The international cosplay community was stunned over the weekend when they found that one of their own, Justin Acharacter, had passed away of a heart attack. He was a local of the Australian scene who had become an example to many of what cosplay actually was. His actual name was Justin Costello and he resided in Penrith in the state of New South Wales, which is a suburb of Greater Western Sydney. He’s survived by a wife and three children and he was not only a cosplayer, but a producer, director, security worker and tutor to all who asked.
He was a true example of what cosplay was all about. He worked with many charities including the Starlight Children’s Foundation and headed Gotham’s Finest.
When asked ‘why cosplay?’, Justin repsponded, “I cosplay because the way I make my costumes – it’s like owning an action figure, but I can wear it and blow peoples minds. And it’s fun meeting different people: cosplayers and non cosplayers. “
He’s cosplayed as everything from Superman to Wolverine, Deadpool, Green Lantern, Spawn and Lion-O. With every character he brought a sense of professionalism and dedication to craftsmanship. He didn’t see himself as any better than the other cosplayers.
“I need to fall in love with the character so it gives me the passion to make it.I see myself as an artist and every costume I make I have to have passion to make. This is why I don’t do commissions. I like to experiment with different things – most of the time it works but if it doesn’t [I] try something else.”
It was a passion of his to be sure. He had a way of becoming the character and it showed through each and every picture . He made all of his own costumes, did his own makeup and even worked his own props. He was an artist in every sense of the word.
It all started for him at the age of seven…
His first convention was Supanova Sydney where he “dressed up as the Dark Knight [that] I made myself and it was a huge hit ” . He was well respected in the community and was a great role-model. Many persons came to him for advise which he gave out freely and gladly. He wanted to share everything from his dedication to the art of making the costume to the performance and his love for charity.
To put it mildly, he will be missed. We’re hoping that those that he mentored will continue his awesome legacy. And, if you never had the honor to meet him, much less learn from him, I’m sure Justin would tell you not to take cosplay too seriously; have fun with it. And by all means
“Don’t be scared to fail, it can always be fixed”
Thank You, Justin
To see more of Justin‘s work: