I am deeply saddened to report the passing of Marty Gear, a pioneer, long time hero, supporter, and fan of costuming and cosplay. Marty was one of the first costumers in the U.S., a founder and president of the International Costumers’ Guild (ICG), a chair of Costume-Con, and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICG.
I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Marty for my upcoming book, Breaking All The Rules: Cosplay and the Art of Self-Expression. Tonight, his interview becomes more important than ever as it gives a glimpse into the world of costuming as it once was, and reflects on its future. Marty talks about his childhood, growing up in the world of costuming, and opening new doors. It kind of floors me a little that costuming as an artform is old enough now that its founders have started to pass away. I hope that we as cosplayers and costumers can be worthy of continuing the legacy that people like Marty started.
These four pages attached here are the entirety of Marty’s interview for my book. I have no second thoughts about releasing them here, 3 months before the rest of the book is published. I hope people will read them and get a sense of the giant that Marty was, and how important he was to all of us. Cosplay might not be here if not for him. Please remember that.
Marty, you only met me this past November, but you welcomed me into your life, gladly joined me in long chats about the history and future of cosplay, gave me a free badge to Arisia and invited me to the masquerade because you thought it was something I should experience. You let me take your photo after a long night of MC-ing and typed up 7 pages on my interview questions, telling me the most important things you ever learned from costuming for over 50 years. I am in your debt; this interview will be one of the most important thing I ever publish. You will be missed.
Thank you for everything, my friend.