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure of conversing with online. Jonathan proved to be every bit the southern gentlemen and granted me an interview. Many thanks to him for taking the time to give my readers and I an insight of his craft, his thoughts on the new Superman Suit for the upcoming Zack Synder film, psychical fitness and his bride-to-be (sorry ladies). Also be sure to check out his fan page: http://www.facebook.com/MonkeyOfSteelFanPage
Victoria: I have to say you were a pleasant discovery online! Your cosplay is most impressive and you're easily one of the best cosplayers I've ever seen. How long have you been cosplaying?
Jonathan: Oh gosh! You’re gonna make me blush! Haha! I’ve been cosplaying/costuming for 11 years now… uh-oh… I just started feeling REALLY old!
Victoria: Haha! What other costumes do you own and what can we look forward to in the future?
Jonathan: I’m working on a few right now, but really, just perfecting a few of the ones I have. I want to do the new Superman costume, a set of the COG armor from Gears of War, and I’m trying to think of a few new heroes to throw into my line up for my work with Heroes Alliance.
Victoria: Tell me about your Facebook page "Building a Superhero".
Jonathan: HOORAY! A shameless plug appears! My brother and I were getting so many request from people to get workout advice as well as dietary, and one day, I just realized, it’s easier for people to have a place to turn to, so they don’t have to search. The page is mainly geared towards cosplayers and costumers, but has attracted the attention of a lot of those outside that realm. The entire project has become an ever changing, ever evolving thing, but in the end, we’re just happy we can help people improve their health.
Victoria: What do you do personally to stay in such great shape?
Jonathan: I typically train twice a day, 6 times a week, resulting in about 4 hours a day. The split is between weight training and light cardio, as well as abdominal work. My diet is a huge part too. Typically I consume between 5,000 and 10,000 calories a day when I’m not on a lean cycle. This is just to gain more muscle mass, so when I start to cut back, I don’t become too small.
Victoria: You look nearly identical to Mike Turner's Superman. Not just the costume but your face. Do people tell you that often?
Jonathan: HAHA! I hear it every now and then, but I love it every time I do. Michael Turner had a brilliant art style. One that I’ve tried with my own art to duplicate several times, though VERY unsuccessfully. His Superman style is my ideal goal in physique, so when I hear that compliment, it’s a huge compliment to me.
Victoria: You also run a company "Supernova Costuming and Design" with your fiancée. Can you give me the details on what that's all about?
Jonathan: SuperNova Costuming and Design comes from a collaboration of both my fiancée and myself, in a joint effort to produce quality costumes for people. She handles a lot of the sewing, I handle a lot of the props (though for some things, we outsource to Wild Wood Studios), and we both do research until we feel like we know the costume backwards and forwards before we begin construction. http://www.facebook.com/supernovago
Victoria: What's it like having someone (your future wife) to cosplay with?
Jonathan: Oh, it’s amazing. She’s so much fun. We laugh because a lot of times, some people will drag their significant other into costuming with them, but instead, that’s how we met. She was the best darn Harley Quinn I’d ever seen. In addition to being the greatest costume accessory, she’s also my best friend. And there’s nothing like having a great hobby with your best friend.
Victoria: Your Batman Arkham Asylum cosplay is best described as perfection. How long did it take to put that costume together?
Jonathan: Well, the first run of the suit, proved a bit… problematic. I only kept it on for a few hours during it’s first tour at Dragon Con. By Mega Con it was ready to make it’s reappearance. It took a bit over a year to get everything just right on it, but it’s still being perfected. I’m currently working on a new belt to replace the urethane one, and my Props master, Steven Spellman of Wild Wood Studios, and I are collaborating on building a stronger set of armor for it with high impact plastic and Kevlar… ya know… just in case. But the crown of the costume has to be the cowl from Shawn Reeves of Reevz666.com fame. The cowl is just… gorgeous.
Victoria: What is your most memorable experience at a convention/show?
Jonathan: Oh gosh, that’s easy. It was my proposal to Jessica Enright in the Hyatt at Dragon Con while all of our friends stood around, watching. I’ll never forget it.
Victoria: That's so beautiful! What do you think of Superman's new costume in the comics and the upcoming Zack Snyder film?
Jonathan: I’m not crazy about the actor, but I’m ready to see what he can do. The suit is really nice, though I have NO idea why they used the earth 2 Superman symbol. I’m looking forward to yelling horrible things while I attempt to make it.
Victoria: That sounds like it would be an entertaining You Tube video. Haha. What conventions do you normally attend?
Jonathan: Typically, Mega Con, and Dragon Con. But in 2012, I want to make a huge circuit of cons including San Diego, Chicago, New York and yes… Metropolis.
Victoria: Any final thoughts or anything you would like to add?