“Greatings and welcome brave citizens of our new world.” There are many characters on the internet. Very few are as villainous as Dr Holocaust. The self acclaimed greatest supervillain of Toronto, can often been seen around his native Canada in his electro-shock power gauntlets and trademark round sunglasses.
When the good doctor is not trying to take over the world and defeat his enemies, he is Conal MacBeth. Cosplayer and writer/star/producer of the “Misadventures of Dr Holocaust” short films on his YouTube channel. We got to ask the doctor a few questions and here is what he said.
1. How did you come up with the character? And why did you decide to start making videos with the character on YouTube?
“Way back when I was in high school I loved telling stories. And I especially loved writing about superheroes. Even came up with a few. But I always had a weird time writing the villains. Specifically because I wanted to create characters with believable, human, motivations. And it’s because of this that I got a thirst for telling a story form the villains point of view. Like, what choices did characters like No-Heart and Dr. Claw make to get where they were? Why did they choose that life? A career in villainy, with all of its failures and risks, surely had to come with some solid and powerful motivations. So I created a guy, a really nice guy who just had enough. The nicest person you’d meet pushed to the edge. A genius scientist gone wrong. After going through the names that were already taken, finally landing on Dr. Holocaust as a name that strikes evil and disgust when heard, I then came up with a theme and got to writing.”
“Shortly after I started looking for an artist to fill in the gaps but I couldn’t find one right away. I had no money so I couldn’t just pay someone either. So I started dressing up in the costume and going to conventions to drum up some hype for the character and see if I could get an artist interested. To pass the time I also made a short film with some friends, just for kicks. Soon after I was receiving a lot of requests to do vlogs. I didn’t want to look like a Dr. Horrible rip-off so I stayed away from it for a bit. But soon after I gave in and started making videos. And then I started getting invited to cons. And now here I am.”
2. How did you decide on your steampunk-esque costume style?
“I always loved the style. And I had a bunch of it in my closet when I created the costume so it just kind of worked out.”
3. You have made a few short films including the well known “The Last Stand of the Mechanolith” as well as some much shorter mini videos for your channel. What is your creative process when making the videos and short films?
“I always try and create the kind of thing I’d want to see someone make with the character. I’m a hard guy to impress so I usually ask myself “What do I think is really cool? What would really impress me?” and go from there. I write most of my scripts in point form, adding dialogue when I want specific things to be said in specific areas, and then shoot it guerilla style. Very little, if no, lights and sound equipment. Just actors, a camera, and me.”
4. What drove you to do start VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April)?
“Someone suggested it to me and I figured it was a good challenge. I like being able to look back and see my accomplishments with it each year. To be able to say “yeah, I did that.” Like beating dark souls!”
5. What has it been like fronting and heading panels at conventions? And what has been you best experience at a convention?
“LOVE IT. I never pass up an opportunity to get up in front of some folks and explain my ideas or share my opinions. I’m a textbook narcissist so it works.
My best experience would be at ConBravo last year. And it’s a tie between D20 Live and Building a Better World. Such a great audience.”
6. You made videos with other cosplayers. How important would you say is collaboration in cosplaying?
“VERY important. It’s a great way to get people to notice you and enjoy your work. You could have the best show in the world, no one will care if they don’t see it. And consumers of content on sites like YouTube trust the opinions of the people they watch. So if someone like Markiplier says you’re good, then you’re good in the eyes of his fans.”
7. What advice would you give to other cosplayers?
“Do it because you love it, not because of the money or fame. And if you really do love it, fight for it.”
You can find the doctor on his website, Facebook and Twitter. You can watch his short films on his main channel and gaming videos on his new gaming channel. If you want to help out the doctor, you can donate to his Patreon.
Main Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DoctorHolocaust
Gaming Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCl_-Jo0-LOSF2ny74jEPA