“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.
The Ministers would like to introduce you to Gabby Nu Cosplay:
MoGT: Who is Gabby Nu Cosplay, tell us what you like to Cosplay?
Gabby: I’m a 19 year old college student majoring in Media and Screen Studies, and minoring in Journalism. I’ve been cosplaying since I was 14 years old, but didn’t get into it more extensively until last year. I love to cosplay from basically anything: anime, video games, TV shows, comic books, you name it!
MoGT: What does cosplay represent for you?
Gabby: For me, cosplay represents an escape from reality. From the time I slap on my wig and colored contacts, to when I practically rip my costume off after a very long day at the con, I can be a different person. When I’m in costume and at a con, I forget about all my worries and obligations from school and life, and feel like I’ve entered a different world. It represents a merging of fandom and art, and is my favorite way to truly express myself. Cosplay also represents a wonderful group of people, some of whom I’m lucky to call my friends. Because of this wacky hobby, I’ve been able to meet and talk to countless people just like me, and make many new friendships.
MoGT: What are your favorite events to attend? Tell us any good stories…
Gabby: My favorite con to go to is New York Comic Con. I’ve been attending since I was 15 years old, and even though it gets bigger and bigger each year, it still feels like home to me when I go back every year. I remember I randomly became part of a cosplay flash mob there too! Back in 2012 when Gangnam Style was all the rage, a bunch of cosplayers started doing the entire dance routine in time with the song blasting, and me and my best friend just kind of threw ourselves in there too! It’s on Youtube now, haha! Another con that’ll hold a dear place in my heart is AnimeNext in NJ, which I started going to when I was 14 and thought cosplay was weird. It was my first con, and I’ve been able to make it back every year since! I swear every year there’s at least SOME point during the weekend where I’m in a place where everyone starts to sing the Pokémon theme song at the top of their lungs.
I have so many stories but I would go on for way too long! I also attend and really love PAX East, Anime Boston, and Otakon!
MoGT: How did you get your start and who’s your biggest supporter?
Gabby: I started to cosplay after I went to my first con, AnimeNext in 2010. I actually thought cosplay was really strange at first, and openly stated I’d never do it. I remember my friends at the time were planning on their first costumes, and asked if I wanted to join, to which I replied, “GOD NO.” When I went to AnimeNext and saw all the cosplayer, how amazing they all were, and how many people stopped my friends for photos, something changed in me. That added layer of fun and involvement at cons that cosplay brought was something I found appealing. The idea of becoming a different character was something I think I always found appealing, but I was too embarrassed to admit it until I saw cosplay in action.
My biggest supporters are of course my friends, family, and boyfriend! My best friend is one of the people that showed me how much fun cosplay could be, and to this day we help each other out with our projects and go to each other for advice. Another good friend of mine that I met earlier this year, Copper Chrome, has also been so supportive of me! My dad helps me with spray painting armor and props, and my mom gives me sewing tips.
MoGT: What are your biggest pet peeves while Cosplaying?
Gabby: My biggest pet peeve while cosplaying is probably people that take pictures of me and/or friends in cosplay as we rest, eat, or talk on the phone. While I always say yes to anyone who wants a photo, I always need a break during a long and tiring day at the con. Sitting on the ground and eating some food is probably the only time we really “take a break” while cosplaying, and I would appreciate it if more people understood that and left us be during those precious moments. Also, it’s just plain rude to ask somebody for a photo while they’re on the phone. It’s happened to me before, and while I always say yes, I find it a little annoying. Usually I’m just trying to call my mom and let her know what’s been going on, or trying to find another friend at the convention.
MoGT: What’s the cosplay culture like where you’re from, do you have friends that cosplay as well?
Gabby: I’m from New Jersey but go to school in Boston, and I would say both areas have similar cosplay culture. The NY/NJ cosplay area is much more scattered due to how big the area is (you have your NYC cosplayers, northern NJ cosplayers, upstate NY cosplayers), but I recognize many of the faces I see at NYCC and other NJ/NY cons. The New England cosplay scene seems very focused in Boston and the greater MA area, as many of the cosplayers I know there reside in those areas. I have some friends that cosplay, but a lot of the ones I currently have are friends I met through cosplay. Copper Chrome would be an example of a wonderful cosplayer I happened to stumble upon at Anime Boston this year, and we’ve been friends ever since! Micro Kitty Cosplay is also another great person, as well as UndiesofWondy!
MoGT: What are you hobbies outside of dressing up?
Gabby: Besides cosplay, I’m a big gamer. Although school, and now cosplay, takes up a lot of my time, I always try to find time to play some games and just relax! I’m also into journalism and writing, and I write for the female gaming site, SheAttack.com. Also, do Netflix and anime binging count as hobbies?
MoGT: How did your costumes come about, did you make them or do you have good shopping tips?
Gabby: When I first started out, I bought everything for my cosplays. Now, I try to make a lot more stuff on my own. However, I don’t see anything wrong with going about cosplay either way! If something is a lot easier and cheaper to buy, and is also GOOD QUALITY, then make, then why am I going to make it? I make props and armor myself, and sew some things. But as for simple skirts, tops, gloves, and other costume pieces, I’ll usually go on eBay, Amazon, or other sites and purchase what I need. Making armor and props is actually pretty easy once you start! I usually work with Worbla, Wonderflex, or PVC foam/Sintra, cut out templates for what I’m making, and then shape it using my heat gun. I also LOVE painting! Sewing still completely terrifies me, but I’m making progress.
As for shopping tips, all I have to say is know exactly what you’re looking for, and make sure what you’re purchasing is the quality you want. Even though I purchase some parts of costumes, I always do my best to make sure it’s accurate to what I need, and won’t look like crap. Always read the reviews of items you’re looking at, and make sure to check the reviews of the seller or site you’re buying from!
MoGT: What movies/comics/shows inspire your Cosplay?
Gabby: This year, I cosplayed as Fetch from Infamous: Second Son, which is the third installment in one of my favorite game series! I also was Leafa from the anime Sword Art Online, and even did characters from Orange is the New Black and Once Upon a Time for fun. Anything I’m obsessed with usually ends up being a future cosplay.
MoGT: Cosplay is not consent is a huge movement Cosplayers are getting behind, what are your thoughts/experiences?
Gabby: The movement is actually something I’m extremely passionate about, and I recently wrote an extensive article about it, featuring opinions and stories from cosplayers, as well as comments from representatives of NYCC, Wizard World, and Hollaback. Here’s the link if anybody wants to give it a read: http://sheattack.com/cosplay-is-not-consent/
It’s an important issue in the cosplay/convention community. Some people need to realize that cosplayers aren’t objects, but people with feelings and thoughts as well. It’s never ok to touch anybody without their consent.
MoGT: Do you have any upcoming events/projects you can tell us about?
Gabby: I’m excited to possibly be going to San Diego Comic Con for the first time next year! Besides that, I’m also attending Katsucon for the first time, as well as go back to my usual cons like Anime Boston, New York Comic Con, PAX East, Anime Next, and maybe Otakon.
As for upcoming projects, I’m in the beginning stages of planning for a bunch of new cosplays next year! I don’t want to give too many away, but the two that will be first are Harley Quinn from the upcoming Arkham Knight video game and Yang’s alternate outfit in Volume 2 of RWBY! Also expect to see Nurse Super Sonico early next year too. 😉
MoGT: Any advice for fellow Cosplayers?
Gabby: My biggest piece of advice for fellow cosplayers is to not what other anonymous people say affect you. I’ve been criticised and made fun of online before due to my cosplays, whether it’s from people saying something in the costume isn’t accurate enough, or people commenting on how my body isn’t the same as the character’s I’m portraying, so therefore I shouldn’t be cosplaying as them. And you know what? These people aren’t worth your time. For every terrible comment, there will be at least 10 more that say how incredible and amazing you are. Don’t dwell on the negative, focus on the positive, and cosplay whoever the hell you want. After all, it’s just a hobby.
MoGT: Are there any cosplayers that have inspired you or that you look up to?
Gabby: I would have to say some of my biggest inspirations come from my friends who cosplay. They continue to amaze me with their costumes, and also continue to be wonderful people I can count on and relate to.
Besides them, I also am greatly inspired by Monika Lee, Yaya Han, and Jessica Nigri. I’ve met all three at conventions, and they are all such kind people, who do some amazing cosplay work. I know there’s some controversy about these women, but honestly, I think much of it stems from jealousy or misunderstanding. Yaya is an amazing costume designer, Monika is a fantastic fabricator, and Jessica has one of the best personalities ever!
MoGT: Where can fans follow your work?
If anybody wants to follow me, I have a facebook page where I post all of my cosplay progress and pictures! I also have an Instagram and Twitter that shares the same things, but I also post pictures of myself during every day life, and will Tweet about games or shows I’m currently into.
Instagram: Gabby Nuovo
Thank you to Gabby for joining us for CosTalk!
Cosplay on friends