Manda Cowled is a Canadian Cosplayer and gamer extraordinaire, and has cosplayed as quite a variety of characters. Her costumes are outstanding, and very kindly agreed to answer our questions too:
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Canadian geek girl who likes to play dress up on a journey to become a Pokemon Master!
Born in a small town, grew up watching Batman, X-men, Power Rangers and Disney. I am a product of my generation.
I like comic books, mostly DC and Zenescope, video games on PS4 and Pokemon from Nintendo.
I don’t sew but I prop build real good! 😛
I’m me, I’m weird, I’m grumpy and opinionated but I’m fun and I love going to cons and meeting fellow fan boys and girls! 🙂
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
My best friend got me into cosplay – I tried once in high school to be Freya from Chobits with a friend – had it all fall apart and never went back… until in 2012 or 2013 my best friend asked me to make a Cosplay group with her called The Geekettes – she helped me make my first costumes and we (the 3 of us) went to Fan Expo and I was hooked by the super positive response.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I like cooky and crazy ladies, bad ass men, cute and weird animals or people with GIANT PROPS!
I’ve cosplayed Harley Quinn, Batgirl, Raven, Juliet Starling, Bubbles etc – which happen to all be voiced by Tara Strong in one iteration or another.
I’ve cosplayed multiple skins of Riven from League of Legends and made each sword (Arcade, Bunny, Classic) for them and loved it!
I’ve also been Gnar from Leage, Gizmo from Gremlins.
I’m just weird – I like what I like and then I cosplay whatever I can get together 😛
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Riven was REALLY hard! The sword took forever, the costume was more difficult than I expected and I still don’t have a wig I love – but she was still epic when all put together and got a great reaction.
My most enjoyable cosplays are always Harley Quinn because I can be so much fun while dressed as her, but I’ve also done Joker and that was pretty fun as well.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
Oh… each outfit is different…
Velma is normally a value village trip, a perfect wig and some props
Harley Quinn is normally a commission or giant prop making for my hammers (I have 6)
Riven was weeks of getting it wrong until all the armour and prop came together and then begging my cosplay seamstress friends for help
Bunny Riven and Raven were probably my easiest mentally to put together – but I wouldn’t know where to start to help someone walk through it…
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
New York Comic Con and NFCC.
New York I met Kevin Conroy and went to some epic panels and saw some super famous people (Like Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, Mick Fowley, Chloe Dykstra, etc) and was enamoured with all day breakfast from McDonalds!!! Yay USA!
NFCC let me meet Amanda Conner my favourite comic book artist and her husband Jimmy Palimotti while dressed as Power Girl one of my favourtie characters!
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
My very first time cosplaying at Fan Expo as Rainbow Dash from MLP with my friends as Rarity and Fluttershy – we had little girls also dressed as MLP ponies come up to us and think we were really from the show and ask if we remembered the episode when we did something super specific, I think I hung out with those kids for 15 mins before they had to leave – I hope I made their con cause they sure made mine!
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
I only work with photographers that are known in the community and that one of my cosplay friends have shot with, I prefer location shoots and trying to nail the poses – but posing is rarely tiring – I do it at cons when people are walking around and pushing me – so in the studio or on location is never as stressful 🙂
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
I’ve become more confident in my body and done a lot to keep it where I want it. It’s a great motivator for the gym, and has allowed me to embrace my geekness in a positive and less hermitty way! 😛
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Keep it fun! Too many cosplayers make it super serious, and only cosplay popular characters that they don’t like – it’s a hobby and it’s about celebrating your fandom! Do your fav characters no matter who they are – I mean I’ve been Gizmo and Lobo so you can be anyone! 🙂