Spectacular wardrobes often mean spectacular malfunctions. But one self-described costume medic has Toronto cosplayers covered.
Wayne Do is known in the Toronto cosplay world as the on-call medic for anyone experiencing glitches with their wardrobes, which is why his cellphone was ringing all day Saturday with emergency requests from panicked Fan Expo goers.
"I know how terrible it is to break a costume you have put so much time and effort into," Do told CBC Toronto. "It's terrible, it sucks."
With thousands of fans downtown this weekend to celebrate their favourite comic books, movies and video games by dressing up as fictional heroes and villains, Do says he's kept busy fixing countless costume emergencies.
Although he's not part of a company and not getting paid, he says he's been offering this unique service at expos for six years in a row.
From sewing broken seams to gluing broken props, Do says he's ready for just about any costume problem.
And after years of practise, he now knows which tools to keep in his backpack, and which ones to keep around his waist for easy access.
Among the most necessary pieces of equipment are a hot glue gun, super glue, bobby pins, hair spray, duct tape and safety pins — the latter of which run out the fastest, Do says.
'He's very reliable'
After weeks — even months — of planning, cosplayers say they are grateful for Do and his quick fixes.
Marie Harrison says the trident in her costume broke right before she was supposed to meet Greg Capullo, the comic book artist who created her character.
"I was sitting outside thinking 'I guess I can't use my trident anymore — oh wait, I know somebody,'" she said of Do.
She's not the only one.
"It's hard to see all your hard work just get tossed away like that, but there's Wayne, so it's all good now," said Mikki Verman, who has attended the Fan Expo for 10 years in a row.
About four years ago, Do fixed a broken zipper on a costume for Verman.
This year, Verman was dressed up as Cammy from the video game Street Fighter, and needed the cosplay medic to re-glue an important piece of her costume that had broken off. Do came to the rescue once again.
"He's very reliable," she said.
And as costumes seem to get more and more elaborate, Verman says expos like this one act as an important creative outlet.
"It's gone from such a niche hobby into something that's fully accepted in the community," Verman said.
"It's really nice to be accepted for being a geek."
Cosplay for a Cure also helps stranded cosplayers
Do isn't the only one at the Fan Expo offering relief to cosplayers.
Gina Greco helps run Cosplay for a Cure, a recovery lounge that offers emergency costume services, and in return encourages expo goers to donate what they can toward the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
To date they have raised more than $10,000.
Take a look at some of the other costumes at this year's expo: