A convention or an event is not complete without the heart that brings it to life which is basically, the attendees: especially cosplayers. Whether you are young at heart, starting out, seasonal or veteran, the rise of the cosplay community continues to grow exponentially. Due to the costumes and characters thanks in large to the huge exposure of various fandoms, shows and movies as of late.
Leroy of Mach 4 Customs & Cosplay is Cosplay Co-ordinator for Central Coast Comicon and will oversee how Central Coast has grown in terms of cosplayers of all ages, seasonal and veterans alike.
Are we expecting anything bigger and better cosplayers at Central Coast?
Yes, we like to see more local talent at the Central Coast and also from Sydney as well. However, there is a huge stigma for anyone from Sydney and that’s the travel distance. Many assumed that it takes up to three to four hours to get here. But in reality, it only takes just half an hour from Hornsby. Another to consider was that because it lands on Free Comic Book Day (Worldwide event), everyone may travel around Sydney or head to Comic Gong at Wollongong. We are trying to entice more people to come up and visit us as best as we can.
Like many conventions, restrictions and regulations have been in place mainly regarding props – big and small. Because it’s a one-day event, will Central Coast implement similar rules?
There are no limitations regarding size of the props. We have enough room and floor space to accommodate the props for attendees. Following the recent announcements from Oz Comic Con and Supanova who have made changes to the props, we don’t have anything to enforce such conditions towards the attendees. Yet, if the prop is, say, about two metres long for instance, so long as the owner is responsible, uses it alongside their costume and doesn’t wave it around towards other people, then it is alright. Security will be there on site should there be any misdemeanours that may happen. Since we first started, we haven’t had any misbehaviours happened ever since.
As a builder and costumer, I understand the elaborate designs and detailing that goes with both prop and costume. No matter how much detailing, hours and work you put into your costume, the worst case scenario is to be turned away when you arrive at the venue. Come up to any event with no prop takes away the elements from the costume itself.
Because it lands on Free Comic Book Day, it is a huge hurdle for the organisers and yourself to invite everyone to come to the Central Coast.
Even though it lands on that special day and Central Coast may lack in major comic book stores – one small store is not enough. Adding that, EB Games are doing their annual charity fundraising for Starlight Foundation. But, it doesn’t stop Central Coast attendees to showcase what they build and create, no matter where you live. Despite the obstacles, we will continue to strive and grow in numbers for the event in the years to come. We can spread the word locally and metro areas, that a comic event is here on the first Saturday of May and will remain fixated around Free Comic Book Day.
As well known cosplayers within the community, how does it feel to be this year’s judging panel?
Sharingan Siren Cosplay – it’s an absolute honour to be invited and be a part of Central Coast Comicon. To be able to support the community up there means a lot to me.
Tarla Trent – Like Sharingan said, I am unbelievably honoured to be a part of Central Coast Comic Con! It has already been such a wonderful experience supporting this event and the RYSS.
Because that the cosplay community is vast, do you think central coast cosplayers have growing potential for anyone – whether they are seasonal, veteran and/or starting out?
Sharingan – The support that has been shown towards the event in the promotional events leading up so far, has been extremely positive. So I think there’s definitely a strong cosplay community up there. I often see semi regular cosplay meet ups happening up there so it’s definitely a growing community.
Tarla – The Cosplayers of the central coast have shown me an overwhelming sense of a supportive cosplay community. They are working hard with central coast comic con to grow their community with bigger events and opportunities. Enabling more and more of them to share their love of cosplay.
When you first started – the first time you picked up a piece of foam, sew a piece of clothing article, a make-up brush – what inspired you to get those creative juices going?
Sharingan – What started the idea of cosplaying was seeing all the cosplayers at OZ Comic Con 2014, when I went to meet Jason Momoa (Aquaman – Justice League, Khal Drogo – Game of Thrones). The organisation of crafting my own stuff happened after I got fully hooked.
Tarla – Seeing other amazing cosplayers at conventions was always so inspiring! The second I decided I was finally going to make a cosplay, I was obsessed. The love of my chosen character inspires me all the many months it takes me to finish a cosplay and the anticipation of getting to adorn my creation and become my beloved character for a day.
Looking back since your humble beginnings, what advice do you want to give to yourself when you first started?
Sharingan – The advice I would give myself would be to stay strong and never stray from what you love, no matter what someone’s opinion is.
Tarla – The advice I would give myself when I started, is beware: this is addictive [haha]
To your followers and those who want to venture into this hobby, what is your message to everyone who will step into the unknown?
Sharingan – My biggest piece of advice I give anyone wanting to cosplay is to never be afraid to ask questions. It’s how you learn the best places to source things or how to craft things.
Tarla – The advice I would give to people who may want to join the wonderful world of cosplay is, don’t be afraid. This world is truly for everyone. Don’t stop yourself from joining the fun for whatever reason you think you can’t!
See both Sharingan Siren and Tarla Trent Inc. as cosplay guests this Saturday for Central Coast Comicon on 5 May 2018.