Andy: What was the first convention you attended? Who or what dragged you to that convention? What is a lasting experience from that first convention?
Maki: The first convention I attended was Katsucon 2006. I was 15 at the time and I begged my mom to let me go. I ended up only going Sunday, but that was enough for me to get hooked.
The most memorable experience for sure were the cosplayers. Just seeing them dressing up and portraying characters that I’ve watched or read about made me want to do the same thing.
Andy: Sometimes in the community, there are people who are less than awesome about the fact that you cosplay at all, how do you rise above this? What is your advice to cosplayers who have been bullied like you?
Maki: I think no matter what, there will be people in a specific community who don’t like you or what you do. I would definitely say that I have experienced more positivity [sic] than negativity from people within the community. When I am faced with rude people, I ignore it or try and find some kind of way to combat it that is uplifting. A lot of times it is best to take the “kill them with kindness” approach. You never want to let an agitator know when they are getting to you. Always be confident in what you’re doing and know that you’re having fun and that kind of stuff will roll off.
Andy: On to more sunnier topics, you cosplay an awesome Storm! First, why is it so awesome? Second, can you take us through the making of the outfit?
Maki: As for the first question; Storm is awesome so it’s only natural that I try to portray her as best as I can. I’ve actually done a few versions of Storm, but the most recent was her “Worlds Apart” look.
I made it out of four way stretch vinyl. I used a bodysuit that I already owned to make a modified pattern. The cape is a middle weight cloth fabric trimmed with silver jumbo ribbon.
Andy: Do you agree or disagree with Halle Barry’s portrayal of Storm? Why?
Maki: I didn’t dislike Halle Berry, but I think they gave Storm a very small role compared to the role she plays on the team. Aesthetically, I would have liked Angela Bassett to play Storm because I believe she embodies the African queen look that Ororo has.
Andy: Where did your obsession with Storm come from? Are you a Marvel girl? What do you think is the best X-men cartoon series?
Maki: I’ve been a fan of Storm since I was a child. Growing up there weren’t a lot of characters that looked like me, so when I was introduced to Storm, I wanted to know everything about her. Not only is she a strong character, she is also an important character to the X-men team.
If I had to choose between Marvel and DC, I’d definitely choose Marvel. In my collection however; I have more indie titles than anything. Currently I’m reading “The Couriers” which is published by AiT/Planet Lar. The 90s X-Men cartoon will always be my favorite hands down.
Andy: How did you learn good poses for your cosplay photos? What do you look for in a cosplay photographer?
Maki: Believe it or not, I learned a lot from the photographers I’ve shot with. I’ve been fortunate to shoot with people have are very good at giving direction and making me look awesome! I’ve also studied my older photos and practice signature poses from the characters I cosplay. All of that helps.
I like photographers who are kind and treat my time as if it is just as valuable as theirs. I think it is important to establish more than just a time slot with a photographer. Having a relationship with them that communicates that they are more than just a photographer helps make the shoot go easier and gives the photographer a positive outlook on you!
Andy: What Conventions will you be at in 2014?
Maki: Awesome-Con, Zenkaikon, Wizard World Philly, Otakon, Baltimore Comic-Con, Anime USA and Nekocon!
Always a good day when you can end on some catwoman