Welcome to the second month of our two monthly cosplay features. This first feature, the FTN International Cosplayer Profile will look at hugely popular cosplayers from around the world. We will get a few details from them about what drives them and how they started and we will also showcase some of their work, and if they ever make it across to this side of the world, we will update their profile with an exclusive shoot of our own.
Our February International Cosplayer Profile is the amazing Riddle from the USA.
When did you get into Cosplay?
I got into Cosplay back in 1998, through the gateway Holiday, Halloween. I had just started watching anime, and I didn’t know at the time that there was even a thing as Cosplay. To me, I was simply dressing up as a character that I liked.
What was your first cosplay?
When I was 5, my parents dressed me as Dolly Parton.
I guess that counts. The first time it was my own choosing from an anime was the character was Yohko from devil hunter Yohko,
Which has been your favourite cosplay to date?
What has been your most difficult cosplay to date?
Black Cat, it took over 5 years from when I started to when I finally wore it. Black Cat was the first bodysuit I ever approached and at the time didn’t understand the limitations of making the whole outfit in leather. Not to mention the wig wasn’t looking the way I wanted, and trouble finding the right boots.
I would shelve the costume then awhile later have another go at it, till I was happy with how it looked.
What’s the shortest amount of time you’ve ever spent producing a cosplay?
About 2 days, but that is very rare. I spend a lot of time researching the costume, thinking of the translation, and collecting the fabrics and materials. I can get very anxious but I rather take my time and do it right the first time.
How many cosplays on average do you produce a year?
I already start off the year with like 10 costumes and narrow it down to approx. 3-4 costumes a year of varying difficulties
Do you set targets for your cosplays at the start of the year, or for specific conventions, or just produce them as you find the time, or find inspiration?
I do try to set what I call a soft target, as in I would LIKE to have it done by this a certain time, but I won’t wear the costume out unless I’m 80% happy with it. And sometimes after wearing it for the first time I realize there are things that need to be changed.
Talk us through your usual cosplay producing routine, do you spend time on planning, gather all the materials and then start, or do you produce as you go?
I’ll usually see a design and decide if it would suit my body type or not. Then I will put together a model sheet with swatches. Reference is also a big part. If it a period costume like the Rocketeer, I stay away from Velcro, plastic zippers or product that were not around in the late 30’s.
What cosplay would you like to do, but have never had the time/money/knowledge to produce?
Bubblegun Crisis armor. A costume like that would be the only costume for the year that I would do. I’m saving for new tools before I tackle that project.
What is your favourite convention to cosplay at and why?
It’s a tossup, I love Dragoncon, not for the convention itself just for all the great people that go to it. I usually prefer to be out of costume just so I can see everyone else’s costumes.
If your on the west coast, Big Wow, if your on the east coast Heroes con. They aren’t as big as San Diego, but they are real comics focused and its really laid back, and the convention centers are connected/close to the hotel so when your done, it’s a quick change into you civvies.
Any advice for new cosplayers?
There is a ton of advice, but cosplay the characters you like, not the characters you think others would like to see. It’s a wonderful creative hobby that you can choose the level you want to participate in; from creating the whole outfit to just wearing it out
Any advice for cosplay photographers?
Cosplay is not like hiring a regular model. It is a true collaboration; communicate with each other to get the best photo. A good photographer can make a crap costume look great. The opposite is also true, I’ve seen well done costumes poorly showcased by someone who bad photography.
Any advice for convention goers / fans?
Remember in general cosplayers are not paid to be at conventions. They are fan just like everyone else, and are just trying to add to the con experience.
Riddle Cosplay Showcase
Black Cat – Marvel (Photograph by Jay Tablante Photography)
Dr Mrs. The Monarch – The Venture Bros. (Photograph by Brian Humphrey)
Princess Leia – Star Wars (Photography by Benny Lee Photography)
Silk Spectre – Watchmen (Photography by Benny Lee Photography)
Wasp – Marvel (Photograph by Anna Cosplay Photography)
Zatanna – DC (Photograph by Jenny Barclay)
If you want to check out more of Riddle’s cosplays, visit her Facebook page.