Julie Milillo as Vanellope von Schweetz, Wreck it Ralph
There’s a chance if you’ve ever done your best cosplay at a convention on the east coast, That Guy With The Bat Tie has approached you to snap a picture or two. Antonio Jordan got his signature look as a gift from his friend Hardik. “I really focus on my fashion choices and it was an opportunity to mix it with my cosplay, so I made this quick closet cosplay called ‘Dapper-Bat’ where I would wear an all-black suit with a Batman mask and the bow tie,” he said, adding that soon enough it was how people remembered him and it quickly became his persona at conventions.
Conventions he attends as often as he can throughout the east coast, but with enough time and cash on deck – he has plans of hitting the other big ones throughout the US and possibly even Europe. Will his bat tie be with him? Believe it or not, he admitted that he only has one and with all the miles it’s logged over the year he said, he’s “planning on doing an alternative look!” Say what?
No matter what, That Guy With The Bat Tie will always be, and right now he’s talking to us about how cosplay came to be in his life, his favorite types to snap, and more!
Kendra: How old were you when you came over to the US? Was cosplay one of the first things you were taken aback by when you settled into your new surroundings?
Antonio Jordan: My dad’s work brought me to the US when I was 17. For about the first four years I was mostly interested in cinema and art. Cosplay and comic books weren’t even an interest of me yet, although I enjoyed illustrated books a lot! Dante’s Divine Comedy is an important one for me. I enjoyed Halloween since that was an opportunity for me to dress up as a character for fun!
Kendra: Was cosplay a new idea to you at the time? Is that not popular in Peru?
Antonio Jordan: Cosplay became an idea for me around 2015, I believe. I was in a serious relationship and felt more comfortable with expressing myself around others and I had started reading comic books (Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta being the first one) and became intrigued on how it mixed both my love for stories and art into one fascinating journey. I wanted to get more involved in the comic book community and found out about Baltimore Comic-Con, I never looked back.
Back then cosplay was nearly non-existent in my community, better said, you were judged if you had those interests. Mostly the acceptable interests were card games like Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh!. Thankfully, cosplay culture has increased exponentially in Peru, we even have a convention now, Lima Comic-Con. You have no idea how happy that makes me!
Kendra: What about cosplay struck the right chord with you?
Antonio Jordan: Cosplay itself might just seem like a fun run of the mill hobby for some people, but I’ve always seen cosplay as a freedom of expression. The ability to be whoever you wanted to be and enjoy it with other people who do it their own way is superb! Cosplay helped me be who I am and not be afraid of expressing it. Plus, I have found my closest friends through cosplay. It’s a community that loves more than judges and does it fashionably.
Kendra: Do you have a favorite type of cosplay? I always love mashups (Deadpool/Bob Ross), out of the box (Powerpuff Girl Derby Dolls), and ones where they get the whole family involved. What about you?
Antonio Jordan: Good question! Those are all fantastic cosplay types, and I love everything but “meme” cosplays are the ones I enjoy seeing since their lifespans are short, so it’s like seeing a rare Pokemon in the wild.
Kendra: There are always a few characters that seem to be done on repeat every year. This year I know we’ll be seeing a lot of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and the new Harley Quinn with the shimmering jacket. With that, what two characters do you feel are never going to cease to exist when it comes to cosplay? 20 years down the line, what two are still going to be going strong at Cons?
Antonio Jordan: I’m all for the clown cosplays so bring them on! Oh, I believe there are more than two but it’s going to be Superman and Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is a cosplay you can literally have done in the span of a week, be flexible and voila! You have yourself a cosplay everyone will enjoy seeing. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to wear a Superman costume? I believe Superman (or just generally the house of El) is a prime example of “feeling like a superhero,” it will never cease to exist at cons.
Kendra: Do you ever cosplay or are you just a fan of those who do?
Antonio Jordan: Absolutely, I always try to squeeze in a cosplay if I’m not taking photos. My recent favorite to wear is Fry from Futurama and I have plans of doing Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid in the future.
Kendra: You shoot a lot at Cons, do you also do special photoshoots as well? If so, how can cosplayers get in on that?
Antonio Jordan: Yes, cosplayers local to DC can reach me here for “out of con” shoots. I also do a variety of modeling photos, event photography, street photography, and so on. I have an account on Facebook and Instagram where you can find those, it’s called “Antonio Jordan Photography.”
Kendra: Where is That Guy with the Bat Tie off to next? Any exciting Cons lined up for the fall or 2020 already?
Antonio Jordan: Well I am attending New York Comic Con 2019 of course, as well as Baltimore Comic-Con 2019, and Anime USA 2019. For next year I’m looking more towards reaching Dragon Con, I’ve been hoping to go for a while now. I also have a chance of going to Europe for a while so I am trying to see some options of attending European cons, who knows, I’ve been hoping to go international for a while.