This year marks the 20th anniversary of the original comic of the The Crow by James O'Barr. Not many people know this, but the original comic was written as a means for the writer to deal with the personal tragedy of his fiance being killed by a drunk driver. The tragedy doesn't end there of course, since Brandon Lee, the actor in the film, died during the making of due to a gun malfunction.
I loved the movie though when I first saw it in the 90s, very cool character design, and great soundtrack, with a lot of rock undertones.
Brandon Lee seemed like a nice guy, quite philosophical. Since I'm also half caucasian and half chinese like him, I thought I could pull it off his look pretty well. I tend to choose cosplays that I think would suit my physical appearance, I think that helps you get an authentic end result.
The toughest part of this costume was making the crow. I've never really made any kind of sculpture before, so I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants
What I did was buy some wire mesh that I managed shape into the body of the crow, and then 2 more strips for the wings. Using a picture of a real crow with spread wings as the template. I chose to have the wings spread as opposed to a regular perched crow for a more elaborate look. The second stage was the papier mache which I did in 2 layers. One for the main body structure, and the 2nd for texture. I then used black ink to colour the entire bird.
The third stage was inserting feathers into the papier mache structure and then supergluing them in there. Again using a real photo reference.
Among the questions I got asked, was how I was able to attach the crow to my shoulder. Well I had already designed the base of the crow to be able to sit snuggly on my shoulder with some of the wire mesh exposed. I bought 4 neodymium magnets, that I taped the inside of the jacket, and also in the taped wrist segments, so I could transfer the crow to different poses.
I was glad to say that the magnets didn't cause any problems at the expo. Since they are very strong magnets I have concerns that metal objects would be flying in my direction, but thankfully not :)
The main body is comprised of a spandex/lycra long sleeve shirt, which bullet hole rips and tears on it. Followed by black tape wound around the stomach and the wrists. The white streaks around the body I found out how to do by pure accident. I originally thought it was some kind of white masking tape, but then by accident the black layer of the tape came away revealing a white fabricy tape, that I'm sure was used in the original.
I bought a rather cheap long hair wig from ebay, and although never done any hair dressing before, I managed to cut it down and thin it out to make it suitable. However it was still quite straight, and since it was a synthetic wig, I used a lot of wet-look gel and used rollers in order to make a lot of it wavey and separated.
Quite straight-forward. Coating the face with a couple of layers of white, and then following the reference closely. It helps to merge rather than separate the black with white at the edges to give a subtle grey transition that looks nice.
Black leather that I bought from ebay, which I then modified by sewing on some metallic buttons. They are slightly larger than the original, but they do the job. Black tape with white is also used on a part of the leg.
Although this takes up a lot of the costume, the least was done to it. It basically entailed the removal of buttons and straps.
This is the biggest cosplay job I've done so far, and I'm grateful for all the compliments and encouragement. It was interesting doing this as my first masquerade, but a lot of fun. I may do it again.
"sometimes the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right"
Ayacon 2011 (Posted 28th August 2011)
I wore this costume again for ayacon. I performed some music in it as well (guitar with my friend masa-kun).