Cyndee Lizana, 33, of Atlanta, dressed as anime character
Sailor Moon, sprints over to get her photo taken with them. "Ahh . . .
female flesh!" Sosner gurgles over her. Lizana grins.
For Sosner, who calls the "Lord of the Rings" series the
best cinematic films in the past 20 years, this weekend is a time to goof
around and socialize. He's not there to attend the seminars such as "Star
Wars: History and Evaluation of the Jedi Costume," chase down B-list legends
such as David "Kung Fu" Carradine and George "Star Trek" Takei or celebrate
the 25th anniversary of TV show "Battlestar Galactica." At past DragonCons,
Sosner has tried to sell costumes he makes at a booth but didn't garner many
"Everyone here already has costumes," he noted.
The leader of the "LOTR" crew, Brian Wolfe, is a bit
mellower than Sosner but no less dedicated. As a full-time professional
makeup artist at Orlando's Universal Studios, he prides himself on creating
realistically evil faces. As an Orc, he says he is not constrained by any
one model. "Orcs are like humans," he said. "They can be of any size and
Wolfe's face, he says, is a conglomeration of other
costumes from past conventions. His cleft chin is shaped like the Emperor
from the "Star Wars" series; his piglike nose comes from the mayor of
Whoville of Dr. Seuss' "The Grinch"; his forehead is a steal from the
vampires in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
"People from far away think it's a mask, but the foam
latex enables me to convey so much more in terms of facial expressions."
At past DragonCons, the 35-year-old father of one has
been Pestilence from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a member of heavy
metal group Slipknot and Darth Maul of "Star Wars."
"I love playing bad guys," Wolfe explained. "Good guys
are boring. Who wants to walk around wearing brown robes and beards? I want
people to freak out. I want children to cry and women to scream."
Indeed, Rhannon Birchfield, a freckle-faced 8-year-old
from Newnan dressed as a Jawa from "Star Wars," tentatively approaches
Sosner and Wolfe. Sosner growls at her and she scurries away. "I think
they're pretty cool," she said, trying to keep a brave face. Then added, "A
Sosner's brother Shawn, also dressed as a Uruk-Hai, is
hungry. "Let's get smoothies," he suggested. "Raspberry protein." Then
realizing he's supposed to be a bit more, well, evil, adds, "No, make that a