Caped Crusaders: ETexas' dynamic duo bring characters to life

Published on Friday, 30 May 2014 21:46 - Written by Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Josh Passmore has long felt a connection to Batman.

The 28-year-old was born in the month of May — the cover month for Detective Comics No. 27, in which “The Bat-Man” first appeared 75 years ago — and has a Batman birthday cake every year.

During his childhood, his mother purchased many Batman items for him, and his entire Longview home is filled with items related to Batman and The Joker — his roommate’s favorite character.

Passmore already has reserved a new copy of the Batman game, scheduled to come out in October, and has a 75th anniversary poster.

“Batman’s been probably my major iconic hero. I like the whole DC (Comics) thing. I like some Marvel (Comics), but DC’s where my heart’s always been, and especially with Batman because he doesn’t have superpowers. He’s just a regular guy out there,” Passmore said. “I just related well with him.”

Today, Passmore and his roommate, Joseph Wilde, do promotional events dressed as Batman and The Joker through Jericho’s Tours of Tyler. Most recently, they dressed up for a promotional event at RC Comics in Kilgore. During the event, which was for Tugg the Bull Terrier, the two stood outside the store, trying to attract visitors.

“Every time we brought these guys out, we were bringing people in,” said Jennyfer Keohane, events and promotions coordinator with Jericho’s Tours of Tyler.

When asked what stands out about the men, Ms. Keohane referenced “their eagerness to do anything.”

“I can come up with the craziest thing and go, ‘I want to do this,’ and they’re just like, ‘Give me a day, a time and just be there with the makeup,’” she said.

And, Ms. Keohane said, she loves that the roommates are not the typical kind of guys who dress up in a costume.

“They’re not your stereotypical superhero body type. … They break the body-type mold,” she said.

Passmore and Wilde first got involved with cosplay, short for costume play, about a year ago.

Wilde, 28, said he’s always been into comic books and “kind of a nerd.” The Joker has been his favorite character, as he’s more a fan of the villain.

“He’s funny and likes to crack jokes all the time, and that’s kind of the way I am,” Wilde said.

But he said it wasn’t until he and Josh started hanging out that his interest grew. They eventually decided to do cosplay together as Batman and The Joker.

Since then, Wilde said, he’s been able to do some cool things, such as being in a commercial for the Tyler Rose City Comic Con.

“I like to do it because when you’re dressed like this … they (people) seem to really enjoy it,” he said, adding that it’s a good opportunity to entertain people and make them happy.

Aside from cosplay, Passmore and Wilde also started a special effects studio at their home and make latex masks and other products to sell.

Passmore said he is creating a muscular chest piece “just like Batman wore” and plans to “up it a little” each year he dresses up as Batman. For instance, next year he will make a costume that resembles Batman’s space suit.

From here, the two plan to attend more comic cons in other areas such as Houston and Dallas.

The “sky’s the limit, really,” Wilde said.