Allegra’s Cos-Friends - VisibleSpectre and Ongaku88: Kevin and Tracy
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.
Hey all! Last night I was up until 2AM sewing and working on my genderbent Merrill cosplay (Manrill, if you will). I wanted to share some WIPs with y’all since I haven’t really done that very much thus far. I’m very excited to wear this at PAX East, and I can’t wait to join the other DA2 cosplayers at the con!
The chainmail plan doesn’t seem to be panning out (spray-painting fishnet backfired in many ways), so that part might not make the final cut. If I can find a substitute soon maybe it will work, but it’s getting close! Additional things not included in this picture: the leather shin coverings Ongaku and I made last night, the elf ears I bought, and a proper black shirt (ordering one to modify today). I may post some pictures after I do the first makeup test for the vallaslin tonight :).
Sorry about my messy room!
Oh, I’m so sad that I missed this before! I am so ridiculously excited for Manrill, YOU HAVE NO IDEA
Yeah, I was a bit worried about spraypainting the fishnet. I know Sheila used a heavy wool sweater for the arms that was touched with silver to look more metallic—could you do something like that, perhaps? I don’t think it’d be easy to find, but it’s a possibility.
Before the massive pic-spam begins, I just want to add to the pre-written statement below that this project has made me incredibly nervous and also super happy. I want to thank flutiebear and subitoallegra, wantthepharoahs and iheartapostates, cherith and also spicyshimmy… .for…
I JUST SAW THIS POST SJKDFHSDKJF NO NO NO THANK YOU <3333
Everyone go check out the rest of Sugarbitches because it’s really quality. Like, really, really quality. The project is incredibly fun and imaginative and well-executed, and dang, now I want to Sugarbitches Isabela all over the damn place. ALL OVER IT.
If you’ll allow me to soapbox for a second, this is a really great example of how you can transform yourself via cosplay. Every picture is of missl0nelyhearts. That’s all her. You can tell that it’s her, and yet every character is well-defined (thanks to the recognizable nature of the designs, the very different looks, and the way she channels each character with pose and expression). It was an incredibly ambitious project, and I think she pulled it off beautifully—especially for someone with zero cosplay experience!!
I was very lucky to have previewed most of these shots before she released them, but seeing all five of them next to each other really is inspiring. As I said earlier, you did a fantastic job, hon. You should be proud.
AND YOU, ALL OF YOU, GO CHECK OUT THE SERIES RIGHT NOW!
FUCK YEAH SUGARBITCHES
I would watch this show. Hell, no, I would rush home from school every day to watch this show. I would buy every single action figure. I’d have the Sugarbitches lunchbox and coloring book, and there would be Sugarbitches posters up on my wall next to David Cassidy. I’d get in arguments with my girlfriends about who was Merrill and who was Bethany.
Later, when I was a teenager, I would save up my money to buy a coat like Aveline’s, and boots like Hawke’s. I would tape reruns, and cancel a date so that I could watch their appearance on the Muppet Show, even though it wasn’t cool to like them anymore. It wouldn’t matter. Sugarbitches forever.
In thirty years’ time, I would write Sugarbitches fanfiction and join Sugarbitches message boards. I would go to Sugarbitches meetups. Perhaps I’d start a tumblr, sugarbitches.tumblr.com, and reblog Sugarbitches fan art and voice memes and drabbles. These would be things I would do. I would be a Sugarbitch for life.
I love this concept, I love the excecution, I love the clothes and the smirks and the daggers and the boots; and the animal rug and the standing on chairs and the tattoos and the jewelry; the backstories and the lighting and the posters and the love and careful attention; and most of all, missl0nelyhearts, I love you.
I am so, SO happy to see the final product! Missl0nelyhearts, girl, you’re a STAR!!!!!!!!!!!
Also I’m still really jealous of those Izzyboots GUH.
DALISH POWER MAKE UP!
She likes them.
Saturn has no official trans in the series. So I used the one from the fighting game, with a few tweaks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP49xhYoOeU&feature=related
Saturn’s lack of transformation always bugged the helllllllll out of me. But tee hee Merril c:
IN OTHER NEWS, MY HEADCANON FOR SAILOR VARRIC IS LOOKING DANGEROUSLY LIKE IT’S GOING TO BE THE CASE….
……does this make Fenris Sailor Mars because omg
Holy crap everyone has a beard
Oh my god, Varric’s chest hair just gets more glorious, AHAHAHAHAHA