By Ana Aesthetic
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
This week the costume community lost one of our own. If you have spent any time in the Star Wars or Dr. Who fandoms, you would know Ryan Jones immediately. His portrayal of David Tennant is one of the most recognized on the internet, his picture often times being confused for the actor himself. And the large part he played in raising money for the numerous charities the 501st work with was his passion. His cheerful smile and beaming eyes were the first thing you would see whenever you walked up to him. I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan and his girlfriend Essay at Time Gate in Atlanta this past year. They are known for their stellar 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler costumes, and the fact they complimented me on my last minute Rose outfit made my day. We spent awhile chatting about costumes and TV shows, and they just reminded me why I love this fandom so much.
On July 6, 2011 Ryan was hospitalized with a life threatening ulcer and had two cases of pneumonia while undergoing treatment. Very few people knew, because that’s the type of guy Ryan was. As my friend told me, Ryan didn’t want people to focus on the fact he was sick, he would rather they go and continue living their lives and having fun for him. For awhile, it looked like things were turning around and he would once again pick up that sonic screw driver and head off on wondrous adventures with his darling Rose. This Wednesday morning he passed away.
We here at Geeks Are Sexy love to post pictures of the fun and varied costumes we catch at conventions, but little do we get to know the people behind these masks. Sadly I did not know Ryan as well I would have liked, but the memory of the day I met him will stay with me. I did ask a friend and fellow Whovian costumer Linden Lewis to write a few things about Ryan, this young man who touched so many lives and used his costuming for the force of good.
Ryan was a beloved cosplayer in the geek community and an avid member of the 501st, a non-profit organization that uses Star Wars costumes to raise money for charities through community service. Ryan utilized his detailed costumes for more than personal gain. He did not become the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who or a Biker Scout from Star Wars simply to wear a costume; he did so instead to adopt the ideals of the character, to prove that a man in a costume could change the world one life at a time, and to make dreams come true for those waiting for a Doctor.
When I imagine the ideal “good man,” Ryan’s is the face that comes to mind. My only regret is that I did not have more time with him. From all that I knew and saw of him, I wish I had known and seen more. I know that every life he touched wishes the same. The outcry of the community for Ryan has been loud. Ryan’s Army, a group of his friends, family, and fans, has been raising money for his medical treatment and is still raising money for the costly medical bills. Visit the website to support his family in this hard time, and keep them all in your thoughts.
We who have been left behind will always miss Ryan. Everything about him was goodness and humor in a world that was dark and depressed. With his passing, a light has gone out of the world. But if we hear fiddling from heaven, at least we know where it comes from.
Update: The family requests memorial donations be made to The Salvation Army, the ASPCA, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Ryan’s Obituary – http://www.currentobituary.com/ShowObit.aspx?id=101537&member_id=207
Remembering Ryan Jones Memorial on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RememberingRyanJones
If you want to see Ryan’s wonderful costume work, his personal page is still up and can be viewed here: http://www.jediagent.com/
For friends of Ryan, or those who want to donate to help cover the medical costs, you can visit Ryan’s Army here: http://ryansarmy.com/
501st Mid-South Garrison – http://midsouthgarrison.com/