Friday, 12 November 2021

Comic Con Etiquette

When you attend a comic convention or any other type of convention (anime, gaming, fandom-based event etc.) you attend primarily to be safe and have fun. You have paid good money for your ticket and all the additional expense that comes with attending the event such as accommodation, travel, cosplays, food, and spending money. You will want to ensure that because you have spent money and given your time for this event that you have the best experience possible.

Its everyone’s responsibility to ensure they are considering others ad doing their bit to have the best experience they can.

I recently took part in a podcast with Eddie from Food and Cosplay and Jeanie Jean Photos about this very subject so to follow on from this I wanted to share my own thoughts on rules for comic con etiquette which are applicable to all and hopefully cover all types of attendees. I know some of this is covered in previous posts but with more comic cons around the corner this is relevant.

To check out the Podcast #74 ...Comic Con Etiquette

Ed talks about Comic-Con Etiquette. My guests talk about things to be aware such as asking for permission to take photos, personal space, what to do after you've received your photos and more.

Here are my key rules of good comic con etiquette:

1.     Personal Hygiene

Yes, I am going to start with this point! Having poor personal hygiene when attending an indoor event with a large amount of people isn’t a pleasant experience for everyone around you. Please be mindful of your own personal hygiene. It’s your responsibility and its something that will directly ruin others experience if you aren’t taking appropriate actions. Very simply, take a shower, put on some deodorant and keep deodorant/perfume on you.

2.     Respect Queues

At a comic con it’s guaranteed with all the thousands of other people attending you will hit a queue at some stage whether it be entry, exit, panels, signings, photographs, at stalls etc. In Britain we are brought up knowing how to respect ‘the queue’. No pushing in, no complaining about how long the line is, keep the queue moving for everyone.

3.     Be Mindful of Walkways

No stopping in front of others in gangways. Just being observant of what’s going on around you can make a difference to everyone. If you want a picture with a cosplayer, ensure to take it in an appropriate place. Cosplayers, if your asked for a picture, think is this a good place to stop for it. If not, then move to a more appropriate place.

4.     Be Respectful to Cosplayers

Cosplayers are there for the same reason the con goers are there, to have fun. They have these amazing costumes and props, and they are giving up their convention time to take photographs and make people smile. Please be respectful and kind.

5.     Ask Before You Photograph

If you want to photograph a cosplayer, please ask them before taking the picture. Its courteous to ask first. Most of the time costumers will say yes and will expect it however on occasion for whatever reason they may not wish to be photographed at that time. If they say no, please respect that.

6.     No Sniping!

Don’t be that person sniping pictures. By this I mean jumping in when someone else is taking a photo of a cosplayer and taking the same shot at the same time without asking. Photographers set up their pictures the way they want them, and the cosplayer and photographer are both at work during this time creating their shots. Having the rude distraction of someone jumping in on their shoot is unwelcome and very poor etiquette. Ask before you photograph, do your own shoot/images, and give time to do so, there’s no need to snipe!

7.     Give Personal Space

It is even more prevalent now than ever with the spread of Covid 19 and the pandemic to ensure you are giving people their own personal space. This applies when looking at stalls, there is no need to have lots of people all huddled around a table. Sensibly wait your turn or go back later. If you would like a picture with a cosplayer, be mindful of stepping too close into their personal space. Are you wearing a mask? Have you asked if they are comfortable with that? The same goes for touching the cosplayer, their costume and their props. Touching is an absolute no unless they have said otherwise.

8.     Be Considerate About Peoples Time

Everyone attending has a different agenda. We all have things we want to do during our time at comic con. We don’t want our time wasted and therefore we should waste other people’s time. At stalls be mindful of how much of the stall holders time you are taking up. Look around, is there a queue, are lots of people gathered at the table, does the stall holder have the free time to speak with you? Use your best judgement. Photographers and Cosplayers both want good pictures as a result. Communicate effectively to ensure you are both happy with how long this process will be.  

9.     Do Your Homework

Be knowledgeable about the rules of the event and what’s on offer to get the best out of the event. The rules are in place to make it better for everyone, make sure you know them and are following them. There is plenty of information available about the event and what’s on. Knowledge is power! Use this knowledge to help you get the best out of your time there and have the best experience possible.

10.  Watch Your Drinking

There’s always at least one group of people per large comic con that feel the need to get drunk and cause problems. It’s a comic con not a bar crawl. There are families with children around trying to enjoy the event. Save your drinking for after the event!

11.  Cosplay Is NOT Consent

Just because someone is dressed up in cosplay doesn’t mean they are a piece of meant to handle as you wish. Do Not invade their personal space. Do not touch them. Show respect and kindness.

12.  Be Inclusive

In this day and age, it shouldn’t even need saying but for the people in the back, please be inclusive. This event will bring in folks from all walks of life. Please do not make anyone feel uncomfortable. Please consider things such as invisible disability, social anxieties, autism, and other learning and special needs people may have. This is an all-inclusive space for no hate for any community.

13.  Be Patient

The golden rule of the event. This is a comic con, not a race. Whether in the halls, with photographers, with other cosplayers, please show some patience.

14.  Be Mindful of Children

Please remember you are at a family friendly event. Please consider children when choosing your outfit. Think is this child friendly. Think if your outfit is too scary (its not a fright night). Think if your outfit is too revealing (this isn’t a burlesque show). Please also consider your language and topics of conversation in public spaces.

15.  Compliments Go a Long Way

As a nation we are very quick to tell the world when something bad has happened, particularly if we have had a negative experience. It’s not often praise/acknowledgement is given for a positive experience. If you like what a stall is selling or doing then say so. Tell them! They would love to hear it! Better yet, share it on social media! That helps support a small business by putting them in front of an audience helping for build their social media presence and status. If you walk past someone and you like their hair, t shirt, shoes….stop and say so. It might just make their day. If you see another cosplayer and you like their costume, tell them! You may not realize the blood, sweat and tears that’s gone into producing that cosplay and they would welcome the appreciation. If you like the pics and the experience you have had a with a photographer, then tell them so! The same goes for the cosplayer…. if you are a photographer and you enjoyed working with a cosplayer then say so.

16.  Do Not Edit Other Photographers Images

If you have received a picture back from a photographer, then please do not edit it in any way. Do not use filters of any kind or any editing software on the image. If you are wanting any changes then please be clear with your photographer. Whilst these may be images of you the rights to those images lies with the photographer.

17.  Tag Your Tog

Do not forget to tag your tog in the pictures you post on social media. Its important for them to be credited accordingly for their work.

18.  Be Responsible

If you see someone in distress, do the responsible thing and alert security/staff. If you see someone upset, go see if they are ok or need any help. If you see someone struggling with their bag, see what you can do. If you see someone dropping litter, call them out on it and ask them to pick it up. We are all responsible for our own actions and to ensure we all have the best time possible.

19.  Be Kind

Very simply… kind. You never know what someone is going through and how another person feels. Being kind goes a long way, isn’t forgotten and makes a big difference overall. Be kind to yourself and to each other.

20.  After Comic Con
After the event has happened be sure to follow up on the stalls you liked seeing. Be sure to let people you interacted with if you had a positive experience. Cosplayers and Photographers be sure to get in touch with each other, let each other know if you enjoyed your time working together and keep that open communication going. Share it on the social. If you saw/met an awesome cosplayer the share it on your social media. Its all about making the connections and building your fan base so share away. Do not chase photographers for images immediately. Have an open dialogue with them so you have an expectation on when you can expect to see some images from the event. Photographers, remember that the cosplayer gave you their time and they are eager to share their most recent costumes, don’t leave it too late for it to be of interest.

Well, there you have it, my list/guide to comic con etiquette. If you haven’t attended comic con before or if you have learnt something new, then consider yourself schooled! For everyone else I hope this refresher stays in the forefront this comic con season!

Be safe, enjoy and have fun everyone!

Skye Fawkes

Editor In Chief and Head Writer


Saturday, 6 November 2021

Conventions Around the World - Part 1/4

I left the UK in 2015 to travel the globe with my partner and we’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world!

A person standing in front of a bridge

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceFrom Trekking through Borneo’s rainforests with wild Orangutans to Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef. Hiking active Volcanoes in Hawaii and of course…attending Comic Cons in every City we’ve lived in! I’ve always considered myself a bit of a nerd. Growing up I spent most my school holidays playing video games, collecting Pok√©mon cards, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on repeat. Nowadays, you will find me still playing video games, enjoying all things Pop Culture, diving headfirst into the Marvel Universe, reading Fantasy Fiction novels, spinning a Lightsaber and pretending to be a real-life flying Mermaid in my Aerial Hoop classes.

In this four-part series, I will be reliving my time at each of the following Comic Cons:

Part 1: MCM Comic Con – London 2015

Part 2: Armageddon – Wellington 2016

Part 3: Supernova – Melbourne 2017

Part 4: Fan Expo – Vancouver 2018

Now sit back and relax, whilst I take you on a little journey through some of the Continents Comic Cons! 

PART 1/4

MCM Comic Con – London, UK 

London MCM was my very first EVER, Comic Con and boy was it a beauty! 

Me and my partner attended MCM in May 2015 and we Cosplayed as Beth & Daryl from The Walking Dead. Now, our costumes were VERY last minute, and they certainly weren’t necessarily good, but it was fun to join in and try to fully embrace the experience! No photo description available.

I remember funny little things throughout the day, like being told I wasn’t allowed to carry my fake knife on me at Basingstoke train station (Doh!) I remember rushing to finish my make-up on the train floor (because the train was so full!) and I remember not seeing ANYONE else in Cosplay, until we arrived at MCM! We stopped by the bar before heading in to sink a few pints to try and ease the nerves about being amongst such large crowds.

I loved the excitement and vibes of the day. The Cosplayers were INCREDIBLE (I wish I’d been brave enough to ask for photos!) Everyone was just having the best time and it was a real buzz to be in amongst it all! I don’t remember there being any guests that I wanted to get autographs or pictures from, so we just checked out all the stalls, made a few small, fun purchases like keychains, Lego earrings and some Funko Pop’s (Sorry, I can’t remember who we brought from!)  

I did experience one minor (if a little funny) piece of negativity from the day. We stumbled across the Batmobile and for some reason I had a complete mind blank, turned to my partner and said “Wow, Look! It’s the Batman…Car” (LOL!)

Now, I was a little tipsy by this point and I’m not really a Batman fan, but I should have known better! 

But, of course, one guy called me out on it and said (in a little bit of a snobby, judgemental way) “Did you just call it the Batman Car?” …Yes, yes I did. And I was super embarrassed. I’m at a Comic Con and I couldn’t even remember what the Batmobile was called…But I think it’s a nice reminder to try and be kind and to remember that what you like, other people might not like. You don’t have to know every little thing about every kind of fandom, in order to call yourself a nerd. Don’t put others down when they are just there trying to enjoy the same thing as you. 

I don’t read comics or watch much Anime, does that mean I shouldn’t be attending Comic Con’s? No, not at all. Because it should be a safe space for anyone to enjoy. In saying that, it was a funny memory (My partner always cracks up about it!)

It certainly didn’t ruin my day though; we grabbed a couple of cans of cider from the store inside the convention and headed outside to get some fresh air.

This is where everything got a little bit wild, HAHAHA!

There was a little stage outside where the DJ was playing some intense, what I can only presume was, K-pop songs, where a small crowd of Cosplayers were jumping around having the time of their lives! 

It was probably the most entertaining thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. We spent most of the afternoon outside because everyone was just having a blast. You can tell that for a lot of people, they felt they could be completely comfortable and act their weird selves, as they were surrounded by fellow nerds!

We had such a great day experiencing our first ever con and I would absolutely love to attend a London Convention again one day!

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

MCM Comic Con London 22nd-24th October 2021

MCM returns to ExCel London 22-24 October for an epic three day celebration of popular culture and most importantly…..cosplay! It’s been two years since cosplayers assembled at the ExCel. There is sure the fear of Covid, the overwhelm of being around so many people, the anxiety of being in crowds, and the concern of how different things might be.

Picture by Cosplay By Pedro
So, let’s talk about what happened. I turned up for the Saturday and Sunday. I heard and saw from pictures that the Friday was a very quiet day, far more so than normal. I cosplayed both days, the Saturday as Black Widow. The Sunday I was part of a cosplay group of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus with our writers Jolly Holly Cosplay as Mary, Nayru Cosplay (who is my actual sister) as Sarah and I was Winifred Sanderson.

In terms of covid precautions you were asked to show your NHS App QR code for the covid pass upon entry and given a covid wrist band once its seen. When you enter and leave the building you need to show this band along with your entry pass. This worked well in theory however most security wasn’t scanning or checking the actual QR codes. You could have literally shown any screen shot of a QR code and been given the ok. I know some who didn’t need to show anything and were let in. I think personally you should be able to show your pass and show a negative lateral flow test as even if your double vaccinated you can still carry covid.

Pink Steven
Rose Quartz 
Pink Diamond
You didn’t have to wear masks inside the convention halls, but many people did. Obviously, many cosplayers didn’t due to their make-up etc. 

The stalls were very spaced out, reduced capacity and social distancing were in place. This may well be to the detriment of the whole event consequently. More space meant less to see and do. When there is less to see and do it make for a lesser con experience overall. The ticket pricing wasn’t reduced yet the convention experience was reduced.

There were times walking around the halls people forgot themselves and social distancing went out the window. This was also the case when con goers asked for photographs with cosplayers, they usually stood right next to the cosplayer without a mask for photos. Generally speaking, you felt safe.

Due to reduced capacity, we noticed the missing retailers both large and small from previous years, the missing artists that would normally be attending and the lack of things such as movie props, cars, big stalls, interactive areas.

Cruella Cosplayer
I attended the convention as Black Widow on Saturday with Jolly Holly Cosplay attending as 1940s Clare Fraser from Outlander and we had a cosplay group for the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus for the Sunday. We always enjoy looking around the convention, cosplaying, having photo shoots, exploring my favourite area Artist Alley and generally being immersed in popular culture and the cosplay.

There was the MCM London Comic Con App you can download which really helps to plan the weekend. Pro tip would be to download this before you attend so you can plan your panels and make sure you don’t miss anything. If you’re a family with children this is a must to save the aimless wandering of busy halls trying to figure out what’s available to keep the kids entertained.

I did enjoy the Official MCM Merch store. I personally picked up a zip up hoody and a Captain Carter T-Shirt. It was very busy every time I walked past all weekend. By the Saturday morning there was already items sold out which was disappointing. They had offered pre orders and with how busy the stand was there just wasn’t enough of certain items. I was impressed with the range of items and the quality on offer. In future I would order in advance so not to miss out, however this time I needed to work out my size which you need to do in person.

There were a huge number of panels running all weekend including celebrity panels. There was of course a list of top celebrities in attendance with the top name of the weekend being Tom Hiddleston. Therefore, there was so many Loki cosplayers in attendance. There is always the photo and autograph opportunities you can book and pay for with the special guests. There was also SideQuest gaming station, The Treehouse interactive station.

There was also a lot going on in Cosplay Central with cosplay panels, casual cosplay showcase, selfie stations/photo sets, cosplay masquerade and the cosplay hospital for repairs.

MW Cosplay
We also bumped into the cosplay repair guys. You see the two lads with a big sign saying Free Cosplay Repairs. I happened to see them at the exact time I needed safety pins to keep my Black Widow gun holsters in place. They are fun and friendly, and an absolute cosplay god send! Find them on Instagram under @michaelwhichelo MW Cosplay. If you can’t find these guys there is a cosplay hospital inside the halls so for any emergencies it should be easy to patch things up. 

On the subject of cosplay, on the Sunday we attended as the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus. We turned up with a prop each, a vacuum cleaner, a mop, and an old-fashioned style broom. We were stopped at security and the mop and broom wasn’t allowed in. When you go through security you have the metal detector wands waved over you and bags searched and props checked. They took the props and kept them behind the industry desk for us and we would pick them up to go outside for photos and drop them back to go around the convention. We decided to leave the hoover as there was no point in only one of us having a prop. It was questionable as it didn’t specify in the rules that they wouldn’t be allowed. Although typically the next time we entered we were all allowed in no questions asked. We still took them to the industry desk just in case, but it seems it’s down to each security guard’s interpretation. There didn’t seem to be a set standard when it came to props being allowed in and how searches are carried out. The same situation occurred with the level of bag check, some barely looked, some guards opened your wallet and checked every card etc. There’s a lack of consistency with the security team which was of big discussion with con goers this weekend. All staff we came across personally though were polite and easy to talk to, just a lack of consistency and different interpretations of the rules.

I think everyone now associates the smell of Lush Snow Fairy with comic con after their appearance at the stand this weekend! The stand was lovely, very pretty, and eye-catching. I think all convention halls could do with a nice smelling stand to mask the usual smell of a room filled with a lot of people! Although it was certainly overpowering when close by! The stand didn’t have too much in terms of exclusivity and no freebies which is always disappointing. The staff were very enthusiastic, and I was there for the fun conga line that took place around the stand the end of the day on Sunday which certainly entertained.

We did attend the Wheel of Time Amazon Prime UK stand. This stand had an interactive green screen and 4 video clips from the series before its released on the 19th November. On the 19th of November there will be 3 episodes released and then one a week until Christmas Eve. As I haven’t read the books, I was going into it blind. From what I saw the clips gave a Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings vibe. It certainly looks magical, mystical, and full of adventure. The poster that was used in the image above gives a very Harry Potter/teen adventure style vibe with this floating looking 'death eater' looking creature. It looks somewhere between something from Harry Potter and something from Vikings. Apparently this is a cause of major controversy and upset amongst the WOT fan community as its a misrepresentation and certainly gives a different impression than the clips watched and other artwork for the show. 

The costumes look insane and something to keep an eye on as I’m sure come May there will be many cosplays coming! I was with Zoe from
@wheeloftimecommunity @weavesofthewheel and I feature in their interview after watching the video clip so be sure to check out their pages and MCM videos!

Hellbound Media
There was a lot of small food stalls in the halls as well as all the usual food kiosks outside the halls. Its always good to see small independent companies you wouldn’t normally find such as T’s Fried Scoop. They are a deep-fried ice cream stand with vegan options! Despite how it sounds it was really good. It would be nice if there were more vegan friendly options around. Some of the usual small food stalls wasn’t in attendance. It’s not comic con without cupcakes so the presence of treat stalls was lacking. The usual problems with the kiosks out of the halls are the queues and the prices as they are heavily elevated. So pro con tip…. take snacks to keep you going!

My personal favourite things to check out are the independent shop stalls such as small business/Etsy sellers you wouldn't normally be able to meet and checking out Artist Alley. I love meeting all the independent artists and seeing the variety and different types of work available. I noticed that some of my favourite artists were missing. I think so many have been worried about how the con will go before committing. I personally didn’t get any artwork this time. I am hoping more artists return for future conventions.

Saturday Black Widow
As we were cosplaying, we would of course head to the West Entrance over to the stairs/grey walls/green area to try to catch some of the photographers we know to get some pictures of our cosplays. I did several shoots both days and mainly stayed around the outside area. One shoot we did outside the parameters of the convention to get a different background. I will do a separate post with regards to group cosplay.

No matter what is happening on the inside of the convention, the cosplayers revel in the chance to meet on the outside. Being at those stairs, under the trees, on the green, hang outs at The Fox, at the surrounding hotels all are such a huge part of the cosplay experience at MCM London. Socializing and photo opportunities are usually the biggest part of what the cosplayers go for, and I think even with a lack of stalls and features for the convention they will always keep the cosplay attendees purely due to the opportunity it gives.

Picture of Sumisu Cosplay
For the first MCM back after the pandemic it was great to have comic con running again. There’s been a feeling of underwhelm by what was on offer but nevertheless people had a good time. There’s room for improvement so hopefully by May 2022 things will improve. For every negative there's a positive. I personally really enjoyed myself and it certainly sparked things again and made me look forward to the next event.

Now I’m sure we will see the post con depression/blues and the post con flu kick in across nerds everywhere. So, take your Lemsips and con crunch away over the next few weeks. 

Roll on MCM Birmingham 13th-14th just around the corner!

See you there!

* All photos taken by myself unless otherwise stated. 

 Skye Fawkes

Editor In Chief and Head Writer

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Lena Mae’s Crap Cosplays

So many people took up weird and wonderful creative things to pass the time over lockdown. Many people tried their hardest to make the best cosplays they could...however Lena Mae decided to make the worst!

Lena Mae is a burlesque superstar sensation. She has appeared on this site many moons ago when I interviewed her. Lena is a top burlesque and cabaret performer, singer, model, photographer and show producer of the incredible Hundred Watt Club.  I’ve personally been attending her shows for many years and Lena has performed at my burlesque shows I’ve run back in the day. She really is incredible at what she does.

Lena really is the nicest Geordie you’ll ever meet, such a sweetheart with an infectious smile. Find out here why this uber talent used her costuming skills to go against everything were programmed to do and create a very different form of art!

Thanks to Covid and lockdown Lena’s crap cosplays were born! Something good to come out of covid! So, get yourself a cuppa, take a read and look at the work for yourselves and be prepared to giggle a lot!

All pictures are taken by Lena unless otherwise stated. All pictures are provided by Lena Mae.

Photo Credit: Scott Chalmers 
Photo Credit: Scott Chalmers 

What made you start your crap cosplays? 

It was lockdown, I was out of work because the theatres were all closed, and we must
have watched Fifth Element a few days before I found a pile of bandages in one of my costume boxes. I didn't really have a plan, I just like dressing up, so I wrapped them around myself mimicking Leeloo's iconic outfit. I mean, once you've started you have to go the whole hog, right? So, I draped a bit of orange fabric over my head, grabbed a B&Q multipass card and took a picture. It was the first one, and you can see in it I was actually laughing at how crap it looked! But I put it in my Instagram story and my DMs blew up with people LOLing with that's when I started getting carried away!

How many cosplays did you do? 
Oh gosh I'm not sure, I probably did around 20 'celebrities' and then maybe 12 of my friends.

Even though the cosplays are ‘crap’, it still takes creativity and resourcefulness to create something from nothing. Did it start off with one thing and spiral or did you have lots of ideas at once? 

Yeah it just spiralled as you say, after Leeloo I'd just get an idea every few days. My husband Jamie and I are really big on movies, visuals and pop culture, particularly from the 80s so we're already surrounded by a tonne of inspiration just in the house! 

How did you decide which character to do? 
I didn't really put much thought into it, I think that's why it was so fun and so crap, because it was all really sporadic! I didn't buy anything especially; they were all just made from things I found lying around the house. So, for example one day I noticed a PPE mask in the cupboard under the stairs and figured it looked like an excellent codpiece, so Henry VIII was born (again)! Or there was the blue bathrobe tie that reminded me of Heman's chest get 

the idea. I have a very enquiring mind which can get a bit fanciful so things like that don't take too much cogitation! 

Was there any that you made that didn’t make the cut to Instagram or the Calendar? 

Yes! There were a couple who didn't make it out alive. Celery and bedsheet statue of Liberty and loo roll tube Elizabeth 1st were casualties of being too crap! 

Did you think of any characters you still haven’t done yet that you would like to? 
It all reached a really natural end; I don't have any urge to make any more presently. Now I'm back performing in shows, modelling jobs have started up again and I'm teaching with Solid Gold Fitness my 80s aerobics too, all of which are major outlets for my creativity. That's not to say I don't play dress up for fun anymore! 

What kind of materials did you use? 
Anything found around the house really! The list included jam, party hats, caulking gun, 
takeaway sauces, plastic carrier bags, slices of bread, pliers, Qtips, pillowcases, ping pong balls and a bottle of yellow paint.

Did you purchase any materials for it or was it all from things you already had? 
Nope, it was all organic!

What was your favourite crap cosplay? 
I really enjoyed being Bob Ross. I mean who wouldn't?! But it really tickled me. I video called my best friend while I was in costume, and we just cry laughed for about five minutes! Also, all five of the Spice Girls were fun.

What was the easiest crap cosplay? 
I'd say Leeloo, the first ever. She was the easiest. A few bandages, a scrap of fabric, done. I think I started to up my game after that!

What was the most challenging crap cosplay? 

Marge Simpson, because that yellow paint was deadly! It really smelled badly and took about half an hour to scrub off in the shower...Plus I couldn't see a thing through those ping pong ball & raisin eyes!

How long did the cosplays take you to do? 
I tried to keep it quick so there wasn't time to put too much thought into it. Twenty minutes tops each.

What was the response to your crap cosplay posts? 
It started with little DMs, you know people laughing about a costume or commenting on something I'd used which was lovely because it meant that it wasn't just me who found it entertaining! But as it went on over the Summer, I started receiving really quite emotional, heartfelt messages from people who told me that it was really helping them through lockdown, like actually making a difference to their lives. As a performer part of getting on stage is through a need to do it, a sort of necessity to express yourself and another part of it is knowing that you are touching someone's life in some way. Maybe you're making them happy or excited or you make them laugh or even better you're inspiring them to do something. Maybe they really don't like what you do but at least they're FEELING something. That's really important to me, and over lockdown that element was missing so to know that I was affecting people in a positive way from being creative in my bedroom...well it was absolutely wonderful.

Tell us about the calendar… 
I can't take credit for that; it wasn't my idea! I would get messages from my Insta followers and Facebook friends suggesting I make a calendar with the cosplays, but in classic self-doubting artist fashion I thought 'who would even buy one?!' After a few more prods and suggestions I figured fuck it, I'll do a small run of them. I think I ended up making five runs of 30 calendars! They just kept selling! What's extra nice is that I still get messages now every time we enter a new month from people having a laugh at whichever character they've turned the page to!

I loved it. It was a great channel for underused creativity.

Did it inspire you to do any true cosplays at all? 
Not really, I don't really have time! Though I have been making a Mandalorian themed burlesque act which I guess could be construed as a kind of cosplay...of course I'm taking liberties with fabrics and construction! So far, I've not seen Pedro Pascal adorned in any sequins...

Do you have a favourite cosplayer at all? 
Not being part of the scene, I have to say I don't think I know the names of any of cosplayers, but I did bump into a cosplay meet-up in Huddersfield recently though, and it was SO fun to see on the street. Really brightened up my day! 

Do you think there’s any similarities between burlesque and cosplay at all? 

For sure! Both employ huge amounts of imagination to create costuming. Both spend copious amounts of time in thick make up and wigs! I also think there's a lot of cross over between the burlesque and the nerd world, so with the same influences it's inevitable that the two should have similarities! 

Can we expect to see more crap cosplays from you in the future? 
Haha! Never say never!!

Photo Credit: Andy Clift
Photo Credit: Robbie Jerrom

Well, there you have it! Crap cosplay at its finest! I would like to thank Lena Mae for her time with this interview. Stay tuned for more cosplay interviews. 

Skye Fawkes
Editor In Chief and Head Writer