Meet some of the amazing lady cosplayers at New York Comic-Con

One of the best parts about New York Comic-Con is everything you get to see just by walking around.

You take your first step into the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and you’re instantly immersed in a sea of fans — comic book and film alike, superhero and supervillain aficionados. They may not all be there for the same reason, but their fervor and enthusiasm is what binds it all together in a sea of… well, to put it frankly, awesome.

It was my third year at Comic-Con this past weekend, and what immediately drew me back in to the excitement was getting to see some amazing cosplayers. The great thing about cosplay is that everyone has a different reason for doing it — they want to pay tribute to an amazing character, or they’ve come up with a brilliant idea and have a way to execute it.

Either way, there’s a lot of time, money and effort that goes into the crafting, and as someone who got to witness much of it in person, there’s no way to describe just how amazingly talented these people are. And cosplay is so inclusive – anyone can participate!

HelloGiggles was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to a handful of female cosplayers at NYCC this year — about their history with cosplaying, the characters they most enjoy dressing up as and the awesome cosplays they saw this weekend.

(Cyd & Courtney McGrath)

This awesome mother-daughter team were cosplaying together at NYCC — as Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus and Squirrel Girl, respectively.

How long have you been cosplaying?
This is our first time.

Is this your first time at New York Comic Con? Have you been to any other fan conventions?
Courtney: I’ve been to NYCC about five years ago (it was a lot smaller), and this year I’ve also attended East Coast Comic Con and Special Edition this summer.
Cyd: This is my first ever!

What’s your favorite thing about cosplay?
Courtney: I usually like to do “deep cuts” for my Halloween costume — it’s a kick when someone recognizes you (as a Lichtenstein painting, Fionna from Adventure Time… etc.).  Cosplaying is pretty great because you’re surrounded by folks who will recognize who you are the effort you put instead of getting a constant stream of “what are you supposed to be?”
Cyd: I just love dressing up and spending time with my daughter, cosplay achieved both!

Have you seen any great or memorable cosplays this weekend at NYCC? 

Courtney: SO MANY.  I’m always a sucker for a good Hawkgirl costume and we saw some great ones on Saturday.  On Friday I also saw a guy dressed as Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion in an apron — in this “Friendship” fatality.  Super obscure, but also worth it.
Cyd: I was totally impressed with the effort and time so many people put into their costumes.  My very favorite was the Maitlands (from Beetlejuice) with the stretched-out faces and the Spy vs. Spy – old school MAD Magazine – it spoke to me!

(Valerie Hardt (right) dressed as Black Canary)

How long have you been cosplaying? 
Technically I’ve always been a costumer, I’ve only ever had one ‘bought’ Halloween costume, and I’ve been doing fandom costumes since I was in college! I’ve done a few versions of Rose Tyler (my most memorable being the time I made the Union Jack t-shirt of duct tape because I couldn’t find one that looked right).The first time I cosplayed really was in 2012, I did a Harley Quinn that I threw together at the last minute to go with a friend’s ’50s style Harley (and helping her with her costume was how I found out I can hand sew a 19 inch zipper into a dress in an hour). I had so much fun with something I put minimal effort into, I decided to go all in a few years later! Since then I’ve done a Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel costume, a Punk Sailor Moon based on Babs Tarr’s illustration, a gender-bent Raleigh Becket from Pacific Rim and debuted a Sara Lance Arrow version of Black Canary at NYCC!Is this your first time at New York Comic Con?
It’s not! When I moved back to the New York area after grad school I made it a point to go, and have been every year since!

Have you been to any other fan conventions?

Unfortunately no. I’d love to, but I haven’t been able to.

What’s your favorite thing about cosplay?
Honestly, nothing could have prepared me for the confidence boost I’ve gotten from being Carol Danvers even a few days a year. She’s always been a favorite , and I get to BE her, even for a little while. Whenever I don’t know what to do, I ask myself one question : “What would Carol do?” (Okay, to be fair, sometimes it’s “what would Steve Rogers do?” Or “what would Peggy do?” But you get my point.)The answer is usually: she would punch holes in the sky.

Have you seen any great or memorable cosplays this weekend at NYCC?
So far my favorites have been Prince Robot IV from Saga and a few awesome Max and Chloe cosplays from Life is Strange (if you haven’t played it, PLAY. My personal game of the year, for sure). I also saw the most adorable baby Storm and Jubilee yesterday!

(Meghan Camarena – strawburry17 – as Captain Marvel)

How long have you been cosplaying? When did you start?
I guess you could say I’ve been cosplaying ever since I knew that Halloween was a thing. I was the Yellow Ranger five years in a row! I was obsessed; Halloween was my favorite holiday, and when I started to realize that people were dressing up at conventions I was completely hooked – but also completely nervous. The first time you wear a cosplay to a convention, it’s like the first day of school. What if you’re the only one dressed up? What if the costume falls apart? But then you show up and you realize everyone else is dressed up and it’s not that big of a deal – and people know your costume and you start feeling like a superstar, which you should!

I started cosplaying in 2011. My first cosplay was Princess Mononoke and I hand-sewed the cape out of silk and faux fur. That was a labor of love, that was the first time I ever learned how to sew and I continued to do that cosplay until I wore it out. After that, I started cosplaying as Link and the female Link from the concept designs. I do Spider-Gwen and Captain Marvel — they’re my favorites!

Is this your first time at New York Comic-Con?
This is my first year! Every convention has to get its start, and I feel like New York Comic-Con is getting more official.

What other fan conventions have you attended?
San Diego (Comic-Con), WonderCon, Star Wars Celebration, all of the PAXes, Anime LA, Anime Expo — and I think that’s it! I’m a YouTuber as well so I do VidCon and Playlist (Live) — I’m trying to make them do a cosplay day!

What’s your one favorite thing about cosplay?
Being able to be that superhero for a day that you are in your head or from the pages that you read. Something happens to you when you step into that costume. You walk a little bit taller. When people ask to take a picture with you, you get to step into that character and it really just helps boost your confidence and gives you a new perspective on yourself — “Hey, this is great being this character for a day, but why can’t I just be like this for ME every day?”

(Images courtesy of Marvel, Cyd & Courtney McGrathMeghan Camarena, Valerie Hardt and Carly Lane)