comScore #28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue Day Four | The Mary Sue

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue, Day Four

Meet Curlyheadshinobi and Kalika Evans (MidnightPursona)

Picture of Curlyheadshinobi and Kalika Evans (MidnightPursona)

Happy Pre-Friday, almost Friday, so close to Friday, aka, Thursday! In our continued celebration of #28DaysOfBlackCosplay we have two more cosplayers who are ready to share their looks and their cosplay stories. Don’t forget, we’ll be doing this every day all throughout the month of February!

Curlyheadshinobi

Photo credit @runningfist.ronin

Curlyheadshinobi fell in love with cosplay after her friends convinced her to attend Momocon with them. She immediately fell in love with cosplay, its community, and the convention scene, and has been cosplaying since 2019. You can check out her story below.

How do you decide what you’re going to cosplay?

It’s usually based on a character I like from a show, anime, or game. I have a list of cosplays I want to do that constantly grows but sometimes it’s how I’m feeling in that moment, what’s going on in pop culture, relevancy, suggestions from followers, or if a holiday is coming up.

What cosplay are you most proud of? And yes, it’s absolutely ok to say ALL.

I just love to learn and grow with each cosplay I do whether it’s a full-fledged cosplay with props, wigs, contacts, etc., or a closet cosplay. I love the reactions and support I get from the community and if I had to pick a fave so far I had fun with my Inuyasha photoshoot. However, I also love my natural hair Temari cosplay. I was proud of how it turned out and I made the dress and fan myself. I guess you could say it was my first build. 

Photo credit @runningfist.ronin

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

Being at BlerDCon, which was my second con ever, and seeing all the amazing cosplays, getting to be in cosplay, and enjoying the vibe of it all. Something just hits different when you have a con just full of amazing Black cosplayers, artists, photographers, and patrons and seeing some of your favorite characters brought to life in a way of Black excellence. It felt like an old school family BBQ full of some of the best blerds just having a good time for the culture.

Hey, it’s time to take a break from making that cosplay or buying it off your wishlist, what are you watching/playing/reading to unwind?

My morning routine is Spongebob for sure, lol, and if not that then I’m going classic with Scooby-Doo. But for the rest of the day if I’m unwinding then I’m watching or starting a new anime. If I’m watching it dubbed then I’m probably playing Animal Crossing at the same time, but if it’s subbed then I’m usually wrapped up in a blanket with a snack or cereal and eyes glued to the TV.

Sometimes my unwind time consists of doing crafts and scrolling through social media.

Speaking of unwinding, who are your comfort characters? Who are you going to when you need a pick me up?

My boyfriend is one of them, my giant plushie Grogu is my other comfort character. If I need to watch a character for a pick me up then I need to see some old-school Naruto for some motivation for sure or watch Saiki K because he makes me laugh.

If you could live in a fictional universe where would it be and why?

Well, I’d definitely love to live on my island in Animal Crossing because it’s awesome and I’d get to meet my villagers and actually hang out. But for a show to live in, I’d probably pick Fairy Tail because I love the guilds and the use of magic and the sense of family they have. Black Clover would also be a fun place to live and being a wizard at Hogwarts in Harry Potter would be a dream come true.

Do you tend to cosplay the character/creature/entity as is or do you put your own spin on them? Any particular reason why? And yes, it’s perfectly ok to say “because I like to.”

I’ve been trying to do as many cosplays as I can with my natural hair and usually if I get a wig I get one that’s curly or has some texture to it. I might switch up the costume and do a holiday version or swimsuit version, I also may add different elements and props just for fun to relate to something from that character’s universe. I always want it to make it my own so that way it can be distinguished and my mark is left on it.

It’s cruel to ask what your favorite cosplay is so what are your top three (at most)? Are they the ones being featured or are they different ones?

Favorite top three that I’ve done so far would have to be Temari, Chucky, and Christmas Raven.

What do your 2021 cosplans look like? If you’re trying to keep it secret OR you have no plans, that’s fine!

I have several cosplays on my list I want to do but my goal is to take everything I learned last year and bring it into this year and go stronger! It’s time for upgrades and I look forward to really showcasing my passion through my newly acquired cosplays and make some content and videos along with them to really showcase the embodiment and personality of the character.

I would hope at some point this year we get to go to a convention and that I’m able to be around so many awesome people and vibes even if we have to wear masks because I know my weebs are gonna get creative with it, just to be in that setting and atmosphere would be a blessing for this year.

Most importantly I just want to create and have fun and be able to share the happiness I get when trying it on and being that character with the community and my followers and make them happy through my art and content.

In an alternate universe where money and resources are plentiful, all your bills are paid, and you’ve got nothing but time, what dream cosplays are you doing?

Oh, I would definitely be taking my time to get some battle armor going. I’m going big on it! One that comes to my mind is Ryuko Matoi in her Senketsu full out battle armor, I’d love to make that or have the money for someone to make me an elaborate Loba from Apex Legends costume with a 3-d printed gun.

In yet another alternate universe, conventions are safe to return to, so where are you headed?

Every single one I can afford to make it to. I’d set a planner and schedule to figure out the details but I definitely would be going to Momocon, BlerDCon, Colossal Con, Dragon Con, San Diego Con (my dream convention), Anime Weekend Atlanta, Galaxy Con, and any other one that becomes available!

What inspires you to stay active in the community, especially in these trying times? If you haven’t been active that’s fine, too!

Honestly, when I’m down it’s my boyfriend who always pushes me and stays in my corner to give me a boost when needed, but the main thing that gets me motivated is the amazing cosplays and content creators that I follow and have the pleasure to witness and have conversations and friendships with. Watching them grow and love what they do and be so supportive pushes me to be the best version of myself I can be and put my heart into the cards…. lol I mean cosplay.

I know especially in times like this I like to spread positivity, hope, and a good time to those around me because making others happy is what lifts my spirits and pushes me to do better and want better.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

It means a full-blown celebration showing the Black and melanated excellence that makes up our community and the amazing cosplays they manifest and bless the world with. Not only does it allows us to acknowledge and support one another but it sends a message to the world that we cosplay our way and look damn good doing it. It’s the importance of having a platform and a space where we can all support and acknowledge one another, have our voice heard, and build communities and relationships.

It’s March 1st, 2021, what would you like to see happen after the 28 days are over?

For people to continue to share and talk about Black cosplayers and the excellence we bring to the community and fandom. I want to see people new and old talking and supporting, building friendships, and growing our community. I want people to come out more aware after the month’s over and have a new appreciation and understanding for Black cosplayers, to really spread the word and see the joy as it all takes place.

How can the community (people, events, etc.) do better to represent you and other Black cosplayers?

Honestly, it has to be a team effort. We need to get to know our community and the individuals in it better and even the ones who think they have nowhere they belong, we can guide them to a place they can relate and meet people in. I think sharing and uplifting one another, engaging in the content, or spreading the word. Uploading images and social links to showcase our blerd family and being positive and genuine. Have segments or representation at events, more representation with brands and sponsorships. Do meetups and represent as a unit doing events and maybe photoshoots together to show our unity and our love and strength as a collective.

Any tips for newcomers who are waffling on whether or not they should cosplay?

It’s definitely an art form of expression, it can be fun and fulfilling bringing characters to life through you and interpreting it your own way. The process of making or buying the costume, setting your location, getting or making props and adding elements like lighting, contacts, wigs, etc. to the mix, and just getting to be as creative as you want. You can go all out if you want or you can keep it a simple casual cosplay but still make it your own and have fun doing it. That’s the most important part.

Also, watch some people for inspiration and find out what you like and how you want to approach it. Cosplay is free expression and it is limitless so you have free reign to think outside of the box and take a character and make it whatever your heart desires. That’s the best part! Don’t stress it or overthink it, just have fun and be real with it and people will feel that and love it. Whether you want to cosplay more competitively or as a potential career or just casually, always have fun first and the rest will follow.

What are you looking forward to in 2021? It doesn’t have to be cosplay related, it can be anything.

I’m looking forward to when my lease is up and moving into a new apartment with more space so I can have a room for gaming, creating, and cosplay! I also would like to travel, go to cons at least a few times this year, go on adventures, grow my social platforms and continue to meet new people and just make the most out of every moment this year and enjoy it because life’s too short and the only one holding me back is me!

Social media time! Tell us where we can find you! Give me as many links as you want. Twitter? TikTok? Patreon? I want it all!

You can find me over on Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube!

 

Kalika Evans (MidnightPursona)

Kalika Evans (MidnightPursona) has been cosplaying since 2009! After walking into her first con and seeing other attendees cosplaying, she got excited, and was inspired to cosplay, too! Ah, this is SUCH a mood, them dang cosplayers hooked me in like that, too!

How do you decide what you’re going to cosplay?

Normally it’s “OH THAT’S PRETTY” then bam.

What cosplay are you most proud of? And yes, it’s absolutely ok to say ALL.

Honestly, anything that I compete with I’m super proud of, so my current favorite is probably Xehanort from Kingdom Hearts!

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

Meeting some of my best friends through cosplay has been amazing, but my favorite moments are when a little kid sees me and gets SO excited that I’m a character they love.

Hey, it’s time to take a break from making that cosplay or buying it off your wishlist, what are you watching/playing/reading to unwind?

I’m probably playing something like Harvest Moon or watching something on Hulu.

Speaking of unwinding, who are your comfort characters? Who are you going to when you need a pick me up?

Normally when I need a pick me up I’ll just cosplay an original design or I’ll cosplay Isabelle from Animal Crossing.

If you could live in a fictional universe where would it be and why?

Animal Crossing, because it doesn’t seem too hard to really live there. Even though you owe a lot for a house, it’s actually not that hard to pay it off.

Do you tend to cosplay the character/creature/entity as is or do you put your own spin on them? Any particular reason why? And yes, it’s perfectly ok to say “because I like to.”

I seem to be drawn to Nintendo creatures, either Animal Crossing or Bowser. I like to do them because I like to feel unique and do my own style of cosplaying.

It’s cruel to ask what your favorite cosplay is so what are your top three (at most)? Are they the ones being featured or are they different ones?

Oh god, this is always such a hard question, but I think I’ll have to go with: Isabelle (Animal Crossing), Bowser (Mario Bros), and Persephone (Lore Olympus).

What do your 2021 cosplans look like? If you’re trying to keep it secret OR you have no plans, that’s fine!

I have plans to cosplay A LOT of cowgirls, Mario, and MORE original characters!

In an alternate universe where money and resources are plentiful, all your bills are paid, and you’ve got nothing but time, what dream cosplays are you doing?

Senna from League of Legends, honestly most of my mains from League of Legends!

In yet another alternate universe, conventions are safe to return to, so where are you headed?

Anime Los Angeles or Anime Banzai, I really miss my out of state friends.

What inspires you to stay active in the community, especially in these trying times? If you haven’t been active that’s fine, too!

Being creative is a BIG outlet for me, it stops the negative thoughts and it helps me mentally. Not to mention, seeing other people smile when I make something new is really a wonderful thing.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

It’s a time to share my talents without feeling like I don’t belong, it’s a wonderful way to discover new cosplayers like me and share Black geekdom!

It’s March 1st, 2021, what would you like to see happen after the 28 days are over?

For the love and support to continue! It shouldn’t stop just because we had 28 days of sharing!

How can the community (people, events, etc.) do better to represent you and other Black cosplayers?

Host more panels about us, share our talents, recommend (and hire) more of us to be guests at cons, showcase Black cosplayers OUTSIDE of BLM and 28 Days of Cosplay! We should just naturally exist in the community without it being a MASSIVE event to celebrate us! We should just be thought of naturally when you think “talented cosplayers” and cosplayers you like to see!

Any tips for newcomers who are waffling on whether or not they should cosplay?

Honestly, just jump into it. Try to pick the cosplay that may be less overwhelming if your nervous, but the best advice is to just DO IT. You’re going to have issues (especially as a POC or Plus Size Cosplayer), but you can’t let that stop you! It’s a wonderful hobby!

What are you looking forward to in 2021? It doesn’t have to be cosplay related, it can be anything.

Hopefully getting a larger space to work and live soon.

Social media time! Tell us where we can find you! Give me as many links as you want. Twitter? TikTok? Patreon? I want it all!

I actually have all of my social media right over here!

_

Since tomorrow’s Friday, we’ll have THREE cosplayers to share as a pre-weekend treat! See y’all then!

(Image: Curlyheadshinobi and Kalika Evans/MidnightPursona)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)