Cosplay Spotlight – Phoenix Comicon 2016 – What to wear? What to wear?

Cosplayers at Phoenix Comicon 2016

by Durrrilion

They take a step, they stop for a pic.  They take another and stop again.  From the first day to the last of any convention, cosplayers of varying skill levels do The Step and Pose Shuffle.

Despite my busy schedule I managed a few shots and a couple of interviews.

Starting off is ‘Cersei’ from Game of Thrones.  Casey Renee Cosplay from Chicago said finding the perfect fabric was essential because she wanted everything to “look the way [she] wanted it to”.  Like most fabric users she had to dig through a pile of fabric at a three floor shop in Chicago, and then debated for six or seven hours over it.  Combined with the gold lining everything works.  The neck piece was made from worbla and craft foam, with the medallion being made of insta-morph.  While this talented woman usually does her own patterning, for Cersei she used the McCall’s pattern.  I loved everything so much I gave her The Geekian Report 5 star tag.  During our chat, the Red Witch (cosplayed by Lady Ember Brennen Sparks) showed up.  It was such a great photo op.  Too bad my camera didn’t like the lighting. Check out more of Casey Renee Cosplay’s work at facebook.com/CaseyReneeCosplay and on instagram @casey_renee_

Cersei cosplayed by Casey Renee Cosplay.
Cersei cosplayed by Casey Renee Cosplay.
The Red Witch and Cersei
The Red Witch and Cersei

Up next is Tinkerbell, part of the Ambrose Cosplay team.  Combining a short wig and a pony tail clip wrapped around a sponge was a quick trick to hair magic.  With some careful painting on the fabric, Tinkerbell’s dress was made by this bubbly cosplayer.  Her wings, a now discontinued item, were from Fantasyfairywings.com.  Unfortunately we didn’t have time for a longer chat, but the combination of crafted and purchased items earned a 5 star tag from me.  You can see more of her work at facebook.com/ambrosecosplay.  I bet lots of youngsters at Phoenix Comicon were thrilled to see Tinkerbell!

Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell

Out of the blue I ran into and almost photobombed Sokka.

Sokka. Go Team Avatar!
Sokka. Go Team Avatar!

Anthony, as he is normally known, made everything for this Team Avatar cosplay.  His inspiration – he wanted to have long hair.  Basing all of his pieces on a photo of a cosplayer, this young man spent about 3 days cutting, sewing, and glueing.  His tunic is the combination of two t-shirts.  He definitely gets some points for creative use of materials. I love that he had both Boomerang, and Space Sword!

 

Batgirl, another fave of mine, thanks to Yvonne Craig and her gorgeous red wig, was great to see.  Thanks to Melanie M. for the picture.  Some cosplayers create their own ensembles, and that’s a great way to show off not only one’s love for the character, but also one’s skill sets.  However, not everyone makes their own cosplays.  Purchasing pre-made costumes is a perfectly acceptable way to show one’s love for a character.  Personally I’d be intimidated by all the leather, spandex, and who knows what else that goes into a superhero cosplay.  Buying one already ready already sounds like a great idea to me!

Batgirl
Batgirl

Chiyo Cosplays appearing as Loki, also took a moment to pose, though we didn’t have a chance to speak.  I would have loved to learn more about the head piece.  Look for Chiyo Cosplays on facebook to see more of this talented cosplayers work. She apparently also cosplays Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I wonder if she puts the scar on the wrong side? (Avatar fans should remember the Ember Island Players episode).

Loki
Loki

Local cosplayer Lady Ember Brennen Sparks turned heads with her punk Captain Marvel.  During a post con facebook chat she told me that “Punk Rock Captain Marvel is something I have been working on since probably January.  It’s just been a when I have time to work on it costume”.  She classifies this one as “a modified closet cosplay”.  The jeans and jacket, purchased at Ross, were then shredded (in the case of the jeans) and washed.  Of the two clothing items “the jacket has a lot more labor in it with painting and studs and patches”.   The ’80’s may be over, but in her words “the spirit of the punk movement is finding clothing and making it suit your needs”.  Anyone who has met Lady Ember outside of cosplay, or has attended her wig panels will know the mohawk is her own hair.  Very impressive! I had a mohawk once – a real one.  It was so difficult to keep it standing.  Another bonus for her with this mash up was having an excuse to buy a pair of bright red doc Martin’s that she always wanted.  Whether purchased or crafted, what really matters is that it gets done, and proper credit is given.  For anyone unsure of the punk mashup, keep this in mind:  Captain Marvel has a mohawk in a lot of the more recent artwork.  Thus, to both Lady Ember and myself, the punk version “pushes the feminist female power element”.  Also it is a more casual, comfortable costume to wear.  Cosplayers “can’t always wear the full armor.  A person wants to cosplay and not break themselves.  Basically I think punk rock Mashups are fun.  I love cosplaying Captain Marvel so it seemed like a natural connection”.  Lady Ember is also an amazing wig stylist (among many talents), so check her out at facebook.com/LadyEmberBrennenSparks

Lady Ember Brennen Sparks cosplaying a punk version of Captain Marvel.

Visiting Phoenix all the way from Idaho, is Tanglewyst de Holloway, proving cosplay can be simple and effective.  Here she is as The Monster in the Darkness from the Order of the Stick, just before one of her several amazing panels.

The Monster in the Darkness from the Order of the Stick is available online at www.Giantitp.com.  All she has to do to finish it is add Hello Kitty’s to the top.  Side note, I will be checking out this monster in comics.  I hear D&D players will love it.  Woo-hoo! If you want to learn more about Tanglwyst look for her at facebook.com/TanglwystdeHolloway.

 

Tonya aka Tanglwyst de Holloway cosplaying The Monster in the Darkness from the Order of the Stick.
Tanglwyst de Holloway cosplaying The Monster in the Darkness from the Order of the Stick.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, suddenly there is a TARDIS Stormtrooper.  This is brilliant! If anyone knows who this 5 star cosplayer is please let us know so we can give credit where it is due.  Thanks!

TARDIS Stormtrooper.
TARDIS Stormtrooper.

As a kid I loved the Addams Family and the Munsters.  I wanted to live in their houses, and be part of their families.  To my delight, and surprise, I met Gomez, Morticia, and Wednesday (with her Marie Antoinette doll) outside.  Since it was scorching hot and we all wanted to head home after a long day, there was no time for an interview.  They apparently had several other members in their cosplay group.  Let me know if anyone knows who these awesome people are!

Theyre creepy and theyre gooky, the Addams Family
They’re creepy and they’re gooky, the Addams Family

Wonder Woman is one of the three superheroes I love.  This subtle twist on a classic heroine almost slipped by me.  Kindly taking a moment to chat, Casey Oliver told me she made the rope, belt, and head band.  Then it was back to the rush between panels.  While the big, impressive cosplays always catch everyone’s attention, sometimes the simple, easy, and yet amazing cosplays can slip right by you in a crowd.  Keep those eyes open, you never know when something awesome will walk right by.

Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman!

Due to limited time, I don’t often get involved in video games, and have limited the number of books I read.  (Sorry, but I’m a double foreign language major, and studying takes up soooo much of the day).  It was the end of the last day of PHXCC 2016, and I saw this impressive head dress from behind.  I just had to know more.  Hamatchi, cosplaying Gwendolyn from Dark Souls told me that each series depends on the main character and what is going on.  In Dark Souls 1, the goal is to save humanity from dying out.  So players run around killing people and taking their souls.  However, they end up consumed by by fire themselves.  According to Hamatchi the headpiece was the easy part.  It took a lot of card stock, foam board, and tape, as well as about 3-4 days.  The clothing, not including time spent on mockups and drafting took about 4 weeks.  Sergers and sewing machines make it go a lot faster, or Hamatchi might still be putting this together.  Creative, and that impressive head piece, I gave Hamatchi a 5 star rating for The Geekian Report!

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Gwendolyn from Dark Souls

Saturday afternoon I stumbled across these two lovely cosplayers.  They were impressed by my Elrond cosplay and ask for a photo.  In turn I asked for one of them for my article.  If anyone knows them tell them to drop us a line if they want to be tagged! If not, that’s cool too.  Thanks for the photo.

awesome cosplayers seen saturday
awesome cosplayers seen saturday

Last, but not least, are these two cool people cosplaying Bearclaw and Joyleaf from my all time favorite comic series, Elfquest.

Bearclaw and Joyleaf from Elfquest.
Bearclaw and Joyleaf from Elfquest.

I met them once before at Amazing Arizona Comicon. Thanks to ‘Joyleaf’ for permission to reprint the photo here.  Elfquest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini is one of the longest running series (which includes various subtitle ‘spinoffs’, and a few gap years) in comic history. Elves, magic, time travel, compelling storylines, and art the transport readers to the World of Two Moons, is available at comic stores around the world, or at elfquest.com/read/digitalEQ.html. Be aware, there is a lot of reading to catch up to the current series “Final Quest” which is now past the halfway mark.

 

I have to give a special shout out to cosplayers Natalie Arvizu, Itty Bitty Geek, Amberbrite, Magic and Mischief Cosplay, Little Sparks (who was at the Warcraft Movie world premier in LA), and Kiba the Cosplay Corgi. I may not have run into you or been able to get photos, but from the pictures I’ve seen so far, you all looked awesome! Hopefully next time we’ll get at least a moment to chat AND take some pics.

My repeated thanks to everyone who took a moment from their day to pose, and answer questions. I now know what that is like.

Coming up soon, my experience cosplaying for the first time, amazing vendors at the con, and more cosplayers!

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