San Diego Comic-Con, as most of you probably know, is the pinnacle of pop culture conventions, one of the largest shows of its kind in the entire world. To be perfectly frank, I’d long thought of such an event as terrifying – too many people, all jostling to look at celebrities and learn about the latest movies and video games. Sure, comics are right in the title, but it’s become so focused on pop culture as a whole – would there really be anything there for me?
Summer is upon us and while for many of us are planning our trips to the beach, I think it’s safe to assume that just as many of us are getting ready for Boston Comic Con in August. This means a flurry of activity as we make plans, obsessively check the guest lists, and get our cosplay ready. The Ladies of Comicazi will be there with a few surprises (more on that coming soon), and we hope you stop by and say hi.
But as we eagerly await the big event, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a special cosplayer who’s not only gorgeous and talented, but also related to Tiny Doom and I (please don’t hold that against her, she really is a lovely person).
Mikaela (aka April O’Neil) is an up and coming cosplyer based out of New York. She was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions for us about her experiences doing cosplay.
How did you first learn about cosplay and what made you start participating?
How do we learn about anything? The internet! LOL! I was looking up pictures of superheroes online and I came across a woman dressed as Rogue, from X-Men. I then started to research cosplay, started participating in chat rooms as well. When I first discovered all of this I hadn’t transitioned yet. I was still hiding who I was. I saw cosplay as an outlet for me to be who I really wanted to be. I attended my first convention back in 2010, NYCC, as April O’Neil. It was very well received and for the first time ever I felt amazingly confident. Cosplay gave me courage that I don’t think I would have had otherwise.
Speaking of your transition, is there is anything you would like to talk about in regards to the cosplay community and its response to your transition? For instance have you found cosplayers to be more or less supportive?
That is difficult to answer. A majority of the cosplayers that I know, that have supported my transition, I was already friends with. I haven’t really found a good outlet to gauge what people, in the community, think about it. I did come out to my followers on DeviantArt last year, in a journal entry on Transgender Day of Visibility. I can say that I got mixed responses, a majority of them positive. Then of course you have some that are negative as well. Someone, who I assume follows me on DA, commented on one of my April videos on YouTube. He said he can’t really like my video because I’m a man. In my experience though, everyone I meet who discovers I am transgender has been overwhelmingly supportive. It could be luck, it could be things are moving in a positive direction as we move into the future, I am not sure. I can say I feel truly blessed to get that amount of support and I hope that will always be the case no matter who I meet in the community.
Which cosplay/fandom is your favorite?
I only choose to cosplay characters that have a special place in my heart. I grew up on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it was my first love. I always looked up to April. She had a feisty attitude, independent, smart, brave and one hell of a driver. I always wanted to be her, so to be able to cosplay her is actually a dream come true. Catwoman is another favorite who I cosplay quite often and I have multiple versions of her to wear. I have many other favorites, many other characters I want to cosplay. It’s an expensive hobby, all in due time lol.
Do you have any suggestions for others who want to get into cosplay?
If the interest is there, do it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. It’s not only a lot of fun, but I have met people I wouldn’t have and did things I never thought I would do because of cosplay.
Favorite cosplay experience?
My favorite experience was when I went to a con as Catwoman. I was walking around the convention center and I had a little Batman come up to me. He held on to my leg very tightly and said “You’re mine, Catwoman.” It was the cutest and most heart warming moment. I spent a little while with that little boy as he told me about why he loves Batman so much and I took a picture with him. He thought I was really Catwoman and it was such an wonderful experience.
Any bad experiences with cosplay or the community?
I have been lucky in this regard. I know a lot of cosplayers who have had terrible experiences. I haven’t had anything really bad happen. Walking down the streets of Manhatten to get to NYCC in costume is always an interesting experience. I get the cat calling when I am in costume, but most of the time I ignore it. Nothing has ever been so rude that I had to turn around to take notice. When I am at conventions people are usually very respectful if I say I can’t take a photo or anything. Some look more disappointed than others, but again nothing bad has ever come of it.
Do you have any new plans or ideas you are working on for your next costume or character?
As I stated previously I have many other characters lol. I want to do Tracer from Overwatch, Teela MOTU, Cheetara from Thundercats, Juri, Ibuki, Poison, Cammy, Vixen from DC, the list goes on and on. I hope to be able to do them all at some point. Cosplay isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so I am optimistic lol. Even if it does, who cares, I am still going to cosplay my heart out!
What skills have you learned or want to learn in regards to costume making and planning?
My sewing has actually improved dramatically since I got into cosplay. I can make adjustments on my costumes no problem, although construction without a pattern to follow is still very intimidating to me. I have only tackled very simple things. I leave the more complex costumes to someone far more talented than I. I would like to, at some point, be able to make my own and not have to commission my costumes.
Any events you will be attending this summer?
No major events planned, at least convention wise. I am attending a midnight showing of the Suicide Squad as Knightfall Catwoman. Other than that I would like to do more photo shoots. I have several photographers that want to connect to do some work with me. It would be nice to have more content for my pages. It’s hard for me to find the time with my work schedule.
Since Tiny Doom and The Red Menace wrote the guide to Boston for Comic Con goers together, we thought we’d join forces again to give our take on what happened AT the 2015 Boston Comic Con. This post covers Friday. In order to set ourselves apart from the ordinary con reports, this one will be a pictorial starring two raptors and a baby.
Don’t worry, no actual babies or dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this post. The Fashion Raptors love their jobs, and Ugly Baby is a tradition in The Red Menace’s family – a joke between her grandma and sister which has now gone international. (NB: Ugly Baby is not considered ugly by everyone, but that’s the name she’s got. Her demonic smile, general macrocephaly, and compromised cranium are potential reasons for this. The Red Menace loves her anyway.)
One of the best parts of any comic convention is the cosplay. This year we decided to outsource finding some of the best cosplay at the con to our newest reporting team, the Fashion Raptors. After insuring that they were well fed, we sent them off to do their jobs. Many thanks to all the brave cosplayers who didn’t mind posing with some raptors.
If I actually lived by the advice “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” I would probably end up in my boss’s office explaining why I thought it was okay to wear an Iron Man suit to work (or maybe this). Point being, as much as we want to show our fandom, there is a time and place and your 9-5 desk job isn’t always that place.
But never fear, it’s not all business casual or Ann Taylor Loft from here on out. There are ways to push the boundaries (especially on casual Friday) to let your geek flag fly even without wearing that super cool Captain America hoodie you got at Target.
Local people might have heard about this already, but Rhode Island Comic Con was a mess. And calling it a mess is me being kind. It seems that the promoters vastly underestimated both how popular comic/pop culture conventions have become, and the amount of turnover over they would see. Both things are surprising given the news out of San Diego and New York.
I and my merry band were some of the lucky ones who actually got into the Con. It paid to make it an early morning and get in line before the doors open. That said, it was pretty clear by the first hour that things were over sold despite the organizers’ claims to the contrary. By early afternoon they were no longer letting people in due to the venue being close to fire code capacity, however, I heard they were still selling tickets (not cool at all). Many many people missed out on the con, stuck outside in lousy weather, and many were separated from their parties due to the sudden enactment of a “no re-entry policy”. If you want to know more check out the twitter hashtag: #RIComicconfail2014.
In spite of all this I was able to get into the con and have a little fun before completely redlining due to the crowds. So here’s a rundown of 5 things I saw before realizing it was time to leave and have some nachos, hence avoiding the impending nervous breakdown.
Choosing a Character: It’s really a special thing when you are able to find a character that is not only a lot of fun to dress as, but also resonates with you as a person. Jenifer chose to dress as Elsa not for all the obvious reasons, but because Elsa was the first character in whom Jenifer was able to see someone who struggles with anxiety and depression but was not the villain of the film. And for those of us who face challenges like these and more in our daily lives, Elsa is more than just a pretty lady with even more pretty/icy powers. She is a character to whom we can relate.
Favorite Part of the Costume: The cape, it makes her feel majestic. And might I personally add, the loops were a great idea, functional and add a nice bit of drama!
Biggest Cosplay Challenge: The bodice. Choosing a multicolored bodice to represent the way ice can reflect the colors that surround it was a really visually striking idea. Sadly, it was not an easy task. When Jenifer’s first attempt to make the bodice changed color as a result of some fabric glue she used, she had to regroup and come up with a new plan.
Cosplay Experiences: Jenifer has been cosplaying since February of 2013 and is happy to say that her experiences have been mostly positive with a few exceptions. When we chatted, she took a moment to mention what a great time she was having at Boston Comicon. Truth be told, based on how everyone (especially the younger kids) was reacting to her costume, I can’t say that I was surprised to hear it.
Thoughts on Clown Spiders: Jenifer was gracious and accepted a sticker with our would-be mascot on it, but shared that while a fan of clowns, spiders fell into the category of things she found terrifying. Sounds like Tiny Doom can add another member to her “Spiders are Horrible” club.
Jenifer, thanks so much for taking time out during your busy day!
And for those of you who want to know more about this cosplaying lady, you can follow her Tumblr.
The Boston Comic-Con Cosplay extra-special extra posts continue! Next up is Midge Scully!
The Costume: I’m embarrassed to admit that I was sure I already knew what this costume was, and I was wrong. Midge here is not, as one might imagine, a gender-swapped Lobo. She’s cos-playing as Slobo, Lobo’s teenaged clone from Young Justice #38-55. While you might think the distinction is minute, I felt bad for jumping to conclusions: 1. Because Slobo is a teenager and thus less jacked than regular-sized Lobo, Midge’s costume is even better and 2. Because Midge seemed pretty enthusiastic about the character, and I was ashamed I’d never heard of him. Apparently his only appearance so far is in that short run in 90’s era Young Justice, but still. Midge told us it’s pretty fun and since it’s written by Peter David, who tends be reliably good, I believe her. So thanks to this conversation, I have a new comic to check out. Hurray!
Favorite costume piece/biggest challenge: The chain with hook and the shoe caps – she put this costume together at the last minute and didn’t think it would come together so fast! Plus the shoe caps are removable, making the boots wearable for multiple costumes. Since having looked at her cos-play page and seen the wide variety of characters Midge has done, that’s just plain sensible.
Cosplay experiences: So far, so good! Midge told us that she’s had only positive experiences at this stage. What she likes about cosplay, she said, is that you get to meet people who like what you like, and it’s great to see their excitement when you’re in costume as a character they’re really into.
Thoughts on Clown Spiders: We showed her a sticker with the image of Tiny Doom’s nemesis. “I like it!” she declared. “I like spiders, I think they’re cute. Clowns not so much…” We’ll call this one a conditional victory for our mirthful mascot. Thanks for your time, Midge! (click the link to see more of her work!)
The cosplay of Boston Comic Con 2014 did not disappoint, and we took another opportunity to profile some of the amazing work that was on display.
First up: Myratheon Cosplay
Costume made by: The lady herself! This was an original design and which all components of the costume were hand made…even the mask and her hand carved sword!
Favorite costume piece/biggest challenge: That mask you guys, this pic, taken in the crowded convention hall does not do it justice, so be sure to check out her facebook page for more pictures. The Anubis mask is Myratheon Cosplay’s favorite part of the costume (The Red Menace and I felt the same). It was also her biggest challenge. In speaking with her you could definitely get a sense of how proud she was of her work…and she should be!
Cosplay experiences: Myratheon, has, for the most part had good experiences with the Cosplay community. No doubt signs like this help:
Her hard work has been well received which has helped her gain confidence. She did however have a tougher experience at Connecticon where she received some negative feedback on her gender-swapped costume of Scar from Disney’s The Lion King. Some of the organizers felt she was sexualizing a Disney character. Her response? “Since when do lions where clothes?” Check out pics of this costume and decide for yourself…
Thoughts on Clown Spiders: Here’s a place where Myratheon Cosplay and I differ. She found our Clown Spider stickers adorable!
Where will she be next: You can see her next at Rhode Island Comicon! Maybe you’ll see some of The Ladies there too…
As you have probably noticed from our recent series showcasing cosplay from Boston Comic Con, we ladies have a great interest in costuming and the culture around cosplay.
Both the Goog and I like to costume. And I’m passable at it. I think my Halloween costumes always work, and I have a lot of fun putting them together and wearing them. The Goog is better, he even tried his hand at fabrication last year.
Time for another cosplay force to be reckoned with…
Jessica Connolly (Jess Conn Cosplay ) as Tank Girl
How she got into cosplay: Jess has a background in theater and when she left the stage, she missed the opportunities to become another character. In fact, Jess was particularity excited about this costume because it gave her a chance to switch from something more “girly-girl to bad ass.” Bad ass indeed! No one can argue with that!
Another reason Jess chose to cosplay as Tank Girl was because she was looking for something that she could style more herself. Tank Girl herself can be seen in a range of outfits, so this costume really gave her a chance to do her own take and stand out from the crowd.
Most proud of: Her disco ball helmet. While watching the Tank Girl film, Jess couldn’t help but notice the disco ball helmet that Lori Petty wears for about 3 mins. As soon as she saw it, she knew she had to make it. Another challenge that Jess was proud of, is her paintwork on her gun. It can be extremely difficult to make something look worn in a realistic way and actually something I never really thought about myself when it comes to detail work. It’s the touches and attention to detail like this that can certainly make a huge difference between a really good costume and a great one.
So, are you guys inspired yet? Regardless, you should high tail it over to Jess’s facebook page. Wanna see a lady Boba Fett costume? Well, Jess has got you covered!