If you’ve spotted them in one of our local cons, then you know they are a tough act to follow. Dressed in the many different versions of the iconic Batgirl costumes, the MCC Batgirls are a sight to behold, and are a great bunch of Batman fans to talk to.
Here’s a quick conversation with Gab, Julie, and Katrina — three out of our four favorite Batgirls, and their insights on making and wearing costumes, cajoling your friends into cosplaying with you, and everything else in between.
When and how did you get into Batgirl cosplay as a group?
Gab: Noelle and I had been planning a Gotham villainess group since college but I saw this piece of fanart on dA (http://fav.me/d2oa9u4) and thought it would be much more awesome to cosplay all the women who’ve worn the bat-symbol instead. The group came together about a couple of months before the 2nd MCC.
Julie: Gab convinced us so it’s all her fault, HAHAHA! Cassandra Cain is badass. She’s spartan and would take a bullet without flinching. Her suit is all-black, ninjetic, and intimidating. I’m oriental and a tomboy so I think it would suit me.
Katrina: It started with a photo of the Bat family Gab posted on Plurk. She then began assigning characters to us.
You and your group are more into comic book cosplay than anime cosplay. What made you decide to go that route instead of the more “traditional” anime and manga portrayals?
Gab: Mostly because I don’t really watch anime anymore. Also because it’s a road less travelled — I don’t like cosplaying a character or a group that’s already been done a hundred times before.
Julie: To be honest, I’ve never deeply been anime fan although I enjoy some of them. I don’t think it’s wise to force myself to love something and crowd my way in. There are more suitable-looking individuals who are passionate fans so they deserve it more.
Katrina: I, personally, am not into anime and this was actually my first time to cosplay. The very reason why I agreed to be part of the group was because of my being a Batfan.
Which part of your putting together your costume was your favorite?
Gab: It would have to be putting together the group. Which of course, isn’t part of the costume making process itself, but I really think we all fit our characters well (KAPAL XD) and when you’re putting a cosplay group together, that’s usually the hardest part.
Julie: The wearing part. The finished product from fitting after fitting when you finally feel like the character.
Katrina: The whole experience was new to me but my favorites would have to be the planning part, fitting the corsets, and buying a wig with the correct shade of red to go with my costume.
What is the hardest part about this type of cosplay? How have you dealt with any problems?
Gab: Aside from finding events to attend that aren’t anime-centric, I can’t really say we’ve encountered any major problems with comic cosplay. Comic fans are harder to please though. There have been a couple of people who have quizzed us on the characters we’re cosplaying haha!
Julie: My cowl covers the entire face. I can see. Sort of. The neck part is made of cowl + turtleneck of the body suit + cape velcro + gardening wire to hold it in place. Also, brightass lights in. Your. Face.
Ah well, power through like a Batgirl.
Katrina: Getting the costume as accurate as possible was the challenging part for me. Also, there were quite a number of alterations we had the tailor make on our respective batsuits. Luckily for us, we had been preparing a couple of months before the actual convention so we had a lot of time to spare for corrections.
What advice would you give to others who aspire to do Western comic cosplay as well?
Gab: Pick characters you love. I think when you do that, everything else follows: costume accuracy, characterization, etc. Have fun!
Julie: Applies to cosplays of any genre. If you want to be the character enough to do it with little or no credit, go ahead.
Katrina: Do a lot of research on your character and prepare ahead of time.