The fact that someone puts in the time, effort and talent to bring some of my favorite characters to life continuously amazes me. Even more impressive to me are the people behind the cosplay and the motive to begin and continue cosplaying. In Halloween, people often dress up to express some aspects of their persona through costume and makeup, similar to using masks in ancient times.
Participating in the Puerto Rico Comic Con and through the wildly talented people I follow on Instagram, I've seen people embrace their chosen characters and connecting with other people. The thing is that cosplaying really fascinates me for several reasons:
Children at conventions not only meet their favorite superheroes but can even become them. The kindness and patience many cosplayers show kids is a wonderful thing to witness because the sparkle in a child’s eye is easily worth the lines many people endure. I’ve seen men and women of all ages putting in the time and effort so that a little girl or boy remembers that day forever. It’s like people who work at Disney except cosplayers don’t get a paycheck for what they do, they just love doing it.
Here there’s a myriad of things I could focus on. I’ve seen people who are magnificent with makeup, others are masters of costume and sowing, others have insane skills with engineering. When you go to a convention, the sheer skill is amazing. Some people are also very adept into getting into character. I met Porco Rosso in the PRCC (first picture in the post) and also met the Maitlands from Beetlejuice… the emotion I felt as a fan of cosplayers and a fan of the movies who inspired these characters… well it’s just so much fun.
The Cosplayers themselves:
There are some wildly talented people in cosplay. Some are more famous than others, some have their strengths, others have others, some are super fun to hang out with and others have been able to make cosplaying their career. The thing is that behind the cosplayers, there are many interesting stories to tell. I met some young cosplayers and it was clear that cosplaying was their way of breaking out of their shell. I think that's amazing and something I'll probably touch on later on.
I do follow various cosplayers, though there are some that stand out for me. What I really like from those I follow is the variety of people who embrace the same passion. From literally glam models, to prop makers to average people like you or me. And I love that. I love that people of all likes in life share this same passion and look forwards to their creations. If you’re even remotely new to cosplay, you’ll know Yaya Han and Jessica Nigiri, so here are 13 other people I follow who consistently impress me.
Uncanny Megan: Megan Mobley is a young gal who draws and cosplays. That she can do a great Rogue and Jean Grey should be enough, though my fav is when she goes all Harley Quinn. Add to this more "derp" faces than you can fit in one feed AND the adventures of Sadie, her wonder dog and well, her feed is super fun.
Riddle’s Messy Wardrobe: I first saw Riddle on Heroes of Cosplay and was extremely impressed with her variety of skills. From seamstress, to welding, Riddle has a skill set that makes me surprised she doesn't work in more movies. To boot, she is a true sweetheart. And face it, sowing leather has to be a pain in the ass.
Grrryan: Hands down the best Spiderman and Deadpool cosplays I’ve ever seen. The guy is ridiculously fit and I highly suspect women would enjoy washing their clothes using his abs. That the guy is a total goofball rules because he doesn’t take it too seriously, and why should you, you’re having fun.
Marie Claude Bourbonnais: An honest to god pinup magazine model just happens to be a cosplayer. That she also posts pictures of some of the best chocolate and macaroons in existence is also a plus. That she’s even built some of the stages for photoshoots is impressive and that she’s genuinely kind is also a super bonus, because it shows that behind the model, there's a person with talents, passions and her own brand of geekness.
Ivy Doom Kitty: Fun loving, foodie cosplayer extraordinaire. One of the things I enjoy about cosplay is that I believe it promotes men and women to embrace their bodies and just focus on having fun. I once read that a young woman was only recently able to feel sexy in her skin through cosplay, a powerful statement which brings various topics to the forefront, some positive though some negative. I have friends who’ve met Ivy and I’ve only heard two things: she’s awesome and she’s gorgeous.
Abby Darkstar: With Abby, I really like her version of the Kotobukiya Jason (Friday the 13th), her Commander Troi is uncanny (and kinda creepy because she looks so much the part), the Indiana Abby seems like a bunch of fun and the gosh-honest fact that she’s a cool geek are just a few reasons to follow her. :) Oh, and her collection of Dr. Who memorabilia is mental.
Juicy J Cosplay: If you think his Gambit is spot on, seeing him in Nightcrawler getup is downright mental! Like many Cosplayers, Josh is in this to have fun and to truly become the characters he loved as a kid and as an adult. Always happy to see him in my feed and his Piccolo from Dragonball Z is also top notch. One thing though, it has to be such a pain to wash off all that body paint. Still, he has a blast doing it, and why not?
Lanthea Cosplay: Lanthea makes great prop weapons and is also a great cosplayer in her own right. I love how she’s motivated to get healthier to be able to do more cosplays and that she uses her craft as inspiration. In addition, she’s super sweet and will gladly tell you how hard it is to do the things she does, so you make the wise decision and visit her store to get some cool prop weapons or wands (the muggle in me rejoices).
Golden Freya: Freya is definitely an inspiration for anyone who wants to get fit. Her mermaid, Freya, Power Girl and countless other costumes are awesome in their own right, though what impresses me is her physical transformation. About 4 years ago, she got tired of being overweight and feeling poorly. Fast forward to today and she has gone from someone with countless health problems to a goddamn Valkyrie. Seriously, her arms put most guys’ to shame and that she is getting hitched to a wonderful comic artist who also loves to suit up is just a testament to how cool love stories can be in cosplay.
Harley’s Joker: Since I was 10, I’ve had a fixation with the Joker… though nothing like this. Harley’s Joker takes costume, makeup and method acting to the next level, embracing one of my most beloved characters. It’s insane how much he looks as if he walked out of a comic book. Brilliant.
Vampy Bitme: One of my two favorite cosplayers, Vampy is the most talented doing props and elaborate costumes, see her sculptures or take a look at her recent gundam suit to understand what I’m saying. Highly talented, her versions of Psylocke, Tifa and Chun Lis are pretty much the best I’ve ever seen, with the exception of Yaya Han.
Miss Sinister: In cosplay makeup, she pulled off a look that seemed like she was a cell shaded video game character. In addition, she can pull off a female Sagat… let that sink in and by all means check her out. Pretty much one of the elite cosplayers in the world and someone I always keep an eye out for.
As you can see, cosplay has the potential of bridging gaps and bringing people together from all walks of life. I've seen people from hundreds of countries, countless ethnicities and from anywhere join with the same intention to say this is me, this is what I like and we're just a little crazy, a lot talented, a teeny bit odd, a good amount of geeky and we understand each other.
That’s because when it comes to cosplay, there is no gender, no height, no weight, no color, no cellulite, no race, no religion, no inhibitions, no discrimination and no segregation...
there is only cosplay.