“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton
We love Cosplay, unabashedly so, and one of the cool things about hanging out at Cons is hearing why someone enjoys a character or genre. Cosplay is the biggest form of that flattery, and we aim to bring you the stories behind all those people in funky, fun dress up.
Let us introduce you to Caroline!
- ES: Hello Caroline, what does cosplay represent for you?
Caroline: Cosplaying, for me, represents fun and community. I like being able to meet new people who share my love for these characters, create amazing photos, and showing the creators my appreciation by doing my best to bring their characters to life.
- ES: You’re a US Marine Corps Veteran, so first off we’d like to thank you for your service. Can you tell us about your time in the service?
Caroline: My time in the Marine Corps was definitely a learning experience. I spent four years active duty and stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA the whole time. I met my husband during our military occupational training in North Carolina. My general job field was an administrative clerk.
Joining the Marine Corps was one of the best things I ever did. I met my husband, served my country, met some life long friends, and it helped boost my confidence. It helped me learn about what kind of person I am and who I want to be. I am very proud of my time there.
- ES: Are there any future project you’re working on or hoping to get to do?
Caroline: I am currently working on Lady Sif (movieverse). I was hoping to have it done on time for Stan Lee’s Comikaze this year, but the armor is taking longer than expected, so it will have to wait for its debut at Wizard World Las Vegas next year. I also have plans of doing Faith from Mirrors Edge at the Level Up Expo in Las Vegas next year.
- ES: What’s the cosplay culture like in Nevada? Do you have friends that cosplay as well?
Caroline: Unfortunately I live in a very small town about an hour outside of Las Vegas and I don’t know of anyone who cosplays here. I would love to have some cosplay friends here, but I do have some who live in Vegas who I get to see on occasion.
- ES: What are your favorite events to attend? Tell us any good stories…
Caroline: I haven’t been to a whole lot of events outside of Las Vegas yet, but my favorite so far has to be Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. They are a ton of fun and bring in the big name artists and writers, and make it as family friendly as possible. Because of them, I got to meet my favorite artist, Jim Lee, and take a picture with him while I was wearing my classic Psylocke costume (which he also complimented me on!). My second favorite event I attended earlier this year was the Cosplay Expo at Frank & Sons Collectible Show. That is where I got to meet one of my all time favorite cosplayers, @VampyBitMe. Not only did I get to meet her, but I tweeted her before the expo telling her I was going to wear my Marvel Now Psylocke costume, so she made sure to wear hers that day, so I was thrilled to get to take some pictures together in our Psylocke costumes (Twinsies! LOL).
- ES: Everyone’s got an awesome story about how they got into Cosplay, how’d you get your start and who’s your biggest supporter?
Caroline: I’ve seen pictures online and on TV of fans dressing up as their favorite characters and always thought it looked like so much fun, but I never had the courage to do it myself until I met cosplayer, @Ridd1e, in 2012. Riddle gave me some encouraging advice and basically told me to just go for it and have fun. So I always credit her for getting me started down this awesome path.
My biggest supporter is my husband. I had no idea how to sew or make armor or do anything else involved with costume making (I’m still learning as I go), so we have worked as a team in making my costumes. It’s all about trial and error. He is also an artist himself, so he helps me a lot with helping me create these really cool images with my pictures
- ES: What are your biggest pet peeves while Cosplaying, anything that really gets in the way of making it fun?
Caroline: I would probably say my biggest pet peeve is having the weapons check people put tags on my weapons, so I have to do my best to hide them when taking a picture at the conventions. I understand the reason behind it, but it can really ruin a picture if you don’t remember cover it up. Oh wait! Another really big pet peeve I have to throw in is the lack of family bathrooms at the conventions I have been to so far. A lot of times I need an extra hand to get out of my costume just to go to the bathroom, so I have to walk all the way back to my hotel room just to go to the bathroom so that my husband can help me in and out of my costume.
- ES: What can fans find on your print store?
Caroline: I have several different prints of three of my Psylocke costumes. They come in two different sizes and are made of thick, matte card stock. Really good quality. I plan to add more, the more costumes I make. I sign all of my prints.
- ES: Well that’s about a wrap on CosTalk, any last thoughts for fans and fellow Cosplayers?
Caroline: Don’t let fear keep you from joining in on the cosplay fun. It doesn’t matter if you have never sewn a day in your life or don’t know how to make props. Even the most talented cosplayed out there had to start at the beginning. I recommend talking to other cosplayers in person or online, search through the many tutorials on YouTube, take the free classes at places like JoAnn’s Fabric store, etc. Don’t let the fact that you might not look 100% like whatever character you are wanting to cosplay as stop you either. Remember, it’s not like you are trying to be cast in the next movie as said character. This hobby is all about FUN!!! The cosplay community (and the geek/nerd community in general) is very supportive and just want to geek out right along with you.
I know of plenty of cosplayers out there who are willing to answer any questions you have to help you get started.
Photo Credits: photographed by Philip Kokoczka & Ron Bird Art
E.S. Awesome to have Caroline answer our questions!
Until next time, Cos On
~ E.S. Norton ~