Computer science sophomore and comet, Thomas Cortez, struts the halls of Anime Frontier, wowing attendees with animated expressions and in-character movements through a mask obscuring his features. Known for his complex and bold builds, Cortez stands out amongst the crowd in his Chainsaw Man cosplay.
Cortez, who goes by Biotom27, is known by his three thousand followers on Instagram and 152 thousand followers on Tiktok for his elaborate masked costumes. At spring 2022’s Comet Con, his Glamrock Freddy Fazbear cosplay turned heads with its glowing eyes, winning the fan favorite award from Weebcon 2021. His favorite cosplay, a crowd stunner, is an 11 foot tall Ruin Guard from popular RPG game, “Genshin Impact.” For Anime Frontier, Cortez donned two Chainsaw Man cosplays: the titular character, Denji and Beam, a character with a shark devilhead.
“Most my cosplays are masked characters and I don’t often show my face on the internet,” Cortez said. “So when I talk to someone at the con and they start realizing I’m responsible for all of these cosplays they’re familiar with, it just lights up my day.”
With Anime Frontier occurring right before finals week, Cortez had to juggle school and the time consuming nature of cosplaying and convention preparation
“All the sleepless nights working on HW and projects get doubled adding cosplay into the mix. But I love it so I think it’s worth it,” Cortez said.
Since starting his cosplay journey in 2019, Cortez has become experienced with a variety of different mediums including 3D modeling, EVA foam, PVC pipes, woodworking and LED circuitry.
“My go-to material is EVA foam,” Cortez said. “It’s very flexible in reality and in concept, so much can be done using just a roll of EVA foam – it’s fascinating.”
Cortez identified the key steps to his build process. Brainstorming involves choosing an idea based on audience excitability and working out gimmicks to include. Construction involves creating a paper template to transfer to foam and gluing and painting the cosplay together. Cortez encourages embodying ones favorite characters had some advice for new cosplayers.
“Play around and have fun with it,” Cortez said. “And don’t be afraid to learn new things. We’re all here to have fun and dress out as our favorite characters.”