comScore #28daysofblackcosplay at The Mary Sue: Day 1, Part 2 | The Mary Sue

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue Day One, Part Two

Meet QueenofSassgard Cosplay, Jade Aurora, and Elly!

Pictures of QueenofSassgard Cosplay, Jade Aurora, and Elly

On February 1st, 2015, the little Black hashtag that could quickly built momentum on social media. #28DaysOfBlackCosplay had three goals in mind according to its creator, Chaka Cumberbatch-Tinsleyback when I spoke with her in 2019 for Essence: visibility, representation, and celebration.

“It’s always been about carving out space for Black cosplayers to be acknowledged and seen, as the mainstream cosplay media (if you could call it that!) at the time was very one-note. I was tired of hearing people say that there weren’t very many Black cosplayers, when I knew there were tons of us. It was an excuse, and not a very good one at that. I take solace in the fact that five years later, it’s an excuse that no one will ever buy again.” – Chaka Cumberbatch-Tinsley.

As I mentioned in the previous feature, this will be a month-long celebration where I highlight cosplayers every single day! For the most part, you can expect a feature a day from me, but since this is the first day of the event I’m gonna give you another one, as a treat.

(Also, because I, like, REALLY love cosplay, and since my motivation is on hold until further notice I’m excited to see it all over my timeline).

QueenofSassgard Cosplay 

 

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A post shared by ☆Lexi☆ (@queen0fsassgard)

Another cosplayer who found inspiration through the Champion of Love and Justice (this is a Sailor Moon stan account always and forever), QueenofSassgard Cosplay has been doing this for 10 years! Check out her cosplay journey below.

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

If I love a character or design!

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

Princess Serenity!

 

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A post shared by ☆Lexi☆ (@queen0fsassgard)

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

Having kids take a picture with me as Raven and parents saying they never thought they’d see a hero that looks like them!

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 Hero Academia!

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

Bee from Bee and Puppycat and Catra from She-ra.

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

The Bee and Puppycat universe!

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 usually adjust them to my comfort level. Comfort over accuracy!

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?

Princess Serenity, Cinderella, and Raven (only Raven isn’t featured in this, lol).

 

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A post shared by ☆Lexi☆ (@queen0fsassgard)

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

Most of it will be more casual and fun! I’ve got a few things cooking.

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?

Princess Zelda or 2B from Nier: Automata.

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

Back to Fanime!

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

I’ve been taking a break from cosplay to focus on me, but I can’t wait to get back out there and hit panels again. I love speaking to the community.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

It means shining a spotlight on some delightful and wonderful creators. Too often we get buried underneath other cosplayers and it sucks. I love using the hashtag to find other cosplayers to follow and eventually friends to hang with!

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

I want people to keep the same energy they had in February all year long!

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

Keep that positive energy, shut down bad comments, listen to Black voices.

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

Just do it. That’s the first hurdle. I promise you’ll have a good time!

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

I’m hoping that I can make more fun cosplay to be comfortable in!

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’m @queen0fsassgard on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok!

 

Jade Aurora 

Jade Aurora as Cruella De Vil

Photographer: Pharoah Inkabuss

Jade Aurora has been cosplaying since 2011, inspired by a friend who invited her to Youmacon. After seeing cosplay in-person, she’s been hooked ever since. Check out the rest of her story below.

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

I make my decision by watching a series. If there is a character that stands out to me, and I really like them, then I will cosplay that character

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

My favorite cosplays would have to be my Dr. Facilier cosplay and Princess Yum Yum cosplay.

Jade Aurora as Dr. Facilier

Photographer: C. Wolfe Imaging

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

It was during Youmacon 2011. I was dressed as Princess Tiana, and while I was walking around the con with my friends, a Black mother stopped us and said her daughter wanted to get a picture with us. The little girl had to have been around 4 or 5. She was in awe of my costume and thought I was actually Tiana. I really made her day.

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 usually playing The Sims, or binge-watching anime.

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

Definitely Sailor Moon.

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

I would have to say the My Hero Academia universe, because who wouldn’t want superpowers?

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 like to put my own spin on them. I’m a pinup model and a burlesque performer, so I like to incorporate that into my cosplays. I think of it as combining two of my favorite things.

Jade Aurora as Wonder Woman

Photographer: Happy Pause Photography

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?

Dr. Facilier, Cruella DeVil, and Princess Yum Yum (not featured).

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

I am planning a Rococo version of Princess Tiana. I am also planning to cosplay as Midnight from My Hero Academia.

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?

Every Disney princess, Anastasia, and Princess Serenity.

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

Youmacon, of course (I live in Michigan and Youmacon is in Detroit), and BlerDCon.

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

I haven’t really been that active but seeing other people’s cosplays keep me inspired.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

To me, it means that we are talented, and deserve recognition for what we do. It’s not fair that we are overlooked due to other people’s ignorance.

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

I would love to see Black cosplayers continue to be supported.

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

By giving proper representation to dark-skinned and plus-sized cosplayers, as well as cosplayers with disabilities.

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

Just have fun! Don’t let people’s negativity and ignorance get to you. Half the people that talk down to cosplayers don’t even cosplay, so they don’t matter.

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

Releasing the sequel to my first book, Motor City Witches: The Goddess Within, which was released in July 2020). You can find it on Amazon and on the publisher’s website.

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 on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

 

Elly

 

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A post shared by EMG, M.S.Ed. (@ellyemgee)

Elly has been cosplaying since 2012 but their inspiration goes back to 2010 when they first attended New York Comic-Con. This combined with a college friend led them to start cosplaying. You can check out the rest of their story below.

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

If there is a character that I am extra hype for, I start drafting ideas of what I want the costume to look like/what to buy in my head or on Amazon.

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

The cosplay I’m the most proud of is my Princess Hibana from Fire Force.

 

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A post shared by EMG, M.S.Ed. (@ellyemgee)

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

I went to Overwatch League’s Grand Finals on my birthday (9/29/2019) and I cosplayed as Mercy. There were a few Black people that came up to me and said that I looked great and said that I’m doing it for the culture. It made me feel great that people that look like me also enjoy cosplays and I hope that they cosplay in the future.

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 currently playing Genshin Impact, an open-world RPG made by Mihoyo.

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

Princess Hibana from Fire Force, Jean from Genshin Impact, and Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon.

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

I would want to live in My Hero Academia’s universe because if I do become a hero, I would like to fight alongside the main characters. I’d also want to be in Cardcaptor Sakura because it seems chill.

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 tend to put my own spin to things (for example, style with my own hair, crochet an item) because it adds a personal touch to the cosplay.

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?

My favorite ones are Princess Hibana (who I featured here) and Mercy from Overwatch.

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

I want to cosplay as Jean from Genshin Impact (if cosplay companies release her costume this year)! There are others I have planned, but I want to keep it a secret.

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?

Some of the dream cosplays that I want to do are Sailor Jupiter, Sakura Kinomoto, Yoruichi, and Mereoleona Vermillion. Sailor Jupiter especially because she is my favorite Sailor Senshi and has been since I was a child. I want this cosplay to be handmade because she means a lot to me.

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

I’m definitely going to my home con, AnimeNYC, and a few others like BlerDCon, KatsuCon, and HolMat (Holiday Matsuri). 2020 was supposed to be the year for me to travel to different cons.

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

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by EMG, M.S.Ed. (@ellyemgee)

One thing that inspires me is seeing others cosplaying some of my favorite characters. I haven’t been active since October 2020 due to work, but I hope to carve out some time to cosplay more, especially in February. Some other things are seeing others make weapons or even their own cosplay. One of my goals for 2021 is to learn how to sew by hand and by using a sewing machine.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay gives Black cosplayers of all identities a place to showcase themselves. Cosplay is very, and I mean very Eurocentric. This hashtag is an “I am here” to the entire cosplay community.

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

One of the things that I definitely want to see is the support of Black cosplayers to continue. Don’t let an event where our humanity is challenged (i.e. police brutality) or the only month that we are recognized (February) be times where we are supported the most. Continue to buy our prints throughout the year or retweet a cosplay that you like. We live in a social media era where reach is important.

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

First and foremost, don’t invite Black cosplayers to a panel only because there is a diversity topic. I want more panels to go to that don’t always involve why diversity is important. For example, I want to be a part of a magical girl panel or one that discusses education and anime. Second, be more inclusive to disabled people, plus-sized people, darker-skinned people, etc. They create a lot of awesome content too and should receive their flowers and then some.

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

If you have a character in mind, do it! Don’t be afraid. There are always different tutorials and inspirations out there for everyone. Also, have fun with it. Lastly, add your own personal touch to your cosplays.

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

I look forward to creating more content with my cosplays as well as for my YouTube channel.

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!

Besides my YouTube channel (linked in the previous response) there’s Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Until tomorrow, fellow cosplay enthusiasts/people who are simply fascinated by the number of people playing elaborate games of dress-up!

(Image: QueenofSassgard Cosplay, Jade Aurora, and Elly)

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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)