In this episode, I get to sit down with one of my favorite content creators, Masked Mateo, to talk all about cosplay. He is known on social media as Masked Mateo, aka The Nightwing. Warner Bros and DC Comics have both featured him multiple times. He recently finished his cosplay trilogy for DC Comic’s Dick Grayson that you have to check out. We met three years ago when he emailed to say The Game of Nerds was really lacking cosplay content but wanted to help. Known as “Deadpool Mateo” then, he joined us, and our cosplay section hasn’t been the same since. He is why we have such a killer cosplay team lineup, but he is not only an amazing cosplayer. He is also an amazing friend as well. I’m lucky to know the man on both sides of the mask. We first jump into a discussion of Snyder Cut of Justice League. It’s a discussion the two of us have been dying to have since it was released months ago but have had zero time to connect about it. Thankfully we both were on the same brain wave and absolutely loved it. It was desperately the movie the DC franchise needed to get fans back on board. It will be up to WB, though, if the Snyder Universe rules.
From there, we jump into our discussion about cosplay and how Masked Mateo has grown over the past few years. As mentioned before, his cosplay career really started with Deadpool. According to him, he woke up one morning and just decided he wanted to cosplay. He hadn’t attended a convention nor cosplayed before but was ready to try. So he started Googling suit makers, and that’s how his cosplay adventure began. After doing Deadpool, he decided to choose a cosplay character that not many people had done and that he could really get behind the character. This is how the journey to Dick Grayson began. Masked Mateo is known for creating a storyline with the characters that he cosplays as. He knew that he wanted to stay masked the entire time since that’s what intrigued him as a kid. When he would go to Six Flags, you never knew who was behind the mask or who was really playing the character. The mystery of it makes it all the more fun.
Nightwing’s #1 goal, though, is to give his viewers a show and to make memories with them. I’ve seen the videos of him dancing at conventions to get the party started and the amazing photos with children doing wacky poses. It’s this mentality that makes cosplay so special to me and why I love cosplayers like him. It’s that moment when a little girl sees Elsa at a convention, and that cosplayer stops everything from having that interaction. That child will never know it wasn’t the REAL Elsa, but they will remember the magic. It’s truly like having Disneyland or a theme park in your hometown. We discuss how Masked Mateo wants a Funko Box from Poppin Hopper and the talent that goes into these cosplays. Masked Mateo drops some major wisdom on how and where to buy or order cosplay attire. He also offers advice to cosplay creators on how they can better their services and understand cosplayers. Remember that cosplay creators are human and running a small business by themselves. They are not Amazon, and these cosplays often take time as in MONTHS to create.
When I asked Masked Mateo what his favorite parts of cosplaying, he came up with two answers. The first being the instant gratification of people liking your cosplay. The second is just digging into the storyline of the character to the point it’s almost acting. He makes a solid point in noting that he couldn’t do it without his team. Cosplaying isn’t a one-person show. It takes a costume maker, photographer, editor, and a lot of hard work to make his content. He likes to make a point to tell cosplayers to give credit where credit is due. Tag the people who helped you when you post or do shoutouts in interviews! The Nightwing says the only downside he’s found to cosplay is people’s inability to keep their hands to themselves. Yes, he’s known for his butt, but it doesn’t permit you to touch it. Even my husband, Poppin Hopper, has been subjected to people thinking it’s okay to touch or bang on his box. The reality is that cosplay is not consent! You are most likely breaking that person’s cosplay.
“Would you walk up to someone at the mall and say, “Omg, I love your handbag.” Then just start touching it. NO! If you can’t do it in real life, you can’t do it at a convention”.– Masked Mateo
The Nightwing bursts everyone’s bubbles with the fact that cosplay isn’t his only job. Many cosplayers believe that they can make this their job and it’s easy, but it’s really not. Yes, you can make it into a profession, but it will not happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work. This can sometimes lead cosplayers to get discouraged and the trolls to take over. Masked Mateo tells cosplayers to take a step back and remember that cosplay is supposed to be fun. He doesn’t let the trolls get to him and frankly would rather they come to him. He would rather they attack him than another cosplayer. He makes a point to check out other cosplayers on social media, comment, and give them props. There are so many cosplayers who go unrecognized that are extremely talented. At the end of the day, cosplay does not see gender, color, or size. Anyone and everyone can participate. Masked Mateo and I encourage you to follow your cosplay dreams and have fun. Hopefully, we will be seeing him out at conventions soon now that things are opening back up! Make sure to listen to the end of the episode to hear all about Masked Mateo’s new project!
Learn More About Our Guest
The Masked Mateo
Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Vero, Youtube: @Masked_Mateo