December 16, 2010

Cosplayer Spotlight: Eric “The Smoke” Moran

In our latest Cosplayer Spotlight, we feature 40 year old Eric “The Smoke” Moran from Philadelphia, PA!

COMIC ATTACK: Start out by telling us how you got into comics. What was the first comic book you ever read? How about owned?

ERIC MORAN: I’ve been a comic book fan since I was 4 years old. My older brother Billy got me into comics. I remember, I would wait for him when he would get home from work late at night to see the latest issues of whatever books he had. It would get so bad that he would hide the comics under his pillow so I wouldn’t read them before he would. One of the first books I ever read was Spider-Man. The first book I ever owned was a Borris Karloff horror comic book and to this day it is still one of my favorites.

CA: How did you discover cosplay, and what made you want to get into it on a serious level?

EM: I was a cosplayer before it was known as cosplay. Way back in the early ’90s, I would go to Star Trek conventions dressed like Lt. Worf and loved it ever since. I didn’t start getting serious until the last 6 years. I had been attending some Comic Cons and I was blown away by all the costumes. I started to think, “How can I be dressed as my favorite superheroes?” So I did.

CA: Who was the first character you cosplayed as? Whom have you portrayed since?

EM: The first character I cosplayed as was Lt. Cmdr. La Forge from Star Trek; TNG. Since then I’ve portrayed the Rocketeer, Gears of War, Captain America , War Machine, Batman, Captain Marvel, Neo, Spawn, V for Vendetta, Lt. Worf, Derrick Wildstar (Star Blazers), Darth Maul, a Ghosterbuster, Cyclops, Crazy Eighty-Eight (Kill Bill), Firestorm, The Smoke, The Shadow, Rios (Army of Two), and Green Lantern.

CA: Which characters do you plan to represent in the future?

EM: I’m looking to do at least seven new costumes for 2011. The one costume that I’m doing [now] is a new character from DC Universe whom I’m patterned after. his name is Freight Train from “The Outsiders”. Most of the characters I do research on to see if I fit the persona and if I can pull it off. Which most of the time I can. I like doing characters that most people forget about.

CA: Which costume(s) are you most proud of?

EM: Hmm, it’s hard to say. Let’s say the top three I’m most proud of are, The Rocketeer. I took a lot of steps in getting as close to the movie costume as possible even down to the bubble gum on the back of my jet pack. War Machine, because a lot of fans really loved the costume, and Black Adam, because I was able to pull him off and really look like him in real life.

Eric as The Rocketeer with actor Ernie Hudson!

CA: Can you tell us the Comic Cons you’ve attended in costume? Plan on doing any more this year?

EM: I’ve been to over forty-five Comic Cons like, Wizard World, VGXPO, NY Comic Con and my new favorite DragonCon. Out of the forty-five, I’ve attended twenty-one times in costumes. In 2011, I plan on hitting a lot of Comic Cons along the east coast as well as the mid-west.

CA: Do you make all of your costumes? If so, how long do they take to complete? If not, where do you obtain them? How much do they cost on average?

EM: Some costumes I design or make myself. It can take a month to six months to get it right. The other costumes I get made from my friend Norman’s company, Heroes-In-Tights, ( In addition, I get other ones from overseas. The costs range [from] $130-$250.

CA: Have you ever met any of the creators whose characters you were cosplaying as in person? What was their reaction(s)?

EM: I have had the honor of meeting Jim Steranko, (Nick Fury / Captain America) Kyle Baker, (TRUTH); Dan Didio (DC Comics), Jamal Igle (Firestorm), Joe Quesada, (Marvel Comics) Michael Golden, (Marvel Fanfare) George Perez, (Avengers) Marv Wolfman, (Teen Titans) Chris Cross, (Milestone Comics). Their reactions were out of the world positive, and they love getting pictures taken with me which I thought was really cool.

Eric shakes the hand of comic book legend, Jim Steranko!

It's George Perez!

CA: What comics do you currently read? What are some of your all time favorites?

EM: The books I currently read right now are, Batman Inc., Scott Pilgrim, The Walking Dead, The Outsiders, Justice, The Boys, and Brightest Day. My all time favorites are Power Man and Iron Fist, Batman, Superman, The Uncanny X-Men, Justice League vs. The Avengers, Tempest, Frank Miller’s: The Dark Knight, Tainted, Batman: The Cult, Kingdom Come, American Flagg and Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.

CA: What about characters; who are your favorites?

EM: Since I have so many, here are a few: Shazam!, Batman, Black Adam, Blade, The Smoke, Spider-Man, and ICON. These characters I can relate to on a lot of different levels.

CA: In your experience, how do you feel cosplay is accepted by comic book fans?

EM: I feel that cosplay is a new level of comic book fandom. I also feel that along with seeing a who’s who in artist and TV / movie celebrities at the Comic Cons, Cosplayers are the new celebrity for the Comic Cons now, and fans are dying to see and take pictures of cosplayers.

CA: Have you ever had any awkward encounters while in costume with any fanboys or girls? Please, give us the details!

EM: Thank God, I really haven’t had any real awkward encounters, but there was one time this guy asked to give me a hug, I said, “No, but I can give you a pound.” (Fist to fist) Most of my encounters have been very cool.

CA: What are some of your most memorable cosplay moments?

EM: Some of the coolest moments I’ve had as a cosplayer was going to DragonCon this year and meeting fellow cosplayers and being able to do a mega shoot with them.  Another memorable moment I’ve had as a cosplayer is celebrities want to get a picture with me like Seth Green and Ernie Hudson.  I’ve had so many moments, but the best moment ever is getting pictures taken with the fans and seeing your picture everywhere the next day.

CA: What do you do in real life?

EM: In real life I am a former U.S. Marine and now I work for the Federal Government.

CA: How is your passion for cosplay received by your family, friends, and co-workers?

EM: Most of my friends and family find it very cool and for the most part support me. For the people that know me they know this is who I am.

My money is on the good guys.

CA: According to your Facebook page, you’re really into wrestling and acting. Can you expand on that for us?

EM: I happen to be a pro-wrestler known as The Smoke. I’ve been a pro-wrestler for close to twenty-years. I’ve wrestled for companies like NWA Shockwave, ECW, and The Dangerous Women of Wrestling. I’ve been a World, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Champion. I’m also an actor. I’ve been on the Jenny Jones Show, the television show Heavy Sedation and movies like The Black Ninja and Leaf. I will be appearing in the upcoming Graphic Novel from Big City Comics called Tainted which will be out in February, 2011.

CA: Who would win in a fight fist fight: Road Block or Heavy Duty?

EM: Road Block, he can kick ass and rhyme while doing it. Heavy Duty is a poor-man’s Road Block.

CA: What are some of your other interests and hobbies?

EM: I’ve been taking an interest in film. I shot my first DC Comics superhero fanfilm, Clash in the Knight. Its been well received by fans and cosplayers alike. Right I’m working on my second fanfilm with a much larger cast. It should be out by summer 2011.

CA: Do you have a fan page or website?

EM: I can be found on my “Eric Moran” page on Facebook, or my “The Smoke” fan page on Facebook as well.

CA: Any parting words about cosplay or comics in general?

EM: Yes, I want to thank all those comic book companies and artists for bringing all my favorite characters to life, and allowing me to show my appreciation back by being a Cosplayer. To all my fellow cosplayers, we are the superstars of the ComicCons…Keep on Cosplaying.

To check out previous editions of the Cosplayer Spotlight, click here!

Andy Liegl



  1. clive ARNO

    Outstanding article!… i always admired cosplayers… and alot of questions were answered… look forward to great things from Smoke and Comicattack!…

  2. Porche

    Great Article! Eric is not only an awesome cosplayer, but a great guy! I’m looking forward to seeing more of his cosplay at DragonCon.

  3. Malcombe McGirt

    Hey, Smoke great article. Keep up the good work and repersenting all the cosplayers out there. your customes are awsome, war machine is you man.

  4. Shemika Berry

    Fantastic way to get Cosplay out in the mainstream. Eric is a great ambassador for Cosplay. The Comic Cons this year (2011) won’t know what hit them!

  5. Malcombe McGirt

    Hey Smoke, great article keep up the good work representing the cosplayers. your costumes

    are awesome, you do know that you own war machine? Just wanted to holler at you Bro. and

    let you know I’m proud of you. Peace!



    Thank you all so much and thank you Andy, it is a true honor being spotlighted and if any of you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

  7. Brian Gregory

    Excellent article Bro , you do the Cosplayers very proud ,hell your the Ambassador for the East Coast. Thanks to you i was initiated into a world i thought i couldn’t be apart of because the color of my skin .Thank god my small mind got reeducated . Epic article well done.

  8. Shiloh

    Great job Smoke, good article, they have no idea on what 2011 is going to bring…

  9. Adya

    That was a great article! I especially enjoyed the part about how your big brother was your original influence for getting into comics. I love your positive and inspiring attitude about cosplay. I agree that this is the just the beginning for what’s to come for cosplay and cosplayers…You definitely make us proud.

  10. Billy

    Holy crap is that War Machine costume dope!

  11. RDragon

    Fantastic interview. I can’t imagine how you find time to participate in so many activities during the course of a year. The fact you maintain that schedule and keep such a positive perspective is amazing. Keep up the great work!

  12. I was lucky enough to run into Smoke on my way out of this years NYCC and when I saw him in that War Machine costume that he made it just blew me away! The entire crew that he was with stopped and posed for a pic and everyone was just great to talk with.

    Appreciate you sharing with us man!

  13. john clark

    Wow! A Very good choice on selecting you to be placed in the spot light! You had smooth comeback answers to the Questions! 🙂 Positives!! I like that! Keep up the Hard work eric! 😀


    I feel very honored to have the support from all of you thank you so much.

  15. David

    Words can’t describe this man great article Eric I look forward to your new projects

  16. Nice interview on you Smoke. Keep pumping out your projects.
    Eric Cooper

  17. nice article! I’ve always dressed up in star trek uniforms, did not know it was part of ‘cosplay’ Eric has been mentoring me and my friends, another wonderful aspect of his personality…sharing his talents!


    If feel very humble among great friends. I can’t begin to tell you what it means to me guys.

  19. MorpheusBlade

    Awesome interview/article Smoke! I totally agree: “…cosplayers are the new celebrity for the Comic Cons…”. Thanks again for being a friend and including me in your projects as well as a couple of the photos above! Be well & God Bless!

  20. […] to cosplay, but didn’t have a clue on who or how. March 25, 2010 that changed. Thanks to Eric” The Smoke” Moran, whom I’ve meet few years ago at the Wizard Cons, he contacted me on facebook and proposed I […]

  21. Marc B. Lee

    WOW! What a great pleasure to know this great guy! He looks fantastic in anything he wears and he ain’t even my type. Good job Eric! Keep it up!!!


      LOL!!!Hey Marc thanks for having my back!!!

      You are the man!!!

  22. Smoke is the real one 4sho everyone! These pictures are such a real look into his persona, spectacular, super depth only he can bring! .Please Enjoy his flavor knowing you can get genuine entertainment that comes straight from his big heart! Every character he shares in the pics are with so much compassion! You could never comprehend his beautiful gifts unless they ever had a chance to connect in some closer level with this, living God! I know his should- have- been- Supergirl wishes she was the Supermodel that hijacked his heroes heart from her too long ago! I’m still that small town, girl next door, Smallville freak that looks more like Wonder Woman sporting Krytonian gear lol! Still dream life in my own world. Eric, I’m still cursed with what most consider beauty …Yep I’m all mixed up and wish I could just blend in sometimes and feel like no one sees me for me at all..I’m more then a pretty face! I’m still involved if you could call it that needing to keep that promise. I could have died happy opening up our own comic book store together with you, a man that had seen more then whats on my outside. I wish I had been the one by your side all this time. I didn’t even try to compete with that girl because I knew I would never have to if I could have just been real with you!. I know you tried to make me jealous and don’t blame you because I deserved it. Eric, if I just did not run away, shut the door and let go back when?. I know I could have tasted heaven in your arms and sometimes I lay awake at night thinking of how it would feel. Please forgive me if I hurt you and made you feel lead on! I should have called you and given you something!I ran like a coward.instead .My feelings were getting so strong and I wanted to be with you and have a family with yours and mine.Your offer was all I wanted! Falling for you became a weakness on my part and I shadowed what I wanted with you from my true reality. I wanted you so bad and when I awoke I had to choose the right thing. I gave up my true destiny with you to spare the hurt of the ones in my life that needed me. I could have had true love, I know. I had to sacrifice and I pray you forgive me. I try so hard to be an honorable girl and my happiness comes last even for an eternity if that is my sad fate. What kind of Superhero would I be then if I could walk away with my heart in your hands at the expense of people that deserve more then what I desire? I love you,,,,,,,,, I’m sorry I couldn’t say this then to you. Running away and off the face of the Earth was easier then saying good-bye. I wish I was given the chance to be with you without all my drama. I hope you settled down and are happy with a woman that really loves you. (If only more than in my Dreams ahhh you were more then any man I had ever dreamed of even Clark Kent) I cried when Smallville ended but I can say I have missed you more and would give my King Superman up if I could have been brave enough to believe in you & me and let love flow! Eric The Great! Hero of my dreams. Smoke, I would have died a trillion tiny deaths just to have one min with you…..You trusted me close to your heart and I ran away because I was scared to have you this day knowing I would have to leave you in the next. Its been a long four years now and finally I had to let my heart do a search on you to make sure you are ok. So happy that I did! You are bigger, more amazing than I imagined! When our paths crossed on MS I never made another profile because it just would have not been the same with out you. I let everyone go. No one heard from me again, I stuck with my art and do local Cosplay but am never as close as I want to be. As magical and SUPER as you remain it takes my breath away! I hoped and wish only the best for your sweet daughter and you. I know your little girl is still the best part of your being and has continued to make you a proud papa! I knew from how you first spoke her angelic name to me she was your moon and stars! SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN MY SUPERSTAR!!!! I doubt this mess will ever reach you and is for the best if you are with another as so am I:( just thought that I would spread some love to everyone that has the honor to hit this site and get a glimpse of a knight in shining armor:) You are the best my, dear. I will remain your biggest fan all the miles and years that we are apart-

    Love Forever,
    A Supergirl from Whidbey Island WA misssing you & sending my love to you and Yours



      I was just told about your comment!!!

      Thank you soo much for the very kind words.


      Hey Supergirl!!!

      I’m very glad to know you are well.

      I want nothing but the best for you, I miss talking Smallville with you and so much has happen meeting and haning with some of the cast was surreal for me.

      I feel very horned to have known you and I wish you nothing but the best for you and your family.

      Keep staying true to yourself. 🙂

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