comScore #28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue, Day Twelve | The Mary Sue

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay at The Mary Sue, Day Twelve

Meet Lyric, LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct), and Invisible Wonders.

Cosplay of Lyric, LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct), and Invisible Wonders

It’s Friday, and we’ve officially hit Day 12 of our #28DaysOfBlackCosplay celebration! To really get the weekend going, we have three cosplayers to feature today! Gotta do the absolute most on Friday, yeah? Let’s get to it!

Lyric

Lyric has been cosplaying on and off throughout the years, but she started sharing her cosplay online in August last year. Thanks to her older brother, she’s been into anime and manga since she was 5-years-old. “But none of my favs looked like me and I was like, huh well the easiest way for that to happen would be to dress up like them, and so I did!” She decided to start posting her cosplays because it became a fun past time during quarantine. Check out her story below.

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

Lyric: Sometimes issa hair color I like, usually, it’s characters that are my faves or my kins. The first cosplay I posted was Mitsuri so I started off with a kin which is fun! This year I’m cosplaying more male characters because I have a lot of cool ones I wanna cosplay, so please look forward to that!

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

Hm, I have to say it would be my Genshin Impact cosplay of Lumine! I really love Genshin Impact and it’s my current hyperfixation, but beyond that, I was extremely happy with the growth of my photography and editing skills!! I felt like they really improved since I began!

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?

Oh I’m definitely a gacha fiend but it’s not all that bad because I’m free to play on all of them—I just really really enjoy Fate/Grand Order (and the Fate series in general) and Genshin Impact, either that or I’m watching romance anime, there’s just something about a good romance anime that I love very much hehe!

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

Ah! I recently did a comfort characters post! My biggest comfort character would be Kageyama from Haikyuu!! Because I just really relate to him and understand him and his thought pattern (people also headcanon him as being autistic which also probably helps me relate to him!) There’s also Akehoshi Subaru and Sakuma Rei from Ensemble Stars and Kaeya from Genshin Impact (That’s a Black man, I’ve claimed it now and so it is written!)

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.”

Oh, I definitely put my own spin on em just because I wanna make it clear they Black now because I said so, lol! I’ll do a whole bunch of cosplay either in protective styles or my natural hair!

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?

Definitely my Mitsuri, Zelda, and Lumine (in no particular order)

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

Not too sure! I know I’m gonna do more men and I’m fasho cosplaying Mona from Genshin Impact but that’s it. I am definitely gonna fit a Fate cosplay in there too!

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?

Omg Fate cosplay are so expensive so I really just want to do Jalter in all of her armor with the sword and flag!!! Also Xinyan from Genshin Impact with the guitar and everything!

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

I’m based in Chicago so probably ACEN hehe!

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

Mostly for my own sake because it’s a fun break from school and home and I can just chill and put on makeup and dress up as my faves!

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

A whole lot. Another step in the right direction when it comes to gathering the community together and being there to uplift each other regardless of “big” and “small” accounts! Also, a chance for me to find new friends and absolutely amazing cosplayers because we (Black ppl) really be doing the damn thing when it comes to cosplay! We be eating da girls up!!

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

Ideally that same level of support but after what happened with Blacktober, I’m not expecting much…

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!

Ah! I’m really only actively posting cosplay on Twitter! Though do be warned—I do Fate and Genshin tweet a lot and I’m always talm bout whatever new game I’m playing lol!

LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct)

Photo by misspixieicephotography

LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct) has been cosplaying for 3 years. She was inspired by seeing (and absolutely loving) the designs of other people’s costumes and asking how they went about creating them. Check out her story below.

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

LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct): From the characters I relate to or the designs I love.

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

My Yuna cosplay, the fact that an idea came from just changing the design to a ballgown resulted in such an eloquent cosplay.

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

Kupocon: The Bigger Pom in NJ. Going to the Insomnia Crystal Ball with my friends dressed as Yuna, Lulu and Rikku, and people being completely blown away by the ballgown designs.

Photo by lazzaro_studios

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 obsessed with The Witcher, The Crown, Attack on Titan, and Criminal Minds.

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

Any Resident Evil with Leon Kennedy, also playing Devil May Cry 5 a lot. I love V and Vergil.

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

The world of Trinity Blood is absolutely incredible. A world where there is a vampire empire with a fully functional society and hierarchy with killer fashion.

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 put a spin on my FFX Yuna because we were going to a ball so I wanted to make sure we had a fitting theme. Otherwise, I try to cosplay characters as is because their designs are amazing as is.

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 FFX Yuna Ballgown is a favorite but a second favorite has to be my Noctis cosplays from FFXV, a character I hold near and dear to my heart. After all, the prince kept this girl waiting for 10 whole years.

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

Disney Masquerade Megara is one of my cosplays, the other one is 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?

CLAMP universes like Card Captor Sakura, xxxHolic, or Tsubasa. Also, Trinity Blood cosplay builds.

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

Katsucon would be the first stop then as many as I could hit all year.

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

Seeing everyone’s constant evolution through the pandemic to create elaborate or multiple characters at a time.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

Giving POC cosplayers and artists the main stage they deserve.

Photo by cerberus_fotos

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

Continuing the spotlight on cosplayers of all races and sexual orientations and sizes.

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

More guest slots for these talented artists at conventions as speakers and main event guests.

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

Do NOT let the community dictate how you should cosplay. Cosplay for you and who you want to.

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

Seeing the world slowly go back to normal. Masks becoming a more permanent stay in society for people who are sick.

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 Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, and I also have a Ko-fi!

Invisible Wonders

Invisible Wonders’ first cosplay was back in 2015. While she’s loved gaming and watching anime since childhood, she didn’t discover cosplay until she was in college when a friend told her about Otakon. “That year I saw all the possibilities that were available and I was determined to cosplay at the next con I attended. It was a great way to challenge myself as an artist while making new friends and experiencing new things.” You can check out her story below.

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

I usually choose to cosplay any character that I can relate to in some way. A lot of the time that involves characters with brown skin. That representation is important to me, but it doesn’t have to be the main deciding factor in who I choose. Occasionally, I may be unfamiliar with a character, but I really like their design so I research them and go for it. Starting out though, I used to choose characters based on which ones I could wear my locs with.

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

I think I’m most proud of my War-Chief Sona cosplay since that was the most crafting I had done up to that point and her bow was the first prop I’d ever made. I really love the amount of detail I was able to put into the bow and armor parts even as a newcomer to cosplay. Also, I see a lot of myself and my mother in that character, so I really wanted to embody her as closely as I could, which I feel like I accomplished.

Invisible Wonders cosplaying as War-Chief Sona

Photography by ella_mae_cosplay

What’s a cosplay moment that you remember fondly?

At Katsucon 2020, there was a Critical Role cosplay meetup organized by Pearl Bae. It was my first time going to a CR meetup, and I was overwhelmed by how incredibly kind everyone was. Seeing Critters in cosplay, dancing and singing with each other, gifting each other with art and dice was truly heartwarming. I dressed as Reani, a CR guest character, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. It’s one of the last meaningful moments I have of 2020 before the pandemic changed things.

Invisible Wonders cosplaying as Reani from Critical Role

Photogragher is reiukos on Twitter and Instagram

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?

The Sims 4 and Animal Crossing are my go-to games, but I’m spending a lot more time playing Final Fantasy XIV.

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 typically like to be as close to the reference as possible, just because it’s easier for me to execute. It can be difficult to come up with my own ways to modify things unless it’s a tutu cosplay, which I’ve done for Allura (Voltron) and Tiana (Princesses and the Frog). That being said, I love when people are able to make a character their own in some way. It doesn’t have to be screen accurate to be amazing!

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 top 3 cosplays, in no order, are Reani and Sona (featured) as well as my Carnival Chocobo cosplay. That one I love because it’s simple, comfortable, and it was an easy way to tie my Caribbean culture into cosplay.

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

Unfortunately, I haven’t got any cosplans for 2021. I don’t typically cosplay outside of cons, so I’m not as motivated to put the time and resources into it when everything is canceled. It makes me feel “all dressed up with nowhere to go” if that makes sense.

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?

Definitely Nargacuga armor from Monster Hunter with real scale mail. It looks daunting and expensive to execute, but I’d love to give it a shot one day!

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

Katsucon. It’s always been my favorite and it’s so close to where I live.

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

It’s been hard to stay engaged in the cosplay world when I’m not actively cosplaying, but it’s been really inspiring to see all the work that people have done during the pandemic. Watching others create a dozen cosplays and self-shoot them all this past year has made me consider how I can expand my horizons as a cosplayer.

What does #28DaysOfBlackCosplay mean to you?

It’s the most inspiring and engaging part of the year, at least in terms of the online community. Not only is it the opportunity for me to share the work that I’m most proud of, but it allows me to share and discover the work of so many others who have been overshadowed by our peers.

When I first started cosplaying, it seemed like February was the one time a year when the cosplay community came together to uplift Black cosplayers. Now though, I’m seeing more efforts outside of February, even in small ways. I think there has been a steady effort by Black cosplayers, and a few non-Black, in the community to keep the momentum going year-round and that has manifested in different ways. I feel that #28DaysOfBlackCosplay was definitely the impetus for that and I’m excited to see how it helps the community progress through the years.

Invisible Wonders cosplaying as Amethyst

Photogragher is reiukos on Twitter and Instagram. Cosplay is based on art by Sakizo Illustrator.

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

For anyone who is on the fence, I always say “Just go for it!” You don’t have to start with a huge build or even own a sewing machine. Do a closet cosplay with things you already own or start small. If you want to go all out, then there are plenty of online tutorials and people willing to help. It may seem intimidating at first, but just break it down into each part of the cosplay and work on one at a time until you’re done.

My last piece of advice is: don’t compare yourself to others! It’s so important that you’re proud of your own accomplishments, not how they relate to what others have done. There will always be someone better than you and there will always be someone worse. Most importantly, you will always have room to grow, no matter how far you get, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t take the first step forward.

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 and Instagram.

That’s all for now! See everyone throughout the rest of the weekend!

(image: Lyric, LeiLani (Dreams_in_the_noct), and Invisible Wonders)

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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)