Hogwarts meets The Craft with Luna and Paris

 

I was over the moon when last month Paris Burns Cosplay and LunaChu Cosplay asked me to take photos of their Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley inspired cosplay. The real interesting thing though was that it wasn’t your normal Hogwarts photoshoot, it was halloween so it was the time of witches.

Paris Burns and Luna can both be found online on Instagram and Facebook under their respective names. Do yourself a favour and check them out.

Fionna with Lunachu Cosplay

 

Oh, Fionna 

I feel like nothing was real until I met you.
I feel like we connect and I really get you.
If I said, “You’re a beautiful girl,” would it upset you?
Because the way you look tonight, silhouetted, I’ll never forget it.
Oh, oh, Fionna.
Your fist has touched my heart.
Oh, oh, Fionna.
I won’t let anything in this world keep us apart.
I won’t let anything in this world keep us apart.

From the episode “Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake” 

Lunachu is a Perth cosplayer, to see more of her you can find her on her Instagram or Facebook

Batwoman with ThunderBunny Cosplay

I have a lot of respect for cosplayers like ThunderBunny because what they do is brave. I’m not just talking about getting into a car with someone they’ve only spoken to online to drive to an unspecified location to have their photo taken, I’m talking about boldly wearing the costume of characters they love. While ThunderBunny is more of an anime cosplayer then anything else her Batwoman is something special. She’s taken the best parts of the costume and added a level of functionality that people should really take note of (she sewed pockets onto the undershorts!). Working with her was an absolute pleasure and we hope to get the chance again.

At this point there is one question that has to be asked, have you seen Star Wars yet? If you have did you love it?
I have, sadly didn’t see if on opening night but I did see it on the release day! I love a lot of it. The imagery in this film was just perfect and (whilst a surprisingly unpopular opinion) the Porgs are definitely my new favourite Star Wars creature!

If anyone thinks Porgs aren’t the greatest thing in the world then I don’t even want to know them. Now that the important stuff is out of the way, we should probably talk about Cosplay! How long have you been doing it?
I’ve only been officially cosplaying for about 8 months but I originally wanted to start cosplaying in 2012 when I found out about vocaloids. It wasn’t until three years ago I actually went to my first con and dressed up in my steampunk wear. I always admired cosplayers at cons but didn’t really have the support system at the time so I never felt really confident doing it. One of my best friends kept pestering me to cosplay since she knew I wanted too and this year I finally did and I haven’t looked back since! I’ve done about four cosplays this year and entered my first comp so I definitely think I hit the ground running! And I’ve got so much planned for next year!

Thats pretty impressive for someone who has only been doing it for 8 months. Obviously there’s a lot of cool things about cosplay but what’s your favourite?
Hmmm it’s hard to pin point just one thing. I definitely love the creative aspect of it, I’ve found I actually have a lot more skills when it comes to sewing and crafting then I thought I did. But the social aspect of it has also been really good! I’ve found so many amazing people through cosplay and Ive been so thankful for it!

The work on this cosplay is amazing! the quality really impressive. You have some crazy good makeup skills as well. Did you study or is it just a hobby?
I actually learnt everything through YouTube tutorials and trial and error! I’d always loved quirky makeup and then I just started playing around with it. Special effects was always so fascinating to me and whilst i haven’t done as much as I would like to have done this year it’s really something I enjoy and have had some great experiences on film sets because of it!‎

I was on a film set once, it was pretty cool. They gave us a lot of free food which I really appreciated. Finally, where can people find you if they want to see more of your stuff?
I go by the cosplay tag Thunderbunnycosplay on Facebook and you can find me on Instagram @thunderbunnycosplay

Introducing David

 

Courtney Coulson is passionate about a lot of things, but nothing I have seen comes close to his love of David, Michael Fassbender’s character from the Alien franchise. Watching the process of this cosplays creation on Facebook I was excited to see the final results, even more excited when asked if I would like to take some photos of it.

Courtney is one of the most talented and interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, it’s for that reason we decided to post some of his ideas along with his photos instead of the usual round of 20 questions. Please take a look at his essay as it is quite an interesting read, the link can be found here, Pinnochio Syndrome or Why Representation Matters.

For of work from Courtney he can be found on Facebook at Travian Designs or instagram at courtney.coulson.prime.

Evolve Perth 2017

 

There is a ritual that comes with a convention. It involves a trip to a cafe that serves a great toasted sandwich, a large coffee, and a scroll through Instagram to see how the convention is going. The thing about conventions is that you need to get the mornings right, why? because the next few hours is a special kind of hell that only the truly devoted can love. Luckily, Perth is full of those people.

Evolve isn’t a big convention, hosted in the quaint Perth Town Hall it’s main focus is to give the local cosplay community a platform. With stalls of local independent artists and some of Australia’s top cosplayers as guests Evolve is a unique experience and pleasure to attend.

So much great local talent came out today and it’s our absolute pleasure to share some of that with you here.

Unfortunately we do not have the names of all the cosplayers pictured, the ones we do though are listed below as well as a link to their social media pages.

Black Canary: Paris Burns Cosplay
Poison Ivy: That Gypsy Geek
Blackwatch Mcree: Darkforce Cosplay
Blastoise: Aussie Obelix Cosplay
Lux: Mary Bear Cosplay 
Hiccup: Red Scarf Cosplay

Supergirl with Ashayla Webster

It’s a beautiful day. The sun is out, families are strolling around the river, everything seems quite normal until Ashayla Webster confidently strolls down from the city. Already in full costume people can’t seem to get enough of the cosplayer. Heads turn as we make our way around Perth’s Elizabeth Quay, parents whisper to their children that “Supergirl is here”, while the more brazen yell something out, none of which seems to bother her at all as we sit down for lunch. Ashayla is surprising to say the least, an ex-paramedic turned writer and social media consultant she has been doing cosplay for the past few years and gained quite the following, despite this though she is as down to Earth as they come. She happily orders anything that has chicken and pineapple as we start to discuss the merits of comic book TV shows, movies, and the idea of “geek” in general. It’s not long until it becomes clear that Ashayla is someone who cares a great deal about the roles women play in all of this and the effect that has on audiences in general. For that reason we decided to skip the interview and give the floor to Ashayla to talk about something close to her heart, Supergirl.

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I’ve never been a huge Superman fan, in fact, when I was first introduced to comics, I downright disliked the guy. The draw of superheroes, to me, is their dichotic natures. They’re badass crime fighting heroes who risk their lives to save others, but they’re deeply flawed people. They’re running from something, hiding from something, battling their demons and consciences and often struggling to live a normal life. I can relate to that. Superman was different though. He was the all-American boy, ray of sunshine and woefully free of so much of the turmoil others faced. In other words, he was boring. His cousin on the other hand, was much more my speed.

Supergirl was everything Superman was and more. Whilst she stood for hope, peace and love, she had a temper and a darkness to her. Unlike Superman, she didn’t grow up on planet Earth, she’d lived a different life before arriving. Here was a young woman, already having to deal with the mess that is puberty, thrust into another world and culture after watching her planet die. At such a young age, she was given a mission of utmost importance, a mission that should never fall to a child; protect your family…only to arrive in another time and find her task redundant. She had lost everything, her home, her family, her life, her mission and she found herself in an entirely foreign realm. To top it all off, suddenly she has super powers. She had to learn to live as a human and hide her true identity as a Kryptonian and super powered teen. As Executive Producer of the Supergirl television show, Sarah Schechter, said: “I still maintain there’s nothing more frightening or terrifying in the whole universe than being a 13-year-old girl. Period. So, for her to have to go that and try to fit in, and in trying to fit in, she suppresses all the things that make her different.” I’d be an emotional wreck too.

When I heard they were bringing this dynamic and severely underrated character to the small screen in a new television series, this super-fan was excited. There was trepidation though. Would they treat such a developed and layered character with the respect she deserved, or would they turn her into what so many other female superheroes have been portrayed as? As fluffy cheesecake pinups, truly only serving the purpose of looking good. Would they skimpify her outfit and simply not take her seriously because she’s not the big-name hero that Superman is? Would the show be something worth watching and not a filler to meet ‘diversity requirements’? All of this filled my mind as I sat down to watch the first episode…and all of it was washed away by the end.

Supergirl may be a bit blatant in its messages, but I truly believe this is not a show directed to the adult male geek population. It’s directed to women and, most importantly, it’s pitched to young women. It’s the kind of show a mother can watch with her daughter and both can enjoy. It’s a show about strong women, be they the hero or the villain. They handle situations as women so often do, by planning, by deliberation and assessing strengths and weaknesses, not by running in guns blazing. Despite its bright and airy feel, the show hits some deep cultural topics, such as racial discrimination and registration laws.

It’s a show that truly shakes the conventions of the superhero genre and does so unapologetically. Instead of tiptoeing around the feminist nature of the show, it tackles the topics of equality and women in authority head on. Supergirl isn’t treated cinema graphically like a female character, she’s treated like a male lead. This is evident in the fact that the show literally does not pull punches; in many shows, when a woman is being beaten, the camera pans away, but in Supergirl it doesn’t. As Schechter put it, “I think if a female kicking ass makes you uncomfortable, it’s a good opportunity for you to look at yourself.” The same can be said by the relationships of the female characters. They’re debates and differences aren’t petty, they aren’t about men and they’re not about competing with each other, if they’re fighting, they’re fighting over moral and philosophical differences.

It’s not just Supergirl breaking down the barriers either, the entire supporting cast plays a role. There’s James Olsen, a six foot plus black man, played by Mehcad Brooks, who is trying to prove he’s more than just Superman’s friend, being saved by Supergirl and entering his own journey of growth. There’s Kara’s sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), attempting to protect the world from alien threat, without superpowers, whilst battling with her sexuality, societal norms and her feelings for her adoptive sister. There’s the sassy and sarcastic Cat Grant, played by Calista Flockhart of Ally McBeal fame, reminding us that we are women, hear us roar. And there are the badass ass villains, all with different personalities and goals, with two of particular note being Queen Rhea (Teri Hatcher) and Lillian Luthor (Brend Strong), showing a different side to motherhood. Nerdist’s Carly Lane best covered this particular breed of villain: “the combination of protective maternal instincts and the need to act in what they believe to be their children’s best interests allows for motives that are more complex than the need to create chaos, and characters like Lillian Luthor and Queen Rhea of Daxam are proof that older women can be just as much forces to be reckoned with as some of the most terrifying baddies around.”

There are certainly those within the geek community who see this show as pandering and childish, for others it just makes them uncomfortable, but for me, I see the character I wish I had growing up. Today I see young girls running around with Supergirl dolls, I see them in Supergirl t-shirts and dresses and donning capes, proclaiming themselves heroes, because they see someone they can identify with doing just that. They see a woman battling evil and saving the world and they think, I can do that too. Whether I enjoyed the show or not, this is the outcome that matters the most to me. As Cat Grant so elegantly put it, “if you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?”

Ashayla Webster is a Perth based cosplayer/volunteer/model/pineapple queen.

Facebook: Ashayla Webster
Instagram: Ashayla Webster 

Detective Bruce Wayne with Caped Crusader Cosplay

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be standing in old Fremantle on a cold winter night with a man dressed as Batman I probably would have had a lot of questions. Nevertheless this is where I have found myself.

Al Fuller, Western Australias very own Caped Crusader, doesn’t let the cold get to him. The only thing the bone chilling winds seem to do is add to effect of his costume as his jacket blows in the wind. He is a man who loves what he does, standing proud in the cosplay he made in his home, and talking with passion about a character he clearly loves.

8B: So how long have you been doing cosplay for?
AL: I came into the game later then most, I had recently hit the big 4-0 when I did. I’ve always been a big kid at heart so it wasn’t the stereotypical middle-age thing… I don’t think so anyway. I already had bought the big red V8 to cover that! I’d been to the Supanova conventions a couple times as regular me but my sojourn into cosplay started at OZ ComiCon in 2013 when I convinced a friend to tag along, this time in costume. I borrowed a Dark Knight muscle suit from a friend and my mate went as Bane. It was a lot of fun to say the least and a little overwhelming in a way. It really was a buzz having people want photos with us. The popularity of the Dark Knight movie was obviously the source for the attention but from then on I couldn’t wait for the next convention.

8B: The cosplay community at conventions has gotten bigger in the past few years, how does it feel being a relatively well known figure in the community?
AL: I really enjoy the community of cosplay and the social aspect of being at the conventions with like minded people who you wouldn’t otherwise know. There’s really no barrier to getting involved. I enjoy being a character that people know and love. I enjoy catching the train to the conventions in costume and seeing the reactions from everyone. There’s nothing I really don’t enjoy, except probably what most cosplayers dislike…. the restriction in being able to use the toilet. Really it’s just fun, that’s what matters.

8B: You have a few variations of Batman, any reason you’ve chosen to focus on the Dark Knight?
AL: So far I’ve done a few Batman variations. The Dark Knight (my first one), comic style black and grey, comic style blue and grey, Batman bobble-head in both blue and black, Lego Batman (my biggest and most awkward) and DC Bombshells Detective Bruce Wayne. Something just drew me to the character long ago. Maybe it was the Corgi Batmobile and boat set I had as a kid? Or the plastic cake topper I remember seeing in a long gone bakery many decades ago? Either way it was imbedded somewhere, and in recent years it’s become something I’ve aspired to bring to life and have some fun with. I got back into comic collecting with Batman as my main focus when DC released the New 52. I used to love reading the Punisher, Lobo, and Judge Dredd/2000AD but it was Batman that really drew me back in. He’s a character that has no super powers so there’s an element and depth of reality to him. And seriously, if you could drive around in a Batmobile and punch bad guys why wouldn’t you?

8B: While we’re on the subject of different Batmen, do yo have a favourite?
AL: That’s a tough one. I definitely love the Batman of the silver and bronze age in the comics which is what my blue and grey suit is based on, but there are so many variations and takes on the character in both book and film that each adds their own element. I also love the Adam West Batman from the 1960’s. Ultimately I think it can really boil down to the look of the costume and characters. If it looks crap (did someone say 90’s films?) then it’s a lot harder to sell to the fanbase. I enjoyed BvS a lot and the Lego Batman movie is a really fun ride with so many hat-tips to everything that came before, even back to the serials in the 40’s.

8B: We know you like Batman, but is there a dream cosplay you are hoping to do?
AL: I don’t think I have a dream cosplay as such, although I’ve started to focus on my photos and how my character looks a bit more where I can. I’m currently working on something a but different; comic style Judge Dredd. He may not be Batman but there were some DC crossovers in the 90’s where the two characters had their disagreements but ultimately became unwitting allies. I’ve started the build and it won’t be without its challenges but so far so good. Learning new skills and working with different materials is always a challenge and my methods of getting from A to B in building and patterning can be a little unorthodox, but as long as i’m happy with the results then that’s what really matters. I’m always surprised with how things turn out and excited when I get them right. For everything else there is always a wheelie bin in the Batcave.

8B: How about highlights? 
AL: There are plenty of personal highlights and fantastic moments that i’ve experienced in cosplay, one of which was having the artist responsible for DC Bombshells, Ant Lucia, give me some info and awesome feedback which allowed me to add some fine detail into the detective costumes vest. But i suppose the biggest ones are the reactions from people of all ages who love Batman and seeing the character step out of the comics and come to life. It makes my effort all that more worthwhile. I also love getting other cosplayers together at the conventions by organising, and I’ll say that loosely, or participating in the various DC group photo gatherings. Catching up with other bat-family cosplayers is a lot of fun.

8B: Finally, where can people find you if they would like to see more of your cosplays.
AL: I started a Facebook page back in 2014 called Caped Crusader of Western Australia where I like to share my costume photos and the stuff I’m working on, plus bits and pieces of my collection and photos from conventions. I also have an Instagram called Caped Crusader Cosplay, that’s mainly cosplay but I mix it up with some other photos outside of cosplay as well.