John Catho Kristiansen, Norway

John Catho Kristiansen (Ironman)Name: John CK Bekkensten from BekkHans Studio

Nationality: Norwegian

Education / line of profession: Education: Carpenter. Line of profession: Design, Marketing & Sales consult.

When did you first hear about anime and manga? I was very young watching about 4-5 years.

What anime / manga made the biggest impression on you?

Well my very first introduction to anime was a movie called Gold Wing that we rented for our Beta Player and I only saw it two times before we had to return it, but it made so big an impression on me, especially the Panther Robot. But I guess young people nowadays wont even understand what I am talking about when it comes to Beta Player. Its a big box with a cassette tape with real tape inside that we could watch movie on and if you covered an area on the tape you could also record illegally.. I guess that was around then the first pirate downloads happened but you had to have two BETA players connected to do it. :)

What is cosplay to you?

Only within the 5 last years I come to know or rather understand the term cosplay. At first I based a lot of my opinion on photos I saw in mass media. Often it portrayed cosplayers badly, showing the bad as cheap fancy dress. But seeing the reality at shows it puts it into a different perspective as it is far from a cheap, badly made hobby. The last years cosplayers have gotten a better reputation among commoners and its a fast spreading phenomena.

I discovered there were cosplayers at all levels. Some bring it to an very high level but I also seen some people that hardly does. The amount of work and details some people put into this is really impressing. But regardless I discover that cosplay is an arena were people come together for their fandom, to have fun, meet friends and by first hand learn techniques, methods of crafting by trial, error and success.

What I am most impressed about is how much some can do with a low budget by making some of the most amazing recreations of characters.

I also have been impressed with a lot of the scenographic shows some people bring.

Now I am looking at cosplay from a totally different perspective than before. I am a lot more open and understanding. I love to create, be creative with friends, evolve, but also its nice to show off your own creations. I hope that us attending the show can spark interest in new people to look into sculpting, mould making, casting and try to work with plastic and fiberglass.

What is the most fun and challenging costume you have made?

The Ironman Armor has been the most challenging and complex armor we've done. It consists of so many armored layers and took a long time to do. We never used any Pepakura or 3D printing. Everything was done by hand from visual references trying to size and proportion the linage and parts as close to the original as possible. I think we did a good job considering it is hand made.

What is your dream costume to make?

I believe it is the Ironman Armor. Its been a childhood dream and its a powerful character. We went out and pursued our dream, and made it into reality.

John Kristiansen (Stan Lee)