Thursday, July 7, 2016

A hobby turned avocation for Shane Dison: the art of cosplay

Because he can only fit two characters in a car at a time, only two versions of cosplayer Shane Dison will likely show up at any particular convention. But which two? Southern GeekFest attendees will find out in Hattiesburg, MS on April 2 and 3.

He has built costumes for several of his favorites: a Star Trek: The Original Series Klingon; a Star Trek: The Next Generation Klingon; Loki; an original series Battlestar Galactica Cylon, a xenomorph from the Alien movies, Cyclops from The X-Men; and from the Star Wars saga, a Stormtrooper and Bobba Fett.

Just in case those aren’t enough, Dison’s currently projects include an Iron Man suit and a Borg from the Star Trek world. He’s been engaging in cosplay since he built his first costume at age seventeen. The cardboard creation inspired him to continue making them, with each one becoming more real, more complex.

In 1999 finished his first Klingon and wore it for about ten years before deciding to break out into other characters. He uses a variety of materials and techniques in his quest to make it better.

Dison’s avocation has led to two appearances on national TV, VH1’s Totally Obsessed in 2004 and a UPN science fiction series. He appeared as a Klingon for both. He’s been in several newspapers, and attended a couple of dozen cons. He uses his cosplay for good, doing a lot of charity work, such as blood drives as a Stormtrooper and he works with the 501st as a Stormtrooper and Boba Fett.

A computer-aided drafter, Dison designs buildings such as paper mills, refineries and compressor stations as his day-to-day job, but he comes home to dragons and imagination. His living room is entirely dragons, with his costume work going on in the bedrooms. His current works in progress are out and some of his helmets, but the majority of his pieces are in big plastic containers in the closet, both for protection of the costume and ease of transport to the next event.

“I’m just like everybody else that dresses up. I get invited to these things as a cosplay guest…I appreciate the opportunity. I’m not an actor, I just like to build costumes.” He roams events in costume or participates in panels, but usually is not tethered to a table.
A native of West Munroe, LA, his family and network of friends are still there and he has lived there all his life.

So far, he works primarily for his own use, although he has built pieces of stuff for other people, asking only the cost of materials. With every costume he makes, Dison tries to use a new technique, to learn a new method. At some point, he may start making them commercially for others, but for now, he’s just enjoying the creative challenges of making the costumes and fun of appearing in them.
Originally appeared 04/01/2016 at

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