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24 September 2019

Nerd Rage News Cosplay Contest

Last summer we announced that Nerd Rage News was going to host it’s first ever, photo cosplay contest. The contest was very successful attracting many wonderful fans of nerd culture. We had characters from movies, anime, video games, and more. Some of the characters were so well done that I was amazed, while others could have used a bit more work. Overall the variety of characters and skill was exceptional.

Five judges were the deciding factor for this contest. Jayson Elliot of Gygax Magazine, our very own Cosplay photographer Krystal Simmons, Peter Bryant of Mythwits, gamer girl Allegra, and of course myself. The winner was chosen by vote with each contestant being rated in points. We judged based on quality of costume, choice of background, and how well the character was brought to life in a still image. The judging was very difficult. The judges seemed of one mind for the most part and the winner was chosen as best by four of the five judges. So lets get onto who this contestant is.

cabbage merchant

Brian Balance with his portrayal of the Cabbage Merchant from Avatar the Last Air Bender

The winner was Brian Balance with his portrayal of the Cabbage Merchant from Avatar the Last Air Bender. The image is whimsical and the cosplay a true tribute to the show that only a fan will recognize. Even if you are not familiar with the anime the image was simply delightful. A great costume is one thing but being able to bring the character to life in a still image is a skill that few possess. Brian brought the Cabbage Merchant to life with such zest that every mentioned him as a favorite well before voting. I asked Brian to tell us a little about his Cabbage Merchant and himself.

How did you get into cosplay?
I guess the easiest way to put it is that I’m a fanboy, through and through. I’ve always said that cosplaying is like wearing a shirt of your favorite thing, but boosted 1000%. I love geeking out with other people about things I love and cosplaying, to me, is showing my fandom in the best way I can. There’s something magical about seeing your favorite character walking around in front of you. I started cosplaying in January of 2014, immediately became addicted and rest is history. 
What characters have you done?
So far I’ve done the cabbage merchant from Avatar The Last Airbender, A Jedi Knight, Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, Prince Oberyn from Game of Thrones and a Mark II Iron Man. 
Your cabbage merchant is awesome, what inspired you to do him?
Thanks so much! I remember watching Avatar and loving it SO MUCH that I had to do something from the series. When I was going over ideas, I wanted to do something I hadn’t seen before. I always try to do my own thing when it comes to my costumes. The cabbage merchant was the perfect choice for me. He doesn’t even have a name! He’s this secret nod that only fans of the show will remember. It’s also super fun to yell “MY CABBAGES!” around a convention hall. 
Are you planning any new cosplay for 2015?
Absolutely! I’m currently working on The Earl of Lemongrab from Adventure Time and upgrading my Iron Man to be a mash up that I’ll be debuting at MegaCon in April. I’ve got a LONG list of other cosplays I’d like to do as well… I’ll be busy for a while.  
If someone wanted to see you live, what conventions would they go to?
I’ll be at Magic City Comic Con in Miami this weekend. You can also find me at MegaCon in Orlando, Fanboy Expo and Tampa Bay Comic Con in Tampa as well as Florida Supercon in Miami. If you see a guy wheeling cabbages around in Florida, it’s most likely me. 
Are you a gamer? What games?
I’m sad to say I’m not very current with my gaming, but my favorite video game of all time is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I’m also super into the Borderlands series at the moment! 
Other the Avatar, What other animes are you into?
My favorite anime is Samurai Champloo. Love that series! I’m also a big fan of Full Metal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop and Death Note. 
So how does it feel to have won?
Shocking and incredible! I still can’t believe it. Thank you so, so much! 
 You can see more of Brian at his facebook page.
bandit spurs

Bandit Spurs with her depiction of Princess Zelda, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Among the many contestants we looked at we saw some incredible talent. Two others stood out above the rest and took the runner up positions. In second place was Bandit Spurs with her depiction of Princess Zelda, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This image was one of my favorites and I am sure you can see why. The background is perfect, the costume is beautiful, and the pose brings this character to life. I am ready to go play some Legend of Zelda when I am done with this story, mostly because of how good this image is. More of Bandit Spurs may be found at | |

Jenna Pulak gives us Wonder Woman from the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie.

Jenna Pulak gives us Wonder Woman from the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie.

Our Third place prize goes to a Wonder Woman that may be one of the best depictions of the character I have seen, and I have seen many. Jenna Pulak gives us Wonder Woman from the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie. She is armed with a sword and ready for battle. The image, unlike the other winning images, was not professionally taken. It was snapped by Jenna’s 14 year old daughter.

There were many other great contestants but the following are just a couple that we felt deserved mention. To be honest, there are too many to actually mention here. At the end of the year we will run our second Cosplay Contest and we hope that you will consider joining us. Nerd Rage News is grateful to the many sponsors of this event as well as the contestants and judges that made this contest possible.
Anna Cherry as Crona Gorgon (Rule 63? Maybe? ;) ) from "Soul Eater"

Anna Cherry as Crona Gorgon (Rule 63? Maybe? 😉 ) from “Soul Eater”

Kari Klyne as Lulu (Final Fantasy X)

Kari Klyne as Lulu (Final Fantasy X)

The Cabbage Merchant was photographed by Mig Photography World. Princess Zelda was photographed by T Dano Photography. Crona Gorgon was photographed by 2ndLife Photography. Lulu was photographed by Lila of Happysqueak Photography. The various photographers retain all copyrights to the images presented and they should not be used without their permission.

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Steve Wollett is a Producer, Director, and Author. He has been involved in more than 150 film and television productions and written many books.


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