Our cosplay is of Keira and Jak from the "Jak & Daxter" video game series. I wanted to cosplay something that was uncommon, I wanted a group cosplay with my two sisters, and there is a trio of colorful styled female characters in one of my favorite games of all time. With that decided, my boyfriend then said he wanted to join us for his first trip to a convention. Naturally he was to be Jak to complete the group, and now create a couples cosplay.

The Keira cosplay was hand sewn and the wig roots painted. The ears were bought from Yaya-han. The Jak cosplay wig was hung upside-down and max hold hairspray repeatedly. The shoulder armor was a halved KFC bucket with thick wire framing covered in aluminum tape. Daxter was plush monkey modified with a wire skeleton and molded face and feet. Goggles and gun were also handcrafted from household items.

The response at the convention was amazing and a little overwhelming. We could barely move without being stopped. So many pictures taken and people saying that are characters were their childhood. Also that they had never seen a Jak & Daxter cosplay before. It seemed we genuinely made people really happy.

Going with a friend to a Star Trek convention was my first introduction to cosplay. It was amazing seeing people so passionate about their fandom, I saw how cosplay enabled complete strangers to connect and create friendships. My first experience with cosplay, I participated in a steampunk fashion show. I felt myself really coming out of my shell. A different side of me I was glad to discover. I learned so much that first year, I felt ready to try a known character the next time.  I keep cosplaying because I really love it, it's like a expression of living art. A way to be creative. And it can evolve and change as I do. Also we recently lost our family friend who introduced us to cosplay and conventions. I will keep cosplaying in honor of her and to remember her.

Cosplaying together definitely brought Chris and I closer in our relationship, seeing as we did get married. Working on things as a team, his technical skills (led lighting & constructing) our combined knowledge of materials, and my overall crafting and sewing abilities. Also finding all the couples cosplay that would match us. He wasn't too open to cosplaying at first but now it is definitely something that defines us as a couple.

-- KELLIE

Kellie wanted to do something that you didn't really see much of, and there were a few girls going that wanted a matching theme, so they decided on Jak and Daxter. When I found out what they were going to cosplay as, I told Kellie that I wanted to participate, so the Jak costume was made.  

We tried using whatever we had lying around at the time to keep the cost down. A few things had to be purchased and modified to work with how we wanted it to be, but most pieces were of the costumes were made from scrap. Even Daxter started out as a stuffed animal monkey as the base, and was grafted over with a fabricated skeleton made from coat hanger wire.

There were a lot of overly excited people that came up to me. Several people asked for a hug, some made sure we knew how much they appreciated us letting them "relive their childhood", as it was one of the games they grew up with. Even one guy who was wearing a Jak & Daxter shirt who told us that he'd been waiting forever to finally meet someone cosplaying this exact thing!

Somewhere around 2011 we were invited to tag along at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas by a friend. She asked if we were planning on going to go to the Phoenix Comicon. We didn't even know there was one at the time! She sadly lost her battle with cancer last year.

Kellie and I have actually known one another since we were kids! We lived right around the corner from each other, and our brothers went to kindergarten together. She started doing cosplay a year before me, and said that it was really fun, so I decided to give it a shot the following year. I don't have too many friends who actively cosplay, so there really isn't much of a comparison. Some may attend the conventions, but only a few will go all out. It's funny, at first people I knew didn't go because it wasn't really known, and now they don't want to go because it's too crowded!

-- CHRIS

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