KCCP Member of the Week: Hana Smith

This week’s featured member is Hana Smith. She brings to life characters like Harley Quinn with her talent in fabric crafting and make up.  While her sights are set on doing makeup and costumes for a living, she’s incredibly happy now building her skills and learning new ones until then.  Read on for some more of her other cosplay goals and interests!

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How did you get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay and makeup effects 5 and half or 6 years ago, when I was 9 or 10. I was always very interested in the arts and making things, and I always loved Halloween because it meant I got to create a costume and be this character for a whole night. I found these cosplayers (TwinFools // FightingDreamersPro) years ago, and we started talking online about cosplay, and having role models that were older and into cosplay really helped kickstart me pursuing it more.

How many characters are you currently cosplaying and what are they?
I’ve got a few I do regularly, but I tend to make at least one new costume for each convention I attend.
My regulars are Harley Quinn, Mary Mason, and The Joker. I’ve got a few I’m excited to debut at future conventions in the next year.

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What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done so far and why?
Harley Quinn for sure. Batman got me into cosplay(my first costume I made myself was the Joker for Halloween when I was 9) and so it’s really awesome to be able to evolve that and re-create those characters as I get more skill. Harley has been my favourite comic book character for as long as I can remember, and being able to channel that is so much fun. She’s an incredibly fun character, and such a badass lady(especially with the recent comics) so it’s really cool to be her for a day. Plus, there’s a lot of freedom to be had with her costumes.

What’s your favorite way to craft?
Sewing or fabricating. I absolutely love being able to start with a blank canvas, especially when I’ve designed the pattern myself, and then spend time and energy to get a finish product. For as long as I remember I’ve been making things, and so it’s cool that with cosplay I can start with nothing, and watch something fantastic grow because I’m making it. Sewing and fabrication are both great for me because they’re very tactile, which makes the whole experience a lot of fun.

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What’s your favorite crafting item to work with and why?
Fabric! When I was younger, my mom used to sew a lot, and I kind of got into that aspect of it from her, so being able to grow up around crafts helped get my passion for them going. I like creating my own patterns for outfits and then being able to get the fabric and make the costume, it’s a really great creative outlet and helps me gain skill in sewing, etc.

What are your cosplay goals?
I’d love to one day be professional. I want to be a makeup artist or something in that business, and if I could use cosplay to achieve that goal(and continue to cosplay after I hit that goal) it’d be fantastic, but until then it’s a hobby, and it’s a great way to meet people who share my passions for comics, film, fandom, etc.

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What’s your dream cosplay and why?
Blind Mag for REPO! The Genetic Opera. I saw this film for the first time about a year after it was released, and I remember my little brain exploding. It was – and still is, my favourite film after I watched it the first time, and while I’d love to cosplay everyone from that movie, Blind Mag always stuck with me. I’m trying to start working on a cosplay of her for Crypticon, and the feeling of finally being able to start on something like that is really nostalgic.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into cosplay?
Just go for it! It’s fun, everybody in the community is extremely kind and supportive. Even if some people tell you it’s childish, or say rude things, if it’s your passion you should go for it. You’ll meet so many cool people, and it’s really awesome to see a finished product. Anyone can cosplay any character, and if you’re even somewhat interested, just try it out. You don’t have to make your whole costume(or any of it for that matter), it’s just really really fun to go to conventions, etc, and be your favourite character(or a character you like) and interact and meet people. Don’t let others get you down, do what you love and do it for yourself.

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What other interests do you have outside of cosplay?
I’ve been into the arts for as long as I can remember, whether it was drawing or makeup or making ”movies” when I was a little kid. I’ve been really into film and makeup and theatre for as long as I can remember, and I do tech work on theatre productions at my school, as well as make short films and special effects makeup.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Graverobber from REPO! The Genetic Opera, hands down. As I said before, REPO is my all time favourite film, and I always connected with the Graverobber character on some weird level. I’d love to be able to sit down with him and share experiences, or just talk.

You can find more of Hana’s work on Facebook.

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Mid-Continent Public Library Teen Comic Con

KC Cosplay & Photography was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a mini comic con held for teens at the Boardwalk Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Kansas City, MO on Friday, June 19th. The event was a lock-in style evening for teens with games, prizes, crafts, comic creators, and a cosplay contest.

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Attending on behalf of KC Cosplay & Photography were Emily Baumann as Elsa, Bradley Beeghley as Deathstroke, Amber Bingham as Cinderella, Sabrina Hargis as Cressida, and Paige Houghton as Belle, as well as Brian Bartlett and Gary Baumann as handlers extraordinaire.

The event was very well attended. We were informed that over 75 kids had signed up to attend, and while I never had the chance to verify the headcount, that seems to be pretty close to the actual attendance. When we arrived just after six, the parking lot was already filled with parents dropping off kids, who were being signed in at the door for safety. We were quickly escorted in to the office area by a supremely accommodating library staff, and once finishing touches were on, we headed out to the main floor of the library to mingle with the attendees.

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The staff had a well planned event. Each of the teens was given a list of activities they could complete for a chance to earn tickets. The tickets could then be exchanged for awesome prizes, such as YA novels, superhero themed prize packages, and comic books. There was a craft station where you could make buttons, Dr Who bowties and 3D glasses, Wonder Woman tiaras, Princess Leia buns, and comic book bangles, amongst other things. There was tabletop Quidditch, a photo booth, a ball toss, a photo booth, Pictionary and trivia, a Supernatural themed deduction game called “Who’s Crowley”, and more activities that I never even made it to! It was a jam packed evening!

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We were honored to be asked to be judges for the cosplay contest, and the teens had brought an incredible amount of talent and enthusiasm with them. Standout costumes included a steampunk automaton, numerous characters from Star Wars, several interpretations of L from Death Note, and cosplays from pop culture, anime, and tv shows. The library had generously provided two wonderful prizes, but when the judges conferred, we realized that there were three costumes that simply had to be recognized. Bradley stepped up and provided a third prize for the grand prize, a truly beautifully handmade Deathstroke mask, which was gratefully received by a young cosplayer portraying Ash, the Pokemon trainer. First place (the first two seasons of Arrow on DVD) went to a genderbent Castiel from Supernatural, and second place (a first season DVD set of Arrow) was awarded to a wonderful Harley Quinn from DC Comics. We were very impressed by the creativity and diversity displayed in this next generation of cosplayers, and look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

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Once again, I’d like to extend my thanks to the staff at the Boardwalk Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library for inviting KC Cosplay and Photography to be part of their teen comic con. Cosplay on!

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Podcast Ep. 35 – “Making Hobbies a Business”

This week we break down what it takes to turn your hobby, be it cosplay, photography, or underwater basket-weaving, into a (hopefully profitable) business.

Podcast Credits

Hosts
Hillary Lewis
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guests
Nick Schale
Russ Matthews

Theme Music
Michael Wallace

Editing
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

Producers
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

We’d liked to give a special thanks to Derreck’s basement.

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Smallville ComicCon 2015 Gallery

This past weekend KC Cosplay & Photography had the pleasure of participating in the second annual Smallville ComicCon in Hutchinson, or “Smallville” KS. The cosplay was amazing as always! We were honored to host a panel on Cosplay 101 moderated by one of our admins Hillary Lewis of Super Sirens. The panelists were; Sophii & Cissa of UltraGirls Cosplay,  Michael of IBOTS, and Kory of Saint’s Customs. They talked about how they got into cosplay and where they are now as well as answered questions from con goers. Check out the gallery below to see what you may have missed at Smallville ComicCon.

Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21 Kansas State Fair Grounds, Hutchinson/Smallville, KS

Cosplayers Credit: (If you are featured in this and have been missed please feel free to comment): Boba Fett – Bill Holmes, Crunk Panda – Ghostbuster, Elite Supergirl – Supergirl, Cullen Cosplay – Armored Superman, Huntress Hilz – Supergirl & Black Canary, Luke Reyes – Alien, 3nvy – Leeloo, Dan Kelly – Superman, Heather Kelly – Superwoman & Stargirl, Jae Byrd Wells – Kaylee Frye, IBOTs – Warmachine, Kaveman – Stormtrooper, Jae Byrd Wells – Bellydancing Jedi, Bill Holmes – Jedi, Ashley Webb – Vanellope von Schweetz, Amy Coleman – Beetlejuice, Baroness Von T Cosplay – Princess Leia, KCIronMan & family – Batman; Robin; & Bane, IBOTs – Iron Spider & Ironman, Carrie Givens – Imperial Officer, Daniel Bailey – Predator & Darth Jaeger, KC R2 Builders Club – R2D2, Butthead Costumes – Predator, Tony Ackerman – Predator, Ultra Girls Cosplay – Poison Ivy & Aquaman, Alyzza Dawn – Wolverine, JaneDoe Nerdgasms – John Hammond, Wintersoldier Ksadt – Winter Soldier, Ali Smith – Zephyr, Kory Burch/Saint’s Customs – Ariel, Kevin Austin/Saint’s Customs – Jedi.

Photographer Credit: Jae B. Wells, Joshua Smith, Carrie Givens, Roberto Gomez of RM Gomez Photography

Handler Credit: Joshua Smith, Jonathan Czerwinski, Logan LeCates

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KCCP Member of the Week: Josh Chaikin

This week we bring you a new photographer in the Kansas City area cosplay world. Josh Chaikin started out watching a friend having fun in the photography world. He dove in doing concert photography and his passion shows in each of his photos.

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What got you into photography and how long have you been doing it?
A friend of mine is a photographer and got some really killer images, so I decided I’d better buy some quality equipment. Four months of research and three years of practice later, here I am.

What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Concerts. I run PhotosFromThePit and have gotten to work with bands from all genres and decades. Everyone from The Monkees, to Judas Priest, to KoRn

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Why did you decide to photograph cosplayers?
I haven’t done much work with cosplayers, but I’m hoping to change that. I’m very much a fan of concept photography, which is very easy to do when the model is a character; and often cosplayers have their own ideas as well.

What type of camera do you prefer to use?
I’m a Nikon kind of guy.

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What is your editing program of choice?
Lightroom

What is the best advice you’d give someone who wants to get into photography?
Read up as much as you can on the technical aspects before getting a camera in hand, that way you can focus on the art, and not have to worry about exposure issues.

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Have you considered cosplaying?
I’ve dressed up as the 10th Doctor before.

What are your other interests?
I’m an accomplished magician, and decent cook.

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If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Rat from Pearls Before Swine

You can check more of Josh’s work on his WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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KCCP Member of the Week: Jacob Disberger

This week we bring you another one of our young members, Jacob Disberger. His talent of bringing the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who to life is uncanny. He loves bringing smiles to faces and plans to keep doing that. To know more about Jacob and what he is doing, check out the rest of his Member of the Week spotlight.

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How did you get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay by doing an event where I dressed up as a Wizard of Oz character. I loved seeing the joy on everyone’s face when they would see me in my Cowardly Lion costume. The joy of the children breathed life into my cosplaying lifestyle that I have now.

How many characters are you currently cosplaying and what are they?
Only one and it’s the 11th Doctor.

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What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done so far and why?
Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor.

What’s your favorite way to craft?
I do love doing a bit of sewing projects and some cardboard builds, but before I do that I always visit the local thrift shop because you never know what great items you can use there. Many times I find myself in the women’s section of Good Will trying on boots.

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What’s your favorite crafting item to work with and why?
I love building with cardboard. It is a cheap, yet fantastic item you can build almost anything out of. I have built a suit of cardboard armor once for a makeshift robot. It is still in the works… it needs paint and a helmet.

What are your cosplay goals (e.g. professional, hobbyist, charity, gateway to another career, etc)?
I would love to visit a children’s hospitals as (the 11th Doctor) and give those kids a visit of a lifetime. I would also like to use cosplay to stand up against bullying.

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What’s your dream cosplay and why?
My dream cosplay would be a Mandalorian suit. The style has always attracted me and has been pulling at me for a while now. Hopefully, I can get some help with this project.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into cosplay?
Do a character you love and know well in your heart. If you do this, it will be an absolute blast making the costume and being the character will be so much fun because you will be able to role play with other characters from the show/book/movie/etc. Just do a character close to your heart.

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What other interests do you have outside of cosplay?
I love reading and doing musical theater.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with the Doctor… and yes, I mean all of them. Technically he is one person in all 😉

You can check out more of Jacob on his Instagram and Facebook.

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Podcast Ep. 34 – “DC TV-verse or the DCTVU”

This week, your favorite three podcast hosts sit down to talk about DC Comics’ TV universe, focusing on this season’s Arrow and Flash shows along with what we expect and look forward to it The CW’s new Legends of Tomorrow and CBS’ Supergirl.

Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Theme Music
Michael Wallace

Editing
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

Producers
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

We’d liked to give a special thanks to Derreck’s basement.

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Podcast Ep. 33 – “Cosplay 101: ConQuesT 46 Panel”

Listen in to our live-recorded Cosplay 101 panel from ConQuesT 46, held on Memorial Day weekend. This panel was held at a local, fantasy and sci-fi literature convention with the George R.R. Martin as the guest editor of honor. We got to sit in the Iron Throne, host a couple panels, and check out some wonderful dealers. This panel was recorded live and is unedited and uncut. I moderate along with Rachel Stewart of the Super Sirens, Dennis Butt of Butthead Costumes, and Amber Bingham of Ana Chronistic Cosplay. Enjoy!

 

 Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart

Special Guests
Amber Bingham
Dennis Butt

Theme Music
Michael Wallace

Editing
Derreck Mayer

Producers
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

We’d liked to give a special thanks to ConQuesT 46 for allowing us to host two panels and providing us with table space during their Memorial Day weekend convention.

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KCCP Member of the Week: Parker Grace

We’re back with a new Member of the Week, Parker Grace. She is one of our younger, talented folks who started cosplaying with her family. She loves putting smiles on faces with her Princess Anna and so much more. Check out what else she does below.

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How did you get into cosplay?
My mother is very into it, as well as my brother. I started doing smaller closet type outfits and made my way into purchased ones. It’s been about two years since I started cosplaying.

How many characters are you currently cosplaying and what are they?
I am currently cosplaying five characters, 3 regularly.

I regularly cosplay Princess Anna’s coronation gown which is new this year, my steampunk assassin outfit which was my first, and Amy Pond kissogram which was my second cosplay.

I also have an Amy Pond time of angels cosplay and well as a Madonna lucky star costume.

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What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done so far and why?
My favorite cosplay is definitely my new Anna coronation gown cosplay. I just love being able to make all these smiling little children so happy with meeting their favorite princess. It’s definitely a dream come true for me to make others day like that, especially children.

What’s your favorite way to craft?
Though a lot of my outfits are bought, I have some that are hand made. I prefer just to hand sew, but I do love the sewing machine, on the occasion I’m actually allowed to use it.

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What’s your favorite crafting item to work with and why?
Definitely just your basic needle and thread. It may seem so simple but there are so many things you can make with it!

What are your cosplay goals (e.g. professional, hobbyist, charity, gateway to another career, etc)?
I’m hoping to start doing birthday parties with my Anna coronation gown cosplay but charity events would definitely be my #1 goal.

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What’s your dream cosplay and why?
To be able to go to charity events and help raise money. My mother is the co-founder of a charity called CHD Families that raises money for heart defects. My twin brother was her reason for starting it. He was born with only half his heart and has had five open heart surgeries. Well the point of this being, during our meetings, I watch the children and there was a time when a large group of Star Wars cosplayers came and posed with the kids. It made their day like I’d never seen before. I really hope that one day I can do something like that.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into cosplay?
Watch your favorite shows and play your favorite video games and search for characters you look like or may be able to pull off. Then, either start sewing or start shopping. Also, never be afraid to ask for help. I know of many excellent websites that have definitely helped me. My mom is a big help as well. She has helped me with so many of my costumes and I owe most of this to her.

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What other interests do you have outside of cosplay?
Outside of cosplay, I’m your average high school freshman nerd. I either sit around playing Pokemon, watching South Park, or doing who knows what with my twin brother. I also am into drama and enjoy singing. My amount of choir and voice lesson experience help has made it so I can sing things for children at cons while dressed as Anna.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Amy Pond from Doctor Who. Because of the character Amy Pond, I dyed my hair red and really got into everything cosplay. Amy Pond is played by Karen Gillan and her character is so funny and upbeat. Just the kind of person you would like to be best friends with.

You can find more of Parker’s work on Facebook

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Podcast Ep. 32 – “Genderbending and Crossplay”

This week we break down the differences between Genderbent Cosplay and Crossplay. For those of you new to these concepts, you’ll learn what it’s like to genderbend or crossplay a character from comics, movies, TV, and more. Ian and I host along with returning guest Austin from our “New to Cosplay” podcast and introducing a first-time guest, Marie Vera. After listening, comment on this post and let us know if you have any genderbending or crossplay experience or if you have any questions\comments about these types of cosplay. Enjoy!

 Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Ian Turner

Special Guests
Marie Vera Lim
Austin Brubaker

Theme Music
Michael Wallace

Editing
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

Producers
Rachel Stewart
Derreck Mayer

We’d liked to give a special thanks to the Lackman Library of the Johnson County library system.

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