In 2012 I was deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF. It was perhaps one of the strangest and most demanding things that I have ever done with my life. It isolated me far beyond anything that I would have considered possible. It also gave me a lot of time to think about what I was going to do when I got the hell out of that place. Finding things to look forward to kept me sane.
In that time I thought about events I was going to be able to go to, and the people I missed seeing. When I thought of events, I started thinking about my gear, and how I have been relying on garb that I had made out of bargain bin cloth two to three seasons ago when I was hard up for cash and feeling uncreative. I looked to some of the deployment cash I had saved up and started looking for some people to help me out so that I might be something impressive when I returned to the realms of nerd-dom.
Jesse Lagers and I had met at the last event I went to before deploying to Afghanistan. It was a Pirate Event in Oregon. When I started asking around about good garb, I was directed to him through a mutual friend of ours. I said I wanted good garb that would allow me to dress to impress. Jesse was excited to oblige.
Since my time knowing him, we got closer. I learned of an exciting opportunity that was given to him: he will be featured in the SyFy channel’s new show “Heroes of Cosplay”, which premieres on Tuesday, August 13th, at 10:30 / 9:30 c.
Jesse discovered his love for costuming and props as a young boy when he found himself continually dressing up long after the end of the Halloween Season. A self-described “geek through-and-through” he collects his influences from science-fiction and Medieval romantic-era graphic novels, movies, and other media. Star Wars, being Jesse’s favorite influence, has shown him how integral costume and prop designs are to the success and popularity of feature films.
An Oregon-bred pirate, Jesse currently lives with his girlfriend and three pet rats in Portland, OR. Jesse works as a systems administrator for a software company during the day. However, he has a side business, Midnight Armor, where he builds custom costumes and props for cosplay, eventing, and LARP. His style exemplifies his passion for authenticity within the costume design industry. He is known for his ability to distress costuming towards heightened realism, beyond the depth of other designers using dirt, grime, and muck to create truly authentic veteran battle armor. He isn’t just a designer, but a practitioner as a storm trooper with the 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist: a national organization of “Star Wars” enthusiasts who celebrate the series’ mythology and perform community fundraising, charity work, and acts of volunteerism. Jesse hopes that his costuming work will move towards full-time sustainability.