As you'll see below, there's more to Rusty than just Blue Beetle and cosplay at conventions...to a lot of kids, he's a real, honest to goodness hero!
(with George Perez, a combined effort of Heroes Alliance and Costumers With A Cause)
(Superman - Harrison Wayne, Nightcrawler - Rusty Winns, Spider-Man - TJ McDonald)
(Spider-Man - Rusty Winns, Breast Cancer Awareness/Pink Ribbon Events)KI - Do the kids recognize the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, or do they expect the more recent Jaime Reyes incarnation? RW - I wish I could say they recognized Ted. Unless they have a Dad or Mom that is a Comic nerd, I just look like a Blue guy in spandex. Being that I am a Ted fan first and foremost I have not made a Jaime costume. I have a Spider-man costume that I tend to wear for Charity events. The kids always recognize and love to see the web-head.
(Spider-Man - Rusty Winns, at Nathaniel's Hope, an Orlando charity for special needs children)
KI - Which characters do or have you appeared as? RW - I tend to appear mostly as Spider-man. I have also used Green Lantern, NightCrawler and I even did Batman once. It did not turn out great as I tend to smile and have fun in costume. I was the smileiest Batman in history!
(Green Lantern - Rusty Winns at Seminole Cancer Walk, Aquaman - Rick Stanford, Thor - Ryan Frye, Superman - Jay Tallsquall, smiley Batman - Rusty Winns, Green Lantern - Robert Tissot at Charity Games)KI - Any moments or experiences with this work that really stand out? RW - Each and every time I get a chance to brighten the spirit of a child, who is battling a rough situation, it lifts my heart. To see their faces when a beloved character from the comics or movies visits them is unexplainable. It is better than gold. I am so excited that you and your readers are interested in hearing more than just about a guy that dresses in a costume for ComicCons. The real joy is in charity and I encourage anyone that is interested in participating in a charity group to get in contact with Costumers with a Cause or the new group I am working with in North Carolina -Heroes Initiative. If you are a Star wars costumer, then I highly recommend the Rebel alliance or 501st
(Lightning Lad - Rusty Winns, Cosmic Boy - Jay Tallsquall, Superboy - Nick McFly)
So, what do you think Beetlemaniacs? Seems pretty heroic to me! At this point, I've only dressed up for Halloween (and once as Disney's Mad Hatter for a kids party)...but this has got me thinking, about cosplay...and about charity!