Michael Fitzgerald Troy: What inspired your Wonder WoBear persona?
Wonder WoBear: Ever since I was a young cub, I've loved dressing up for Halloween. Store-bought costumes were cool, but I always wanted to make my own. The first time I made a Wonder Woman costume was for a NYC Halloween Parade. I made 2 other costumes for friends. I thought it would be humorous to see what Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman from the TV shows would look like if they aged. Being a very hairy man, I thought it would be funny to show my body hair instead of concealing it, plus at the time I had never seen a "Bear" version of Wonder Woman and I thought it was a funny idea. The response that we got everywhere we went was fantastic! People just seemed to get it - the costumes, the idea, and the humor behind it. I sent a picture to Lynda Carter on Facebook and I got a "Like" and a "You are WONDERFUL!" response back. I couldn't believe it! Then I found out that Ms.Carter was going to be a guest at the NYC Pride Parade that year. I suited up, found her float, got some pictures of her, she took some of me, and then I found her after the parade and we took an awesome close-up picture! Once I had Lynda Carter's approval, the decision to go further with it was made and being that I am a proud, hairy, gay man, I decided to put the word "Bear" in the name and that's how "Wonder WoBear" was born. Then, I remade the costume and entered it in the NYC Comic Con Costume Contest. After that, I put "Bear" in the names of all my characters.
MFT: Were you always a fan of Wonder Woman?
WWB: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved watching the Wonder Woman TV series. Diana Prince was always smart and beautiful, but I couldn't wait for trouble to start so she could spin into action as Wonder Woman. Her stunning beauty and that iconic costume always had me mesmerized and making a costume based on that look was a labor of love for me.
MFT: You won 3rd place at the 2012 NY Comic Con Cosplayer contest. What was that like?
WWB: It was an amazing feeling! I tied for 3rd place with a very fit and limber young man as Captain Planet. I was very happy just to go onstage and show off my costume but boy was I surprised when they made Captain Planet and I have a dance off. He was a great dancer, but the audience cheered louder for me! I was a great feeling to hear all the screams and applause. The fact that I was an over-sized, hairy man in a Wonder Woman costume didn't stop people from accepting it and getting the humor. I think that is what I love about this the most. People know the iconic costume, they get excited, but then seeing me up close in all my hairiness either freaks them out or makes them laugh. The majority laugh. Mission accomplished! I was also voted one of the "Sexiest Men of Comic Con" by MTV that day!
MFT: You met real-life Wonder Woman, the legendary Lynda Carter. What was her reaction to you?
WWB: After finding her at the parade, I ran over to her. She just stopped, looked at me, and started laughing! She is as nice in person as she is beautiful! I said, "PLEASE! I have to have a picture with you! PLEASE!!!" She laughed and said "Of course you do! Let's go!" We stood together, and her husband took the picture. Not too long after that I read an interview with her in a magazine. They asked her what she thought of her gay fans and part of her answer was, " ...as I did the gay pride parade in NY the day after they passed the marriage bill. I saw a lot of Wonder Women. I collect pictures of the most outrageous ones, the ones who have a big hairy chest or put a fat suit on." Now, I'm not 100% sure that she is talking about ME, but I like to think she is!
MFT: Are you looking forward to the upcoming movie with Gal Gadot?
WWB: I am really looking forward to this movie. It's about time Wonder Woman gets her big-screen movie and from the looks of it so far, it's gonna be AWESOME!
MFT: What other characters have you cosplayed?
WWB: After Wonder WoBear was a hit and accepted out in public, I decided to put my "Bear Spin" on several other iconic female characters. I have my version of the classic '66 Yvonne Craig BATGIRL, which I sent a picture of to Ms. Craig. She responded with an invitation to meet her at a sci-fi convention in California, but unfortunately I couldn't go. I won " Best in Show" at the 2016 Asbury Park Mermaid Parade for my "Beariel the Hairy Mermaid" costume,
Fortunately, my partner Jan enjoys my hobby and will occasionally join me. We've been "Princess Bearliea Orgasma & Jan Solo" from STAR WARS, and our version of Sonny & Cher......Sonny & Bher! But it is my version of Madonna that is the character I perform as. As Beardonna, I sing parodies of popular songs in different Madonna-inspired costumes. I've been fortunate enough to perform in many clubs in NYC, Hudson Valley NY, Asbury Park, NJ, Philadelphia, and Michigan. All my videos can be seen on You Tube.
MFT: What can we look for in the future from Wonder WoBear?
WWB: As long as wearing this costume brings smiles and laughs to people, I will continue to wear it!
MFT: Anything else you'd like to add?
WWB: "The laughs of the many out weigh the negative of the few. Stay WONDERFUL!" -Wonder WoBear
It just goes to show how the love of Wonder Woman crosses any and all walks of life and inspires many to aspire to the greatness of the character.
I hope to see you at WonderCon in Anaheim this Saturday at 1 p.m. for a one-hour signing at the Fanbase Press Booth (SP-99).
Make sure to check out the "I Am Wonder Fan" Facebook Page. I'll see you back here next week for another Wonder Woman Wednesday! Follow me on Instagram @MichaelFitzTroy.