Header image taken by Fuzzy_Panda
Happy 2014! A great way to start off the year is with a shot in the arm with some cosplay! Today we have a cosplayer who does a great Wind Waker cosplay! She also does a fantastic Starfire from Teen Titans cosplay.
A: What was the first Convention you went to? What was a lasting memory from that convention?
Mango Sirene: The first convention I attended was Youmacon 2007. I only went for two days and didn’t stay overnight, but it was still an amazing time! I was super obsessed with Kingdom Hearts at the time, and I attended the Kingdom Hearts photo shoot gathering; a lot of the people I met there are still my friends to this day!
A: Tell me about the first cosplay you made. What inspired you to make it? What were some of the things you learned from making that first cosplay?
MS: My first “official” attempt at cosplay was Olette from Kingdom Hearts II. The game had recently come out and she was one of the female characters I really identified with. So I tackled her outfit as my first costume, and I learned a lot of the beginners skills of cosplay, such as basic sewing, using Sculpey, fabric painting, scaling, and working with insulation foam.
A: One of the cosplayers in a group called Inner Mind Theater, what is the purpose of this group? Why in your mind is cosplaying more fun with friends?
MS: I wouldn’t say we have a “purpose,” we’re just a group of friends who enjoy dressing up together. It’s a fun way to plan cosplay groups, and having other people to pose with always leads to some awesome photos! But cosplay is just like any other social activity; it’s an exciting way to connect with people who share the same interests. The girls and I are friends first and foremost. Cosplay is something that just happens as a result of us all being nerds!
A: You did a Young Justice version of Batgirl, why did you choose to cosplay that character? Why do you think Cartoon Network pulled the show? What part of Barbara do you identify with?
MS: Batgirl was one of my childhood idols, so being able to dress up as her now is such an incredible experience! I admire her strength and determination, her drive to protect the people she cares about. She’s a character I can look to for inspiration in my own life. As for why Cartoon Network pulled Young Justice, it all comes down to ratings. The second season suffered from convoluted writing and a lack of consistency, and as such, ratings and product sales dropped, so the show was no longer a profitable venture.
A: What are some of the key decisions, in terms of style, you made in pulling together your YJ Batgirl costume?
MS: Mainly it came to the details. I wanted the cape to really catch the wind in photos, so I chose a light bemberg fabric that draped nicely. Her costume also involved elements such as ninja jikatabi shoes that I wanted to include to differentiate this design from some of her more familiar designs.
A: You also do a wonderful Medli cosplay, the bird thing from Zelda, what drew you to making this costume? Is this your favorite Zelda game, Why or Why not? Why do you think Zelda is such a timeless series?
MS: Medli was the first character I ever wanted to dress up as, even before I knew what cosplay was! Her design is just so much fun, and again, she’s a character I connect with on a personal level. Wind Waker is definitely my favorite Legend of Zelda game, I loved the art style and the music especially. Overall, I think the series is so timeless because the stories are so accessible and the gameplay is incredibly engaging. It’s just one of those iconic series that helped shape the video game industry; I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon!
A: What is one thing you’ve learned cosplaying that you wish you could have told yourself when you started cosplaying?
MS: Don’t be afraid of pushing your comfort level in terms of craftsmanship. I wish I’d gotten involved with serious prop-work earlier because I’m still learning a lot of the skills necessary to create quality props.
A: What does it feel like to be recognized for your work, such as your Medli cosplay being featured on multiple outlets?
MS: It’s unbelievably awesome! As an artist, it’s always hugely flattering to hear that people enjoy seeing my work, especially if it’s a character they love just as much as I do. I can’t begin to say how much the support means to me.
A: What Cons will you be at in 2014?
MS: The major cons I’ll be attending are Katsucon, C2E2, and Dragon*Con. There will probably be a few smaller conventions trown in there, too, but those are the big ones!