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Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers


Article by: Rogue Benjamin

Geek Girl Northern Belle interviewed Liam of the East Coast Avengers...
Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: Hi Liam, thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview.

Liam: Indeed, thank you.

Rogue: I guess we’ll just jump right in. For any readers who may not already be familiar with the team – who or what are the East Coast Avengers?

Liam: We are a Marvel Comics based group, who gather to promote charities, make hospital visits to sick children, promote children's causes, and provide a cohesive identity for superhero cosplayers to be positive role models. We also gather at Conventions and other events as a group.

Our organization was founded to basically provide a collective identity for costuming fans with similar interests, the EAST COAST AVENGERS (ECA) are proud to put its resources to good use through promoting fund raising, charity work, and volunteerism. The Main reason for the Arizona Avengers (AzA) and East Coast Avengers (ECA) is to give a unified identity for cosplayers, and thereby enable us to promote charities and visit children at events for a cause. I am so happy to say that Hundreds of Heroes have joined me.

A welcome side effect has been to give a safe haven and a positive example for others, especially anyone experiencing Bullying of any sort. We determine to Be the Change that we wish to see. We strive to provide an example to be aspired to.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: Well I think you've managed that. Speaking personally, it was your cosplay group that initially inspired myself to start the work I've done. Now, if I’m not mistaken it was you that founded the East Coast Avengers, correct? Where did that inspiration come from?

Liam: I have been costuming for over 40 years now, and have been appearing at children’s events since the late 1970’s. Whilst I was living in Arizona in 2009, several friends and I (Called ‘The Founding Four) wanted to start a group for Marvel Comics Superhero Cosplayers in there to band together to help promote Charities and Children’s causes through appearing at events for them. This was the first Avengers group, the Arizona Avengers (AzA). We drew our basic framework from the 501st Star Wars groups. The group started in 2009, and had it’s first major event at the Phoenix Comic Con in 2010. I was voted as the first Commanding Officer of the AzA. Then I prepared to move to Virginia, and in preparation, I created the East Coast Avengers. Once I settled in Virginia, I began recruiting members for the ECA. The ECA has a Far Bigger field than than the AzA does. Instead of being set in one state, the ECA ranges from Maine to Florida.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: That’s incredible! Now are the East Coast Avengers (ECA) and the Arizona Avengers the same team?

Liam: We are separate Groups that are part of a larger collective, the Avengers Initiative (AI). We are currently joined by the West Coast Avengers (WCA), and the Avengers Mid Pacific (AMP). I anticipate that in the future, the ECA will have sufficient members in certain geographic areas to have sub groups split off and become full chapters of the AI themselves.

Rogue: It must be amazing to see your work grow like that! Do the ECA attended conventions and other events?

Liam: Indeed, we do. The ECA has been appearing at conventions up and down the coast, and attending Events such as Autism Awareness rallys, Cancer walks, and many other events mainly geared towards childrens causes. We have been invited to Andrews Air Force Base twice now, and look forward to continuing to attend events there, and at other military facilities, for the children and families there. We also attend film premiers, Free Comic Book days, and even some official events for Marvel Comics. Our members have been on TV several times, and in print many times now.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: Such a range of events! And where would you say the ECA’s are truly located?

Liam: We have the biggest presence in the Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC areas.

Rogue: What about upcoming events? Any plans or events in the works?

Liam: The next big Event that we are gearing up for in the DC area is the Baltimore Comic Con in September. Other Events can be found on our Facebook page.

Rogue: Do the ECA accept any and all cosplayers?

Liam: The East Coast Avengers promotes creating, owning, and wearing the costumes from the Marvel Universe featured in films, comics, and television. To capture the magic of these characters, the goal is to portray an accurate presentation of the character through your individual costume. However, we recognize that this hobby centers around fun and creativity. Therefore, the East Coast Avengers make allowances for the creative modification of these costumes within the confines of decency (defined as being without profane or vulgar features or statements and must be viewable by young children). Age, Race, Sex, Physical Ability, and Size are not a factor. Cosplay is for Everyone. Our Anti-Bullying stance includes ourselves. We Are the Change that we Preach.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: How many members are on the ECA?

Liam: We currently have around 200 members, spread from Maine to Florida.

Rogue: How does the ECA feel about having characters that are “doubled” (As in two wolverines etc.) Do you request different versions?

Liam: Duplicates are not only allowed, but encouraged. Quite often we find that not every character is available for an event, and back ups come in handy. Also, for example, if we should be visiting a childrens hospital, and there are two floors, having a Captain America for each floor is just good tactics.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: That’s marvelous! Every pun intended. I know of groups that look down on doubles and with a select roster I never understood that. Now, being a Marvel group – you don’t have any DC rivals do you?

Liam: No, every other costuming group that we know all get along well. In fact, we have Many members that are members of other groups as well. DC comics, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, so many others, and we all help each other in various ways. (Among other things that I do, I even do a few DC characters myself, and sometimes troop with a DC group.)

Rogue: Haha well that’s good! So what is your favourite memory from the ECA?

Liam: I have too many to pick, but generally, when one of the Supers connects on a Hero Level with a child, they are Both forever changed for the Better. The Smallest word, or even just Being there, can make a lasting impression on a child. In some cases, we are the First and Only time that anyone has done anything positive for a child, and we show that there is an alternative to the bad examples that they may see on the streets. I stress that if we inspire just one child to be a better person, we have helped them win a Huge battle.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

Rogue: I couldn’t agree more. It’s all about inspiring future generations. So if someone else wanted to help make a different - how would they go about joining the ECA?

Liam: To Join us, we have an application with the details in the ‘Notes’ section of our ECA Facebook page.

Rogue: Where else can our readers find you? (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc.)

Liam: We are mainly on Facebook, though some of us do utilize other social media. (Me, myself, ...I don’t even Text.)

Rogue: Thank you very much for your time and all the best with you and your fellow East Coast Avengers. This Rogue thanks your for your service. J

Liam: Thank you for helping to spread the word. I know that you are Heroing in your area as well !! Good Job !

Rogue: Anything else you’d like to add?

Liam: We also have Many writings in the ECA Facebook page ‘Notes’ section.

Liam: My personal Facebook page is here. And to learn more about me, see my writings are here.

Interview with Liam of the East Coast Avengers

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June 26 2014

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