To say that I was surprised by the request to do this article is an understatement. I was at work when suddenly my phone burst into maniacal laughter, Jynx’s laugh from League of Legends to be exact, and suddenly I found myself speaking to none other than a cosplay legend in a league of his own, Mister Michael “Knightmage” Wilson!
Sparing the details, I jumped at the chance for a multitude of reasons. You see, loyal and lovely reader, I am a die hard fan of cosplay. The art is an amazing show of creativity and tenacity. Where others see a pile of thrift store cast offs, a cosplayer can see the realization of a dream. To this end, I am subscribed to the Knightmage Facebook. This page is a constant source of interaction with the man himself and how he turns, for example, a Sloth mask to the Toxic Avenger. If you haven’t checked Knightmage out, you are missing out.
Alright I digress, the point of the night here is about something else that I am a die hard fan of. Like many before me, and Mr. Knightmage himself, I am a humanist. To this end Knightmage has begone a new campaign that well… Let’s hear the man explain it,
“In an effort to continue to make costumes I create more
meaningful than just a creative outlet for myself, I’ve decided to start a new charity print campaign. I’m partnering with various photographers, charities and websites and doing location based photo shoots that coincides with the character as well as choosing the charity that directly or indirectly correlates to the character in some way. The character that is on deck is the Punisher.” – Knightmage
That is right, Punisher from Marvel fame. Now one could ask, “What does the Punisher have to do with a charity?” Well that is actually a fairly simple answer, like the charity Safe Horizon, the Punisher is out there righting wrongs within New York City since the 1970’s (1978 and 1974 respectively). The wrongs of domestic violence, child physical and sexual abuse, human trafficking, stalking, youth homelessness and violent crimes against a family member within communities are met with compassionate and expert support by the nation’s largest non-profit victim services agency.
See, some heroes don’t have supernatural powers. These notable individuals have very natural ones. Like Frank Castle the Punisher, they know when things are not right in the world. Coupled with a will that will persevere no matter what, as long as there is a victim to protect they continue long after many would have simply given up. I speak of police officers. I speak of case workers. I speak of shelter workers, councilors and teachers. I speak of those at Safe Horizon, who care enough to have dedicated their lives to helping those who, and this surprises many who have never been in said dire straights, do not know how to ask for help. From a woman escaping an abusive situation, a child who doesn’t know where to turn about what happened to them because they don’t know any authorities who speak their language, to a family grieving from a recent violent tragedy; Safe Horizon’s 57 program locations have ways to aid and provide benefits to those in need.
This may not sound like anything amazing to some, but it is a special kind of ripple effect on the community. See, it is a bit like the Punisher who effects one criminal and his reputation spreads to another and another. The people at New Horizon can save one child, who learns they are not alone in this world. That child not only turns down a brighter path and does not actively create more victims, but when they encounter a child down the road of life, they know what to do to help. Butterfly effect if you will, but the effect is there none the less. In my day job, I see this type of effect in many ways. The world needs more services like this not only in New York City but across the entire world. Yeah, I said world. All we need is love people.
Now this is all fine and good but what does this have to do with the price of ammunition? See dear reader, you can head over to Knightmage’s store envy and purchase prints of this shoot at the rate of $25. The proceeds of said sale go to benefit this amazing worthy cause.
In closing I wanted to thank Knightmage for allowing me to cover this as it is something I enjoy doing. Furthermore, I want to thank Safe Horizon for all the work they do. They are superheroes in every sense of the word and sincerely hope their example spreads like wildfire. Charity work, no matter the cause, is good for the soul, heart and mind. Knightmage exemplifies the ideals of charity and has done so for as long as I have followed him. Even in my interview of Knightmage I did while writing for Nerdarchy I learned he was a noble soul. As I did then, I offer Knightmage an open door that if he ever needs help on a project, I will do so in a heart beat.
Costume and Cosplay: Michael “Knightmage” Wilson
Safe Horizon can be reached at the following: