I am enjoying Wizard World! for those of you who are still wishing you were at a con, here is an awesome interview! Enjoy.
What can we call you?
Denise Towner/ Kryptonitefox
What is your favorite beverage?
Mountain Dew/ Cherry Coke
When did you start cosplaying?
I think it was about five years ago.
Why did you start cosplaying?
I had been to Wizard World for the first time about two years before my first cosplay (maybe 2009?). I loved seeing all of the people dressed up, it was amazing to me! In all honesty, I had a bit of a nervous breakdown and was off work for major depressive disorder. As a way of dealing with it, I started making things – knitting, sewing, etc. Then I remembered how much I loved that convention and my ex offered to take me. This time I wanted to dress up so I made my very first cosplay. It took a couple of weeks of intense concentration which took my mind off my illness. And the finished product really made me feel good.
Who are your cosplay idols?
I’m not very familiar with the cosplay community. I just love seeing passionate work, people who completely transform themselves. Those people who find ways to make their vision work, even if it means forming masks out of toilet paper and glue. Those are my idols.
What types of cosplay do you do?
I have done video games and horror movies. My cosplays are usually pretty dark because horror is my first love. I also prefer cosplays where you can’t tell who or what I am underneath the build. I always want to be completely someone else.
What are your favorite cosplays?
If you mean the ones I’ve done they would be Bubblehead Nurse (Silent Hill), Weeping Angel (Dr. Who), and Wendigo (Until Dawn). If you mean that I’ve seen then Skesis, Bumblebee, Hulkbuster, and Ludo.
What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
Fox from Wanted (the comic book). She’s an awesome villain and beautiful, but unless I suddenly am able to get my weight WAAAAY down, I’d be too self-conscious to do it.
Do you make or buy your cosplays?
I make my cosplays. On two occasions I bought clothing (A Clockwork Orange and Grell from Black Butler), but I feel like that’s cheating. 🙂 I feel that if I love this character enough to cosplay them, then I should put in the work that the creators of the costume/character did, also!
What do you love about cosplay?
I love the reactions of the people. I’ve had people scare their kids with me and startled people who thought I was a statue. I’ve had people set up scenes to take pictures with me. I’ve had vendors and professional cosplayers ask about my methods and I’m new at this! I love figuring out the puzzle of how to make my cosplay true to the character, but also mine. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling that I’ve done well because someone recognizes my character and/or wants a picture. It encourages me to try more and every time I look for something a little more difficult to top the last. I compete in contests, but it’s more of a competition against myself. I’ve won second place once, and it was awesome, but what was even better was when I was out of costume and a guy who recognized my obscure character came up to my handler (my seeing eye daughter) and told her to tell whoever made that costume that it was great and he’d voted for them (he didn’t know I was that person!). There’s just no better feeling.
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?
The most difficult thing for me is finding people who understand this is my passion. I’m a little ‘long in the tooth’ shall we say and I doubt I’m the average demographic for people into this hobby. So I don’t have people to discuss ideas and techniques with or even just people to geek out with. The other two things are time and money. I would happily do this for a living if I could, but I do work full time and I have family and bills. Although my youngest daughter just turned 18, so when she goes back to work she may have to supply her own groceries…
Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
Mostly anything horror and inhuman. I use my Clockwork Orange as a fall back if I don’t finish a cosplay in time (and once to meet Malcolm McDowell). I don’t have just one character I tend to do repeatedly. (However, I do perform Frank in the Rocky Horror Picture Show a few times a month, if that counts.)
If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
Black Butler’s world. I like the idea of magical creatures, angels, demons, etc just being recognized as a part of every day life. I like that some people are just extraordinarily talented and there is no question of why, just acceptance. I like the danger, dark atmosphere, and the loyalty of the family of misfits that make up the main characters.
Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?
My inspiration comes from characters that stick with me. Silent Hill’s character’s have meaning and serve to torture characters. Weeping Angels are friggin’ scary because they do what people that are uncomfortable near statues fear – suddenly come to life with ill intent. Wedigo (in Until Dawn) possess people who cannibalize others in order to survive and turn those people into the very epitome of hunger and greed. Those things, once I discovered them, drew my attention. I wanted to do research on the ideas behind them and the ideology they conveyed for the creators. Even Alex in A Clockwork Orange has layers and represents ideas that are relevant today. (Grell was just fun and easy to do on the fly.)
What are your “fandoms”?
The Silent Hill series, Doctor Who (Tom Baker is my Doctor), Death Note, Black Blood Brothers, The Walking Dead, Black Butler, Boondock Saints, Breaking Bad, horror in general, Linkin Park, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show
What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew?
How welcoming the community of cosplay is. Even when I did my fall back costumes I felt supported. When I didn’t dress up but wanted pictures, I never felt like I was annoying anyone. And that no one expects perfection, that your attempt makes you a part of the community and deserving of the same awesome experience as someone that’s been doing this for years.
What tips do you have for other cosplayers?
I don’t really think I do anything special that may help others. I look at a LOT of how to videos. Even if I can’t afford to do something or it’s not practical, I’ve found starting points or fixes for when I’ve gotten stuck. I’ve been to a couple of workshops that just happened to come to my area. I’ve found pictures online or talked to people who are into things I’m not even into but they introduce me to something inspiring. I guess what I’m saying is that inspiration is everywhere when you follow your passion. One other thing: keep in mind where you will have to store the finish product and how you will transport it if necessary!
What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?
That everyone doesn’t work the same. I know how to measure, but very rarely do I use measurements traditionally. I do a LOT of eyeballing it! It’s weird, but it works for me better than when I pull out rulers and measuring tape. Also, cosplaying is a fun hobby, so that doesn’t mean that I necessarily want to build/make everyone else’s costumes from scratch for Halloween. Finally, if I’m cosplaying, I really had no plans to take someone else’s kids and watch them at the convention for the day. 🙂
What cosplays are you working on?
I haven’t started work, but I am contemplating Ryuk (Death Note) or a Siam (Silent Hill) for my next cosplay.
What cosplays do you want to do if money and time were no object?
I would probably do one of those really big cosplays like a Transformer with working lights and noises. I’d need to put a lot of time into one of those to make myself feel comfortable with it.
Where can people find your cosplays?
I put pictures on my Facebook page and Instagram sometimes.
What, if anything, do you do to get into character when you cosplay?
Oddly enough, I’ve tried that and it usually falls apart. I’m still working on that part. For right now, I’m just really in love with the building.
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.