Photo taken by Kat McCabe Photography
J: What got you into cosplay, and how long have you been doing it?
RLC: I've been into cosplay for years though I've taken a few years off here and there. My first full experience with deciding I was going to get into the culture was my first time at Anime North. My mind was BLOWN by all the cosplays and I left going "I NEED TO DO THIS."
J: Why do you cosplay, and what has kept you doing it for so long?
RLC: I cosplay because it's a chance to be someone else for a little while, usually a superhero. Who doesn't want to be a superhero sometimes? I do a lot of cosplay for charity with the Superhero Alliance of WNY and The North Ridge, and I get to change lives and inspire kids and adults alike. Its truly unlike anything else I've ever done.
J: How many Costumes do you have, and what is your fav cosplay and why?
RLC: I honestly don't know how many costumes I have. 13, maybe? My favorite is Black Widow by far. It's also the character I relate the most to.
J: What is your dream cosplay or a cosplay on your bucket list?
RLC: My dream cosplay is Iron Man. I would never take it off once I got it on.
J: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a female Cosplayer?
RLC: The biggest challenge I've ran into as a female cosplayer is sexual harassment. Cosplay. Is. Not. Consent. I debuted a Huntress cosplay and not 30 minutes into wearing it I had a man rip open a seam under my chest despite me asking him not to wrap his arm around me for the photograph. It totally ruined the experience for me and I've not worn the cosplay since.
J: What are some words of encouragement you would give to someone who is just starting out or thinking about cosplaying?
RLC: Just dive right into the world. Ask cosplayers questions. 99% of them are so happy and excited to share tips or words of encouragement.
J: Do you have any accomplishments or cosplay projects you’re particularly proud of?
RLC: The cosplay I'm most proud of is my Black Widow Mandalorian. It was completely custom made which was an absolute first for me. I had a lot of help from my best friend who had experience making armor before so it was a group effort. That made it more special.
Photo taken by Kat McCabe Photography
J: What is your favorite con and what con is your dream con that you hope to one day attend if you haven’t already?
RLC: My favorite con is Fan Expo. It can be overwhelming at times but it's a chance to come together with all my Canadian friends and there is so many good cosplayers and artists. It's MASSIVE. I would love a chance to get to Dragon Con but that won't be for a few more years as much as it pains me to admit.
J: We all have inspirations or people we look up to, who (cosplayers artists etc) if any are your inspirations and why?
RLC: I have so many cosplayer inspirations. @snowhawkcosplay, @iamwintermute, @sareycanary, @theherocosplay, @nerdcredcosplay, @kingofthefreaks and that's just a few off the top of my head.
J: Are there any celebrities that you are dying to meet and why?
RLC: I'm dying for a chance to meet Scarlett Johansson. Black Widow is my biggest inspiration. I have four different versions of her costumes, not including my Mandalorian Widow. I would love to meet her in costume and thank her for bringing my favorite female character to life.
J: What is your favorite material or medium and why?
RLC: Honestly I don’t have a favorite material or medium to use. A lot of my cosplays are commissioned so I don't have a lot of experience in sewing. One day I hope to change that.
J: What is your favorite genre of cosplay and why?
RLC: Comic book characters are my favorites to cosplay. Especially Marvel characters. I'd choose a Marvel character over just about anything. I am currently working on a pretty cool Star Wars cosplay at the moment though that's mostly handmade with some help from a good friend of mine.
Photo taken by Flaunty Mars
J: What is your favorite comic book or series and why?
RLC: My favorite comic book series is the Matt Fraction run of Hawkeye. I think the story is incredibly unique. I love that we get to see a whole different side of Clint that we rarely get to see. Raw, depressed, but still fighting the good fight. I love that he takes care of protecting the people, that he takes on a Russian mob essentially by himself. I also love the use of sign language! And an entire issue based on his dogs POV? ABSOLUTELY INSANE.
J: What are your thoughts on paid and unpaid photo shoots. Do you prefer on location shoots or in studio?
RLC: Most of my shoots have been unpaid but I think its great to support local cosplay photographers. They're damn good at their jobs. I just don't have a lot of experience with paid shoots. I think both are brilliant. Whatever works for you and the photographer.
J: What are your thoughts about the drama that surrounds the community? Do you think it’s always been that way or is there more drama now with geek culture becoming so mainstream?
RLC: The drama is exhausting. I've found myself taking a few steps back every so often because I have to remind myself WHY I cosplay. It's not for the Instagram fame. It's because I love these characters I choose to portray and that should be all there is to it. I try to stay out of it best that I can.
J: So what is next for you? any projects, hopes or goals for the future?
RLC: What's next for me...good question. I've got quite a few ideas from the Black Widow trailer and Huntress from the new Birds of Prey movie. I'm also thinking about a secret Star Wars cosplay...