With so much sadness and despair in the news recently, I thought it was the perfect time to call in a few heroes. Please welcome David Vick, my first guest blogger. David, a marital artist, choreographer and teacher, is part of the group, Arizona Avengers. Members use cosplay (dressing up as favorite film, novel or video game characters) to bring smiles to kids in need at events like the SuperHero Age of Empowerment: Superhero Shopping Spree
Today, David talks a little bit about what brought him into the world of superheroes.
Icons and Representation: An Arizona Avenger’s Journey
Comic books were never a big thing for me when I was younger. They loomed in the background occasionally rearing up here and there in various ways, from animation to companion books with toys. I never sought them outright. Then, in the summer of 2005, my brother got me a ticket to San Diego Comic Con and I got a nerd reset!
Ten years later, I took the plunge into costuming as a hobby when working at a daycare center in a resort and having to craft things for and with the kids. And when my friend Jessy, who I knew through my martial art of Capoeira, needed a costume buddy to pair with her comic version of black widow, I had to say yes. It was a great excuse to bleach my hair!
When I read issue 19 of Fraction’s Hawkeye, I saw a perfect representation of the isolation I have felt most of my adult life thanks to my hearing issues. (Hawkeye becomes deaf in a 4 issue miniseries in 1983 and in the modern comic version uses hearing aides) It struck me in a way I didn’t expect and not only made me appreciate Clint Barton as a character, but the creators of that issue who touched on a sensitive subject with such a high level of respect and skill.
To finally see someone dealing with an issue similar to mine was a profound experience about how comic books can affect perceptions of others and of the self in a positive way. One of my favorite moments in cosplaying was signing with a deaf person as the character Hawkeye.
Right now, I cosplay many different Marvel characters, but Hawkeye will always be my favorite. It was the first costume I put together. I have Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth to thank for that. This is what led me to the second motivation in life.
Altruism and Iconography
For a hobby to stick with me, there has to be some element of altruism involved. Otherwise, I feel somewhat selfish; I’ve learned to give in order to get.
Have you ever seen the face of a person, young or young at heart, see a character they held to a high regard in their own lives in person?
It’s a mesmerizingly splendid experience, to bring that sense of wonder and happiness to a person, especially if they’re in a condition when they need it the most. Volunteering with the Arizona Avengers and becoming an officer for the organization has been rewarding on a very deep level.
Doing our best to make these people happy for charity is all the payment I need. They’ve kept me motivated to do my best, and now I have 18 or so characters thanks to help from others in the costuming community. I didn’t do everything by myself.
It can be a challenging hobby, but it has been a rewarding one so far. Who knew all these good things could happen when I was able to embrace my inner nerd?
If you are in the Southern Arizona area, and need the Arizona Avengers at your next charity event, you can get in touch with David here.
In the meantime, don’t let your cape get caught in any airplane engines and Write On,