Interview with “Nwbzpwnr”
I had the opportunity to interview a man that seemed to grow thousands of fans overnight. His name is Jarod and his cosplay of Nwbzpwnr was so spot on, everyone thought he was courageous for doing such a cosplay. It has been while since the WoW episode of South Park aired but people still remember the character that could not be killed because he had no life. From the 5 o’clock shadow to the messy desk space, Jarod had everything down. I myself can say I became a fan once I say a picture of him on Kotaku. So I wanted to interview him and get to know a bit about the person behind the cosplay.
Z: Hello Jarod, or should I say Nwbzpwnr? Your recent rise to internet fame due to your incredibly accurate and awesome depiction of the South Park character is quite something. I remember when I saw a comparison picture and thought, “This guy know’s what’s up. That is brilliant.” So now here you are, thousands of likes on your Facebook page providing information and funny images to the masses. Thank you for having this interview with me.
J: You can call me Jarod, or NWBZPWNR, or Tetsugyu, or Kaz (I could go on forever). Jarod will do– and, You’re welcome! I’m going to enjoy this greatly.
Z: I wanted to start with a few smaller questions regarding your personal life rather than jump right into the cosplay stuff. Where is your hometown? How memorable was your childhood there?
J: I’ve lived in Orange County and Los Angeles county all my life, so both areas feel like home. My childhood was not the best but it has made me who I am. I just focus on my life now and the future.
Z: What started your hobby for everything nerd?
J: I’m more of a Geek, really. I think I’ve always been a Geek. I imagine it first started when my Father took me into the Beach and Ball comics in Anaheim, CA. He bought me my first issues and got me started. But even before then he would watch Saturday Morning Cartoons with me. I was always into Star Wars and He-Man. And both my parents encouraged that. It all eventually led to Anime, conventions, Cosplay, etc
Z: Before the cosplay, what took up most of your time. what did you do to supply your hobbies?
J: Anime. Comics, too. I’ve been an avid collector of all things related to my favorite anime of all time, Giant Robo the Animation. That took up a lot of my time. How did I supply them? Working. lol Pay the bills and fund your skillz.
Z: How did you come up with the idea to cosplay as NWBZPWNR?
J: I’ve always wanted to, really. I’ve made some life choices this past summer regarding my health, and I am in the processes of losing weight. I’ve lost 35 lbs since August. I always cosplay large characters, and I figured NWBZPWNR was going to be my farewell to fat guy cosplays. But with all of this attention, and my hellbent desire to perfect the cosplay, I am going to look into fat suits to do it when I drop significant weight.
Z: Did you make everything yourself, or did you have buddies help?
J: I made it mostly by myself, under the guidance of my Mother’s husband. He’s a crafter and a modifier and he has years of experiance in woodworking, electrical, home repair, etc. He’s really skilled. So I came to him with the concepts and he and I bounced ideas off each other on how to execute it. In the end he pretty much just told me what I needed to do. “Sand this.” “Paint that.” “Buy this.” It was a very cool learning experience.
Z: Were you expecting such a high volume of praise? After all, it kind of exploded overnight.
J: God no. I had no idea it would have gotten the attention it did. I really expected to have shaved my whole head the Sunday after the con, and now I’m keeping the hairstyle for awhile and I’m already remaking the costume better for a photoshoot. My personal page went from 30 likes to 3K. It’s been pretty unexpected.
Z: Have you done any cosplays before?
J: Oh yeah. I’ve been cosplaying since 1999. I’m not that fantastic but I’ve done some interesting and fun cosplays.
Z: Besides cosplaying and heading to conventions, currently what takes up your free time?
J: World of Warcraft. I really am an avid player. It’s part of the reason I wanted to do this cosplay.
Z: Have any big name cosplayers contacted you to commend your cosplay or even meet up at conventions?
J: Yes! I can’t even believe the number of popular cosplayers who I used to admire and glance at cons that now know my name, want to be my friend, and have loved the cosplay. It’s been a little overwhelming all of the attention and I support and some of them actually went out of their way to be my friend and offer me support. I thought that was just the classiest thing ever.
Z: How much has changed since you rose to internet fame?
J: A lot! My schedule for December is now jam packed. I have so much to do now with all of these opertunities that have popped up. I’m working on remaking the costume for a photoshoot and a very special event. I’ve got some charity work I was invited to be apart of for the C.A.P.E.S. group, and I’m really excited for that. And I am working on two panels for the upcoming Anime Los Angeles convention. One for WoW and one to promote my favorite anime, Giant Robo. I also work logistics for ALA so I’ll be driving one of the shipping trucks. I love that con. It’s my home. And then there’s a few videos and podcasts I’ve been invited to be apart of. And finally my guild and I are working to use this attention to help recruit some quality players for progression raiding. Many people message me asking to play with me so we’re going to get our new guild website up to proccess raid aplicants and casuals. And the only downside is less time to play WoW.
Z: Would you trade it for anything else?
J: Oh no way. I’ve made many people happy and smile, I’m in a position to do philanthropy work, and I have a platform to spread my message of positivity in the cosplay community. I have a duty to pay it forward– It’s more of a gift than a responsibility, really. No tradezies on this one.
Z: If you could give any advice to someone, what would it be?
J: Be yourself, be who you want to be. Don’t try to hide who you are or how you are. People are out there who will enjoy you for your failings and love you for your successes. That shit is the most cliche thing you’ll ever hear in your life but it is also one of the most basic of life facts– it’s so very true. As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing and can handle the negative critisim, cosplay what you want. Don’t let fear or other’s body image standards prevent you from doing it.
Apply this confidence to other areas of your life besides cosplay, as well.
Z: Thank you again for having this relatively brief interview with me. Would you like to promote any projects you are currently working on that you want people to check out?
J: Just to let people know they can find me on Facebook by searching “Jarod: NWBZPWNR” and to stay tuned for some really, REALLY exciting news in the month of December. My photoshoot and a special event that will be sure to please. Also, anyone in the Los Angeles area should attend Anime Los Angeles (animelosangeles.org) in early January. It’s a wonderful con and I will be there hosting the WoW fan panel for the 5th year in a row! And in costume! Also my introduction to Giant Robo panel! Don’t miss either of them!
In closing I just wanna thank you all for your love and support. I am really, really glad you all enjoyed my cosplay and you guys are the best.