We 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.
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?
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?
PLW: 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.
PLW: 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!
PLW: 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.
skyberry13: 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!
QBS: 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?
QBS: 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.’ 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, but 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!