Costume and make-up by Connor Coulson
Photography and editing by Marla Bishop
Locations: Perth Esplanade, Perth Library
A little over a year ago Detroit came into my life when things were at their bleakest, my relationship with my family was fractured, I was homeless, staying with a friend, and on top of that I was suffering from debilitating ME/CFS. I was convinced I was going to die soon, I was bed bound, and needed a wheelchair just to get around the house. I basically slept all the time and even watching TV took too much energy on some days. Understandably, I was really bored, so I decided to get back into gaming, I got a PS4 on sale and my brother bought me Detroit and I fell in love with it.
I know, it’s not perfect, but I adore Detroit, it’s a breathtaking world, an ideal world I could escape to. A safe haven. It’s everything I love, sleek cyberpunk aesthetics, androids, a fantastic soundtrack, and a complicated choice based narrative, what more could I want? (Well, a sequel or a DLC for a start!) Connor really resonated with me, there were aspects of his journey I could relate to, and in other ways he is aspirational. It was inevitable that I began imagining how to bring his costume to life, it was structurally fascinating and I would fantasise about how certain details could be constructed. But that’s all it was, a fantasy. I hadn’t been able to sew in months, it was too exhausting. However I am nothing if not tenacious, so whenever I had the slightest amount of strength for it I would research and draw the costume and began sourcing materials.
Normally a project like this would take maybe a couple of months at most, but with ME/CFS it took nearly a year. My health has improved significantly this year thanks to the carnivore diet, so I am glad I was able to work on any creative projects at all. I detail the process of creating the costume here.
This costume and this photoshoot represents a triumph to me, there were times I thought I would have to abandon this project, but I got it complete in time to wear to a comic convention, and I managed to attend the entire weekend and was walking unassisted. The response from fans was great, they admired my work and we shared our love of the game. And getting these photos was not something I could have done a year ago, it involved a fair amount of walking and climbing. It feels great to be cosplaying and modelling again, I’m passionate about them but had to give them up for over a year.
Thanks to Marla for the photos, he is also a Detroit fan so he really understood the character and environment and it was an easy collaboration.