In the same way that acting and modeling are two different things, and that there are plenty of professionals who do one but never the other, cosplay is its own creature. It doesn’t necessarily take good modeling or acting skills to make a good cosplayer (though it does take other skills), but certainly a flair for the dramatic doesn’t hurt.
Case in point: Harley’s Joker (aka Anthony Misiano), who as I’ve said before is one of the best Joker specialist cosplayers out there. I’ve seen some pretty uncanny recreations of the Heath Ledger version of Joker, but as of yet I’ve yet to see anyone do a comic book Joker as amazingly as Anthony does, and while makeup and costume crafting skills play their huge roles, I can’t help but wonder if his experience as an actor somehow helps him simply own the character in the way that he does. His Killing Joke tribute (shown above), for instance, is one of my single most favorite works of cosplay photography.
Recently, Misiano and his partner in crime Joker’s Harley have released another tribute to an iconic depiction of the Joker, Alex Ross’s famous “Tango With Evil” poster. It’s for sale now on his StoreEnvy shop and it’s awesome:
As legendary as we all know Alex Ross is, I think I actually prefer this tributary image to the original. That’s not to undercut Ross’s greatness but simply to underscore how much Misiano has claimed Batman’s nemesis as his definitive character.
Eventually, I would like to see Harley’s Joker try his hand at other characters. He’s just too talented not to. But he seems to understand that if you want to be the best at something, you have to keep at it, something that’s counter-intuitive in this culture of ours where we’re constantly looking for something new to do. So I respect him for that and trust him to decide for himself when would be the best time to play another card, so to speak, if ever.
For now I’m content to continue watching this gifted cosplayer bring the demented clown prince of crime to life in new and different ways. Tango on, Anthony.