Cosplay Confidential: Sumner Bukoski

I’ve made no secret of my love of cosplay. The creativity, time, skill and imagination required to pull off these comic book, movie, anime and video game character costumes is fascinating to me. So I wanted to learn a little more about these wardrobe magicians and decided to come up with a new feature where I talk to cosplayers from around the world in Cosplay Confidential.

Sumner Bukoski was gracious enough to help me kick off the feature. As you can see, Sumner’s a pretty talented cosplay creator with no limits to his subject material ranging from Robin to Big Sister from the Bioshock video game. He shared his cosplay origins, what goes into making a good costume and how much fun he has making costumes alongside his girlfriend.


How’d you get into cosplay?

Well my ex-girlfriend sparked an interest in it, so I, being the supportive boyfriend, went with it and began making costumes for us and helping her with hers. After I discovered she was cheating, I moved to Denton, TX to escape family and other drama.

I quickly began to rely and love the concept of becoming fictional characters. With what I love to refer to as ‘poetic justice,’ I met the love of my life, Heather Hodges, in my newest costume (at the time) — Robin from Young Justice.

With her at my side, I fell deeper into the community with bigger and better ideas to expand with. It’s been nothing but an amazing, self-constructive, learning experience since then.

How much does it cost to put together a good costume?Sumner Bukoski and Heather Hodges as Bioshock Little Sister and Big Sister

It varies, definitely, but I guess an average of $200? My robin cost about $120, but my Big Sister upped to about $280 and my new Tibbers cosplay is quoted to be about $180.

What’s been the toughest costume
to put together?

My hardest costume to date was my Big Sister from Bioshock 2 due to all 24 belts I had to sew in and making the huge tank and cage to strap to me.

Sumner Bukoski and Heather Hodges Sailor Moon

What’s the best part about doing cosplay?

The people that look at and immediately recognize my characters from their favorite series, make all the work I do absolutely worth it.

Plus it’s not only the effect, but the experience of making the costume that probably takes the cake, for making the hobby worth it. Everything costume comes with a completely new learning experience, be it resin casting, leather work, putting a lining in a coat, boot covers, helmets, foam work, etc. The list goes on forever and I still have so much I look forward to learning.


How much time does it take to make an average costume?

It can take a few days to make something as simple as Teen Titan Robin, but a few months to make something like my Big Sister.


Do you partner with anyone on costumes and themes?

Along with my girlfriend, her best friend, and her step sister, we’ve formed a group that we’ve developed a reputation for group cosplays, called Titanesque Cosplay.


What would you say to people who have thought about doing cosplay, but haven’t quite worked up the nerve yet?

I’d say to those who haven’t cosplayers, that it’s super fun and an amazing learning experience. You can meet all sorts of people and be invited to some of the most spirited events. It’s absolutely worth it.

Where can people check out your work?