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Cozziecon and Paulapalooza!

Cozziecon and Paulapalooza!

“Variable, Trisha Kerr and Mel Costello hoisting the Bat Symbol in a touching moment “
In a short period between late 2014 and early 2015 the cosplay community tragically lost two of it’s greatest cosplayers..
Justin Costello, who was a veteran in the Sydney Cosplay scene died of a heart attack on November the Twenty Third and only a few weeks later another veteran cosplayer, Paul Kerr died when his truck was involved in a horrific accident with another on the M2 Highway on the Seventh of January .
Knowing good and well that both cosplayers needed a proper ‘cosplay’ send-off, some close friends and family decided to host two mini conventions celebrating the lives of both men.
“Paul in his most iconic costume, the Penguin and Justin as Batman”
They were named ‘Cozziecon’ and ‘Paulapolooza’, the latters name and events being added to the bill soon after his passing. The tragedy of losing Justin was compounded by the fact that Paul had been a close friend of Justin’s working with him in the charity Gotham’s Finest and was one of the leading organisers behind Cozziecon before he also passed away. Hence his friends coming up with a suitable companion name for the event and adding a few more activities that Paul would have appreciated. In fact the only thing missing was a burn out competition in the car park due to his love of fast cars but the legal issues there would have been…interesting.
 In any case the event was held on the Seventh of February  at the Peachtree Hotel in Penrith NSW and upon arriving it was clear how much love and hard work had gone into creating the best possible send off for the guys. Everything happening during the event and anything on show at it from their best costumes to related merchandise in the silent auction had a significant attachment to Justin or Paul in one way or another.
There was a wrestling show to celebrate Justins past as an amateur wrestler, Salsa dancing to show off some of what Paul could do as an accomplished Salsa instructor, a kareoke competition and a display of some of the costumes that Justin and Paul themselves had made.
The turnout was huge and was the event unqualified success, people from all over the community stood together to celebrate the life of two of Sydney’s greatest cosplayers. Although a lot of the people who went didn’t know Justin or Paul personally, the impact of their passing affected many and that was evident in how moved they were by the various tributes to both men during the days events.
Both Trisha Kerr and Mel Costello, the widows of the dearly departed cosplayers expressed how touched and overwhelmed they were by all the love, care and support shown by friends, family and sometimes complete strangers. A lot of their children were in attendance and they got in the spirit of things with some amazing cosplay of their own, a hobby which has now firmly gripped the hearts and imaginations of both families!

All in all it was a great day out for everyone who attended and over $6000 was raised for the families of Justin and Paul who need all the help they can get in these trying times. Kat Watson who helped organise the event said its not over yet either. Her and others behind the day such as Rob Wilson hope to stage another event in 2016 and had this to say about a possible future event in the same vein.

 “We want to keep this event as a tribute to Justin and Paul, so we will keep all elements like the Latin dancing and the wrestling.
We will be adding to it, as the other things we had on the agenda we just simply couldn’t get happening within the 3 weeks we had to organise it. With more time up our sleeves for the next one, it will be bigger and more spectacular!
It will be hard work but I’m up for the challenge and super excited about it!!”

Kat Watson, one of the geniuses behind the event.

Basically next year is going to be bigger and better and we can’t wait, the location is likely to remain the same which is great considering how few pop culture events Western Sydney gets treated to and we will keep you all posted on the details as soon as we know them. While we couldn’t post ALL the wonderful photos taken on the day here are a selection of our favourites..
Story by the two Patrick’s.
Patrick Mendoza
Patrick Hamilton
“The Adult cosplay finalists”
“Mel Costello and Trisha Kerr embracing. “
 “An over enthusiastic audience member helping Batman overcome the Joker”
 ” One of your writers..the old Hamilton as Punisher”
 Superman hoisting Superboy/Trisha Kerr’s son onto the ropes
Dan Milkovic as the Joker
Plenty more pictures and links below!
Enjoy browsing some amazing shots considering the intimate size of the venue and relatively small numbers in comparison to a regular Convention.
Albums 3 to 7 in on JJ’s stunning page
Cliff Dorian doing the do as per usual, consistently bringing quality memories to cosplayers everywhere.
Adrian Franco showing us how its done..
Then of course our own little collection of memories and eye candy!

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