Imagine you have spent months planning to role-play as your favourite fictional character. After all the sleepless nights, overload of caffeine and spending all your savings to make a flawless costume, it’s natural that you expect everything to be perfect on D-day. But what if your costume has a break-down? What if Spider-Man gets trapped in his own web or Hulk’s bulk starts melting in the heat? At a Mumbai Comic Con, help is at hand.
Rohan Jain, 27-year-old cosplayer from Mumbai is Comic Con’s official medic, ready to help with costume emergencies. “My kit includes nine kinds of tape – electrical, medical, double sided and magic, which is so transparent, so it doesn’t show on a costume,” he says. “I also carry a hot glue gun, Fevicol and industrial strength superglue.”
Other items in his kit include contact lens solution in case your anime or fantasy eyes cause discomfort, pain-killers, muscle sprays, Band-Aids and make-up removal products for those who need a touchup or have had a skin reaction. When costumes are often larger than life, sometimes the disasters can escalate too. Jain has used Velcro, elastic bands and a humble pair of scissors to restore the magic. “If there is anything else a specific character might need, they let me know,” he says.
Jain has been the saviour for cosplayers for almost a year, as the event’s official medic, he travels to all the cities where the Indian Comic Con is held. “Once, I had a group of Avengers, surprisingly with Spider-Man and Superman too, who had broken all their props just before their stage appearance. Captain America was in two pieces. I pulled out my glue gun and set to work. They were happy and so was I,” he says.
The idea of being a cosplay medic struck Jain when he visited the Sydney Comic Con last year. He was playing Subzero from the Mortal Kombat video game, and his costume malfunctioned at the last minute. “Subzero has a belt which runs on either side on his chest like a vest. Each side has a circle-like bolt in the centre, which I had fitted with electrical lights, so they turned blue when switched on, but the battery ran out and bulbs didn’t glow,” he says. A man with instruments hanging out from all bags he carried gave him a replacement battery and “my costume was complete again,” Jain recalls. “I wanted to do something like that for the Mumbai Comic Con, so I requested the organisers to let me do this,” he says.
Jain says he is glad he does not regret giving up cosplaying. “I like seeing fans dressed in their favourite characters and I am happy to help them in whatever way I can. Sometimes, it is difficult for me to run around to attend all the players, but there are always other non-participating players to help me,” he says. His contact details are available on the Comic Con site, for cosplayers to contact him before the event.