Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
The NYCC’13 held some great events, but as always it was the Cosplay that stood out. We at CC2K were really lucky this year, to meet some wonderful and talented people. They were nice enough to spend sometime with us and answer a few of our questions. Introducing Part 1 of INTERVIEWS WITH COSPLAYERS: Queen Helene, Cae, and DanahD.
Helene of Queen Helene Cosplay
CC2K: Hi Helene, your Wonder Woman costume really stands out! If you don’t mind me asking: How did you get into Cosplay?
Helene: I started cosplaying 3 years ago. When a friend of mine asked me to go to NYCC as Wonder Woman, since he knew I wanted to make the costume for Halloween. From that moment, I was hooked! One of my favorite moments of cosplaying is the moment when a child’s face lights up seeing me as Wonder Woman. The kids are what it’s all about!
CC2K: That’s so cool. So you make your own costumes, what’s the process like?
Helene: I make all my costumes from scratch. Depending on the difficulty it usually takes about a full month and a half to make my costumes. My current new 52 costume took 3 months due to the detail and metal work. I’ve been making my Halloween costumes since I was 15, so doing this has always been a passion of mine.
CC2K: I am always amazed how people can be so exact when working on costume details. It’s a real impressive talent. If you don’t mind me asking, since coming to NYCC for all these years, I am always on the look out for fans being disrespected while in costumes. It really bothers me because I got into comics to get away from the bullies and problems. Have you had any problems at this years Comic Con?
Helene: I’ve never been seriously disrespected. I think it has to do with me being an amazon. They know better than to mess with an amazon! But, I know this is a big issue with many. I wish most would realize that this is not O.K. No one should ever have to go through being disrespected at a convention.
CC2K: I fully agree, you don’t mess with an amazon! Have you always been a Wonder Woman fan?
Helene: I’ve always been a huge Wonder Woman fan and collector. I have well over 400 Wonder Woman comics.
CC2K: That’s awesome. Thanks for your time Helene. To learn more about Queen Helene Cosplay click here or check out the link above.
Cae (aka Caitlin McDonald) of Peaboy Tailoring
CC2K: Peabody Tailoring is your team name?
Cae: My friend Aziza and I share the Peabody Tailoring. In the past we have usually collaborated on our costumes, with me doing the sewing and her making the props, armor, and jewelry. These bigger projects usually take us about two months to create. Our Skyrim costumes were our last real collaborative effort as she’s moved across-country. At NYCC this year I debuted two new sewing-only superhero costumes (they each took about 2-3 weeks to make) and this winter I’m going to practice making props and armor myself.
CC2K: Woah, that’s heavy duty. When did you start cosplaying?
Cae:I’ve wanted to cosplay for as long as I can remember, but I had a few false starts between the ages of 12 and 22. I finally started cosplaying for real just over two years ago, debuting at NYCC 2011.
CC2K: Are you going to any other cons?
Cae: I will be at Katsucon in February and hopefully PAX East in April!
CC2K: That’s awesome, so cosplay obviously means something to you.
Cae: Cosplay has definitely enriched my life. I’ve made many incredible and lasting friendships through cosplay, and gained a lot of personal confidence. It’s also helped me develop quite an arsenal of creative skills! I’ll keep doing this as long as it’s fun. I really enjoy it and it’s a wonderful social community. But, it’s definitely just a hobby for me and a huge financial and time commitment at that. I hope it continues being fun for me for many years yet!
CC2K: You guys have some serious talent. The costumes are wonderful and positively stand out. Do you guys ever get noticed in a negative light; disrespected?
Cae: I, very fortunately, have not experienced much sexual harassment in my time cosplaying, but plenty of my friends have. It’s a constant concern for all of us. I don’t think that this is a new problem in recent years; it has always been going on, but recently there’s been more conversation about and response to it. More women are speaking up about their experiences and more conventions are taking action against offenders. This is an excellent step forward, but we’re still a long way from solving the problem. Most harassers do it because they think they can get away with it. It’s a very difficult thing to police, but the best thing we can do is to consistently show that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any circumstances.
CC2K: Exactly! Thanks for your time Cae. To learn more about Cae and Peabody Tailoring click here or the links above.
- Instagram: DanahD
CC2K: Kick ass Magik costume. I’m a huge X-men fan. Do you make everything yourself? How long does it take?
Danah:I do! It depends on the costume. My most recent one – Uncanny Magik – took roughly three weeks.
CC2K: Really cool. Have you always been a cosplayer? Why do you do it?
Danah:I’ve been playing dress up since I was a little girl, but I debuted my first cosplay at Katsucon in 2010. Plus I’m a professional stylist and occasional model so I’ve always enjoyed dressing up and showcasing my creativity. It’s what I love to do. Who doesn’t enjoy embodying a fictional character they adore?!
CC2K: Totally. Except when people don’t get why I dress up as the Green Arrow. My wife especially, she’s like why do you like Robin Hood so much? Anyway, how did you get started?
Danah: It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend that I was encouraged to cosplay and attend conventions, aside from what I’ve always done with styling and modeling. Cosplay has definitely helped me meet new people that actually share the same interests. My close friends that I have now share a bond and connection with me that I wouldn’t have without this community and attending these conventions.
CC2K: So I assume we’ll see you at other cons?
Danah:Katsucon in the DC Metro Area!
CC2K: Right on. Now, you are walking around at NYCC with a big sword, I bet you are keep punks at bay. Especially since Magik is such an intense character. But have you had any problems at the con?
Danah: I have.
Danah: On my way to the convention center this year, a man smacked me on my back (which was actually painful) and I’ve been verbally assaulted quite a lot. I’m aware that if a female is dressed in a revealing manner, she will get a certain kind of unwanted, negative attention. However, this does not give anyone the right to disrespect, assault, or harass her in any way whatsoever. I honestly don’t think it’s been an increasing issue though – I feel that women in general are going to be treated this way (especially) if they dress in a certain way, unfortunately. It’s one of those things you know will come your way, so you do your best to stand your ground, stand up for yourself, without giving them attention back, which is just what they want. The best thing to do about the issue in general is to continue sharing stories and informing the public why it’s wrong is what I feel women can do to defend themselves. Perhaps even starting an organization for women of cosplay (I’ve been pondering this).
CC2K: I think that’s a great idea. I know famous cosplayers like Yaya and Riddle have Cosplayers 4 a Cause. I wonder if that’s something that can be thrown their way? Do you have a cosplay goal?
Danah:I cosplay for fun right now, but if it gets to the point of me being on a professional level like Yaya, Vampy, or Riddle, that would be amazing!
CC2K interviewed a bunch of amazing people. Expect part 2 soon. If you know anyone that needs to be recognized and interviewed in the world of cosplay, email us or comment below.
***Cae’s photo was done by Ian Travis Barnard / Danah’s photo was shot by JwaiDesignPhotography***
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.