Meet local creative cosplayer and host of the Cosplay Affair... Lee Roberts

Mr Clever Cosplay Creative Salem
Photo by Juarez Films and Photography

Lee Roberts aka Mr. Clever is a cosplayer and custom Funko artist from Salem. They are actively involved in the Cosplay is not Consent: Anti-bullying movement as well as being an admin for Boston Whovians. You can learn more about Lee and their craft at Clockwork Dragon Designs

Their Mr. Clever cosplay has been featured in The Nerdist, The Mary Sue, Nerd Caliber, on BBC America, the BBC affiliate Anglophilia, and was featured in Doctor Who magazine.

Their motto is “Upgrade everyone. Save all the kittens.”

**Tell us a little bit about Mr. Clever**

Mr. Clever is from the Doctor Who episode “Nightmare in Silver” written by my favorite author, Neil Gaiman.  He is what happened when the Cyberman tried to take over the Doctor. For those non- Whovians out there, imagine an evil robotic entity that takes over 50% of an alien time traveler’s mind. The beauty and challenge of cosplaying him is the fact  that it’s essentially two characters in one.  He was sassy, snarky, manic, manipulative and I adored every second he was on screen.

Two Heads Are Better Than None – Nightmare in Silver – Doctor Who – BBC

The Doctor finds Angie and Artie but is partially upgraded into a Cyberman! Sharing the Cybermen’s shared consciousness, the “Cyberiad” gives the Doctor a split personality as both the Doctor and the “Cyber-Planner”, or “Mr Clever” compete for full control…

** You’ve become known for cosplaying this character. Why him?

You know this is the one question people ask me the most and I am never 100% sure what to say.  There are so many reasons why Mr. Clever clicked with me. I do remember when I first saw Nightmare in Silver, I lost my mind when he first appeared on screen and knew I had to cosplay that character.  I loved his personality: snarky, flirty and suave. Maybe its because I have always loved all things robotic.  Maybe it’s because it gave me a chance to make something unique, since I can’t sew which usually is a primary skill as a cosplayer. Maybe its just because he lets me get out of my own way and have fun. I don’t have a solid answer. I had tried other cosplays before and after him, but none of them fit me like he does.  When I put on the cyberplanner piece it all just comes together. We just clicked – it was love at first sight.

**What does cosplay mean?**

Cosplay is hard to define, as it means different things to different people. For myself, I’m not cosplaying unless I am in character, not just in costume. Unless I am Mr. Clever.

But the beauty of cosplay is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. For some people putting on a costume and going out for Halloween is cosplaying, and that is totally ok.  It’s the fun, the PLAY part of it that is key for most cosplayers.

Imagine your 10-year-old self all over again. What costume did you want to wear? What character did you want to embody so badly? Wonder women? Gandalf? A ninja Turtle? It’s that same passion that makes cosplay fun and rewarding for all ages.  Doesn’t matter if you made your costume, bought it at a thrift store or just make props, like me. It’s all about self-expression and fun.

Cosplay is for everyone. And everyone can cosplay. To learn more join Lee and some of our friends from Flying Saucer Pizza for the WHAT IS COSPLAY workshop at Salem Access TV on Friday Feb. 24th

Lee also sent along this AWESOME Ted talk by Adam Savage..

My love letter to cosplay | Adam Savage

Adam Savage makes things and builds experiments, and he uses costumes to add humor, color and clarity to the stories he tells. Tracing his lifelong love of costumes – from a childhood space helmet made of an ice cream tub to a No-Face costume he wore to Comic-Con – Savage explores the world of cosplay and the meaning it creates for its community.

Get tickets to the Cosplay Affair here

The Cosplay Affair

Presented by Creative Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel and Mr. Clever, come enjoy a night of dancing, music and costumes in one of the countries’ most historic ballrooms. Whether you are a Batman, a Time Lord, a Superhero, Alien or an Elf…we welcome all to celebrate costume play with us.

Salem has a HOST of amazing cosplayers that it calls home.. Some of which you will see at the event and some you see on a more regular basis. Cosplay is a pastime to some but also a full/part time job for many as well.. All a part of the equation in how creativity is one of the many driving economic forces in Salem.

Steve the Vampire

Brandon the Shapeshifter

Ice Queen Cosplay

Ivan from Arkham Ghostbusters

Salem Gaslight Batman

Madruga Cosplay

Perseus and Draconis Aeternam Angeli

*****DISCLAIMER:Creative Salem supports creativity in all forms and fully supports anyone letting their “freak flag fly” in any way they choose. We are also a proud supporter of the No Place for Hate committee. Issues of nonacceptance in the cosplay community, as well as issues of consent and safety, were strong factors in us choosing to do the Cosplay Affair and provide a safe space in Salem for cosplayers and fans of cosplay.

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