Featured Cosplayer: Rebecca Ryan

GameStop, Inc.

RRyan_SisterofBattle

Name: Rebecca Ryan

City: Washington DC

Twitter: @tvismylife

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/foxyroxycosplay

 

How long have you been Cosplaying?

I have been costuming for my entire life, I have always enjoyed getting into character. I attended my first Con in 1997, and have been hooked ever since. One of my favorite things about Cons (besides the comic books, stars and merch) is the cosplay community. At Cons all across the country I have been blown away by each community’s generosity of spirit, kindness and creative awesomeness. I have always found cosplayers willing to help each other, wanting to learn from each other and supporting of each other in so many ways. I feel very grateful to be part of such an inspiring, interesting, diverse group of people. And (of course) San Diego Comic Con has been on my bucket list since before bucket lists were a thing – finally got there in ’14!

 

What was your first Cosplay Experience? 

I got interested in pepakura (paper patterns that you fold and cover with resin to make armor) while researching Halo armor for a friend. And once I saw what was possible with pepakura files, and more specifically pep files modified for EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam (basically those puzzle-piece floor mats you put down on the garage floor), I knew I had to build something. My husband had played Warhammer 40K and got me interested in that universe. I was immediately drawn to the Sisters of Battle, because, um, kick-a$$ women in awesome armor, ammirite? I started to look for patterns – on therpf.com, and obscuruscrusade.com but soon realized that, although there were 100+ Iron Man pattern files, I was going to have to draft that Sister from scratch. So on top of learning how to build armor with foam, and figuring out how to attach that foam to itself and to me, I was going to have to make patterns?!?! Yay! Not really. The build took me over 8 months of nights, weekends and missed dinners (sorry, honey!) and taught me so much! I started at the feet and built upwards – learning new tricks and techniques as I went. By the time I got to the cowl and pauldrons, I was a lot more comfortable with foam, the dremel, hot glue and paint. I debuted my Sister of Battle at Awesomecon ’14 to a first place contest win, and a lot of accolades including kind words from a guy that had actually worked on the Sisters of Battle mini figures for Games Workshop and said I looked like a “mini come to life – perfect in every detail”. High praise indeed from someone who helped design the character I was cosplaying!

What is your favorite cosplay you have worn/created?

My Sister of Battle will always be my cosplay first love, but another of my favorites is my Invader Zim cosplay. A BIG fan of the show during its original run on Nickleodeon, I have been working on how to cosplay Zim for a long time. I knew I wanted an oversized head, and had to use geometry (ack!) to figure out how to make the head the right size and shape! Look at me mathing! Another cool thing about Zim is that it’s actually a 100% recycled cosplay too – made completely from reclaimed materials. Which makes him as “green” as he is green! I had the great pleasure to meet Invader Zim’s creator Jhonen Vasquez at SDCC. When I showed him a photo of me as Zim, he said, “oh that’s you? I’ve seen that cosplay, that’s legit” I might have actually squee’d, out loud. Total fangirl moment.

 

If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?

With unlimited resources, I would buy a LOT of Tandy’s Terra-flex, which is like Worbla but cheaper and smells like maple bacon! (Mmmm, bacon!) But the best thing about unlimited resources would be being able to take time off of work, to build cosplays full time – that would be so amazing! Honestly, I kind of love the challenge of coming up with budget friendly (ie cheap) ways to cosplay. I am a big fan of recycled and reclaimed materials, love to find new uses for stuff that might otherwise end up in the trash, and am always on the lookout for a new use for a random thing. I make lists (are you using the Cosplanner app on your phone? If you aren’t, you should be!) and then keep my eyes peeled – because I never know when I will find just the right piece, in an unexpected place. The incense sensor on my Sister of Battle is a happy meal toy!

 

What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?

Just start. Everyone has fandoms that they love – cartoons, movies, comic book heroes… find a character that you LOVE and make a cosplay of them. Starting from a place of passion will infuse your cosplay with something special that will be obvious to everyone who sees you. Don’t worry about being too short/tall, big/small, not vampire-y enough, just start. And if you want to build armor, I recommend starting with EVA foam. It’s inexpensive, accessible (available at all home improvement stores), forgiving (bent too much? Heat it up and bend it again!) and you already have everything you need to get started – everyone has a knife, a heat source and hot glue (actually, hot glue is the glue you date, but contact cement (Barge) is the glue you marry! Seriously)! For under $20, over a weekend, you can have a full set of armor built! So what are you waiting for? That Lady Thor isn’t going to build itself! Just start!

If you have questions, hit me up. I am very happy to help find a resource, answer a question, or even just provide an opinion. I am also really excited to connect with more members of the world-wide cosplay community – especially when I get to see what cool things y’all are working on!

Anytime Costumes

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