The Muppets and Mr. Presley

Cosplay can be tricky, especially when you have sidekicks.

SP Jim Henson 2

Meet Jared Presley, better known in our corner of the world as Steampunk Jim Henson. Look familiar? He just won second place in the Pandora Society’s first online Costume Contest. We caught up with him to learn a bit more about everything he put into his multiple-personality-design.

“In the costume world, I am a cosplayer mainly. I started out doing direct costume interpretations, but nowadays I have it where it’s more a mashup of ideas. I have many hobbies and interests, including being a musician/guitarist, artist, photographer, and explorer . . . I couldn’t just focus on one thing. I was deciding on a new cosplay idea, and having the beard, I thought up of Jim Henson. I was a big fan of the Muppets as a kid, and it’s a tribute cosplay. Though, to simply have the Muppets wouldn’t do. I chose Steampunk as the first mashup of this idea.”

SP Jim Henson 1Like many counter culture designers, he found the pieces of his own costume (“Even the bowler hat”) over time in local thrift shops. But Jim Henson never goes alone, and Mr. Presley knew he’d need a very specific entourage.

Enter the frog.

And the dog.

“[The Muppets] were part of a vintage line that the Henson Company had out in the 70’s. That Kermit puppet was made circa 1978. [He’s] older than I am.”

Nothing like working with the classics. Mr. Presley eventually added Gobo to his team, though the puppet is newer than its comrades. But how to clothe such teammates? Well, with some teamwork, of course.

“The steampunk hat was made by Caelyn [Nagle]. So were the steampunk goggles. The vest for Kermit came later.”

With Mr. Nagle’s help, Mr. Presley brought his vision to life and has been playing it out ever since. However, if you have the good fortune of running into Steampunk Jim Henson, he’ll probably only have one sidekick: “I usually only have Kermit out nowadays. It’s hard to have two puppets and no hands.”

Yes. It must be difficult accepting awards.

So, what’s next?

“I am in the works now of doing a Doctor Who/Kermit mash-up. I also am working on a steampunk version of a famous artist, but that’s all I can say on the matter for now.”

While Mr. Presley works on his latest re-imaginings, you can check out his work, or you can become a fan of his delightful cohorts, the Steampunk Muppets.

If you are interested in commissioning your own fantastic props for a cosplay or project (or you just want some serious Tek candy), you can find Caelyn Nagle’s work HERE.

Should a tournament of imagination take your fancy, this month’s contest is for Goggles, Guns, and Gadgets. Applicants will be accepted through July 19th, and winners will be announced at next month’s Cincinnati Steampunk Salon.

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