Cosplay Spotlight: The Phillippines X-Men
Welcome back to Cosplay Spotlight! For this third edition we present to you The Phillippines X-Men! As usual, our promise is to bring you some of the amazing work these cosplayers do, but also we will be focusing on the why’s and the how’s!
Mutant & Proud! The Philippine X-Men Team (FILXMEN) is the country’s premier & biggest superhero costuming/geekery team dedicated to the X-Men.
Founded by Miguel Frías, Herwin Boydon & Kia Keary in September 2009, the PHILIPPINE X-MEN TEAM, shortly known as “FILXMEN,” is a giant group of costumers, artists, enthusiasts and geeks dedicated to Marvel’s mutant superhero team, the X-Men. They portray characters from the X-Men universe – allies, villains & anti-heroes alike, and they even have sub-units which include X-Men: First Class, the Brotherhood, the New Mutants and X-Force.
CBT – How did “The Philippine X-Men Team” start? How long has the group been together?
The Phillippines X-Men - I’ve been an X-Men fan since I was a kid so when I was first introduced to cosplaying/costuming, I immediately thought of doing a one-time X-Men group cosplay. Then, at a convention, I bumped into two people who happened to also be X-Men enthusiasts, Kia Keary & Herwin Boydon. We three founded the team in mid-2009, not expecting the then one-time plan would turn into something greater. The Philippine X-Men Team, or Filxmen for short, has been together both as a costuming/geek organisation and a group of friends for more than 3 years now!
CBT – Why cosplay as the X-men? What inspired you all to tackle a well-known and diverse group of characters?
The Phillippines X-Men - There are a multitude of reasons why we cosplay as the X-Men. Most of us have been avid X-Men fans since childhood – some started engaging in the X-Men fandom during the Claremont-Byrne era in the 80’s, some during the 90’s X-Men animated series’ days. A few are just up for the fun of cosplay since they get to practice the art by portraying the X-Men. Also, we can relate to the basic concept of the X-Men. Some of us grew up knowing how it feels to be “different.” Besides, just like the X-Men, we’re a family.
CBT – Which X-Men members are represented?
The Phillippines X-Men - We ‘ve got more than 40 members on board. Numerous X-Men characters are represented on the team – from the X-MEN themselves (Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Storm, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Angel, Psylocke, Kitty Pryde, Banshee, Dazzler, Iceman, etc) to the VILLAINS (Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Omega Red, Silver Samurai, Juggernaut) to the X-Men splinter teams like NEW MUTANTS (Magik, Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Sunspot, Magma, Warlock), X-FACTOR Investigations (Madrox, Havok, Polaris) and X-FORCE black ops. Many of us have two or more costumes for their respective roles. We continuously reinvent ourselves by always trying something new and in fact, we’ll be doing the Jim Lee era’s Gold and Blue teams next year.
CBT – What is the process of choosing the characters portrayed in the group?
The Phillippines X-Men - We do have an X-tensive recruitment system that allows us to screen incoming members and match them with available roles that suit their looks and personality. However, we take their choice into consideration and also emphasise the importance of taking the X-Men character closest to your heart and that you know well.
CBT – Are the costumes made by hand? What is the process for perfecting the costumes?
The Phillippines X-Men - Some of us commission our costumes from costume specialists while some are talented enough to get around to sewing their costumes and creating their props, most out of foam rubber, on their own. We perfect our costumes by adding a personal touch to them, even those sewn by other seamstresses, by choosing the right materials to be used. To ensure each costume is accurate and of good quality, we always consult each other.
CBT – Creating costumes is very time consuming, especially when you want to make sure it’s authentic as possible. What keeps you all motivated to continue and participate at conventions?
The Phillippines X-Men - Fun, fandom and friendship. Suiting up and assembling almost every month can be a bit X-hausting but when you do it with your friends and you feel like you’ve achieved something together, you realise it’s all worth your sweat. Since we started out as team several years ago, we’ve grown from a small group of friends & nerdy enthusiasts to a big family of X-Men lovers & geeks (and it keeps growing bigger). Here we also get to X-press ourselves, have a lot of fun, and be our favourite superheroes!
CBT – Have Filxmen participated in any contests?
The Phillippines X-Men - Yes. We used to join group cosplay contests. We’ve done skits, musicals, action-packed performances and even Danger Room roll calls on stage. Some time ago, we even won an award for a performance that began with a grand “heroes vs villains” fight and ended with the Filxmen boys’ live rendition of X-Men: First Class’ theme song called Love Love. That was crazy!
CBT – What is the group’s favorite convention to attend?
The Phillippines X-Men - What we frequently attend are mostly X-Men comic book launch parties at ComicXhub and Castle Geek. We love comic book-themed events since X-Men is our forte and we tend to have more fun when you’re surrounded with comic books & fellow comic book junkies. Mainstream cosplay conventions here in the Philippines are kind of dominated by anime and manga cosplayers, but we would say Toycon and Cosplay Mania are at the top of our list of favourite conventions.
CBT – Cosplayers are vital and very popular at conventions. Is there a network that cosplayers established to assist each other?
The Phillippines X-Men - None that I know of. Filxmen is already a network on its own and we’re quite independent from the rest of the cosplay community. Sounds much like the X- Men living in Utopia, huh? However, we maintain very close ties with the cosplay community and various geek communities here in the country. Without all their support, we would’ve not reached this far and lasted this long.
CBT – Thank you so much for your time. Anything else you’d like for us to be on the lookout for?
The Phillippines X-Men - Thank you for inviting us for this interview, Comic Book Therapy! Please watch out for what we have in store for our followers. In 2013, we will celebrate the release of “The Wolverine,” and then pay tribute to the legendary artist, Jim Lee, through our Blue and Gold teams. You can also X-pect a bigger Philippine X-Men Team next year, plus the comeback of the New Mutants and X-Force. Please like us on Facebook to stay updated with us: www.facebook.com/FILXMENCOSPLAY
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