Cosplay Confessions is a series we do to spotlight and get to understand the wonderful members of our cosplay community (and beyond!). This month we are talking to Moaglin, a wonderful local cosplayer who has been a staple at our store’s events for years!
How did you get into cosplay?
Before I started cosplaying in 2013, I was a lurker in the community for many years. I had heard people dressed up and went to comic book/sci-conventions, but it wasn’t until I started interacting with the community that I realized cosplay was a big hobby for so many people outside of that convention scene. I was instantly hooked on the idea of dressing up as characters I love all year round, not only on Halloween.
Why do you like cosplaying?
I initially decided to take the plunge into cosplay because of the creative aspect. I have a strong artistic background and figured it would be fun to apply this in making my own costumes. However, after I had worn my first costume publicly, I quickly realized that cosplay is an amazing way to make new friends. You have a unique opportunity to meet people from all over the country (even the world in some cases) and bond over the character you are cosplaying, the hobby itself, and much more. Social media has of course also made this very easy to do, even if you do not attend conventions.
What have been your favorite character(s) to cosplay?
While I personally love to cosplay strong female characters such as Lara Croft and Azula, I’ve had a lot of fun going to conventions dressed as characters children recognize. Wearing my Raven costume and having kids excitedly run up and ask me where the rest of the Teen Titans are is the one of the best feelings.
How do you put together your costumes?
It first takes me many hours of planning, researching different crafting/sewing methods, and staring at character references. I once hosted an entire panel focused only on the work that can go into planning a costume. After I’ve figured out how I’m going to tackle a costume, it’s onto buying supplies and diving in. I’ve found I personally learn the most while I’m working on a costume through lots of trial and error.
Whats has been some of your favorite conventions/events to cosplay at?
Surprisingly, I enjoy smaller conventions and events. For example, I always love (and I mean this genuinely) Free Comic Book Day and Halloween Comicfest. The amount of work that goes into smaller events is apparent, but they tend to feel more intimate and laid back. I also have the opportunity to see more familiar faces at these events whereas at a large convention, I may know 20 people attending but never see a single one of them.
What is one of your favorite cosplay stories?
Just recently I attended Wizard World Philadelphia with my dad. We go to this convention every year but this year, he cosplayed with me for the first time. We were dressed as Joel and Ellie from “The Last of Us”. There were quite a few people who recognized us, especially with the anticipation of the second game being released (eventually). One guy at a vendor’s table stopped my dad to take a photo with him and when I caught up, he started YELLING. He couldn’t believe we were both there dressed up together. It was a funny thing to experience with my dad and he really enjoyed it.
Also, at one of the Free Comic Book Day events, someone stopped me and asked for a photo while I was dressed as Harley Quinn. My boyfriend was with me and offered to take a photo of the two of us. Afterwards, the person who took a photo with me asked if I could take one of he and my boyfriend together. I’ve never been behind a camera in costume taking photos of a random person with my casually dressed boyfriend. We still laugh about it and if the person who took photos with us is reading this, you are awesome and made his day.
What are some of the challenges you've had to overcome being a cosplayer?
I always have been (and still am) shy and private around people I’m unfamiliar with. With that being said, I have entered cosplay competitions, hosted my own panels, interacted with countless people at conventions/events, judged costume competitions, and made several friends since I started cosplaying. All of which took some courage, but I find it is much easier to be confident and outgoing in an environment where everyone shares similar interests as myself.
What advice would you give someone if they were interested in getting into cosplay?
Just jump in. Taking on and wearing your first costume, whether it be home-made, or store bought, is a daunting task. Trust me though when I say once you start cosplaying, you will not want to stop. And the best part is, everyone in the community is still learning, even the professionals. There is no right or wrong way to cosplay as long as you are having fun. I’ve also found people in the community are flattered and eager to help (I know I am), so don’t hesitate to reach out to others if you find yourself looking for advice.
What character would you LOVE to tackle someday?
My dream build is Samus Aran from the “Metroid” series in her Power Suit. I want to make the suit just as bad-ass as it is in the games with working lights and everything. I recognize it is a massive project to take on and I’d like to take my time, but I’ll get to it eventually. Maybe the upcoming game will give me the inspiration I need to finally get started.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a cosplayer?
Achieving the goals I set for myself is satisfying, but making as many friends as I have is a huge personal accomplishment. Making friends in the community involves a sense of reassurance in myself. It means I have been a supportive, inclusive, and positive influence in the community, something everyone should be proud to be.
How did you hook up with our store?
I’ve been a frequent customer of the store for as long as I can remember it existing, I even applied for a job at one point. However, it wasn’t until I won the 2015 Halloween Comicfest Costume Competition that I had a personal relationship with everyone at Level Up. Afterwards, you all recognized me for my hobby, inviting me to judge and attend your events ever since. And for that, I’m very grateful. Thank you for allowing me to have a role in the wonderful things you do for the community.
Where can people find you?
If you’re a cosplayer and are interested in doing a Cosplay Confession reach out to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.