Here at TheOneRing.net, we are very proud of the community we have helped create, and like any community, we experience losses. One such loss occurred this weekend in Los Angeles, where the Tolkien fan community, and the costuming community as a whole, lost one of its brightest and most creative individuals. Kent Elofson died on May 18 of an apparent suicide in his Pasadena home, leaving behind a huge community of fellow costumers, all mourning his passing.
More behind the break.
Kent was born and raised in Southern California and began his creative life at Disneyland, where he worked first in the Character department, and then moved over into the Art Department and Imagineering. Chances are that if you’ve been to Disneyland in Anaheim or Paris, that you have enjoyed a little bit of Kent’s creativity. Beyond that, Kent was an early proponent of the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire and a long standing genre costume re-creator. Amongst Tolkien fandom, Kent is best known for his Aragorn costumes, both as Strider and as Aragorn at the Black Gates. But anyone who has attended San Diego Comic con in the past decade can attest, Kent was a master costumer in many genres and across numerous media.
Kent’s connection with TheOneRing.net and the Tolkien Fandom in Los Angeles goes back to the early days of the Lord of the Rings films when he showed up to an event dressed as Strider. It was clear he was really talented, and his subsequent impact on the LOTR costuming community in LA is the richer for it. Kent helped put together our Costuming Display at our first ORC convention and was a panelist for the event. He appeared in the Ringers: Lord of the Fans documentary and came to subsequent screenings for the film to celebrate. He recently was involved in the Todd of the Rings parody as none other than Strider, seen above in green screen, and he helped create many props and decorative items used at LA Tolkien events, such as an Eye of Sauron pinata. Locals always knew they would see amazing costumes from him, but that he was also always open to discussing how someone else could achieve and actualize their costume dream.
Some of his most recent costumes include Zaphod Beeblebrox, Riff-Raff, Batman, Green Lantern, Van Helsing and more. Above are just some images of Kent and his work, and we encourage his friends and partners in costuming to post their images and memories of Kent here too. [Forum Thread] [Facebook] As yet, no formal announcement has been made regarding a memorial service.
Calisuri here – the other day a friend sent along the picture below after hearing of Kent’s passing. While it obviously features an extremely embarrassing moment in my life (I lost a bet to my wife and the Tolkien community), it showcases just how fun natured and charismatic Kent could be. For someone who took costuming to such a masterful level, it was really impressive of him to take a moment to participate in the silliness of the moment. He genuinely looks smitten with my version of Arwen right? lol – I’m not ashamed to share this very humbling pic because it brings back some great memories. God speed Kent – you will be missed!