THE LITTLE COSPLAY THINGS
When I started The Little Cosplay Things in 2011, it was at the height of this hype on Tumblr where there was a "little ___ things" for everything (books, athletics, cooking, etc). I decided to make The Little Cosplay Things not really expecting to get the response I had.
At the time I was a little distant from the hobby partially because I had no job, I was a senior in high school, and cosplay wasn't really in the forefront of my mind. However, I knew I wanted to get back into it, and was going to use the blog as a way to kick start my love for it again. I wanted to highlight the things people loved about the hobby and knew I wanted it to be submission based to act as a collective of positivity.
Unfortunately in the beginning, I was young and still learning about the world. I made a few pretty offensive posts, which I am very embarrassed about looking back, but I have since learned from my mistakes and would never agree with some of the things younger me had said.
Towards the end of 2014 submissions started slowing down (and I'm not sure if it was because I was rather inactive or we just ran out of things to say about cosplay without being redundant). I was working through college and becoming more invested in actually cosplaying so I just didn't have time. I closed the blog in February of 2015, with over 20,000 followers..
I made a lot of wonderful friends through running The Little Cosplay Things that I still know and talk to. I love running into people who used to follow the blog and the nice things they have to say about it. It makes me really happy to know I could have contributed to the community in a positive way, even if only a little. For some people, cosplay is what gets them through their week, or their month. Happiness is something to look forward to, and if that means we are putting our happiness in the hands of dressing up for one weekend, then indeed - In Cosplay We Trust. <3
So, to start out talking about my cosplay: I exclusively cosplay things that I love. I am wholly against cosplaying things for likes, or to impress the cute person you met at the last convention, or any other reason besides it's something you love and want to put your life into. Cosplay can be expensive and time consuming and why would you want to waste your time and money working on something you don't even like all that much. I also believe that there is no such thing as cosplaying for your body type. Want to know how to get that cosplay body? Put a cosplay on your body. I cosplay a lot of spandex clad super heroes despite being plus-size. Mostly because I love them. But also partially because it's important to show people that you can cosplay literally whatever you want no matter who you are.
My genderbend Animal Man (or Animal Ma'am) was debuted at Comikaze Expo 2014. I am an aspiring zookeeper, so I naturally had a gravitation towards a super hero that was animal based. Animal Man can take on the abilities of any animal, alive or extinct, through a power called The Red. He can regrow limbs per earth worms. He can punch like a pistol shrimp. He can do so many cool things, but he is a rather C-List super hero. AKA my favorite kind of superhero.
My friends and I call this cosplay my traffic cone cosplay because it is very 80's and very orange. When I first wore it, no one knew who I was, especially because I was cosplaying the orange suit from the Grant Morrison run and his suit in the New 52 is blue and white and very different. But because of Buddy's status as a low key hero I wasn't surprised. It was really odd to me when I wore Animal Ma'am again to Big Wow 2015 and a BUNCH of people knew who I was!
He's honestly my favorite hero, so I was so excited to see people recognize the outfit. The process for making Animal Man was relatively straight forward. I painted some Rayban's yellow. The orange suit was a zentai suit from Party City with the feet and the face and the fingers chopped off, and the large blue lycra "A" was hand stitched. I added the black boot covers and face hole, which is all lycra, and threw on a denim jacket. I made the gloves removable for easy phone and money handling access. It was a really simple process, but it's one of my favorite cosplays ever!
Moving on to Cammy, I've always had a thing for Cammy. Even when I was just a young nugget floating through the internet, she's a strong blonde lady with big thighs. Me too. I decided I wanted to cosplay the pink suit version from Street Fighter IV after buying the figure and having a solid reference and I got a squad on board to do Street Fighter alternate outfits at DragonCon 2015.
The next time I wore Cammy was at Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 (swapping out our Sakura for Venom Spitter's Akuma) and the response was so much greater. It also helps that we know a lot more people over on our home turf. It always is overwhelming - albeit fun - when you can hardly walk five feet without getting stopped for a picture. Because at the time of DragonCon I was inundated with work and school, I employed Calamity Caller Cosplay to make my suit for me. I made the hat and the bracers. The suit is made out of a pink stretch knit and she followed a hand made pattern from a body cast we made. The tie and the shoulder pads were filled with high density foam. The bracers are a mix between poster paper, high density foam, and craft foam. This cosplay is now long gone off to a landfill and here's why (and can sometimes be something overlooked): The bracers were delicate and cumbersome. Hitting people accidentally always stuck me with fear that a chunk flew off or I hurt someone else. The knit that I used probably wasn't made for apparel because (and here's a pretty not-sexy reason) I'm a sweaty person and unfortunately you could tell with this suit! In a lot of pictures, my arms are at odd - sometimes forced - angles to hide this. It's pretty embarrassing! And when things like this come up, you can either attempt to fix it or move on! (I chose the latter. Too many other things to cosplay!)
Lastly, Iron Fist. I actually can't remember my first exposure to him, or why I was so enamored, but he's probably one of my favorite heroes ever, right next to Animal Man. I debuted this cosplay also at DragonCon 2015. I had a lot of people really excited for Iron Fist. Someone actually ran the wrong way up an elevator to hunt me down to talk to me about my cosplay. I know he started to get a more recognition because of the Ultimate Spider-Man TV show, and even more so when they announced he was getting his own Netflix show, so in the time I've worn this cosplay I've always had a good response.
This cosplay was also painfully straightforward. It's a backwards green zentai suit, with the head, hands, and feet cut off. Handmade hand wraps and sash. Painted slip on shoes. The mask I opted out of wearing on my face because I am TERRIBLE at applique so I figured it would be forgivable if I just wore it on my forehead. The dragon Shao Lao I paint on my chest, but I should really practice a better technique because it's hardly visible, honestly. I was excited to use the little yoga I knew and my high kicks to bring to life my pictures for Iron Fist. It's one of my favorite cosplays to wear because of how simple and low maintenance it is.
Through the process of cosplay I have learned the importance of putting pride into your work. I have learned that staying true to yourself and your interests is the most rewarding thing. I have learned the importance of asking for help and that no one can face all challenges - no matter how big or small - alone. I have also learned that being unashamedly who you are is the fastest way to make lasting friends.
- PRINCESS MARLY COSPLAY (Northern California)