David

Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets // Cosplayer : Mike and David

I’ve been in the 501st Star Wars Costuming Group since September 2016 as a Tusken Raider.  A little over a year ago I convinced one of my best friends that he should have a Tusken Raider also and then we could get Muppet heads and run around as Muppets.  There are several 501st members who have Muppets and we’re both big fans of the Muppets.  Waldorf and Statler fit us both because we’re both snarky like they are.  We wanted to be fun characters.  We knew someone who made the heads and worked with them to get them at the end of this summer.  Grand Rapids Comic Con was our third time wearing them.

When we were walking around, with my wife leading us, Statler (Mike) stopped me because he saw Muppet artist Guy Gilcrest, who was so excited to see us.  He stopped what he was doing and got up from his table to take videos and pictures with us.  He was so happy to see the costume.  It was definitely a highlight of the con for both of us.  We were only in the costumes for about 30 minutes but took more pictures in Waldorf and Statler than we did when we were just in our Tusken’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy events like conventions and Free Comic Book Day but what really excites me is helping at charity events.  When we can go to a children’s hospital, which we have visits monthly, or a charity walk or we have an event coming up with the Jaycee’s to help kids shop for their families, those are the events that are special to me.  I’m lucky because both my wife, who has four approved Star Wars costumes and my daughter who cosplay as DC’s Jesse Quick, all take turns helping out at charity events.

I go to a lot of cons each year.  Grand Rapids Comic Con is a smaller convention, not the size of C2E2 or even Motor City Comic Con, but for being a small con, they get good and accessible guests.  This year, my wife inducted Ming Chen from TV’s Comic Book Men as a Friend of the Legion in the 501st and he was so happy and spent a lot of time talking with us and other fans.  Timothy Zahn, who’s a Star Wars author was walking the con and when he got to the 501st area, he was taking pictures with the droids as was Tony Todd, the Candyman.  My daughter got an autograph from Ross Marquand and she probably talked to him for 20 minutes and went back later to give him a small gift and talked to him for another 15 minutes.  The celebrities are really personable and engaging at this con.  The vendor hall has a lot to see and buy.  Artist alley always has some gems in it.  The costumes are great.  They also get a lot of area groups that cosplay.  In addition to the 501st/Rebel Legion/Mandalorian Mercs/Droid Builders (all Star Wars Groups) they have fandom’s from Ghostbusters, GI Joe, Superheroes and the like.  There’s so much to see and do.  It’s a really up and coming con.