The Museum of Science Fiction’s First Costume Competition

The Museum of Science Fiction has just announced a new science fiction costume and fashion design competition that is out of this world! The competition, which is open for registration/submission online and closes April 15th, plans to showcase “costume design and construction [as] one of the most important interdisciplinary art forms of science fiction.” The final competition, including the presentation of fully constructed designs, will take the stage as part of a live fashion show at Escape Velocity 2018. Escape Velocity is a futuristic world’s fair modeled after comic conventions which, this year, will achieve orbit May 25-27 in Maryland.

On top of cash prizes and VIP passes to Escape Velocity 2019, cosplayers (because anyone who plays in costume deserves that title) in the United States and abroad have the opportunity for their costumes to be judged by none other than, Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis!


Now, you may not recognize Dr. Landis from the screen, but her costuming work can be viewed in many notable films, our favorite being Raiders of the Lost Ark. Along with a  professional and experienced panel of judges consisting of other fashion designers and prominent members of the costuming community, Dr. Landis will award some lucky cosplayers the ultimate prize in science fiction costume design!

During our year on the costume contest convention circuit we explored many components of costume judging which we’ve shared in previous blogs. The adjudication at The Museum of Science Fiction’s Costume Competition is comparable to international costume competition guidelines like those we learned about from Garnet Runestar at SabakuCon (Our Very First Masquerade Competition) and Ya Ya Han at Dallas A-Kon (The Tardy Cosplay). MSFComp

This competition has three blanket categories: Original Content, Redesign/Interpretation (Mash-Ups) and Young Adult/High School with the potential for awards spanning:

  1. Best In Show
  2. Best Original Fashion/Costume Design/Construction
  3. Best Reinterpreted Fashion/Costume Design/Construction
  4. Best Young Adult/High School Design/Construction
  5. Best Fashion/Costume Design Illustration or Photograph

Judgement varies by category following many of the standard rules like 90% of the costume being self made and the screen accurate qualities it must have. To enter a costume into this competition you must submit progress pictures, costume components and final images of your costume in JPG or PNG to with additional specifications that can be found in the Museum of Science Fiction Costume Competition Official Rules or their website.

Good luck cosplayers! We will look into press passes for this convention so we can bring you more content on the amazing costumes coming out of this competition!

The Biggest Nerd Convention in New Mexico

This weekend was our first time attending Albuquerque Comic Con (ACC). We had heard varying accounts of what to expect from this convention from fellow cosplayers and, having experienced a convention put on by TriCon, we had our own assumptions. For weeks leading up to the convention local radio stations were giving away tickets in anticipation of this huge event in the Duke City. I tried to win some by participating in one of their call ins, but unfortunately I was caller two in a six caller race. Tickets at the door for Saturday alone ran $35, which is pretty standard for conventions of this type.


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We decided not to cosplay for this convention because we were only going Saturday and we wanted to properly launch our re-branding. So, decked in MaeBerry Cosplay gear (also repping ClexaCon with my snapback) I got to the Albuquerque Convention Center at 9:00AM and thank God for that. Had I not gotten there an hour before the convention I would have been stuck in a line that circled the convention center for blocks rivaling the newest i-phone waiting lines in most big cities. This was largely because of what I have titled in previous blogs about other TriCon conventions the ridiculous Convention Security Administration or C.S.A. At this checkpoint you were required to place your items in a bin, have your bag checked and extend your arms for a full body scan of both your front and back with security wands. This completely unnecessary addition to TriCon’s security added a 45 minute wait before even reaching either of the two convention entrances to anyone unfortunate enough to come any time after 9:00AM till about 3:00PM when the lines thinned to about a 25 minute wait. @skyberry13 was one such unlucky soul as were many of our cosplay friends. Of course, this is a huge area for improvement at this convention. One does not go to a convention to spend half the day in line. Big city conventions that require similar security checkpoints account for the crowd they are expecting and plan accordingly before bottle-necking their mass of attendees.

Once you finally enter the convention center there are two huge vendor halls on the first floor, one on your right and one on your left. Up the escalator on the second floor was a huge artist hall, the convention management booths and the Kiva Auditorium where many of the larger panels were along with the cosplay masquerade. Down the escalator on the underground floor you are greeted by a large fireplace and comfortable seating to enjoy between panels. On this floor was also the comic trivia and another panel room. My first panel of the day, and the only cosplay panel at this convention, was in this lower level panel room starting at noon. IMG_20180113_120032391Presenting for Just Cos Cosplay: Conquering Your Cosplay Insecurities was Rabbit + Hare, the newest addition to Just Cos Cosplay Supply as their inspired wig styling division. This cosplay duo is new in town from Seattle and is taking the cosplay community by storm with their incredible wig styling. Dressed as Leon Scott Kennedy and Albert Wesker from Resident Evil 4, Rabbit + Hare discussed their cosplay insecurities as well as how to negotiate the ever evolving world of cosplay from novice to master. Similar to their panel at Con Jikan, they went around the room asking attendees to share their cosplay insecurities and discussing each one.

IMG_20180113_135631591After the panel I met up with @skyberry13 and our friends from Retrospect Cosplay who were cosplaying Hunk Garrett and Keith Kogane from Voltron. At the entrance they met a huge group of cosplayers who were also cosplaying from Voltron and took some pictures. We toured the dealers halls finding all of our cosplay friends booths. There was a huge variety of merchants at this convention. On top of the expected geeky merchandise vendors and artisans X-Finity had a booth where you could game on two large screens. There was a lady from Steeped Tea where we bought from a great selection of loose leaf teas to add to our apartment’s tea corner collection. @skyberry13 of course had her henna done by our favorite henna artist, Cynthia Ann, of Starlit Skies. These dealer halls definitely lived up to our expectations of having more vendors and variety than any other convention in New Mexico.

Our final event of the day was the cosplay masquerade being held in the Kiva Auditorium. IMG_20180113_174141958Right before we headed over we ran into one of the judges unsuspectingly who was cosplaying an amazing Frolo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He was in character the entire time we interacted with him, which is always great to see a cosplayer taking their art so seriously. Another judge for the masquerade was our friend Maddest Maddi, whose presence in the professional cosplay scene has really exploded this year. We’re so happy for her!

The entertainment, if you could call it that, leading up to the cosplay contest was reminiscent of the emcee for the costume contest at Star Fest Denver including the racist, trans-phobic and sexist remarks. Towards the end, realizing the displeasure the audience had with their attempts at humor they resorted to calling audience members up for a dance contest. This is very successful at Dallas A-Kon where it is planned entertainment leading up to their masquerade. Anyway twenty three minutes late, the contest began with the judges walking onstage to take their seats. One source of frustration that cosplayers expressed about this contest was the poorly communicated place and deadline for entry. The sign up was held at Kitty Kaboom, one of the cosplay guests, booth and ended two hours before the contest. Anyway, the contest kicked off with incredible costumes from all ages and ranges of skill level. IMG_20180113_203838772Some highlights were the Grand Duchess Anistasia featuring a seamless dress made of twenty yards of fabric with impeccable embroidery. The cosplayer with this costume, who has previously won contests for their craft at Sabaku Con and Con Jikan, placed in this one as well. There were some adorable children’s costumes, one group toting bean bag chair like costumes from multiple Hayao Miyazaki films, who also placed. My personal favorite did not place, but I had admired her costume around the convention all day trying to decide if it was in fact this character, was a little girl cosplaying The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time. Her dress was seriously amazing. This is one of our dream cosplays and she pulled it off, with the help of her mother I’m sure, so beautifully. All the winners were very deserving, some more notable ones being a couple Klingons from Star Trek with nicely applied prosthetics along with an Eliza and Peggy from Hamilton with pristine ballgowns.

The costume masquerade, as always, was the perfect ending to an awesome day! There was an official after-party sponsored by ACC being held at The Sand Bar followed by an after party at The Gentleman’s Club in Albuquerque. Needless to say, we did not participate in those evening events and instead took the long drive home back to Santa Fe.

Cosplans & Convention Plans For 2018

After being on the cosplay convention circuit for a year we have learned allot of things. We are aiming to be more organized in 2018 and plan out our cosplays in advance. (LOL. I know that’s impossible, but we are going to try our best, ok?) Especially because we are going to be cosplay guesting at this, the second year, of ClexaCon! Our cosplays are subject to change depending on budget and who is guesting. We tend to attend conventions with guests we like and cosplay their characters. There are conventions for everything now and finding the truly great ones is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. So, here is our comprehensive list of conventions we enjoyed so much that we are willing to go back again! This list is in chronological order to when these conventions fall in the calendar year. Enjoy!

Albuquerque Comic Con

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Date: January 11-14

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Cost: $30-20/day or $60/3 day pass

Except for this one, this will be our first time attending. While it is the sister con to Santa Fe Comic Con, it is an important venue for us to be seen cosplaying in for our local followers. It is also the main convention for allot of local cosplayers so building relationships in the cosplay community is key to our work.

Cosplays: Arthur & Muffy from Arthur

Hiro Hamada & Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6



Date: April 5-9

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Cost: $150/3 day pass

This convention for queer women in media is our main convention and definitely our favorite. They bring in the best guests from movies and shows with the most prominent queer representation. The panels are led by the experts in their fields and center around pertinent issues to queer women. The cosplay presence is about to get a huge bump because we are guesting at this convention for the first time presenting the panel: Queer and Plus Sized Cosplay!

Cosplays: The White Canary & Nissa from Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow,

Carmilla & Laura from The Carmilla Movie

Korra & Asami from The Legend of Korra

Ruby & Sapphire from Steven Universe

Star Fest Denver

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Date: April 20-22

Location: Denver, CO

Cost: $75/3day pass

This science fiction convention features every sci-fi show you can imagine. Throughout the convention are iconic sci-fi scenes: a Star Gate, the robot from Meet the Robinsons-you name it. There were Star Trek and Star Wars characters littered throughout the crowd. The guests they had were incredible. The staff running this convention were not friendly and left something to be desired. But the atmosphere was still out of this world!

Cosplays: Captain Janeway & Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager

Dr. Crusher & Wesley Crusher from Star Trek Next Generation


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Date: May 11-13

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Cost: $35/online or $50/at the door

This anime convention is the largest one in New Mexico, boasting: maid cafes, a cosplay contest, internationally recognized cosplay guests, cosplay photography workshops, and body paint seminars. We really enjoyed our first cosplay contest experience here, it is judged harshly enough but also is small enough that you have a chance with a really good cosplay.

Cosplays: TBD

Dallas A-Kon


Date: June 7-10

Location: Dallas, TX

Cost: $60/4 day pass

This anime convention based in Ft. Worth is the single largest anime convention in the country. The cosplay presence here is huge and top notch. It is well worth the entry price just to see the costume contest, but there are some incredible panels and high profile guests. Their artist and dealer’s rooms are unimaginably huge and filled with everything your anime heart desires and things you never knew you needed.

Cosplays: Celene & Briala from Dragon Age: Inquisition

Varrick & Zhu Li from The Legend of Korra

Lolita Jiggly Puff & TBD Gymn Leader from Pokemon

Moriarty Mini Con


Date: August 5

Location: Moriarty, NM

Cost: $5 for 13+

This mini one day comic convention is in it’s second year. The first year promises that the second will also be full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. The dealer room was small, but had some good vendors. Unfortunately, the only entertainment was homophobic/trans-phobic/misogynistic gunslingers. But here’s hoping they build upon the other activities of the day including a comic trivia and a cosplay masquerade contest.

Cosplays: TBD

Indigenous Comic Con


Date: November 10-12

Location: TBD, NM

Cost: $100/3 Day Pass or $95/VIP

This Native American comic convention based out of Albuquerque is the only one of it’s kind. Featuring native artists, vendors and guests it is an amazing and immersive experience!

Cosplays: TBD


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Date: December 16-17

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Cost: $40/weekend pass

This anime convention is run by the local university, UNM. It features interactive panels and activities for every weeboo including cosplay chess. The cosplay contest is always an event and not to be missed. The amazing winter cosplays sported at this convention are what set it apart from all other anime conventions in the area.

Cosplays: TBD

An Anime Winter Wonderland

Anime conventions are just the best! The cosplay is on a vastly different level of mastery across the board whether you are a novice or master. This makes the inevitable masquerade the highlight of the convention because the costumes are riddled with impeccable details and creativity you will not see anywhere else. Con-Jikan is certainly no exception to this rule. While it is not the only anime convention in the Duke City, it offers more interactivity for attendees than it’s counterpart. Especially considering that Con-Jikan is only in it’s fifth year, the UNM students who put it on have made it one of the greatest anime experiences you can have in New Mexico. It is also a winter convention which lends to a whole sub-genre of anime for cosplay: winter cosplays! They are so popular at this convention that during the scavenger hunt one of the required pictures was of a group in winter cosplay.25399049_1236445833156574_4998973218304610755_n

We were thrilled to tackle a winter cosplay and what better costumes than our favorite anime: One Piece. Now the cosplays we chose are not cannon in the show, but were from one of the drawings by the original artist within the manga. It was also a cosplay that would be easy to piece together from pre-existing items. Most of the main clothing was thrifted and modified with fur, buttons and other embellishments. Working with fur is a whole other animal, but fortunately we have some friends who are Furries and were more than happy to give us some pointers. There was also embroidery and leather-working involved in the embellishments for Luffy’s costume. We shared a time-lapse video of the One Piece Pirates emblem being embroidered for the hat on our Instagram if you want to check that out.

Now I’m not sure how they market this convention because unless you hear about Con-Jikan from other cosplayers or follow them on social media there is nowhere else you would learn about it.

Con-Jikan year Four with Dustbunny Cosplay as Mystery Girl from Steven Universe 

Last year our cosplay Sempai, Dustbunny Cosplay, was one of the guests. Had we not caught her social media post announcing she would be in Albuquerque that weekend we might have missed out on the once in a lifetime chance to meet her! Dustbunny is an absolute sweetheart. She is truly a master at her craft and has an incredible backstory. In fact, it was her Tumblr rise to fame story which inspired us to create MaeBerry Cosplay and this blog. So here we are full circle, a year of cosplaying and blogging later attending the convention where it started.

Con-Jikan announced early in the planning stages of the convention that they would focus their resources on attracting animation and voice actor guests for their fifth year. Given the focus anime conventions place on cosplay I do not believe the gamble of giving cosplay a back seat at this convention paid off. I cannot speak for anyone else, but the only reason I even knew about the convention last year was because of the cosplay guest they were inviting. The convention runners probably felt some pressure from the larger comic enthusiast community of Albuquerque to up their attendance in this way. While comic cons feature more animation and voice actor guests leading to higher attendance, that choice is part of their brand and intended for their specific audience. Comic conventions began as trade shows for people working in the comic industry. Anime conventions were born out of the fan-base for anime and manga. That is not to say that many anime conventions do not also feature voice actors/actresses and animators, but if you have to choose between the two, since this type of convention was created by the fans for the fans, cosplay is the best bet. Of course Con-Jikan still had some cosplay guests, unique in that they were both graduates of UNM: Cree Nicole or Kamon Tari. We were impressed with Kamon Tari’s cosplay charity initiatives with donation opportunities at her booth all weekend and Cree Nicole had some awesome aluminum prints of her Daenerys Targaryen cosplay from Game of Thrones at her booth.

Day 0

This year Con-Jikan started with their first ever Preview Day on the Friday before, opening their dealer hall and attempting to host a Con Market featuring attendees who want to sell their own things. With a $5 fee for 5 feet of space in this market and a filled out application you could get rid of some old cosplay wigs, costumes or other anime related paraphernalia. These events at anime conventions are usually more like trading meetups and rarely have a fee. This is probably where Con-Jikan has some room for improvement as only one dealer signed up for this event. They also had some anime screenings on the Preview Night, one of which was my favorite Korean Drama: Nodame Cantabile! All in all I understand that attendees found the first Preview Night of Con-Jikan enjoyable, if just to connect with their cosplay friends and begin an awesome weekend.

Day 1

We arrived on Saturday in our One Piece cosplay just in time for opening ceremonies which ended up being an hour and a half late. I’m not sure when the dealer hall actually opened as we left to get breakfast. By the way, the best place to eat near the MCM Elegante, where Con-Jikan was being held, is The Range. It is a mom and pop diner with everything you could want only a short walk from the hotel. IMG_20171216_105044172There were fresh baked pastries and mimosas of different flavors (to start off your convention weekend on the right foot if you’re the drinking sort) with other New Mexican and American breakfast food options. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast there as Nami and Luffy, which the weight staff seemed to enjoy.

Our common practice at conventions is to attend all the cosplay panels we can. Last year I attended all three of the cosplay panels at Con-Jikan put on by the UNM students running the convention. I found Broke Man’s cosplay incredibly insightful and made me wish I had been able to fit a note pad and pen into my miniskirt for Robecca Steam from Monster High. The panelists discussed all the second hand stores, fabric stores and other places in Albuquerque to purchase items to create low budget cosplays. The panel was packed and there were great questions all from locals who had not heard of many of the stores. I walked away with many more ideas than I entered with.


I arrived with pen and paper in hand ready to take notes and catch those store names I’d missed last year. Unfortunately this year’s Broke Man’s cosplay was not a reflection of the year prior despite boasting some of the same panelists. Not only was it the only cosplay creation panel at Con-Jikan, but it also did not ring true to it’s success last year. The presenters were distracted, one of them even fell asleep behind their table for much of the panel. If one walked away with anything from this panel it was: buy costumes from Asia on EBay. I’m not sure I would endorse this. We do buy allot of our wigs on Amazon to save cost and they are pretty easy to work with, but buying your entire cosplay online is not only a gamble but can often be more expensive than making it yourself. If we sound disappointed it is only because this panel was so good last year and there were so many like it.


Power Rangers pose with Retrospect Cosplay as Naruto and Sasuke for the Scavenger Hunt

Our next activity was the Scavenger Hunt whose program description is the reason we HAD to participate given what we were cosplaying: “Ever seen One Piece? Well it’s kind of like that. Search the Con-Jikan grounds for a list of things. Finish the list and get a ribbon.” The list was a decent size and provided the opportunity to interact with other attendees in cosplay while exploring some landmarks within the hotel itself. Fortunately our friends had arrived by then and were able to assist us in some of the group poses we needed to complete the list.


@QueenBreadSama’s badge midday Saturday. It grew significantly since then.

We did our best and came in a close 4th earning a beautiful One Piece themed ribbon for our badges. Ribbon collecting is one of the main activities at this convention. All attendees with ribbons wear their badges with pride and when Sunday rolls around many badges touch the floor with the amount of ribbons on them. All vendors in the hall have their own ribbons to distribute, many are given out with purchase but some vendors put you to the test in order to earn their ribbon. If you plan ahead at this convention for the low price of $25 you can order your own ribbons to pick up with your tickets and distribute as you will. Look for MaeBerry Cosplay ribbons next year!

Afterwards and during the scavenger hunt two other cosplay related events were going on: Cosplay Chess and the Kirei Cosplay Cafe sessions. Cosplay Chess is always a favorite for cosplayers to be featured in an arena where they can put on their best show taking down other pieces from different worlds and genres. Kirei Cosplay Cafe were dressed as Overwatch characters, offering tea and cake with experiential sessions all afternoon leading up to the Masquerade.


Yuri on Ice cosplay group performing “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago

There is limited seating  in front of the Main Stage so I recommend always getting there as early as the call for contestants at the Masquerade. We managed to get some decent seats that, while they were further back, allowed me to step to the side and get some good shots of the stage. The two local cosplay guests as well as Bek, who runs the local cosplay shop Just Cos Cosplay Supply, judged the contest. Bek and her associate were dressed up as the cover art characters for Con-Jikan year Five which was an ingenious and well executed cosplay. The Masquerade had the perfect number of contestants to show off the best of Con-Jikan’s cosplay while not tiring it’s audience. There were many notable acts. One Yuri on Ice cosplay group did a choreographed dance to Chicago‘s “Cell Block Tango” and placed. The group who got the craftsmanship award had hand painted embellishments on their kimonos.


All the contestants who placed 1st-3rd, Judges’ choice and the Craftsmanship Award.

The night did not end with the Masquerade. There was still a Kigu Cookie Party and Karaoke afterwards with attendees and guests mingling in their Kigus, feasting and singing their hearts out. While everyone else was partying @skyberry13 was busy in our room preparing the wigs for the next day’s cosplay. one of which was not only gravity defying in the center, but had to have the rest of the wig entirely sculpted out.


Day 2

We got up early to finish our wigs and mount them properly. Fortunately, the panel we wanted to attend did not start till noon so we had some time. Our Sadie and Lars cosplay from Steven Universe was pretty much a closet cosplay. I did iron on the logos for The Big Donut and @skyberry13 cut and styled the wigs, but aside from that everything was store bought. It is a great easy cosplay if you’re able to figure out how to have Lars hair.


The panel we were excited about on Sunday was: Overcoming Your Cosplay Insecurities. This panel had a great lineup of local cosplayers from different backgrounds and centered around the important motto that cosplay is for everyone! Two of the panelists actually make wigs for Just Cos Cosplay Supply. After discussing potential areas for insecurities around cosplay and methods for dealing with them the panelists went around sharing their own insecurities with cosplay. Their cosplay insecurities ranged from getting the makeup right, to body type, eating disorders and gender nonconformity. All of the topics were brought up with genuine feelings that many cosplayers face and were resolved with collective understanding. This sharing expanded to the audience where attendees were able to introduce themselves and express their insecurities with cosplay. It was a very nice and intimate experience where I believe everyone walked away with more confidence in their cosplays than ever. There is video footage of the panel from an attendee that filmed half of it which can be found here on YouTube.

This panel was the perfect end to an incredible weekend at Con-Jikan! Check back on January 1st for our new and improved website featuring the unveiling of our new logo!


Getting Our #Indiginerd On with Retrospect Cosplay

23758390_10214877233472528_481416423_nWe had the incredible opportunity to sit down with the members of Retrospect Cosplay, Queen Bread Sama (QBS) and Prince Littlewolf (PLW), to discuss their experience as cosplay guests at Indigenous Comic Con (ICC). This cosplay duo is composed of a queer female indigenous couple whose cosplays span four years and all manner of genres, their favorite of which is anime. They have cosplayed throughout the Southwest and along the West Coast. Now, our review of ICC will be running next Monday at 11:30AM MST right here, so be on the lookout for that. But in preparation, Retrospect Cosplay is here to tell us about their experience there as cosplay guests. We got to spend the convention weekend with this cosplay duo, watching them put the last touches on their cosplays in the hotel room, sitting with them on the showroom floor and following them through their first guesting experience. So, here you are folks: Retrospect Cosplay!


Question: How did you end up guesting, did the convention approach you guys. If so, how did they hear about you?

QBS: I would have to say like a mixture of both, but at the same time we were supposed to guest for this con last year. And they approached us last year to guest, but we weren’t able to make it cuz we were in California. So, we didn’t have the funds to make it last year but then they invited us again this year. And it was allot of fun and we really loved it. And that’s what I have to say about it, what did you have to say about it, hun? I think it was in the beginning of the planning phases of this con last year. I think it was in the spring when they were first starting to plan Indigenous Comic Con 2016 and they did a post where they’re asking:  “How many native cosplayers are there?” And of course, me being me we just made our new page on Facebook. And I copied and pasted the link in the comments. Then next thing you know they sent me a message and they’re like: “You guys are a cosplay duo?” I was like yes and we’re both Indian. I have to say it was sort of a random thing through Facebook.


Question: How do you feel that your first experience as cosplay guests went?


Queen Bread Sama being interviewed at their table for a book about indigenous culture.

PLW: It went well. I don’t know. I just don’t think they saw us as a cosplay team. Rather, as Queen Bread Sama as the individual cosplayer and I was just kind of on the side. ‘Cuz that’s kind of how they didn’t see it the whole weekend. I wasn’t mad about it, but it kinda felt like they were just wanting her to guest and not us to guest. So I was like: oh, okay. That’s fine.

QBS: I feel like it was a little different from what I hear from other cosplay guests. You know, the fact that they have their own booth sometimes. I felt like the cosplay guests weren’t actually recognized as guests.

PLW: We were smushed together.

QBS: We weren’t advertised anywhere and when they had their pages for guests we weren’t on the guests. So I feel like it was just kind of a random sort of thing. Because you know there was another cosplayer and she is a really good cosplayer. But we were just thrown into this tiny table and we had to share a booth space. So I felt like it was great. It was wonderful. But I just felt like it was a little unplanned really. I have that vibe. But I think it was pretty fun. Its fun to talk to people and to tell people that we happen to be native while dressed up as these different characters.  I thought that was allot of fun.


Question: What sets this convention apart from other conventions you guys attend?

PLW: The indigenous aspect of it. Other than that everything else is pretty much your normal convention I would have to say. It’s got the dealer hall, your cosplayers, but its just cuz this one has this indigenous twist on it which is what makes it unique from all others.people would talk to me and they would say_ “Oh, you_re going to Indigenous Comic Con. Does that mean its only indigenous people there_” No, everyone's welcome. Its just the fact t

QBS: I felt like at this con there was kind of a misunderstanding as well because people would talk to me and they would say: “Oh, you’re going to Indigenous Comic Con. Does that mean its only indigenous people there?” No, everyone’s welcome. Its just the fact that we’re celebrating native artists and people in comic book and pop culture. That was the only thing that made it indigenous. Not the people that were supposed to attend. Everybody can attend from all places.


Question: Where does this convention rank in your lineup? If you have to put a number, a ranking on all the conventions you’ve been to, where would you put this one?

PLW: I’m gonna say for me, personally, this ranked at a four or a five.

QBS: You mean ten being the highest?

PLW: Yeah. Just because it was great, but it still has more potential to grow as a con.

QBS: It’s new.

PLW: Just the way our booths and such were set up it could still use a bit more. And maybe even expanding on their little dealer hall. You’re right, its just a new con but its still not high for me just yet.

QBS: I would have to say for it being a new con I would have to give it maybe like a healthy six. Because the first year they had it originally set in the Hispanic Cultural Center which is kind of redundant for an indigenous con. You know, we’re indigenous but lets have it in the Hispanic center. But I thought the venue this year is what really made it look like a con that’s been there for years. And the fact that they had a really nice casino venue and they had the space for it, that’s what really made it for me. I did like that. I’d have to give them a six with, of course, room for improvement on a couple of things. Maybe just more people, but then again we’re talking about like comic cons that are huge. If we were to compare it to New Mexico cons its almost like a completely different story because there’s Albuquerque Comic Con and Santa Fe which had these big rooms with just like fifty vendors for each room almost. So, yeah I’d have to give it a six for a new con.


Question: How fruitful was having a booth at this convention?

PLW: Very!

QBS: We love the word fruitful because I feel like having a booth at a convention is completely different from attending a convention. Because you’re not only spending money as you walk down the booth, you’re actually making money. And its really is nice to make money instead of spending everything and then having to deal with it afterwards.

PLW: It’s just nice to make money rather than spend the money.

QBS: No matter what the situation is. I would have to say it was pretty good and we met allot of people. Of course if you’re used to attending cons its gonna be hard to stay in one space all day instead of running around and finding whats what.


Question: Would you consider cosplay guesting again at this or other conventions?


Photo courtesy of: Kristin Gentry Photography

PLW: Yeah, even if its just Queen Bread Sama, I don’t mind supporting her for that. Because for me as a guest it was okay, but I feel like it would be more helpful supporting her instead. And maybe being a bit happier because I can wander around the con. I like that, but I would definitely be a guest if they asked both of us to.

QBS: I would have to say that I would definitely want to be a guest there again and also for other conventions. I’d be super happy to guest at other conventions. I think it’s a whole new experience, a new take on attending conventions. But I’d be happy if both of us were guests and I think I would be more nervous if it was just me by myself. I know it’d be scary, but I know that I would have great support.


Question: How do you think you guys stand out from other cosplayers or vendors in your category?

22089749_343255926125266_5650587473766224155_nPLW: I guess just that we’re indigenous? Nothing else really sets us apart. We’re not like super super crazy great yet, but we’re not like…I don’t know. I think we’re just the same as everyone else except for our heritage.

QBS: I think our ethnic background is what sets us from other cosplayers. And also the fact that Prince Little Wolf here is a Furry. And because they’re a Furry they can do things that I can’t do as a cosplayer, such as the art of hot glue. I cannot do hot glue, I cannot do hand stitching because they do hand stitching for all the fur that they put on the fur suit heads and they have much more time and patience to do things. So, I feel like that’s what separates them as a cosplayer is the fact that they have background knowledge in fur-suiting and that really intertwines with cosplaying.


Question: Do you want to elaborate on that gluing a little bit?

PLW: Oh my god. What else about my glue?

QBS: Just tell us what happened.

23772486_10214877232752510_2072951727_nPLW: To make it look great all you have to do is make sure all your seams are folded nicely. You can’t swarm this thing in glue. Just like: dot, dot and then squish and flatten. Just make sure all your seams are meeting okay and it looks good. I’m surprised, especially with my Naruto jacket. It came out great and it looks flawless, almost.

QBS: Yeah, they literally made this Naruto jacket in like two hours

PLW: I think it was a bit under an hour. I had to like throw it in there.

QBS: We had bought a hoodie and then they had orange fabric that was supposed to be the actual Naruto jacket material that I was going to stitch up together. But I don’t know what happened. We kind of just ran to things at the last minute and they just got out their glue gun and I knew it was over for me. I knew I was not ‘gonna sew.

PLW: Because your needle had broken too on the sewing machine.

QBS: You broke my needle.

PLW: So we couldn’t even sew the orange fabric onto my jacket. Thankfully, I had a long enough gluestick. I’m just gonna glue this on there. And it happened. I was able to stitch it all on there. The pieces, thank god they were cut out. Because you cut them out to fit the jacket so I was able to Frankenstein stitch those onto there. And the jacket came out pretty great. I was happy with it that whole day.


Question: What is your dream con to guest at?

QBS: To guest at? Gosh. I don’t know. Its really scary to think of guesting at a con.

PLW: Yaoi con!

QBS: For me? Yes!

18011649_1772681019727592_3782158513074077696_nPLW: I know we’re not dudes

QBS: But most of our characters that we cosplay together are guy characters who happen to be shipped together. So, I feel like Yaoi Con is a very appropriate con for us to be guests at.

PLW: I think it would just be cute because we could, even though we’re a female couple, to be able to be recognized as a male couple and our cosplays are just that believable. I think just Yaoi Con would be so much fun to guest at because you have all these fangirl people that are just like:’Yeah!’ Its like ‘Yay!’

QBS: Yeah, I just think that would be perfect. Because most of our characters have been, male characters that we’ve cosplayed recently. For Indigenous we did Sasuke and Naruto and those happen to be shipped together as well so I feel like it would be perfect for us to guest at. But I would say if there’s a Harry Potter Con somewhere I would be on that.

22638805_155614165045150_2332234045649321984_nskyberry13: There is, that’s a thing. What’s it called? I feel like it’s about to happen actually. Harry Potter con is totally a thing. Leeky Con, that’s what its. called. Like Leeky culture. I guess it’s already happened, but it’s in August in Dallas.

QBS: Thats a thing? I would wear Snape flawlessly. Oh my God! Yes! Leeky Con, okay we’re attending!

PLW: That’s awesome!

QBS: Of course, we were in Dallas in August. Frustrating, very frustrating.



Question: What was the first cosplay related item you ever sold?

QBS: Ever ever?

@skyberry13: Ever, ever in all of time, ever. That includes Furries.

PLW: Oh no!

23758268_10214877154470553_684321900_nQBS: I am going to tell you. Okay, so the first one. I started cosplaying back in 2014. And in 2014 I was kind of on a roll and it was my first time experimenting with sewing. And in September, Prince Littlewolf went away to school so I was by myself and I happened to find this really beautiful pink material, it was like pink suiting material. And I looked at it and I bought I think like four or five yards of it and I went to town. And I made myself the outfit from Hatsune Miku’s “Senbonzakura” music video. And so I made that outfit perfect to the ‘T.’ I did my research. I cut everything out, the sleeves were perfect lenght and everything. I did research. The times went on, I wore it once, Albuquerque Comic Con came. We needed money for passes. I sold it and I regret it to this day.

@skyberry13: Oh no!

QBS: It was my worst thing I’ve ever sold. I cry on the inside because this person that I sold it to has never worn it. And so I’m just like, is she

@skyberry13: Let me buy it back?

QBS: I want to say that, but I don’t want to be like ‘Okay, hey. I sold this to you and you’re not wearing it.’ But I just wonder whether she’s in another person’s closet, if she’s in the trash. I just wonder. She was a good cosplay. So that was the first cosplay item I’ve ever sold was my freaking full on Hatsuni Miku cosplay. I will send you pictures of it that you can put in the article. I’m crying on the inside. And you, Prince Littlewolf?

PLW: Lets see, what is the first thing that I ever sold that is cosplay related? It was probably that Attack on Titan jacket now that I think about it. But I kind of didn’t sell it. I gave it away.

QBS: You did? I thought that you did other things before.

PLW: I don’t remember.

QBS: Yeah, I think that was the first thing.

PLW: I think so. It was only just because I had bought it for her birthday. This was back in high school. I bought it for her birthday and I bought it from China. And this thing didn’t fit her. It was so small she couldn’t even lift her arms or anything. I was like dammit!

QBS: I think it was a Chinese small and I’m a Chinese large. So it

PLW: I actually got a Chinese medium, but it’s a small in American sizes. Yeah, so I ended up-I didn’t sew it, I traded it. I traded it to Ethan and them. And then I got two huge bulks of fur in exchange. I was like: ‘Yay!’ And I got fursuit teeth, a fursuit nose and some claws. And so that was a pretty good trade for that jacket.

QBS: I would have to say that was a very good trade. It was perfect because we had this jacket for years and we kept trying to find someone who would fit it. And it was impossible, it really was.


Question: When getting into cosplay did you ever see yourselves guesting at a convention?

DSCN1604QBS: It seems like a weird question because I never thought about it. I just thought about being good to a level where people recognized me, but I never thought that I would be asked to guest with Prince Littlewolf. Because its just crazy, honestly, thinking about it, just thinking about us being together as a couple, then finding something that we love to do together. And then being asked to guest at cons. I don’t know, its like this con kind of was like very sentimental to me I would have to say. Because allot of people came up and they gave me hugs and shook my hand. They were just like: ‘You know, we’ve watched you guys cosplay for years and we’re so happy that you guys are in the spotlight finally. And that you guys are doing your own thing and you’re not catering to audiences such as quote on quote ‘boob models.’ Retrospect Cosplay Interview Pull Quote Graphic (1)Not being boob models. You know there’s no shame in that, but it’s just like everyone was sort of amazed that we were doing our thing and we were still guests. That just kind of blows my mind. I was like ‘Wow, I did not have to sell boudoir shoots or take the extra step like that to guest at a con.’ And it was just really nice. I definitely hope to guest at more cons, but I would have never thought in a million years that I would guest at a con with my girlfriend.

PLW: It was nice. It was really nice to be asked, but no I didn’t think I would at least be guesting anyway. I knew you sometimes, but together it was pretty cool. But I just didn’t see us guesting at a con this soon.


Question: Do you guys have any closing statements? Anything you want the world to know?

QBS: I would just have to say to continue doing what you’re doing and if you’re happy with yourself and your cosplay that’s all that matters. And you shouldn’t listen to the negative feedback from other people, Retrospect Cosplay Interview Pull Quote Graphicbut if your costume makes you truly happy when you wear it and the way it looks to you is fine, that’s what matters most. As long as you’re happy and content with it and yourself. I would have to say just to keep cosplaying because its fun, don’t let it be a competition. But if you do want to enter it in a competition that’s up to you. It should be fun.

PLW: If you make your own cosplays it’s only going to get better. Don’t worry, its ‘gonna get better. Just keep on at it guys.

QBS: You’re either, A, a talented seamstress or, B, talented in hot glue and everything else. I cannot do crafting projects to save my life, but Prince Littlewolf can figure out how to make something that’s not using fabric and thread. Other than that she can figure it out. I have one more thing and I just forgot what I wanted to say. But I would just say you can follow us on Instagram or Facebook and you can ask us questions. If it’s about a costume I would be super happy to help out or to give you feedback. Whatever it is you need, I’m here.


Thank you Retrospect Cosplay!

You heard her folks, to learn more about Retrospect Cosplay, follow Queen Bread Sama and Prince Littlewolf on Instagram or visit Retrospect Cosplay‘s Facebook page. We hope you enjoyed our interview with Retrospect Cosplay as much as we did. Follow us here at MaeBerry Cosplay for more interviews in the new year!

Star Trek Giveaway

Hello all and welcome to our very first giveaway! We have enjoyed this year of cosplaying and blogging so much that we want to give back to our amazing followers. I bet you’re wondering why we’ve been doing so many Star Trek cosplays? Well, we were gearing up for this incredible Star Trek 50th Anniversary Build-A-Bear Giveaway!

What You Win

Your prize is a brand new, special limited edition Star Trek 50th Anniversary Build-A-Bear straight from Build-A-Bear Workshop! We kissed the heart and stuffed it ourselves!



How to Win

The rules are simple! In order to win this adorable bear all you need to do is:

  1. Email follow our blog HERE

  2. Like us at MaeBerry Cosplay on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

This contest goes through New Years Eve at 12PM M.S.T. The winner will be announced on New Years Day and notified through email! Good luck everyone and thank you for following us here at MaeBerry Cosplay!

We have so many exciting plans for you in the new year: a new website, a new logo and perhaps even some exclusive interviews with queer/screen queer actresses! Follow us at MaeBerry Cosplay for these exclusives and many more!

DIY Star Trek Next Generation Cosplay

So, I beagn watching Star Trek the Next Generation because of a guest who would be coming to a convention near us. I had watched it on and off throughout the years, whenever it was playing on Syfy, but I had never seen it from start to finish. The character I immediately related to was Dr. Crusher. It wasn’t obvious at first, but her line in “The Host,” brought me to tears. Like, it was an ok episode and all but she said; “Perhaps it is a Human failing, but we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. … Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won’t be so limited.” I was sobbing (like ugly crying sobbing.) When @skyberry13 came in and found me reduced to a puddle on the couch she looked from the screen to me in confusion. She is not a big Star Trek fan, despite loving science and she somehow finds it boring. Well, I sure cured that.

Anyway, we decided to cosplay Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wesley Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation for Santa Fe Comic Con, which we would be able to wear at conventions like Star Fest Denver, where we had seen all alien races and Starfleet uniforms walking around. It was immediately obvious through a Google and Pintrest search that this would not be as easy as we originally thought. Next Generation is apparently not a popular series, at least not enough for their version of Starfleet uniforms to be very popular costumes. Upon further investigation it was easy to see why. @skyberry13‘s response to this was: “Do you hate me?” It is a phrase becoming increasingly popular in our cosplay interactions because for some reason we are drawn to the most difficult characters to create costumes for. The off-center and oddly geometric colored patterns on the Star Trek Next Generation costume were nearly impossible to replicate to perfection. There is only one existing vendor selling a pattern for these uniforms on the internet and their reviews were not inspiring of confidence.

Starfleet Uniform

@skyberry13 resolved to Frankenstein her own pattern from a YaYa Han bodysuit pattern we already owned (which comes in Plus Sizes!). We ended up cutting out two versions of the bodice in black and in red. We then measured the back and made adjustments with a ruler for the red accents, designing our own cutout. We then inverted that line for the back to reflect an opposite pattern. Using these templates we cut the red and black versions accordingly. The sleeves were measured halfway up the arm to be in line with the center line.

The collar was modified from a mandarin collar pattern that we had used for our The Legend of Korra cosplays, but it ended up not being tight enough. I would suggest creating your own and play around with it if you have the fabric.

Medical Coat

The pattern was another YaYaHan pattern. This one was a labcoat pattern with some adjustments on the collar. To @skyberry13‘s great frustration, Dr. Crusher wears different medical coats throughout the show. We finally decided on one without a collar, that just cuts off in the middle.

Comm Badges & Officer Pins

As for props, Santa Fe Comic Con, as referenced in (The End of Conventions as We Know Them), does not allow weapons so phasers and even the medical tricorder were out of the question. I did not want to chance making something that we would not be able to take in. You know how dangerous cardboard can be! IMG_20171019_081408190.jpgAnyway, all that I got to do (aside from helping @skyberry13 by cutting out all the pattern pieces) was craft communicator badges and their command pins.

I tried all of the cardboard/business card tutorials available by Star Trek fans online, but none of them had the look I was going for. It is an iconic emblem and, if the uniforms did not call to attention what we were cosplaying, the symbol would. So, after much trial and error I returned to my childhood pastime: Shrinky Dinks. Why are cosplayers around the world not always using Shrinky Dinks? For someone who does not have a 3D printer this is just as easy! You draw your shape, cut it out, pop it in the oven and Voila! I did do some detailing with my dremel before spray painting (no need for coating by the way, this is hard plastic and holds up well to spray paint). Then I adhered both pieces together, attached a pin back to the comm badges and earring backs to the command pins all with E6000.

With varying rates of success, here is a sneak peak of how our uniforms turned out:



We Attended a Highly Controversial Comic Convention and Here is How it Went:

I will preface this blog with two reference points so as to explain the title. Santa Fe Comic Con has given themselves allot of bad PR in the last couple years. So much so, that our local convention is known internationally for its PR Meltdowns and cyberbullying as detailed in this aptly titled and highly in depth article: Comic Convention Has PR Meltdown. Their prop weapons stance after the fallout of Phoenix Comic Con has also received bad press, which we covered in The End of Conventions as We Know Them, a blog where we detailed the knee jerk reaction the owner of New Mexico TriCon took by instating a no tolerance/all prop weapons ban at all three of his conventions this year. With this background you might be wondering why we bothered attending this convention at all. Well folks, the answer is that we wanted to give you an honest firsthand account of what this convention really has to offer as we have become known to do.

Day 1

We arrived when they opened at 10:00. When you approach the convention entrance from the Buffalo Thunder Hotel or the Casino below you are bombarded with signage

No, I’m not kidding. This is the actual signage in front of the convention. 

alerting you to the fact that your person and belongings will be subject to searching with phrases like: “ALL BAGS SUBJECT TO SEARCH;” “SECURITY CHECK UPON EVERY ENTRY;” and “NO WEAPONS OR PROP WEAPONS ALLOWED. MANAGEMENT RESERVES ALL RIGHTS.” While we had some expectation of what was to come due to their press release like Facebook posts and, of course, these lovely signs, there was no way that we could have been prepared for the TSA which awaited us at the end of the very long line. A table filled with little buckets in which to empty your belongings led up to two men bearing metal detecting security scan wands. It was definitely reminiscent of an airport checkpoint, from which I’m sure they took inspiration. Fortunate for us the owner of TriCon could not invest in an X-Ray scanner or I’m sure we would have been putting our arms up and subjecting ourselves to radiation.


The screening belt where you place anything in your pockets.

As for the professionalism of these guards, they made many off color comments every time we went through this checkpoint, I’m guessing in attempt to lighten the mood. @skyberry13 went through first and her Startfleet badge pinged, but that was not enough. He continued going up and down over her chest area pinging before she told him that it was very obviously her Starfleet badge. With reluctance he agreed and resolved to scan her back. When it pinged over the small of her back he jokingly said: “That will be your bra.” Now, this was just our experience, many of our friends attending the convention had similar if not worse experiences at the hands of these men.


The wand security screening which, in certain cases, led to a pat down.

They put a tag on any bags they have searched which, if you leave and come back, are subjected to the same search and the tag replaced. I would suggest getting to the convention at least half an hour before any panel you want to attend to account for your security check. With only a few hurt feeling and some super awkward/inappropriate interactions we survived what I dub the CSA (Convention Security Administration).

From there, we went to the first of two dealers and artist ballrooms. Our first panel was not until 11, so we had some time to scout out our purchases. As we were walking the hallway to the other ballroom I spotted Marina Sirtis. Now, she was booked at this convention last year, but had to pull out. Meaning I had been looking forward to meeting her for two years now. I even brought a Councilor Troy Pop! figure I had been holding on to for her to sign. I stopped dead in the middle of the hallway. The pictures online do not do her justice. Honestly, she is quite stunning. So, squeeing, @skyberry13 had to pull me over and calm me down before I dared presenting myself in front of her. To be fair I was dressed as Wesley Crusher and had a pretty great smolder so I should have had nothing to worry about. None of which helped my confidence in meeting this amazing woman. I approached the small line at her table composing myself. She is English! She has the most elegant British accent, which I was totally not expecting! I shook her hand and told her how much I loved her character on Star Trek the Next Generation. She loved my Starfleet uniform and said that it fit me better than allot of people on the show. She also made some cracks at how skinny I am, which ended in her jokingly telling me to get out of her sight. While, harsh, her personality is totally great which is further elaborated on in our coverage of her panel!


The first the panel we attended was Cosplay 101 with Dava Cosplay. She is a stay at home mom who is big in the local cosplay community outreach scene, visiting children’s homes and hospitals in costume. For this panel she was dressed as Elvira. She was very good at addressing specific costuming questions and diplomatic at giving insight into the controversial issue surrounding cosplay at this convention: “Boob Models” vs. “Elitist Cosplayers.” Her words and words borrowed from the first article, not mine. This controversy is covered in the aforementioned articles.

After the panel we met up with our friends from Retrospect Cosplay who were cosplaying that morning as Sexy Snape and Ash Ketchum from Pokemon.

QueenBreadSama as Snape with a Sirius Black cosplayer 

 We met these incredible cosplayers in the line for Forever 21’s grand opening in Santa Fe about a month before. What are the odds that two queer cosplay couples would end up in line together at something so unrelated to cosplay? Well, thank God we did because we became fast friends and hanging out with them totally made the convention! We ate lunch at the Painted Parrot Buffet in the hotel, which is a stop we make every year at this convention. It is a great buffet and they always have a special and quite reasonable convention price, this year it was $15. They seated us somewhere we could talk without interrupting their other guests and we had a great time at a long table with a bunch of new and old cosplay friends. Retrospect Cosplay is based in Albuquerque and they are definitely tapped into the huge cosplay community there.

The next panel was what my entire convention experience was centered around: Marina Sirtis’ Star Trek Next Generation panel. received_1735907886714636-e1508875776748.jpegAs soon as she entered the room she made her magnanimous presence known, instructing the moderator to take a break because she does her own panels and asking some spry young men to move the table from the stage so she could walk around (which launched a bridge crew in full uniform to perform the task, myself included). Anyway, as soon as the room was set up how she liked it she gave a brief introduction about her experience acting on Star Trek Next Generation and a disclaimer that she does not watch science-fiction, instead preferring sports. She shared her confusion over the Betazoid accent which she was asked to invent. She drew inspiration from middle eastern accents and throughout the show it became a more mid-Atlantic accent. This was due to a plot hole she went to great lengths to figure out and correct. After her mother appeared on the show, she went knocking on show runner’s/ writer’s door inquiring why her mother did not have the same accent. She was told it was her father’s accent. However, later when her father appeared on the show and did not have the same accent she implored again. The dismissive answer she was given is that Councilor Troi was sent away to boarding school. Well, she tried and invented an iconic accent in the process.

Other highlights of the panel included her introduction to conventions by her fellow actress Majel Barrett-Roddenberry who incidentally plays Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek Next Generation. The writers/show-runners thought that there were too many women on the bridge and were looking for someone to cut. Councilor Troi was the obvious character given that the ship could perform without a psychiatrist. With some self-preservation in mind, Majel took Marina to her first convention and introduced her to the fans. After a couple conventions Marina was a natural and, therefore, made her character indispensable. Of course, before this ultimatum even came to a point, Denise Crosby announced her departure from the show, leading to the touching episode “Symbiosis” where the Enterprise said goodbye to Chief Security Officer Natasha Yar. As the panel drew to a close Marina gave such a heartfelt thank you to her fans that she began tearing up. It was a truly genuine encounter with our beloved Councilor Troi and the beautiful soul behind her. I could go on for pages about her panel, but I hope that I was able to give you a glimpse into the humor and honesty of the woman behind the uniform.

We caught up with our friends for a bit before heading to wait for what was newly titled the: Costume Contest and Masquerade. And wait we did. But before we get into that, for those new to cosplay the difference between a costume contest and a masquerade is how the costumes are judged. This has been a topic of controversy at this convention and it was a relief to see that the convention is attempting to addressed this issue. A costume contest is usually a walk on affair that anyone can participate in no matter whether you bought or made your costume. A masquerade is usually judged by a panel with experience in creating their own cosplays. Not all masquerades are judged with the rules set out by the International Costumer’s Guild, but many are loosely based on the internationally accepted rules that at least 95% of the costume has to be hand made or modified. It was obvious this year, when going around the guests booths, that many locally recognized and respected cosplayers were involved this year. One of whom we follow and was a judge for this competition is Maddest Madi Cosplay. She does incredible cosplays, some of her most recent being: Jack Sparrow, a gender bent Danny Phantom, and a Pumpkin Spice Faun (which she wore on Sunday of the convention).

The other two judges were cosplaying as a Blue Army member from Halo and Ashe Kai as a character I am unfamiliar with, but looks like it walked right out of WoW ( ice foam armor and all). It was obvious that this costume contest would be better than last year’s, or at least judged more fairly. Well…we sat…and we sat…at 45 minutes past when the contest was supposed to start they began the children’s costume contest, which we were able to stay for. It was adorable, there were some great costumes both made and bought. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the masquerade due to their incredible failure to start on time. Here is a link to a good photo album from the masquerade, though, if you still want to see the costumes.

The after party for this convention, while not actually tied to the convention itself, is an affair not to be missed. It takes place in the Shadeh Nightclub located within the Buffalo Thunder Hotel. So, it is an actual nightclub which means two things. One, it is an incredible opportunity to see the cosplayers and guests on their off hours (our friends apparently partied with Tracee Lee Cocco, also from Star Trek Next Generation, the night before). And two, locals frequent this establishment which apparently has a bad rep as far as reports of drugging incidents. While we have never had a bad experience here, I am not one to leave drinks unattended and I highly suggest following this practice no matter where you are clubbing. We had a great time dancing while there was pop music playing, unfortunately the DJ left something to be desired and, in the end, it was all music geared at their Spanish clientele. One of our friends had bough some hentai arm tentacles from one of the vendors which she brought to the rave and danced with those on most of the night. We sat and chatted with our friends and other cosplay guests who were there. It was a nice way to enjoy each other’s company and let off some convention steam.

Day 2

I attempted to begin the day with coffee to recover from the night before. Unfortunately, Star Bucks failed me.IMG_20171022_111229520 I would not suggest ordering from the Star Bucks in Buffalo Thunder, fortunately the Iguana Cafe made up for everything. Their sweet server immediately seated us and amended the situation with two steaming cups of coffee. She even let us take some pastries that had not yet been cleared away from their earlier continental breakfast. Rejuvinated, I attended part of Kitty Kaboom’s panel on Cosplay Creations. She had large pieces of fabric folded all around the table and chairs for anyone to take. She mostly answered audience questions, but I’m sure for a beginning cosplayer her suggestions were helpful.

We met up with Retrospect Cosplay again, today they were parading around as: YouTube sensation, “Pumpkin Man,” and Bane, a Furry of their own creation. Later in the day QueenBreadSama (Pumpkin Man) changed into her Princess Bubblegum cosplay which was also really awesome.

We hit up the dealer’s room again, there were allot of deals today. @skyberry13 of course visited her favorite henna artist, Starlit Skies Henna, who did an amazing job as always. I had been eyeing the TeeTurtle $40 grab bags boasting three retired prints for the last two days and, Seth, the TeeTurtle guy offered me a great deal! He was, not only a great salesman, but a pretty cool dude to talk to. In the very first bag he opened was the Pearl T-Shirt reading “It’s Over Isn’t It,” which is the exact one I had been hoping for! It was like the cherry on top of a great convention! Maybe we’ll be doing some affiliation with TeeTurtle in the future, stay posted. Well, that pretty much wraps up our coverage of Santa Fe Comic Con. We had a great time, much of which was due to our cosplay friends but some of which was thanks to the convention and the guests they brought in. I will say that NMTriCon is attempting to address the disparity of a professional cosplay presence, for which I give them props. They still have a ways to go in addressing all the bugs involved with their costume contest, but I appreciate their attempts to make it a fair competition. The vendor hall was lacking some of the staple vendors that we were looking forward to, but they did bring in some new vendors that are better known, like TeeTurtle. As for the security screening and their online PR stunts, those pretty much speak for themselves. All in all we might attend Albuquerque Comic Con to see what their larger convention is like.

Our next convention, however, will be Indigenous Comic Con, where Retrospect Cosplay will be cosplay guesting, so be sure to check back for our next blog post covering that!

The Voice of Monica Rial at Hub City Comic Con

Bianca Montoya

img_20170827_170433.jpgBianca Montoya holds her BA in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media from the University of New Mexico where she directed, wrote, and produced student film; Capturing Life. Her film career so far includes Art Department Assistant on the Limited Television Series, Waco, and Feature Film, Woman Walks Ahead, which will be coming to theaters in 2018. Bianca draws inspiration from the films Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. She is an avid convention goer and beginning cosplayer. Her cosplays so far include Bulbasaur and Katara, but she looks forward to learning more about sewing. Bianca loves almost any anime you send her way, some of her favorite included: Inuyasha, Death Note and Sailor Moon.


It all started with a trip to see a Red Raiders football game accented by a rather confusing tradition of throwing tortillas in the air when the opposite team scores. This event was meant to be the highlight of my first trip to Lubbock, Texas. However, out of the blue, it was challenged by the Hub City Comic Con. To be completely honest I had no idea the Hub City Comic Con was even descending on the Lubbock community (for its third year in a row I might add, according to their Facebook page) until the very aware MaeBerry Cosplay members told me the event would be happening the weekend I just happened to be there. They clearly continue to be on top of their convention game, which warrants huge props.


It was the second day of Hub City Comic Con, September 16th, and there were only a few short hours to experience the con to the fullest before being pulled away by the Red Raider football craze. I played my cards carefully and was able to rope in both a ride and two fellow attendees: my younger, geek cultured aficionado brother; and my carefree cousin who was simply pulled in with the promise of video games and random entertainment. (His exact words were something like; “Eh, why not”). Super exciting success! We set out for the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center and, right before parking in a passing glance, observed the opposing football team preparing in all their athlete driven glory in the parking lot of the Hotel Elegante (right next door to the Civic Center). With that, we were both reminded of our tight schedule and unyielding excitement to get the day started. I had one goal: to meet Monica Rial. A fantastically talented woman who happens to be one of the leading dub voice actresses in the world.

It was around 10 AM when we made our way to the front doors and took our first steps into the arena. The first thing we saw was the welcome desk before looking down an ever-expanding hall. To the left were large closed doors leading to the Exhibit Hall. To the right was an expanded space with only a few booths and a few doors leading to the game room and panel rooms. So, with little option, we purchased our one-day wrist bands and went through the large doors that led to the main space filled aplenty with both vendors and guests. The guests were lined on the far left of the room, while the vendors mainly took up the rest of the space– lining up and down in six rows. Basically, you had to get used to the idea of being close to other people. If you’re used to cons though, this is kind of a given to be in a tight space with: clowns, cosplayers, nerds, fandom enthusiasts and awesome people alike. It’s part of the fun. I mean, where else could you see these sights?

A few cosplayers wandered the aisles that early morning, including a notable gender bent Sailor Moon and a set of clowns. Did I mention the clowns? The clowns moved so closely behind us for a time that it freaked out my cousin with their intricate costumes. This was the best way to start the morning. IMG_20170916_1126551Speaking of sights, there was a full size R2-D2 wandering around the aisles followed by a fascinating full-sized minion version of R2-D2. Checking out the scene we saw some local illustrators, traveling vendors and found ourselves being absorbed by the exciting atmosphere you can only find at a Comic Con. It was filled with people who are devoted to: fantastic fandoms, love geek culture, illustrations; Funko pops; plushies, special guests, and are fully willing to lose themselves in a cornucopia of it all for a couple hours.

Guests included: the original voice actress for Frieza from the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z, the voice actor for Trunks from Dragon Ball Z, and Monica Rial from multiple anime dubs. My male companions, of course, were most interested to see the Dragon Ball Z actors because it’s the epitome of epic Kamehameha blasts– ripped men fighting aliens while also being revealed as aliens with just the right hint of humor and ruthless martial arts tinged ferocity. That proved to be a huge selling point reigning the both of them in. Personally though, I was totally captivated by the wonderful Monica Real whose voice can totally fool me with her vast range, even though she has been integral to some of my favorite anime. I caught a glance of her at her booth beyond a line of fans, her hair an electric shade of violet pink. At that moment I realized we needed to find a schedule for the panels. After trying to subtly dance around the growing lines looking for a print schedule I finally proclaimed the search was futile as there was no print schedule. We pulled our wits together, (or rather I did while being observed by two young teenagers) looked online and found a schedule for the panels and events at the con. Reinforced with the panel schedule, we made our way back into the vendor room. Our first panel was going to be Eric Vale’s, the original voice actor for purple haired defying Trunks.

34CB7A63-5B3F-429C-B62C-E532D66B4BE5 - CopyIn the meantime, however, I found a familiar face. I ran into the wonderful author, Julia Joseph, whom I had met at a previous convention in Las Cruces, NM where I bought her fantastic book there, The Broken. It is the first in a fantasy series and I proceeded to finish it in one evening. As any avid reader who becomes completely immersed in an author’s world, (enough to feel compelled to only stop reading when there simply were no more words to read about Rose and her Warrior Ouriel) I decided to take advantage of this unforeseen opportunity. I had so many compliments to shower and inquiries, just trying to get an even more depth look into this brilliant author’s mind. In the process, I was abandoned by my companions who left me to my absurdity for a time. Julia Joseph took my colossal devouring of her time in stride and, un-wearying; answered my inquiries, explored themes of characters and the process of building a main heroine that is faced with having to confront what true faith is, revealed bits of her own experience and how it influenced her work. It was an experience you don’t happen upon every day. I cannot recommend her work enough if you are a fan of: dry humor, great imagination, young adult fiction (with none of the Twilight nonsense), strong characters, consequences, and thought-provoking situations and adventures. This experience accented one of my favorite parts of visiting Comic Conventions. You can come face to face with people involved in creating something you ultimately fell in love with and have a conversation about it. How wonderful is that? Slowly, we wrapped up our conversation as my companions wandered back and we took a final picture to solidify the exchange. And just like that, we were late for Eric Vale’s panel and had to rush off.



Walking into the panel we were about ten minutes late. This panel was interesting because, though the character is well known, the actor did not seem to have much to say about the character. He mostly talked about how the character caused him vocal strain because of the yelling. If you’ve ever seen Dragon Ball Z it’s understandable. He also talked about his experience doing voice overs for commercials and on other entertainment platforms. After the panel ended we made our way to Monica Rial’s booth. I had already met her at Albuquerque Comic Con, where I recorded a message from her to a friend as Konoka from Negima. Realizing how incredible she is, I secretly hoped to record my own message this time around. I built up the courage and asked. Unfortunately, Monica explained she was not allowed to record anything at her table but suggested, as all hope was passing by, that maybe something could be worked out after her panel. It was a lost battle though, we were going to be pulled away before the panel and so, it was over.

We spent the rest of the con walking around, accumulating illustrations, precious treasures and then retiring to the game room to play a stupid amount of Super Smash Brothers. We only stopped when we were told we had to give up the machine as it was going to be used for a tournament. And so, it was time to go. I made a call to reveal our whereabouts to our ride. My voice gave me away though and I was given, unpredictably, special permission to stay for Monica Rial’s panel. An incredible amount of excitement rushed over me as we made our way to wait for the panel to start.


Monica’s panel was one of the best I’ve ever seen. She loves what she does, she loves her characters, she has a wonderful sense of timing, humor and a great energy to share with everyone around her. On the way out, she caught a glimpse of me and, selflessly, she made my day (and week). She took a short video for me as the voice of Mayaya from Princess Jellyfish. It was a dream come true for a colossal fan! I literally fell to my knees and put both hands up in the air, triumphant, despite the curious gazes. I walked out of the panel euphoric and bubbling with joy.  We went outside to be picked up and to discuss the events of the day. We all agreed Monica’s panel was a highlight and that we had enjoyed our time at the convention.

As we waited to be picked up for the trip back home, we watched as the Minion R2-D2 wander around outside. A young child caught a glimpse of the yellow, suspender clad droid and took caution as the droid moved closer to him. The child waved hello and goodbye to the droid, both captivated and mystified by the unusual sight. It was a nice moment to leave on. It really emphasizes what makes Comic Conventions so fun for the people that take every opportunity to attend. It is a fantastic community where you can meet: artists, creators, collectors, fans, cosplayers, creative aficionados, authors, designers, voice actors, actors, illustrators and random people you thought you would never meet etc. And to share in a collective community drenched in fandom. There’s a lot of acceptance, enthusiasm and comfort in loving what you love and being who you are. With that, we were whisked away to what should have been the highlight of our trip. In my mind though, Hub Comic Con took the cake and I hope to visit again in the future.

“Next stop, 34th Street—Hudson Yards.”


Ashleigh Heaton 12096111_10154338111203636_599989196636884250_nis a book marketer at Random House, a voice actress/part-time mermaid princess on Sirenetta & the Second Star and nerd living in New York City. She enjoys reading, gaming, and exploring new places. An avid cosplayer, she has worked New York City Comic Con for three years. You can see her attempts at being funny on Twitter at @ashleighdearest.


The subway car doors open up at Times Square. Tourists start shuffling out of the 7 train, casting confused looks over their shoulders as a crowd of Jokers, Reys, Narutos, and Sailor Moons funnel past them to take their seats. They wonder; “Is it already Halloween? Oh well—only in New York.”

When the doors ding close, the car practically bubbles over with excitement. Strangers turn to other strangers, chatting like old friends and complimenting each other’s costumes.

“I love the way you knitted your shell!”

“Which panels are you planning on going to?”

“Wait—you hand sewed that? No way!”

They’re all headed to the same place: the one, the only, New York Comic Con (NYCC).

For one weekend, the Javits Center is transformed into a funhouse of cosplayers, media, and artists. And I was lucky to be a part of the fun.IMG_2102

Unlike the convention goers beside me on the train, I was headed over for a slightly different reason: I had to work. I count my blessings every day that a shift at NYCC is a part of my job description, though it does mean that cosplay is off the table for me. But that doesn’t stop me from adding a small nerdy embellishment to my ensemble: a Leia bun wig, and a pair of Zora Sapphire earrings.

This was my third year to work NYCC, so I felt like an old pro walking through the entrance early on Thursday morning before the floor had opened (exhibitor perks.) The moment you walk in the doors, you’re greeted with an overwhelming amount of banners, advertising the next big thing. I head to my booth and help with a little setup, taking in the empty aisles around me and knowing that this calm will not last for long.

My view from the Del Rey booth

Suddenly, there’s a whoop from the entrance. The doors have opened. New York City Comic Con 2017 has begun.


It goes without saying—everyone brings their cosplay A-game to NYCC. It’s invigorating to be surrounded by so many talented and creative costumers! You know when you’ve stumbled upon a great cosplay when a crowd of people has formed amidst the chaos, phones and cameras raised and snapping away. Because of the nature of the con, it’s truly difficult to see everyone’s amazing work, which is why I’m thankful the internet exists to fill me in on anything I might have missed.

NYCC is a more mainstream convention, and much of the cosplay reflected that. The floor was rife with plenty of Marvel and DC superheroes. (I saw tons of little girls dressed as Wonder Woman and it made me tear up. Just a bit.) There were countless Captain Marvels, Guardians of the Galaxy team-ups, Jon Snows, Sailor Moon characters, and a sprinkling of Disney princesses. I also saw some truly lovely Princess Zelda cosplay, and some kick-butt Overwatch characters, as well (Ana’s Halloween skin was especially popular this year, since NYCC kicks off October.)

But mainstream doesn’t necessarily mean boring, or uncreative. I walked by a man I call “Party Thor”, who was dressed as the God of Thunder, and had rigged his costume with lights and a boombox hammer blasting oldies hits. A mother passed by dresses as Rey from Star Wars, carrying her 10-month old baby who was dresses as a tiny BB-8. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.) Intense costumers with stilts, large attachments, and moving components usually didn’t get further than the entrance hall before they were mobbed by fans with cameras, posing for endless photos.

While I wasn’t able to take as many photos as I would have liked (again, when you’re moving in a crowd this large, it’s hard to stop the flow of traffic), I did snap a few of my favorites. And when my camera failed me, the internet came through:



Pharah from Overwatch. I’m overwhelmed at this girl’s cosplay game—I have never and will never be able to pull off a cosplay this intense. Brava!

The Javits Center…INSIDE the Javits Center. Cue the Inception bass music, please.


Not the best photo, I’ll be the first to admit, but can we appreciate how these guys crafted their arms to look loopy and elongated? Incredibly impressive work.

As someone who was raised on the original “Sailor Moon” anime, this cosplay of a DIC VHS case made my nostalgic heart sing.


Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2: “I’m Mary Freaking Poppins!” I’m a sucker for gag cosplay, and this was one of the most charming on the floor.

Sunday is family day at the convention, which opens up the portal to maximum cuteness. Needless to say, I loved this spin on Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.


 IMG_2112Much of the booth layout on the floor doesn’t change much from year to year—if you’ve been once, you’ll know how to make your way around pretty quickly. That said, I was always on the hunt for free swag, photo opportunities, and signings, which are happening all the time on the floor and easy to attend…if you plan ahead. If you plan on heading to NYCC in the future, I highly recommend looking up the schedules for the specific booths you want to check out and make a battle plan accordingly. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get swept up in the general chaos of the show floor.

My favorite treasure from the convention was a free advance copy of Renegades by Marissa Meyer (fittingly, the start of a new superhero series.) I also dropped by the Funimation satellite booth for Your Name. for a quick photo op (one without a line, no less!)

Immersive Experiences

NYCC is second in size only to San Diego Comic Con, and continues to grow every year; this year, 200,000 people attended the 4-day event. While it’s great to have so many passionate nerds in the same place, it does mean that navigating the crowds can get…pretty overwhelming. (I oftentimes imagine that I look like a salmon swimming upstream.) Until the Javits Center finds a way to address the crowd control issues, a lot of exhibitors have responded by taking their showcases outside of the actual convention hall for a more intimate, offsite experience.

While I wasn’t able to attend any of these satellite exhibits, I was a big fan of the inventiveness behind HBO Westworld Experience (here be spoilers!) as well as the Audible pop-up for Andy Weir’s newest novel, Artemis (narrated by none other than Rosario Dawson). In the future, I’m curious to see if this “experience” trend continues—and what that means for NYCC.

Artist Alley

In years past, Artist Alley has been housed in the northern concourse of the Javits Center, in a huge, spacious hall a bit separated from the rest of the craziness. However, this concourse was closed this year due to construction (for a huge renovation and expansion), which further exacerbated the over-crowding issues with the convention.

In lieu of the northern concourse, Artist Alley was moved to the southern basement area of the center, and I felt truly awful for the artists who attended. This hallway was much more crowded, and the air circulation left me feeling like I was walking through a humid jungle stuffed with people, shuffling their way slowly through the booths. Bigger artists with followings did fine, but newer artists looking to be discovered had much less visibility. Hopefully this change is just for this year, and we’ll be back at the northern concourse next year.


Since I was working during this convention, I wasn’t able to attend any panels on my bucket list—simply being, you had to line up for the panel looooong before the panel was set to start. That’s the trade-off at NYCC: the longer you wait, the better the panel and overall experience. (But, if you were lucky, Mark Hamill might have come by for a surprise selfie…)

My inner booklover was sad to miss the panels with Patrick Rothfuss, as well as the headliner panels from RoosterTeeth and Marvel. But, the good news is that the best panels usually have a way of winding up on YouTube not long after the event.

Much like exhibitors, some of the biggest panels of the convention were moved offsite to help accommodate larger crowds. Bigger panels got hosted in places such as the Hudson Mercantile, Hammerstein Ballroom, and even Madison Square Garden.


Despite the large crowds, long lines, and occasional pay-to-play experiences, it’s hard to not get excited about NYCC. Towards the end of the convention, I found myself wandering through familiar aisles, seeing familiar vendors and booths, and wondering, “Is this it? Have I experienced everything this convention has to offer?”

But then, I did a double-take as Tara Strong walked past me, a pleasant reminder that anything can happen at New York Comic Con.