My amazing friend Jessica (who is an awesome cosplayer as well—you may recognize her as Bethany and her husband as Anders) decided to do some badass editing on this photo of Beth and I taken by Sonja! She’s also created a tutorial on using photoshop for cosplay photos (primarily background swapping and magic effects with some beauty), which I highly recommend you check out!
Do you see this badass lady? Well, what if I were to tell you that this phenomenally talented cosplayer is celebrating her birthday today?
Because she is! MERRY BETHMAS, EVERYONE!
True story: I got to meet Beth in person for the first time a year ago, almost exactly to the date. I spur-of-the-moment convinced her to come to PAX East for partytimes—and, lucky me, it was her birthday gift to herself last year—and had an AWESOME, lifelong friendship-forging time. A year later, and actually getting to celebrate together this time, I’m so proud to call her my cosplay partner and resident prop-and-armor-making Bondo blood mage :’)
ANYWAY, wish this badass an awesome birthday for me, will you? And check out these gorgeous photos too, because UNF. The photos of the Sheriff of Lynchwood and Bethany Hawke were taken by the phenomenal Sonja Carter, and Evangeline by TRANIMAGING.
I’ll always remember—not verbatim, but paraphrased—the tweet I received on the Friday of New York Comic-Con 2011. It was basically: “Hey, are you still here? I’d love to see your Isabela in person!” from a twitter user named visiblespectre. I’d never spoken to him before, but, always eager to make new friends, I told him to come find me downstairs where I was spending time with some Assassin’s Creed cosplayer friends.
What ensued was the first of many lengthy conversations with my soon-to-be friends Kevin and Tracy, and their friend who I had actually met at PAX East earlier that year, Smitty. I was really impressed by how intelligent and mature they seemed—I’m so used to meeting very excitable people at cons that it was very refreshing to talk to people who legitimately wanted to talk. In fact, the ultimate goal of taking a picture of my Isabela only came in hindsight when we realized after a very long talk that we had never done just that.
I didn’t realize this at the time, but Kevin and Tracy would, very quickly over the course of the next year, become some of my closest friends—in fact, I would argue, among my dearest friends that I’ve made throughout my lifetime. We have our rituals and habits, most often spent eaten copious amounts of food in the East Village at our favorite dessert places and drinking far too much bubble tea. No really, far too much bubble tea.
Kevin and Tracy had done a bit of cosplay before then; if I remember correctly, Kevin had cosplayed from Black Butler at the very least, and I don’t remember if Tracy had done anything prior to then. But when they shared their plans to do Warden Bethany and Genderbent Merrill with me—I think this conversation took place really early on, possibly still at NYCC—I jumped on the idea encouragingly because seriously? Manrill? Fuck yes. And, as always, I offered to help, and we did spend many an afternoon chatting over bubble tea about where to buy fabric or body paint or how to handle x or y section of this costume.
Not that they needed too much help, frankly. I’m always thrilled to see how they tackle the problems they face. There’s something so delightful about seeing someone work on a specific kind of costume piece for the first time—a jacket, a bodice—hearing them talk it through and finally seeing the finished piece. As Kevin and Tracy can attest (and just about anyone else I’m friends with), I always run up to them when I see their completed cosplays at conventions and immediately start complimenting how they handled the trickier sections. I once actually got on my knees in front of Tracy (*wink*) to stare at the way she handled Anora’s incredibly non-intuitive bodice. And then the cycle starts again, and they share their new plans over bubble tea and I start bouncing up and down at the opportunity to watch their work unfold.
But what I always appreciate about spending time with Kevin and Tracy is and will always be the conversations. I don’t think there’s ever been a dull moment, awkward pause, or tense instance between us. This is a friendship, I am incredibly proud to say, that was born on mutual respect for each other’s insights and intelligence. And I’ve never felt like a third wheel spending time with them either, even though that seems unlikely when you’re the third person spending time with a couple who has been together for over a decade. But they are just that respectful, just that considerate. They are, to me, just about the epitome of Good Peoples.
As I think about leaving New York for Seattle and all the people I’m leaving behind, I think two of the people outside of my longtime friends and family that I most regret leaving behind are Kevin and Tracy. Their friendship is stabilizing, their support is endless. I’ve never regretted a single moment that we’ve spent gorging ourselves on amazing food and talking about musical theatre and video games, about problems and hurdles, about life and the universe and everything. I know I’m fortunate as a convention-goer that I have the ability to see my friends every few months at this or that convention, but it’s going to be really painful to not get that text every once in a while that they’re going to be in the city that weekend so am I down for some bubble tea?
The answer is and will always be yes, I am down for some bubble tea with Kevin and Tracy, no matter where we are in the country and in life. I’m impossibly grateful to have friends who I know, even after only a year of friendship, will stand by me. And I will stand by them.
why has it taken me this long to share this picture
Wondering how Beth and I made some of these costume pieces? We’ve compiled a list of handy tutorials that we referred to while we worked in 2012 (and a little bit of 2011). Note: this doesn’t include tutorials for specific items we’ve made, which we’re working on writing up.
I appear to be coming down with a cold (oh nooooo) so let’s fight the bad germs with something fluffy and warm and shippy as hell (oh yesssss~)!
Wonderful photo by soulfirephotography
I am so pleased with how these turned out :D
Aw yiss, look at these badasses! A nice change from all the saccharine cuteness, I think. (Though more of that is coming too,and hopefully also some Aria T’Loak and Evangeline de Brassard pictures!)
At last! Here’s part 1 of our photo session, which took place when we were displaced from NJ to PA due to Sandy. My parents have awesome woods around the house, so we had fun out there for a bit until we were too cold to stay out any longer (also we heard a gunshot or two and didn’t want to end up on a roasting spit). Big thanks to Sheila for doing the magic effect edits on those first two photos! Look how enchanted Manrill is with the wisps! Well, that might explain why he’s always lost…
Look at my awesome friends! Ahhh, I’m so excited that you finally got to do this shoot, and thrilled by how well it turned out. (Also, Bethany cosplay with red lips, YES, THAT IS MY CANON)
I can’t help but notice that you’re looking at Bethany Hawke. I don’t blame you—she’s a pretty little thing, isn’t she? Well, I’m here to tell you that Bethany has an intimidating older sibling with a team of merry (well, maybe not merry) warriors to make sure that you behave. And this pirate is keeping a veeeeeeery close eye on Sweetness over here.
Photo by soulfirephotography
Let’s start the week off with something adorable! During our shoot with Kat, Beth and I remembered this adorable screencap (originally posted by taking-an-arrow) and decided to recreate it. Because yessssss, the cuteness, we likes it Precious.
Photo by orangeharo!