Category Archives: Interviews

Halloween Edition: Talking Cosplay with Wreck-it Ronnie

Screams everyone! Welcome back as my Halloween-themed interviews continue to possess and terrorize the souls who are forever cursed to walk this earth. Here now we have a lovely cosplayer whose beauty and creativity come together to bring this treasure trove oasis from the City of Lights, Wreck-it Ronnie Cosplay. A lover of sun and endless blackjack tables, she is never short on cosplay wear and imaginative conversation through her social media Youtube channel.

Children of the night, please give a howling bloody-warm welcome to my next exclusive interview with the enchanting but never a fantasy, the brilliance of Las Vegas, cosplayer Wreck-it Ronnie Cosplay.


Raven: Welcome Wreck-It Ronnie. It is a pleasure to finally meet. Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Ronnie: Thank you for having me on this Special-Edition Halloween interview. I feel so. “Hauntingly Excited,” to do this!

Raven: Well, it’s a Treat we can all share. Oh, and by the way, BOO! Just Kidding (jk). 

As you may know before I begin to ask you my list of questions, I offer some words of advice, a ballad of encouragement when you find yourself at crossroads during your career, and in today’s world we all need inspirational words to make it through this. So here goes, “The trick is not to let people know how really weird you are until it’s too late for them to back out!” 

And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for, tell our readers all about yourself.

Ronnie: Hello! My name is Ronnie :) I am a cosplayer of 13 years and a nerd since birth. I have lots of experience in sewing, prop and armor building, wig creating and styling, modeling and photography, photo manipulation and composite creating, makeup and special effects, and acting (who would have guessed I was a theater kid).

I am Black-American, from Ohio but currently in the beautiful town of Las Vegas. My eyes and hair are both currently brown. I do not have any tattoos yet but I plan on getting some big, bright guro kawaii pieces as soon as I have the extra cash and find an artist I want to do it.

Raven: What can Trick O’Treaters expect to receive while knocking on the door of Ronnie?
Ronnie:
Mostly tricks. If a trick or treat happened this year I love getting horrifying decorations and pretending to be a prop that runs after kids once they get candy. I used to do it all the time and it’s hilarious (Obviously only if the kid isn’t too little so they can laugh it off).

Raven: I can speak for all, hoping to see those artistic tattoos, but what about any piercing? 

Ronnie: I used to have my ears gauged to 00 (but I’ve let them close up quite a bit although they’re still pretty stretched compared to a 14/16g); My ear double piercing and nose piercing have also since closed, but I do have my septum, belly button, and nipples pierced still!~

Raven: Inquiring minds want to know. Does Wreck-it Ronnie have any secret talents?

Ronnie: I wouldn’t say there are many talents I keep a secret: I’m an Aries sun Leo rising so if I have anything cool AT ALL I will not shut up about it ever lol. Uhmm. I can tie a cherry stem in my mouth if that counts? Lol. I can also hold my breath for (what I think is) an impressively long time.

Raven: See. Now there’s a talent we can all appreciate during this COVID 2020 season, Breathe Holding!

How tall are you and are you a pet lover? 

Ronnie: I am 5’6”, right-handed, and have a 9-year-old boxer named Rufus who I would die for. I also work at a pet hospital so it kinda comes with the territory. In my life, I have had 4 dogs, 6 cats, 5 birds, a hairless rat, 2 hamsters, a field mouse that I found, and tried to keep for a week before my mom found it, and 2 frogs.

Raven: Dear Lord! You owned your very own circus. Did you name it, Ringling Ronnie Circus!?

I hope I will never see your reaction to this, but what’s Your Biggest Pet Peeve?

Ronnie: My biggest pet peeve is people who chew with their mouth open lol I hate it so much.

Raven: If the Chucky Doll was real, who would you send it as a gag gift?
Ronnie:
Trump definitely–do your work little buddy.

Raven: Does your astrological sign reflect your personality?

Ronnie: I am an Aries sun, Taurus Moon, and Leo rising (so I’m vain and stubborn LOL)

Raven: How many states have you lived in and what’s your favorite state so far? 

Ronnie:  I have lived in 3 states and so far Nevada is doing it for me. I hate the cold and I belong in the desert. 

Raven: Do you speak or write any other languages that you know of? 

Ronnie: I am monolingual unfortunately but I took Spanish in school for like 4 years.

Raven: Is there a “Deep, Dark Secret,” you are willing to confess with us now?

Ronnie:  A deep dark secret hmm. I don’t like cheesecake, please don’t hate me for it LOL. 

Raven: If Ronnie owned a Time Traveling Machine, what US. History would she change?
Ronnie: All I’m saying is America would still belong to the natives.

Raven: To have this on record, can we dispel any myths or legends about the women from the Midwest? 

Ronnie: There’s not much to dispel, we’re all chain-smoking psychopaths (jk).

Raven: I knew it!

Raven: What makes you happy? 

Ronnie: A good meme is always a serotonin source for me, but I have a bit of a problem with retail therapy as well so buying things makes me happy. 

Raven: How does Ronnie keep her energy levels up while you’re being creative? 

Ronnie: I have a hard time keeping my energy up so I drink a lot of energy drinks but the focus is born from ADHD and hyper fixation. But that’s a double-edged sword because if I get fixated on something else I’ll drop a project almost entirely. 

Raven: Oh my, I feel for you. You should see the many unfinished Netflix shows I’ve saved. 

What’s your favorite Comic, Anime, Manga, graphic novel book you read or watch?

Ronnie: My top anime in no particular order: Kill la Kill, Naruto, Hunter X Hunter, Devilman Crybaby, and Promare (which is a movie but still counts).

I also really enjoy Square Enix games and a lot of the Mario franchise (I prefer platform games to fps) Horizon Zero Dawn and Uncharted are a couple of other titles I adored.~

Raven: What Halloween costume still scares you today?
Ronnie: I don’t think there is one specific, maybe the pig mask from SAW. I’m a huge horror fan so I don’t scare super easy.

Raven: Living out there in the desert, a camera is as necessary as sunscreen when facing those Alien encounters. What camera equipment do you use for personal/photoshoot sessions?

Ronnie: My camera used to mostly be my Canon T3i but smartphone cameras are so intuitive these days that I prefer to just shoot with that instead when I’m just shooting for myself.

Raven: If your life could be the life of an animation character, who would it be? 

Ronnie: Like if I could live in any world or be any character? If I could be any character I would be Miruko from My Hero Academia so I could be a kick-ass brown bunny girl. But if I had to pick a universe to live in I’d say maybe the Sanrio Universe because nothing bad ever happens there lol.

Raven: Wait a minute. There are Brown Kick-Ass Bunny girls?

Cosplayers own a host of wigs to portray a character. What’s number of Wigs do you own?

Ronnie: Currently I own 30ish wigs?? And maybe around 20 or so cosplays. I cycle through both a lot. I’ve probably owned over 100 each easily though. 

Raven: I’m almost positive that having a Walk-in Closet is a mandatory requirement for a cosplayer?

Ronnie: I do not have a walk-in closet. I wish I did. 

Raven: If Wreck-it Ronnie was on a Killing Spree, what music would be playing to keep it fun and loose?
Ronnie: Oh, definitely a
Tiny Tim soundtrack. Or maybe City Girls just to keep it fresh. [chop off  some heads, ‘Period!’]

Raven: As a young beautiful woman, what Nerdy or Geeky thing you love to do?

Ronnie: I love to read manga, watch anime, I play DnD, and go to ren faires. I play and stream video games, I cosplay and go to conventions and do panels on stuff, the works! 

Raven: Were you a shy or outgoing young girl growing up?

Ronnie: I was a lot more outgoing in my youth, I used to be an ENFP personality type but ever since college I’ve gotten INFP so not so much anymore!

Raven: You know so much about personality traits, I feel you are talking to my soul!

What got you into cosplaying?

Ronnie: I got into cosplaying from enjoying Naruto and spending hours going through google image results for it. I’d see cosplayers doing it back in the early 2000s and I wanted to try it too and eventually I made friends that wanted to do it with me!

Raven: Did you love to dress up?

Ronnie: I’ve always been into dress up but I didn’t care about fashion at all until college. 

Raven: What’s cosplay outfit is your favorite? 

Ronnie: My favorite cosplays to wear are the really big intricate builds that impress folks, but there’s a similar yet different kind of love for cozy cosplays that you can party and trek the con in.

Raven: During a Zombie infestation, you managed to access a car dealership, what sort of car would you use to escape from them?
Ronnie: Maybe a Prius? Something with hella mileage and pickup because running out of gas is like the number one zombie trope and I would hate to fall into it.

Raven: I’ve noticed that all of your photos are fantasy characters. Is that your favorite? Have you ever done or will do, Gothic, Dark, or something else?

Ronnie: I kind of makeup OCs and do a lot of fashion looks. Most all characters are fantasy unless they were a real person, I haven’t ever cosplayed a real person although I probably could? I guess there hasn’t been a real person I wanted to dress as I suppose. 

I have done gothic and dark looks in the past but I very obviously prefer pink and pastel color palettes now. If you can believe it, I had a whole emo/scene phase in which I wore almost exclusively black and hated pink, LOL.

Raven: I like pink very much, Lois (from Superman, the movie).

Raven: Which is sexy to go to a Halloween party, a female Werewolf, or a female Vampire?
Ronnie: Yes. Both. I can’t choose. I wasn’t even Team Jacob or Team Edward in middle school. I was Team they should kiss each other instead.

Raven: Do the characters you select are a reflection of your personality or Is it the personality of the characters you want to become?

Ronnie: I do tend to pick characters to cosplay for one of 3 reasons: 1. We-vibe on a personality level, like I see myself in them. 2. I just really like the design, sometimes I won’t even watch/play/read the source material, I’ll just like character design and want to make it, or 3. I have a friend(s) cosplaying from a series and I want to join in and get/make the costume to join since I love group cosplays. 

Raven: What sort of makeup style do you use when cosplay?

Ronnie: I do lots of different kinds of makeup from glamour to horror but I’d say I do mostly glamour because it’s a lot of fun and less messy usually.

Raven: Should cosplayers select characters that best compliments their body type (Skinny Large, or In-between) or just go with the flow?

Ronnie: Cosplayers should cosplay whoever they want as long as they are doing it respectfully and not painting/editing themselves to look like other races (e.g. race facing).

Raven: What sort of cosplay outfit would Ronnie wear during an Alien Invasion in Las Vegas?
Ronnie: I did an “area 51” group last year at Dragoncon with some friends, so probably that, a holographic bodysuit and my pink demoniacs!

Raven: Since the Pandemic, what do you miss the most about cosplaying? 

Ronnie: I still cosplay even in the pandemic, but I do miss going to conventions with friends and getting tipsy in hotel lobbies in costume! 

Raven: I’ve noticed you’re into Memes? What exactly is that?

Ronnie: Memes are shared humor across the internet. Usually inside jokes to an extent but often just jokes in their own right. I always appreciate a good joke. 

Raven: Is taking photos of my toes a Meme?

When Ronnie has time to chill, what does she enjoys doing? Do you have any special projects or outfits in the works right now fans expect to see soon?

Ronnie: I started an OnlyFans and started trying to wane down my work hours to accommodate building that, I have fallen back in love with just zhuzhing up more in general. 

Raven: If you have a chance to become a mutated Hero or villain, who would you become?
Ronnie: Does Miruko still count for this one? Because yes. If not, Squirrel Girl has a pretty sweet power.

Raven: How has your lifestyle changed since moving to Las Vegas? 

Ronnie: I have had to adjust to a 3 hour time zone difference between myself and most of my family/friends and adjust from having 4 seasons to like, 1 and a half (also the extreme heat is no joke but NGL I love it.) 

Raven: What are the positives/negatives? 

Ronnie: Positives: It’s warm, there’s lots to do and lots of opportunities, it’s beautiful. Cons: I miss a lot of my friends back home, that’s mostly it. 

Raven: How comfortable are you when you video blogging yourself to the public?

Ronnie: I have always been public to some degree I had AIM and Yahoo! Chat since I was maybe 6 and started making YouTube videos as soon as the platform launched so I’m super comfortable with crowds. I’m way more nervous in one on one interactions. I was a theater kid! We have no fear! 

Raven: If Ronnie was asked to stay the night at a haunted house till morning, what sort of incentive would she demand after the ordeal?
Ronnie: Ronnie would not. Ronnie is too black for that, LOL.

Raven: When not doing a photoshoot, what photos do you take with your camera? 

Ronnie: 90% of my camera roll is me I’m not even gonna front. I do save a large number of memes and take pictures of cute pets at work as well though!

Raven: So since coming out to Las Vegas, you became your own Paparazzi? Well, goodnight everyone!

When Ronnie has time to chill, what does she enjoy doing?

Ronnie: I enjoy watching tv, playing video games, and napping~ 

Raven:  Do you have any special projects or outfits in the works right now fans expect to see shortly?

Ronnie: I am currently working on a collaboration with Blerdcon and Afropunk for Planet Afropunk on the weekend of October 23rd, I am working on a collab with Lagoon Out Photography as well as an Onyx the Fortuitous/Bowser the Director (of whom I’ve made a couple of video collabs with already on his YouTube if you want to check them out!) 

Raven: If a Witch Book of spells were made available for you, what spell would you use?
Ronnie: I have had one available to me before and I refused to mess with it because I didn’t wanna play around and hex myself and that decision stands.

Raven: Any advice you want to give to those inspiring bloggers or cosplayers out there?

Ronnie: To newbies, I say make sure to get a planner and write down what you want to get accomplished related to blogging/cosplaying each day/week and you’ll be there in no time if you stick to it. 

Youtube is now the holy grail of tutorials for anything you’d want to make, and promote, promote, promote!

Raven: Yes! That’s what she said, Promote yo Stuff!

And the most important question to this entire interview, Can I get a hug?

Ronnie: Take this big ol’ snuggle~ xoxo

Raven: That’s it! Thank you so much Wreck-it Ronnie for sharing just a piece of a very beautiful world you live in. It’s in Tha Books!

Ronnie: Thank you Raven for having me do this interview. Happy Halloween Everyone! 

Raven: If I could ask one more question and ask where can anyone find more of Wreck-it Ronnie on the internet?

Ronnie: Sure thing! You can find more of my treats at these following websites: My Linktr.ee

Please Like. Please Share. And above all, please LOVE!

This has been a Raven Steel Production.

Halloween Edition: Talk with Tiara Bree Cosplay

Hello, my fellow ghouls and goblins out there to another special Halloween interview series. As promised, we have another child of the night who is just waiting to bring her witchcraft spell-casting style taste for us mere mortals. This dark and lovely servant from the realm of the unknown comes from Atlanta. She’s taken on the internet by storm with those amazing cosplay artistry. This ebony girl has the looks that will kill those who might get too close if you looking to bite into this forbidden fruit. She’s your Cos Bae, but to those who know her, goes by Tiara Bree Cosplay. So show your love and give her some Sugar as she is both a treasure and desirable queen, and give a warm welcome to Tiara Bree Cosplay!


Raven: Hello Tiara! Thank you so much for doing this Halloween Special Edition interview series. I appreciate it. I must say, your cosplay wear is amazing and our reader will soon know it too. 

Tiara: Hello from Atlanta. Thank you Raven for having me do this Halloween interview special. 

Raven: So just to give a Heads-Up, I will also ask some Spooky questions during this Halloween interview, so, “Don’t Scream,” because really, no one is going to help you!

Raven: As you may know, I have a tradition with my female interviews to offer some words of advice, a ballad of encouragement if you find yourself at crossroads during your career, and in dire need of inspirational words. So here goes, “Laughing is the best form of medicine, but if you are laughing for no reason. You may need medicine. There’s your quotes for life, Tiara. 

Raven: Now, if you please, tell our readers all about yourself.

Tiara: Hey y’all, Hey! My name is Tiara Bree, Your Cos Bae, #MyCosBae! My family’s from the Virgin Islands, but born and raised in Jacksonville Florida! Two years ago, I recently moved to Atlanta to pursue acting, but when Covid hit, BAM, Tiara Bree Cosplay was born! My hair and eye color change like the wind. I think of myself as a human-chameleon. 

Raven: How tall are you?

Tiara: I’m a 5’10 

Raven: What’s your Birth sign and do you speak any languages? 

Tiara: I’m a VIRGOOOOOOO who barely speaks French but took it for about 4 years so I act like I can read/speak it. 

Raven: What does Tiara Bree Cosplay do when she has some free time?

Tiara: I don’t have “free time” since I’m always working but I thoroughly enjoy everything I do for work so it never seems like I am!

Raven: Would you stay in a Haunted house for money, fame, or food?

Tiara: To stay in a haunted house, I would definitely need money and food. Bring on the bacon!

Raven: Own any birthmarks your fans might what to know about. What about any tattoos.

Tiara: I’ve once had an unattractive birthmark which was cut off when I was nine and was replaced with tattoo stars. So when someone asks about my former birthmark, I tell the story that I got bit by a baby alligator at a petting zoo in Alabama (Seems more badass). I have several tattoos, and I’m thinking about getting an arm sleeve. I just love them so much, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that well with my career choices of cosplaying, acting, modeling, promos, hosting, and bartending, which are all fun gigs.

Raven: What sort of music does Tiara Bree Cosplay groove her into a good mood? 

Tiara: My music choice is Electric. I love French pop music, New Zealand style, Indie music, EDM, hip hop, rock anything with a beat I can move to, and feel something from! 

Raven: What’s your favorite Anime/Manga you love to watch or read? 

Tiara: My favorite anime is probably HunterxHunter! I’m a newbie to anime so I am currently watching Fire Force right now and love that as well!

Raven: What celebrity, who is a vampire, would you allow to suck your neck?

Tiara:  If I can just pretend it’s Joe Manganiello, be the vampire, we’ll be straight!

Raven: What is your most favorite prop/makeup when doing a photoshoot

Tiara: I can’t pick a favorite makeup look since they all are formed with my thriving creative juices on that particular day. LOL. Some of my favorite props were my scissors sword from my Ryuko Matoi cosplay from Kill la Kill. Unfortunately, somebody threw it away though, and I never used it since.

Raven Is there an animation character that best describes Tiara Bree Cosplay’s personality?

Tiara: My personality is all over the place, a mix between a Tasmanian devil, and all the sexy anime girls who don’t wear clothes  😂 that’s how my personality feels.

Raven: Well,  I can only imagine that all those sexy Anime Girls are going to get jealous of you.

Raven: What was your first cosplay outfit? 

Tiara: The first cosplay was Mileena at Dragon Con 2018! I always trick or treat! Ain’t no shame in my game. I don’t know about this year because of COVID though. 

Tiara: I suffer from procrastination nation and in the town of laziness! I could get so much more done, but I choose to relax. Because I like to just feel good. I’m generally happy, positive, and carefree. But hit the right button and I’m the meanest person you’ll meet 😂😂 but I’m still caring while being mean so I don’t mean any harm. 

Raven: Who be the most interesting to talk to at the dinner table: Jason, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, or R. Kelly?

Tiara: Since all of those choices are scary, I’d say put them all at the table and let’s chat!

Raven: Are you a shy or an outgoing type of girl growing up? 

Tiara: I’ve always been outgoing! 

Raven: From your photos, you have a broad range of expressions you own. You can be sexy, nerdy, funny, and serious. How did the Cosplay World captured Tiara Bree Cosplay? How did it all start?

Tiara: I started cosplaying when I went to Dragon Con 2018. I was dating a guy who did it and he had to sais. He was going to sell it. I want them. Now I have to find a character who uses them. Then, Boom, the character of Mileena happened! Nowadays, cosplay has got more demanding, both on looks and props.  

Raven: Has it become more fun or more demanding as the life of a cosplayer/model/dancer? 

Tiara: I’m currently doing 31 days of Halloween so doing 31 different characters is a struggle. 

Raven: Does your personality resemble the type of character you want to portray or do the personalities of the characters does Tara Bree wants to become?

Tiara: I Cosplay whoever I feel like at the moment, whoever I am commissioned to do,  LOL. I cosplay whoever I think is pretty or has a cute outfit. Sometimes I’m nothing like the character but that’s the fun part. I’m an actress so I fit them all. I

Raven: What friend or enemy would you give a Chucky Doll as a gift?

Tiara: HA! Answering that would open up a can of worms that no one’s ready for. But as a joke, I will give it to my best friend Anis! If it was a live one that was killing people, I would send it to various people who will remain unnamed. 😂

Raven: What sort of characters attracts you the most?

Tiara: I’m usually attracted to the more sexy ones since I feel sexy in my everyday life.  Even though I look homeless half the time, just knowing I can throw on some makeup and a Cosplay outfit and be right back to feel myself, again! It’s fun! 

Raven: If homeless people looked like you, You would STOP TRAFFIC, girl!

Raven: As a beautiful black woman, you put a spin on the characters you portray. Do you decide what you should cosplay or your fans?

Tiara: I do let my fans vote on some of my cosplays. Some people commission characters they wanna see me do. I choose the majority. My only fans and Patreon are Poppin! 😂 (Links in my bio. My Cos Bae is my name on both. Heh heh heh). 

Tiara: Women are in control of their bodies, their sexuality, and what they choose to show, post, or not. I’m comfortable with no clothes, I’m a nudist. So even when I’m naked sometimes it’s not in a sexual way. Most times it is, LOL, but sometimes I just like to be free. 

Raven: Listen here people, never cage a sexy black female creature. It’s just wrong!

Raven:  If you had your choice to be transformed into a monstrous creature, what would you become?

Tiara: If She-Hulk is considered a monster, I would become her because she’s perfection! Or how about the Dragon from Game of Thrones! LoL.

Raven: Here is a curious question. Many fans want to see more of their favorite cosplayer do Lewd or Only Fans photos? What is your opinion about women doing Lewd or Spicy photographs? Is it something you are comfortable in doing? 

Tiara: If women, or men, want to post lewd and nudes. They have the right to do so in whatever capacity they see fit. Some people take requests, some people just post what they want to show. It is up to them.  

Raven: What there ever an unusual request made from a fan wanting to see you in? If so, what?

Tiara: No unusual request for me, just several Cosplay characters that I’ve never heard of, LOL! 

Although, I’m not sure what’s the deal with foot fetishes. I’ve always had a foot-hate fetish until this year (I thought I had a phobia, but I just hated feet). Now, all of a sudden, people have been asking for mine, LOL! I think it’s just a sexual thing. 🤷🏽‍♀️ What’s a girl to do?

Raven: Do black women who cosplay get the proper attention and admiration for their artwork than other women who cosplay? If not, what needs to change?

Tiara: 🤷🏽‍♀️ Black women do not get the attention, notoriety, admiration, exposure that they should in this industry. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for my whole life with this stigma and unfortunately, I’ve have gotten used to it. I’m not sure if this will ever change.

The unsteady climate of our country with race issues and blatant behavior for not caring for blacks and our lives leaves my faith in shambles. This also translates into all avenues of the entertainment world, including Cosplay. More platforms are popping up to showcase us, but to be on the scale of our white counterparts, or Asian counterparts, who are all thriving in this industry, it’s going to be a long upward battle. I know we can get there, it’s just not going to be a quick thing.

Raven: What is Tiara Bree Cosplay, “Biggest Pet Peeve”?

Tiara: My biggest pet peeve is STUPID! LOL. When I say that, I mean people who lack common sense, don’t think logically before acting, don’t think or take consideration of others and things. Just plain stupid.

Raven: What sort of cosplay wear would Tara Bree wear while fighting an Alien Invasion?

Tiara: I would dress an outfit like theirs because then they would think I’m one of them and I will have the upper hand for sneak attacks!

Raven: Because of the Pandemic, a lot of public events have been postponed until further notice. What would you love to see come back? 

Tiara: DRAGON CONNNNN! COME BACKKKKK! It’s the only con I’ve ever been to. In Jacksonville,  it’s boring living here, LOL! But of course, we would go and hang by the beach down there since Atlanta doesn’t have one. 

Raven: If I could visit your hometown, what sort of places would you show me or dine? 

Tiara: I would take you to a breezy jazz club. They’re expanding, and the best jazz club, restaurant, cigar lounge in JAX! 

Raven: What sort of advice or words of wisdom you can offer new cosplayers out there? 

Tiara: If I was too new cosplayers! Just do it! There’s no rules, right way, or guidelines to Cosplay. It’s supposed to be fun, all in participation, and for everyone to do as they please. So for people looking to get into it, just do it. There are research and advice you can get from people, but that’s just going with the process. Just ask if you need help,  I’m always here to help new people as best I can! Just gather some clothes, make-up, props, etc. that make you feel like the character you’re trying to portray and live that life!  

Raven: How Evil can Tara Bree be? 

Tiara: Da Evilist in all the land!

Raven: And of course, the most important question to ask on this interview, Can I get a Hug?

Tiara: PS, no hugs because of Covid😂

Raven: That my readers, is the end of our interview with the sensational Tiara Bree Cosplay. It’s in Tha Books! Thank you so much Tiara for being a beautiful black woman and a loving person.

Tiara: Thank you Raven for having me do this interview, Some of your questions were funny and interesting. Happy Halloween everyone!

Raven: If I could have one last question and ask where can readers find more delicious Tiara Bree treats?

Tiara: Not a problem. Here are all of my Hyperlinks of me and my, Tasty Treats

Onlyfans
Patreon
Amazon Wishlist
Cashapp
Facebook Page
TikTok
Model IG

Please Like. Please Share. But above all, Please Love.

This has been a Raven Steel Production.

Comics Deserve Better Episode 11: Interview with Zoe Thorogood (The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott)

After a short hiatus, Comics Deserve Better is back and ready to cover your favorite indie comics! In this episode, Brian and Logan interview talented writer/artist Zoe Thorogood about her debut graphic novel, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott. They chat about everything from color palettes and character designs to the power of art to inspire and even video games! Later, Darci joins the fun to talk about the indie comics Bang!, The Citric Arc, Getting It Together, We Live, Stillwater, and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem.

(Episode art by Zoe Thorogood.)

Marc Laming Talks Bloodshot and Giant Russian God Beasts

Bloodshot #9

In a world overrun with monsters, only Bloodshot can end Hell on Earth! Bloodshot #9 is out this week and wraps up “Burned” leaving open the future of Bloodshot!

Written by Tim Seeley, Bloodshot #9 features the art of Marc Laming and Jason Masters with colors by Andrew Dalhouse, inks by Adelso Corona, and lettering by Dave Sharpe.

We got a chance to talk to Marc Laming about the series, his “Giant Russian God Beasts” and any pressure from a series in the spotlight due to Hollywood.

Graphic Policy: How did you end up working on Bloodshot?

Marc Laming: I had previously worked for Valiant on a lot of covers and some Ninjak and Archer & Armstrong and always enjoyed working for them. I got an email from Senior Editor Lysa Hawkins when she started at Valiant asking if I would be interested in working with her and I jumped at the chance, I had no idea at the time which book it would be but Lysa had promised me action and adventure. When I eventually found out I would be doing a series of covers and then a short run on Bloodshot I was really happy as I had loved what the relaunched Valiant under Warren Simons had done with the character. I was 100% on board and with Tim Seeley writing the stories it was the icing on the cake.

GP: This Bloodshot story has given you some really interesting things to draw – how much free reign did you get when designing the looks of the characters we see at the end of Bloodshot #7

ML: It was complete free reign as Tim only gave me “Giant Russian God Beasts” as a description of the huge Kaiju – the same with the zombie soldiers and the terrorist supermen. So, I got to just go as mad as I liked. 

GP: With Wigans having a cameo in Bloodshot #9, the issue will likely get some more eyes on it and most likely become an item for collectors. Does that ever cross your mind?

ML: Hahaha it really doesn’t factor into how I approach making comics. I’m really only thinking about making the visuals and storytelling as strong as possible, anything else is a distraction.

Bloodshot #9

GP: Going that route, there are probably new eyes on the series due to the film, is that something you think about as well?

ML: It really doesn’t cross my mind for the same reasons as the last question.

GP: Last time we chatted, you talked about how previous artists on the series influenced you more than the film. With this arc wrapping up, is there an aspect you hope you planted your flag with and carries on?

ML: I hope the Valiant universe gets to have a few of those Russian God Beasts I designed roaming around – I also liked the more human Bloodshot Tim gave us, I hope that I made that work and I’d like to see that continue.

GP: I know you’ve said you’d be interested in an Eternal Warrior story…  is there anything you can tell us about a potential book that hasn’t been announced yet?

ML: Not as yet – sorry.

GP: The last time we spoke, you said that you do too much research on locations. Have you ever been to a place you’ve researched at a later date and imagined the comic taking place in real time?

ML: I’m currently drawing a book set in Paris and once we can all travel again I would really like to go visit the locations I’m drawing to see if I did them justice and I really like the idea that the locations I use the reader could actually visit too.

GP: What have you got in store for us in the near future after Bloodshot #9? Anything that you can tell us?

ML: I’m working on two long-form graphic novels right now – one is a sci fi story and the other is an espionage action-adventure romantic comedy and both have pages set in Paris… Other than that, it’s all very hush hush still.

Interview: Genius Animals? creative team talk conspiracies, making comics, and pink dolphins

Genius Animals?
Genius Animals?

During the 1990’s, conspiracies were living the dream (mostly in basements with good internet connection and without the distractions of Tik Tok videos). A lot of it was owed to the cultural shifts that series like The X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries inspired in the minds of those who had an informational itch that could only be scratched with a good conspiracy theory.

Vali Chandrasekaran and Jun-Pierre Shiozawa have a clear understanding of that itch, and by tapping into something of a love story wrapped up in disappearances, talking animals, and conspiracy theorist radio shows, this creative team have come up with one of the most unique and strangely funny comics to have come out in a long time. It is called Genius Animals? The question mark is important.

The comic follows Alexandra Lakshmi and her search for her missing boyfriend, Todd. None of this information prepares you for what the book dives into after the initial setup. Alexandra’s journey leads her into a world of privileged information and conspiracy-making that she’s largely introduced to by an octopus holding a flash drive.

The best way I’ve found to describe the book is as a spiritual successor to The X-Files’ funny episodes. Fans of the series will remember that the show had a set sequence of episodes lined up to keep the story from being overwhelmingly lore-heavy. It had a creature-of-the-week episode, main story episode, and sometimes there would a comedy episode that poked fun at some of the show’s more serious elements.

Genius Animals? embodies that type of episode by expanding it into an entire comic book series, keeping the comedy present all the way through. This isn’t to say the book takes itself less seriously because of it. Much like the funny X-Files episodes, Genius Animals? approaches lore and world-building with jokes, with an odd sense of goofiness and satire propping everything up. Each instance of funny adds to the narrative and colors it.

Visually, the book takes a few stabs at wordless sequences to play up some of the absurdity and some of the comedy behind the premise and it succeeds in very unexpected ways. The lack of text in these sequences means there’s no written punchline. Each panel, each movement, has to be capable enough to carry the comedic rhythm of the story. Shiozawa takes full advantage of these sequences and makes them dynamically approachable. You’ll want to look at every panel carefully to spot any other jokes or visual gags that makes the sequences even funnier.

Chandrasekaran’s script is surgical with its jokes, especially because there’s so much going on behind each one. It’s as if every joke in the book is a world unto itself. They’re less about the punchline and more about how they can help explain the conspiracy-ridden world Alexandra and her friends navigate. They’re storytelling jokes.

I sat down with the creative team behind Genius Animals? to talk about the good old days of conspiracy and why Warner Herzog should be in more comics. It follows below.

Genius Animals?
The Creative Team

Ricardo Serrano: I actually wanted to start with how you guys got into comics in the first place. Have you been lifelong fans or was it something that you’ve always been interested in and just decided to jump into?

Jun-Pierre Shiozawa: I think the first time I actually saw a comic, held a comic in my hands, I just saw the potential of what could be done with it. I was struck with how much drawing could be done. I was always drawing as a kid. And I could see that comics were an outlet for somebody who, like me, just loves to draw continuously. I remember I would go into art classes (from high school into university), into fine art classes, and it was mostly about abstract and conceptual work, not so much straightforward rendering and drawing of figures, spaces, and environments. People would come up and say your work is more illustrative, you know, as kind of a diss. It was a little bit pejorative. I was actually told that by my high school art teacher, that my work was a little too illustrative. And I was like, that’s kind of cool.

Vali Chandrasekaran: He got it! Great!

Shiozawa: But the thing is, where else does an artist just have this freedom? The freedom to say and draw what you want in such and extended way. It takes a high degree of discipline and range of knowing how to draw different things. Looking at that as a kid, looking at the way that cars are drawn, how figures are drawn and facial expressions or fights, planets even, it really inspired me growing up. When I got to university, that’s where I started meeting other people like me that were interested in comics. They were submitting and just doing their own comics. I was like, okay, maybe I can make my own comics.

Chandrasekaran: I came to comics from the side of loving jokes. Like from when I was a kid, I always loved jokes. I loved comedy. So I was really into the funny pages and my era of that was Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. To this day, I think The Far Side is the funniest thing in the universe. I mean, I think there’s a lot of it in the DNA of Genius Animals. It’s both weirdly philosophical and very childish at times, which I really love. But it wasn’t until college when I started looking into other comics. I didn’t really read superhero comics that much, but then some friends gave me alternative comics where I got to read Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware, and later Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle.

I was suddenly into this new kind of comedy I’ve never even seen before. These guys were highlighting the absurdity of everything in a tone I’ve never seen before in my life. So I started getting into it as a different form of comedy, more of an outsider alternative comedy, which was taking hold when I was in college in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Genius Animals?
Genius Animals?

Serrano:. Both of you know how hard it is to pull off comedy. In TV and movies you have the benefit of movement and sound. Not so much in comic books, where everything on the panel gains movement and sound in the reader’s mind, to a certain extent. You might have some very funny jokes written down, but you have to find a way to both textually and visually make them funny. So, what’s it like to write comedy for comic books?

Chandrasekaran: That was the biggest things we had to learn while doing this, because the comedy of it was very important to me. And I had no idea how to do it in a comic book. Jun had a way of delivering jokes visually that really worked. We continued to refine it in a way over time, because sometimes I would get panels and pages back and I would say “Jun, this looks great. Everything is right. I just don’t know why it’s not funny.” Jun would say let me try one more thing or let me try something else and then we would get to where we wanted.

I would say an example of this dynamic can be found in how Alec Baldwin and Ed O’Neill approach comedy. These two comic actors do something with their performance that’s called ‘throwing away a joke.’ They don’t really try to nail the punch line to tell you like this is a joke. I remember being in script readings where one of them would turn around and reach the punchline without anyone seeing their face, which many people think is key when telling a joke. The joke is almost always funnier when you’re in somebody’s face. But no, they’d play around with the delivery. What they were doing was creating a real comic persona, over time, rather than just delivering jokes.

And so one thing Jun and I would talk about is whether there’s too much pressure on a particular line on any given panel and is it sustaining the panel or not. We then figure out a way to make it work. Jun would either reorganize the panel or he would have the bubbles from coming off the panel as if from another page. It was a fun process because I didn’t have the language for it. I would just kind of say what I’m saying now and then we’d figure it out.

Serrano: I can see how setting up a punchline can basically telegraph the joke way before it has the chance to be funny. In film, the camera stays with the person saying the joke and if that person’s facial reaction isn’t too funny it kind of gets ruined. That’s not a problem Jun has with his characters’ facial expressions, which are hilarious when they need to be, even if it’s in the case of a dog looking at you the wrong way. So how did you approach that, Jun?

Shiozawa: Well, I found that a lot of times I wouldn’t really know how hard to get the punchline across. Sometimes the joke would be just in the text, right? The text is there, you see it, and it’s just a funny line. But then in other cases I had to think about the timing in the visuals or the delivery, all these other things that might be a little bit more elusive or a little bit more subtle. In those cases I actually found that often it would be necessary to push the joke to make things a little bit sillier.

Sometimes you just have characters that are saying things that are funny enough and then what you have to do is give them a design that looks like the jokes have been specifically written for the type of people they are. A lot of it is in their facial expressions. You have to basically know when to let the text just do its job knowing your character designs will do their part.

Chandrasekarana: I specifically remember a scene where we kept working the comic rhythm of it. Eventually, what we landed on was having the speech bubbles strung together in a way where they overlapped each other, a lot. So you’ve got the sense that they were talking in rapid fire. It was fun to work on because by changing the image and the way the text was presented in it, you could hear the joke differently.

Genius Animals?
Genius Animals?

Serrano: Okay, let’s talk about Werner Herzog. He’s in the comic, under the name Werner Notzog, and he is hilarious. The line between reality and fiction blurs with him because of his own abstract and cryptic ways. If you’ve ever seen a Herzog documentary or have just listened to him talk, you’ll know Herzog in Genius Animals is the real deal. How did he make it to the story?

Shiozawa: I have to say, the Herzog material totally came from Vali’s script. When I read the words in the very beginning of the story I was like, man, this is hilarious. And so specific. There’s a scene where we’re in his office and there are all these different things in the background. It looks like a volunteer put it all together. A lot of it was just like, we need to have this and that because it’s all part of the total ambiance of the character. And I love his films, but I think I wouldn’t have had, frankly, the courage to actually put him down on paper like that unless he was the driving force behind the story and have to just go for it. So I just was like, alright, here we go. Let’s put him in the forest, put him in the Amazon jungle, and just get him to come in as like a superhero basically.

Chandrasekarana: In the beginning of chapter two, when we see him first in the forest, that’s one of my favorite images. And then one of my favorite jokes is, when he’s in his office, he’s sitting at his desk and behind him there’s a photo of himself wrapped by a boa constrictor and one of his assistants is about to shoot the boa constrictor.

Serrano: I noticed! And then having him end almost all his interventions end with “humanity must embrace madness.” Stuff that you hear him say over and over. It’s just a very unique source of comedy. In fact, it speaks to one of the other strengths of the comic: its unpredictability. Genius Animals was described to me as a mix of The Big Lebowski and The Crying of Lot 49. But then I start reading and I see that it’s a kind of love story functioning as a metaphor for relationships and secrets.

And then every page turns into something completely different that I couldn’t have ever imagined. There’s some X-Files stuff in it, the funnier episodes where all types of odd and weird things are played for smart laughs. In some parts, even, it also felt like The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror stuff had made it in too. What was the thought process behind this story? When did you start writing something and only to say ‘you know what, this needs conspiracy theories and talking animals or else it’s not going to work?

Chandrasekarana: You know, there were a couple things coming together at the time, when I was coming up with the story. One was I was working on 30 Rock. And I loved that show. We did something on that show that was very specific. I met Tina Fey and she knew she didn’t an a normal TV show. You know, Jack and Liz aren’t going to end up together, things like that. We didn’t want to know what the show is about on purpose. So I was playing at subverting expectations.

As a result of that I had spent a lot of my professional career writing jokes, but I never wrote about people in love, really. I was almost running away from it. So I thought, this is the major emotion people feel and chase. I’ve been wanting to come up with something funny and strange in that world.

I was also at the time really obsessed with the very notion of narratives, like why human beings need narratives. I like the idea of trying to come up with a scenario where narrative is important to the characters themselves. If you get into reading about mindfulness, the main thing they get at is we need narratives, because it’s what gave us an evolutionary advantage. If you see some mammoths coming towards you, for example, you think “Oh, this is going to be a bad area for us to set up camp.” See that’s the idea behind it. But because of that, it also creates the problem of consciousness, which is like our brains are constantly trying to string together narratives to justify why we need to do certain things. And it makes us crazy.

Over all of recorded human history, there’s always been mindfulness movements that are basically about stopping us from getting too much information, be it from radio or the internet or TV. You know, things like looking at the stars will make you lose your mind and then you’ll never get it back. It makes you crazy to have this overwhelming stream of information all the time. So I wanted to come up with a story that was like, “Well, what would you do if you can’t or don’t want to believe your mind?” That means accepting that you’re crazy. Or if you do believe your mind, it’s the craziest thing in the world. I was interested in what happens if you don’t like any of the two choices. What then?

Genius Animals?

Serrano: And the art captures this so well in the process. In fact, Jun’s visual style also taps into the type of weird and odd storytelling bits that you would see more of in 1990’s film, TV series, comics, and so on. Was that something that was in in your mind a lot in terms of imagery for the Genius Animals?

Shiozawa: I think I was trying to definitely get some Big Lebowski into the overall vibe. There’s Coen Brothers imagery where it’s kind of like the real world but it’s also a little bit off and maybe a little bit ominous around the corners. But then it’s also really funny as well, like silly and absurd. I wanted there to be this feeling that this is our world. But if we really take a good look at it, like, everything is a little bit off. I was going for things that were a little off kilter.

In a way, I wanted the comic to come off like this odd black and white world that’s anything but black and white in the story, but I just felt like color and facial expressions and jokes and humor and all of that were part of the fabric of the story. I felt like that whenever I would just read the lines from the script. It’s what it evoked for me. So I said to myself that I shouldn’t fight it too much. It was all so well imbedded in the script.

Serrano: Moving on to conspiracies. Your approach to conspiracies in the book forces your characters to go through a lot of fantasy in their pursuit of the truth, to try and see what sticks as truth and what doesn’t. It’s a bit old-school 90’s in that regard.

In today’s world, where we have QAnon and Pizzagate and all of these other full-fantasy conspiracies making the rounds, where do you think Genius Animals? stands in light of them. Is there such a thing as a good conspiracy? Can they still be a source of some truth or are they just all populated by people who pee on bunny skeletons?

Chandrasekarana: It’s interesting because Genius Animals? came up a while ago, when it felt like the more silly conspiracies were slowly disappearing. We took it as a return to the idea of narrative and how we try to find meaning and explanations of the world.

I was always fascinated with that Art Bell radio show Coast to Coast (paranormal-themed deep dives into conspiracies and unexplained phenomena). That show came up with the craziest explanations possible for what was happening behind the scenes. People really bought into it. I mean, you have those very classic UFO abductions stories that gave people a burning desire to know everything about it. We need to explain stuff! It’s like non-negotiable.

I was just reading about a South American legend of the pink dolphins the other day. Apparently, there are these pink river dolphins that live in this like sort of mystical, magical underwater city underneath the Amazon river. According to legend, at night they’re supposed to turn into very dapper handsome fishermen and seduce women, and then go disappear back into the river. And so if someone has a baby, and they don’t know who the father of the child is…it was a pink dolphin.

So you have this lie, basically, that people came up with that we as a society all decided like, okay, we need that in our lives because it creates a social explanation, a social function, and we’re going to all publicly believe it. I find that to be sort of fascinating and very fun.

Genius Animals?

Shiozawa: That’s exactly how I felt when I was going through the script and trying to capture that old-school conspiracy look, where radio shows and Bat Boy was what was on everyone’s minds. These were the conspiracies we grew up with. Mom and pop conspiracies with the Roswell UFO mystery leading the charge. There was a point when we were making revisions where we discussed not making our characters look like they’re QAnon enthusiasts or anything we’re explicitly seeing today. The closest we got was we ended up putting in the Men’s Rights activists in the bar scene, where every conspiracy group meets for a drink in their own little tables.

Chandrasekarana: And even then we wanted to make sure they looked like losers.

Serrano: And that’s, I think, a great closing remark to cap off this conversation. Moral of the story? Return to the conspiracies of the 1990s. Get some X-Files in your system and believe responsibly. Thanks for the time, guys!

Chandrasekarana: Thank you!

Shiozawa: Thanks!

Genius Animals? can be read in its entirety online at https://geniusanimals.net/.

Halloween series: Talking Cosplay and Deep Dark Secrets with AngieV

Welcome, all you Night-Stalking readers. This is Raven Steel with a special Halloween interview edition. All through the month of October, I will interview as many female cosplayers out there in social media as I can to give our Children of the Night a tasty Halloween Treat. It will be something to sink your teeth in and gush-out with expectations.  This next exclusive interview comes from the cradle of Western Civilization, Greece. She young, talented, and a whole lot of beauty. When she is not dancing up a storm, sketching her next cosplay wear, or just trolling the video gaming world, this bathing beauty is working hard on her next set of photos for your eyes only! So drop your Halloween candy treats and gather around as our next interview with AngieV Cosplay is now!



Raven: Welcome AngieV Cosplay. It is such a wonderful treat to finally meet you. Opa! 

Angie: Thank you so much for having me to do this interview with my friend, Raven Steel.

Raven: Well, thank you so much for that. Believe me this the best Halloween Treat I will always treasure! 

I have a tradition with my interviews to offer some words of advice, a ballad of encouragement if you find yourself at crossroads during your career, and in dire need of inspirational words. So here goes, “People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full are missing the point. The glass is REFILLABLE!” There, I’ve said it.

As you know, I’m going to ask you some scary/spooky questions to you, so don’t be alarmed nor bite my neck.  So without any further delay, Ms. AngieV Cosplay, let us begin to know more about you and the amazing things you create! Give those readers a shout-out!

Angie: Hello! Angie V here! \^.^/ I’m born and live in Greece and most specifically in Athens! My eye color is hazel/brown and my natural hair color which I still have is brown as well!

Raven: Were you born right or left-handed? 

Angie: I’m right-handed but I can also use my left hand as well! I’m just not very good with it.

Raven: Are you a pet lover?

Angie: I love all pets, especially cats! I own 2 cats named Billy (boy) and Esta (girl). I have had them since I was 12 years old!

Raven: What transformation would AngieV be: a Sexy Werewolf or a Sexy Zombie?

Angie: I’d love to do a werewolf cosplay at some time!

Woof!

Raven: How tall are you? 

Angie: I’m 1.68 meters tall! (5 feet 5 inches tall)

Raven: What’s your birth sign? 

Angie: My sign is Leo and my horoscope is Cancer!

Raven: Do you speak or write any other languages?

Angie: Other than Greek, I speak English, but I’d love to learn more languages especially Japanese!

Raven: Is there a deep dark secret you are willing to confess to us now? 

Angie: I’m not a fan of Harry Potter nor Lord of the Rings, and I haven’t watched the Star Wars series either. I’m so sorry for all my fans out there!

Raven: What makes you happy? 

Angie: Friends! I love being with my friends and people who are close to me! And oh, I love ice-cream too, and fluffy kittens!

Raven: What does AngieV Cosplay eat and drink when she is being creative? 

Angie: I don’t, xD. When I’m being creative there is no time for eating or drinking. My focus is 100% on my work so much that I often forget to eat and or drink until my body runs out of energy thus my body starts to shut down. That’s when I come back to reality, grab something fast to eat, and either go back to work or just give it a rest.

Raven: Do you have a favorite Comic, Anime, Manga, graphic novel book you like to read or watch?

Angie: From Mangas, I like ‘A Silent Voice’ and from anime, I like ‘Say I love you’ and ‘Stein: Gate’ a lot! BUT Yu-Gi-Oh will always have a special place in my heart. That anime no matter how much time passes is still gold for me!

Raven: If you were made out of the body parts of celebrities, what celebrity body-parts would you use to create an AngieV Cosplay?

Angie: I adore their characteristics like Megan Fox, Bebe Rexha, Jennie (from Blackpink), and many more than that, but I can’t think of any right now. These three, I think cover the question pretty well.

Raven: What are Greek women notorious for? 

Angie: Hmmm, our temper maybe, but I promise It’s not our fault! Most of the time the real issue is the Greek men who make us furious! We are very lovable and have kind hearts. Most of us are willing to help anyone needing some help!

Raven: If your life could be any character you love, who would it be? 

Angie: Pfft! That’s a tough one as some of my favorite characters suffered some really dramatic experience. But if there is a fantasy world I could live the rest of my life in, it would have to be the world of Pokemon! Who wouldn’t like to be in a world like that with cute creatures that have abilities? I would love to train as well as be friends with some Pokemon characters! Or maybe the world of Yu-Gi-Oh to play some card games and meet my ultimate husbando, Atem!

Raven: Were you a shy or outgoing young girl growing up? 

Angie: I was both actually, but over time it changed. As a child, I was very outgoing but by the time I reached middle school, I became very shy. Later in high school, I became more sociable, again! Right now I could say I’m still kinda shy but very sociable!

I still have a hard time approaching new people, but once I get to know the person, I become more excited to meet them and become more talkative!

Raven: Did you love to dress up? What sort of costumes was your favorite? 

Angie: I loved dressing up during carnival time in Greece especially as a princess, and fairies characters like the ones I grew up as a child. Though it’s been a while since I’ve cosplayed it, I hope to bring back my favorite characters in my project plans soon.

Raven: As of right now, how many cosplay outfits do you own?

Angie: I’m not sure I’ve sold some of my costumes while others have been unusable. I’d say probably around 20?

Raven: What got you started into cosplaying? 

Angie: It started when I was searching for an anime show on my phone when I got into some articles regarding cosplay’s photos. I did some research about it and instantly fell in love with the idea of dressing up as an anime character! I knew I had to try it. I did, and I loved it. Even today, I still am in love with it.

Raven: What was your first cosplay character? 

Angie: Not a lot of people know about it but my first cosplay was Hatsune Miku! I was really happy to cosplay her, but I so wanted to try to create the costume myself. I ended up just buying the Hatsune’s costume. Two years later, I am happy to say, I made my very first time a cosplay costume. I created the classic look of Ahri’s skin!

Raven: What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear? 

Angie: I think I love wearing Ahri costumes because of the tails! It’s something I don’t get to do with other character costumes and I’ve found everyone loves it. It’s very nice being surrounded by 9 fluffy tails!

Raven: If you had to eat a body-part from someone, what body-part would it be?

Angie: A thigh, probably a thick thigh.

Raven: Your looks change from an alluring savage, almost animalistic look, to a cute-sweet almost innocent look about you. Is that your way of becoming the character you portray? 

Angie: Yup! I work to make myself look as close as possible to the character. The cosplays that I create amazes everyone, including myself, show how I work hard to make these popular characters look like in reality.

Raven: You almost don’t wear any makeup. Is that a personal choice or something else? 

Angie: Actually, I do wear all the necessary makeup stuff but I don’t want to overdo it. Many of the characters have a youthful appearance or a strong or viral physique that may require less makeup than others.

For cosplay it’s necessary so I can make my characteristics look as close to the character itself. My main focus is to look like the character but as well as to look good in general. Who doesn’t want to look good when taking photos? I’m also very curious about how other cosplayers dress-up wear and makeup application looks.

Raven: Does the personality of the person determine what sort of character to wear? Or, does the character’s personality chooses the cosplayer? 

Angie: It’s both in this case, again! Some of the characters I see almost talk to my soul and I  find myself loving them more and more. So you just can’t say ‘NO’ to cosplaying a character, but there are times you’ll find a costume design which will attract you to make it.

I’ve done both kinds as well. For example, I feel Ahri is a character that’s speaking to me and every time a new skin of hers becomes available, my inner voice saying ‘~YES~’ to me. But when I cosplayed Nidalee, I did it because she has a simple yet beautiful design which I thought would look good on me.

Raven: Have your fans ever suggested you cosplay a character for their benefit? Would you ever try to cosplay something out of your character like Gothic or Vampire look? 

Angie: Yeah, my fans have suggested to me several cosplays looks. I have made some that were commissioned to me like my Akagi cosplay and the ‘Gothic GF’ which everyone ended-up loving! The gothic style looked so good on me that even I had a hard time believing it! Also, I did a demon look last year for Halloween and a D&D event which looked nice as well!

Raven: Would you date an Alien or a Socialist?

Angie: An Alien are you kidding me? Of course, it would be the Alien! How many more chances I will have in my life to do so if not now?

Raven: What sort of character attracts you to cosplay it? 

Angie: Mostly characters that reflect my personality making me feel comfortable to portray. Sometimes though, I’ve challenged myself with various cosplaying characters I have absolutely nothing in common but it’s less likely to happen. I also do characters with simple but cute designs as they are easy to make their costumes and cosplay. As of right now, I’m working on some big projects that will be amazing.

Raven: What sort of places or locations do you prefer to show off your cosplay outfits? What do you prefer doing indoor or out shots? 

Angie: I like finding locations that match a character’s origin. For Yumeko, it would be somewhere indoors with some poker marks and cards. For Nidalee, it would be in a forest or a lake. For 2B an abandoned building or location. Luckily there are a lot of locations near me so that I can visit any time! I think overall, I like most of my photoshoots outdoors as I’ve gotten some great shots.  Although I do have to admit, indoor photoshoots are much comfortable to work in.

Raven: Fans nowadays want their favorite cosplayer so more wearing less. What’s your opinion about Lewd or Only Fans photos? Should these women control what sort of photos should be taken or answer to their fans what they want to see? Do you control what sort of photos should be taken or have the fans control what they want to see their favorite cosplayer wear? 

Angie: I have nothing against lewd or spicy content, everyone should do what they love. It is a personal choice! I have occasionally made spicy content as some characters expose more skin than others. I don’t feel comfortable when it’s going too far tho. There’s a limit to how comfortable I am when photo shooting spicy photos. There are cosplay girls who share my opinion as well.  All cosplayers should determine what should be their “Spice Level” on their own. It should be a guideline to their liking. I don’t feel comfortable with lewd content or exposed poses. That’s without saying that I do like the fan services and spiciness of the character.

Speaking personally, all of my cosplay portrayals offer a sense of being seductive.  There are times various fans have approached me to do a lewd or implied nude content to commission me and I simply had to decline the request. Fans are understanding! They consider your feelings and choices. If not, then they are not a fan but thirsty men trying to get you to submit to their demands. I won’t lie that I have made some not so comfortable spicier shots in the past, but overall, I didn’t like it and have never been made public nor to anyone at all.

As I don’t feel comfortable with Lewd shots, I control the spiciness of the photos that are taken and personally choose them for my fans to admire and own. I believe any fan would be happy to see or own any content from their favorite cosplayer that has personally worked hard to prepare for their satisfaction. I feel happy to deliver it to them! I know that I would be happy to have them. Let’s change gears,

Raven: What is the first thing people notice about AngieV Cosplay when they meet her for the first time? How do your fans treat you? 

Angie: My fans are the best! I love them all! They are so warm with me and make me feel really special so I try to return the love with a hug! (most of the time at least, as some of them, are shy and get away fast before I get the chance!) I think that most of my fans think of me as a serious or a super professional person but I’m very cheerful and goofy so it is a pleasant surprise! Of course, during cons, I am a professional working at booths most of the time. Then there are times when I hear a fan is looking for me for photo-op, I start to melt and I can’t hold on to my cool any longer so I get back to my regular self.  BRING BACK THE CONS! I think that’s what I miss most about them.

Raven: If you were on a killing spree, what song would you have played?

Angie: Some K-pop music maybe, no matter what it has to be a song with a great beat to keep the spirits up!

Raven: Do AngieV’s friends and family know you cosplay? What’s their reaction? Is cosplaying very popular in your country? 

Angie: Of course all my family and friends know about cosplay! My family took some time to understand my passion and accept it but my friends instantly got excited! Cosplay isn’t as popular in Greece as in other countries but due to the number of the cons that increased the past a few years the cosplay community grew a lot and more people are into it now!

Raven: Are there any special cosplay projects that will break the internet? Can I get a Hug? 

Angie: AWWWWWWW Of course you can get a hug! *hugs* I hope that my K/DA projects will help me get more fans worldwide but I’m not even halfway close to finishing them so I can’t tell much about it! I hope you will be able to see it soon tho!

Raven: That’s it, Everyone! This interview is in Tha’ Books! Thank you so much AngieV Cosplay for that amazing interview. Now you made me want to go to Greece and see all of your work! 

Angie: Thank you Raven Steel for making this a memorable moment, I appreciate it.

And now hugs for everyone who read my interview until the end! *hugs tightly while whispering in the ear ‘You are awesome’* :D  Thank you very much and I hope I didn’t creep you out (a lot at least)!

Kisses till next time <3 ~AngieV

Please Like. Please Share. And above all, Please Love! 

This has been a Raven Steel exclusive. 

Valiant’s Senior Editor Heather Antos talks with us about X-O Manowar, Penguins and Covid Delays

X-O Manowar #2

We recently got a chance to chat with one of Valiant‘s Senior Editors Heather Antos about the upcoming X-O Manowar #2 and how COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the publisher’s planned timeline.

Graphic Policy: To get the COVID shaped elephant out of the way, obviously, you were never planning on having months between the first and second issues of X-O Manowar. Did you need to adjust the second issue prior to its new release date, or had it already been printed?

Heather Antos: You know, it’s funny. We had just wrapped interiors for X-O #2 when the pandemic hit. So though the issue hadn’t gone to print at the time, it could have! Since we had the time, the creative team did have another pass at dialogue, etc, for any other tweaks, but mainly our focus has been on the rest of the story.

GP: Valiant has been on a relatively slower schedule since publishing has resumed; what kind of challenges and opportunities has that provided you from an editorial perspective with X-O?

HA:
 I think the biggest challenge has been not being able to release all of the amazing titles that we had originally planned for 2020. But that means that 2021 is going to be off to an A+ start, you know? If anything this has given us amazing lead time for development and creative on projects that just don’t normally get half a year in advance on normal comics schedules.

GP: I’ve really enjoyed the issue(s) I’ve read so far, especially the new dynamic between Aric and Shanhara; can you tell us more about how Shanhara’s acting as Aric’s guide to a modern world we haven’t seen him experience before?    

HA: What I think really sets X-O Manowar apart from his comic book hero comparison of Conan in Iron Man’s suit is the fact that X-O Manowar isn’t just Aric of Dacia — it’s Aric of Dacia partnered with Shanhara — an ancient sentient alien. So there’s been so much to explore there in terms of their relationship with one another and the world in which they now reside. One of the most fun things is exploring how Shanhara has taken to the modern world — in part because she can quite literally access the internet — and how Aric wants nothing to do with it. 

GP: Based entirely on the two issues I’ve read so far, Aric’s much more Earthbound with this volume. Was there a conscious decision to move Aric away from the more space-oriented stories we’ve seen him in previously and explore how his actions impact modern people?

HA: Absolutely — not there’s anything wrong with a spacebound Aric! We’ve yet to see a series, though, in modern Valiant with Aric’s ongoing Earthbound story — both revolving around how he and Shanhara are dealing with their present day situtation, but also how the present day is dealing with them! 

GP: With Aric being a “barbarian” he’s able to offer a unique perspective on our civilization, as we’ve seen with his attitude to food and his confrontation with the police; will that be a theme running in the series going forward? 

HA: Most definitely — Aric confronts a lot of the daily minutae by simply…barrelling right past it. He doesn’t have time for modern day “politics” when he sees someone in need…even when said bureaucratic entanglements might make things worse for him in the long run. 

GP: Your love of penguins isn’t a secret… have you ever tried to get one or two into the comics? Penguin variant covers, maybe?

HA: Penguins have waddled their way into comics on my behalf once or twice, this is known to be true. If one were to flip back to last year’s Livewire #12, they might even find the first penguin cameo an artist dedicated to yours truly, haha! Will there be more in Valiant’s future? Only one way for you readers to find out…

GP: I tend to always have music when reading comics, which got me thinking; if you had to recommend a soundtrack to the series, what would it be?

HA: Fun fact! We actually have an OFFICIAL soundtrack to the series. You can find it here featuring tracks from Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, ZZ Top, and more!

GP: When you’re overseeing multiple titles, how tempted are you to have the characters featured in one series appear in another?

HA: I would say it’s not an outright temptation right from the get-go — and I certainly am not going to force any characters into another writer’s book unnecessarily. I love crossover issues and scenes and worldbuilding opportunities they provide — but it’s SUPER important that these things happen organically and feel necessary to the story.

GP: Are you able to give us any teasers around Shadowman…? 

HA: Teasers like how it’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on in my entire career? Like how Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles are a horror comic’s dream team? Or how about how I CANNOT wait to be able to talk more? I don’t mean to be too in the shadows and I wish I could say more, but maybe in few weeks I’ll be able to bring more information to light…

GP: So… I hear you maaaay be working on a project that may, or may not have something to do with Psiots… is there anything you can share about that?

HA: Not unless you have psionic abilities and can read my mind! A little blue harbinger bird told me that The Hollywood Reporter might have something to say about it next week though….

GP: Well that’s certainly something to look forward to! Thanks for your time!

X-O Manowar #2 will be released November 25th.

Melis Ishida Talks Cosplaying and Dance Dance Revolution Being a Good Workout

As the last remaining moments of summer begin to fade away, our cosplay interviews are just getting interesting. Hello everyone, Raven Steel here with another exclusive cosplay interview with this seasoned coser. A native-born American, she has performed countless cosplay wear going solo and with her husband for years. She‘s never one to shy away to sing a few Japanese songs in front of a crown as well as play a video game or two. And if you should challenge her to a Dance Revolution dance-off, you’re in for one hell of a surprise. She’s smart and funny and enjoys what she loves. Please give a warm and tender American welcome to Melis Ishida Cosplay Art!

Raven: Hello Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art or should I say, Mrs. M? I so do appreciate you doing this interview with me. I can only hope your fans as well as our reader will soon come to love Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art. 

Melis: Hey Raven, I appreciate you doing this interview. I can’t wait to get started.

Raven: As a tradition of mine to cosplayers to offer some words of advice, words of encouragement, or the smallest of wisdom in hopes these words will clear you a path during moments of strife. So here goes, “If you were able to believe in Santa for like 8 years, then you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes”!

Now with that being said, if you would be so kind and tell our readers a bit about yourself.

Melis: My name is Melis Ishida. I’m 35 years old, am Italian – American living in the United States of America! My eyes and hair are brown (boring I know), and I’ve been married for 10 years. I enjoy cosplaying with my husband and 2 brothers. My favorite convention is Anime Expo! I guess the only special secret talent I have is singing in Japanese. Am I any good at it? My husband says I am but I think he’s obligated to say that.

I’m 5’ 2”, so I’m pretty damn short and a Sagittarius. I know phrases in Japanese, French, and Italian, but I specifically know a lot of Italian cuss words from my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!)

Raven: What does Melis Ishida do to keep herself in shape? 

Melis: To stay in shape I play a LOT of Dance Dance Revolution (I have an actual arcade unit!) which is great for cardio and muscle confusion. I’ve also use weights to do some light strength training and watch my portions. If I want to eat something ‘BAD’ or ‘UNHealthy’, I’ll eat it, I just make sure not to eat the entire thing!

Raven: Do you a favorite drink/food or something to makes you satisfied and happy? 

Melis: My favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs and I love Coca Cola! Snack wise I LOVE cheddar and sour cream ruffles. One time I ate an entire family size bag and cried; it was great.

Raven: Have a favorite Comic, Anime, Manga, graphic novel book you like to read or watch?

Melis: My favorite anime is Digimon season 1! Manga wise I LOVE Fushigi Yuugi and X/1999

Raven: Were you a shy or outgoing girl growing up?

Melis: I was always pretty outgoing for the most part growing up but I’m pretty shy if I’m around new people. It takes me a while to get comfortable but once I do, I’ll never shut up so you’ve been warned.

Raven: How did you overcome it?

Melis: I overcame my shyness by just not caring what anyone thinks about me. Cosplay has also helped to make me feel more confident, I mean have you seen some of my costumes? Can’t be shy in some of them!

Raven: What got you started into cosplaying? 

Melis: I got into cosplay when a friend invited me to an anime convention. My brothers and I would mess around making ‘costumes’ at home with stuff we had in our closets. Eventually, we learned there were a lot of people doing the same and they all gathered at these things called conventions. Once I went to that convention in costume, I just knew cosplay was something I HAD to do. It was so cool and unique and fun!

Raven: What was your first cosplay character? What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear?

Melis: The first real cosplay I ever made on my own was Rukia from Bleach. It was SO bad, but everyone knew who I was so that was good!

Raven: What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear?

Melis: My favorite cosplay to wear is a tie between Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2 and Sarah from Labyrinth. I just have so much fun as Sora and I feel SO elegant and beautiful as Sarah. Thankfully my fans are wonderful. They’re pretty respectful and understanding and I rarely get a troll or pervert, though I have had a few leave me some nasty inbox pictures. They are promptly reported and banned asap.

Raven: Do fans offer suggestions to cosplay or do you decide yourself?

 Melis: I’m very picky about who or what I cosplay. I enjoy getting suggestions from people. The outfit of Tharja was suggested by my husband, and LOVE cosplaying her!) so it does help give me ideas, but at the end of the day, I prefer to decide who or what I’ll cosplay. It’s just easier for me.

Raven: As a young and beautiful woman, does the size of a woman matter in cosplay? 

Melis: I honestly don’t think height, weight, bust size, etc should limit or prevent you from cosplaying who you want. I do think it helps if you want to be as identical to the character as possible. Obviously, most anime characters are super unrealistic so you’ll never be 100% accurate but if you have similar looks (height, weight, etc) then it might make you feel a bit more confident in pulling them off.

Raven: What sort of places or locations do you prefer to show off your cosplay outfits? 

Melis: I enjoy just wearing my costumes at conventions. It’s a bit awkward waltzing around town in something super revealing or a 20+ pound bridal gown. Parks are always nice but again, it gets a bit awkward having to explain what you’re doing there and why. I think all cosplayers suffer for their art to some extent.

Raven: Do you suffer for your artistry when you are doing a cosplay photoshoot?

Melis: For one, our feet are dead after 8+ hours in heels or crazy shoes, not to mention most costumes are super uncomfortable. And let’s not forget how fun it is wearing a wig all day! But in the end, it’s worth it, at least to me anyway!

Raven: What do you prefer doing indoor or out shots? 

Melis: I love doing outdoor photos because they make for great backgrounds but it can again be awkward or the lighting could be wrong and the weather acts up. In the end, indoor photoshoots are a lot easier to deal with since I have control over the lighting and such.

Raven: How easy or difficult when doing makeup for a character?

Melis: Make up wise is not too difficult. I do my makeup pretty much the same each time, though will adjust my cat-eye eyeliner accordingly. The only time I mix it up is when I’m cosplaying as a male character, which means no lipstick and less eyeliner. I try to avoid body paint altogether as it’s just too messy and frustrating to work with

Raven: Do you own personal Tattoos? 

Melis: I am currently tattoo-free.

Raven: Are you happy with what you do? 

Melis: I am very happy cosplaying the way I do and hope it will continue to bring me joy in the future as I get better and better at it!

Raven: Have people recognized you at conventions and has anyone offer you any gifts? 

Melis: I’ve only met 2 or 3 people who recognized me at conventions, so I’ve never really received any gifts.

Raven: What is the first thing people notice you when they meet Melis Ishida for the first time? 

Melis: The first thing everyone seems to notice about me when they first meet me is my eyes. When I first met my husband, he said my eyes reminded him of Alita’s from Battle Angel Alita (what an amazing compliment)! I also get lots of compliments about them.

Raven:  Do you do other things besides cosplay? 

Melis: Besides cosplay, I like to game when I have time (which is never!) and specifically Minecraft or old school games on PlayStation 1 and 2 or Nintendo, Sega, etc. I’m not too big a fan of newer video games. I also like to draw and write as well as go for walks.

Raven: Lewds/Only Fans photos? Is it something you, yourself, are interested in doing?

Melis: I plan to make Only Fans site, but I have no plans to go lewd or nude. I also want to start selling prints and art! I think Lewd photography is great. I don’t consider my work to be lewd, but others have said otherwise…so maybe I do lewds but less lewd-ish? Is that a thing or a word? I say if you’re hot and confident, then go for it! It’s a great new take on cosplay as a whole.

Raven: Overall, should cosplayers offer Lewds as artistry or shock value? Or give want fans want? 

Melis: I think the only downside is it can get pretty repetitive as there are so many cosplayers doing lewds and such now, it seems difficult to keep it fresh and unique. I also think lewd cosplay gets a bad name and it seems a lot of fellow cosplayers are not too fond of it. I get it and if it’s not your thing then just don’t do it or follow cosplayers who do. I control all of my photos and what I post.

Raven: Was there ever an unusual request made from a fan wanting to see you in? If so, what? 

Melis: I don’t mind taking requests or my fans giving me ideas of what they want to see but, in the end, I’m going to do what makes me feel comfortable. I haven’t got any strange requests from fans. I do get the occasional troll or pervert asking for nudes. They are promptly blocked.

Raven: Is there any profit to be made making Lewd shots? 

Melis: There is a market for lewds and cosplay in general. I think it’s a great way to help support cosplayers and artists so they can keep doing what they love.

Raven: What sort of new characters are you interested in doing soon? 

Melis: Some characters/cosplay my husband and I will be working on in the future are Deelit and Parn from Record of Lodoss War, Selphie and Irvine from Final Fantasy 8, and Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. One personal cosplay I must do for sure next year is Cheza from Wolf’s Rain; it’s been a dream cosplay for a long, long time!

Raven: How long does it take to make a character outfit? 

Melis: Creating cosplay is pretty time-consuming. Some costumes we purchase from costume sites, which usually means mild alterations which can take a few hours or a few days. Costumes that involve armor can take weeks, sometimes months! The same goes for wigs! It just depends on the costume and character.

Raven: Does a character you portray a reflection of your personality or is your personality a reflection of the character? 

Melis: I honestly don’t think any characters I cosplay reflect my personality, but if I had to pick one that was close to my personality it would be Aeris Gainsborough from Final Fantasy 7. I don’t usually make my cosplay decisions based on my personality, it usually is based on the overall look of the character and has to be a character I like or have an interest in!

Raven: When not in front of a camera, what does Melis Ishida do in her spare time?

Melis: Spare Time….? What’s that? Seriously, I am always busy. My friends can vouch for me! I’m always doing something; reading, writing, playing Dance Dance Revolution, going out shopping, or spending time with my family. I rarely have any free time though.

Raven: Is there anything you love to collect? 

Melis: I’m a huge collector of anime and video game stuff! I also have a pretty big manga collection as well. If I’m outdoors I’m usually at the park on the swing set! I can listen to my iPod and swing for HOURS! I’m very easily entertained!

Raven: Is there any place Melis would love to travel and visit for a photoshoot?

Melis: If I could travel anywhere for photoshoots, I would say Italy and Japan. They have so many gorgeous places!

Raven: Due to the Pandemic, public events have been postponed until further notice. What would you love to see come back?

Melis: I would love to see anime conventions come back ASAP! I know a lot of people and cosplayers are depressed and upset not to mention have little to no motivation to work on new costumes since there aren’t any places to show them off. It’s also hard not to be able to meet up with friends or having anything to look forward to other than working.

Raven: What sort of advice or words of wisdom you can offer new cosplayers out there?

Melis: For any new cosplayers my main advice would be; start small and do what makes YOU comfortable. Also, decide if you’re doing this just for fun or if you want to make it big. Granted, you will more or less never make it big like a Jessica Nigri, but you can still get your name out there it’s just going to take work. If you do plan to go big (or even stay small) realize cosplay takes a LOT of time and money, especially if you want to make a good costume with good materials.

Just take your time and work on 1 or 2 costumes at a time so you don’t get burnt out or overwhelmed. I would also say invest in some photography equipment like lights, a backdrop, tripods, etc so you can get better quality pictures. Lastly, just be yourself. Don’t go out there trying to replace another cosplayer or recreate what they do.

Definitely use them for inspiration or advice (most of us are pretty friendly) and inspiration, but do things that make your own work unique Ex. unique eye makeup or jewelry, etc. And of course, just have fun. Cosplay is meant to be a FUN hobby. It can get frustrating and overwhelming, so take breaks often and focus on how much fun it’s going to be wearing that costume at your next anime convention!

Raven: That’s it. It’s in, “Tha Books”! Thank you so muck Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art for your wonderful interview. 

Melis: The same to you, thank you. I really enjoyed it.

Raven: If I could ask you one more question, where can our readers get more of Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art?

Melis: Not a problem, they can go to the following sites for more of Little ol’ Me!

My Facebook page. My Instagram page.

Please Like. Please Share. And above all, please Love!

This has been a Raven Steel interview.

Valiant’s Marketing and Publicity Manager Gregg Katzman Helps Us Understand What Goes Into Getting A Comic Into your Hands

Gregg Katzman

I’ve always wondered what happens to a comic between the time it has been finished and when I finally get it in my hands – especially one I’ve been salivating over since I first caught that glimpse of a teaser image on social media, and so I spoke to Valiant’s Marketing & Publicity Manager Gregg Katzman about what his job entails when it comes to getting some of my favorite comics into my hands.

Gregg has been with Valiant since November 2018, joining the publisher as a marketing coordinator before working his way up to his current position in August of 2020. He’s also a super nice guy.

Graphic Policy: We all (hopefully) know the role that writers, artists and editors play in getting comics to the shelves, but what do your duties entail?

Gregg Katzman: Before joining Valiant Entertainment, I was a big fan of the company and have lots of history as comics/entertainment press (Comic Vine, Screen Rant, CBR, IGN, UGO Entertainment, About.com’s Marvel expert, plus coordinating signings as the Marketing & Events Manager at Midtown Comics). So, I spent years promoting Valiant before ever actually joining the team. Now, being the Marketing & Publicity Manager is sincerely a dream job because it’s all about bringing the perspective of a press person and someone who’s legitimately passionate about the Valiant Universe.

A lot of my time is spent working with press, and I’d certainly hope you can vouch for that, Alex!

GP: I absolutely can!

GK:  Since I bring the perspective of someone who has worked for several outlets, I always strive to build a legitimate relationship before pitching anything. If I’m reaching out to a site, YouTube channel, or podcast, I don’t want to waste their time by offering something that isn’t a good fit. After all, every site, channel, and show covers the industry in different ways. Because of that, I’m always trying my best to make sure the experience is mutually beneficial. Is this opportunity a good fit for the outlet and its fans? If not, what would be? Will this be interesting to current Valiant fans? Will it potentially create new Valiant fans? Knowing is half the battle. Pitching and coordinating everything is the other half.

I’m fortunate enough to have a ton of creative freedom when it comes to working with press, building announcement strategies, and how we’re working with creators to help promote their projects. I also do my best to engage with fans as much as possible since… well, I am one. 

There’s a lot of other stuff I do on a daily basis, but I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say I do a lot of juggling and keep very productive. 

GP: At what point in a comic’s development are you usually involved from a marketing perspective?

GK: I’m very lucky to work at a company that embraces having very open and honest conversations about everything we’re doing. Usually, editors and directors talk about the projects first, and then they’re circulated to me and some other people for our feedback. Assuming the pitch moves forward, my boss, Matthew Klein, and I will meet with the book’s editor to pick their brain. Why are they excited about it? Why should current fans be excited about it? Why will this bring in new fans?  I will also send a creator questionnaire document to the book’s creative team to better understand their views on the project and their comfortability and preferences with promoting the book.

All of this will help Matthew and I build the announcement campaign and additional opportunities to promote the book. After the announcement and follow-up coverage is made, there should be an aggressive push to capitalize on the issue’s IOD (initial orders deadline), FOC (final order cutoff), on-sale date, and the “now on sale” angle. Then you have to think of ways to keep promoting the next issues. At the time of writing these answers, I can say we have an announcement about a month away and there’s a full week of coverage lined up on different outlets and even at a virtual event… This entire process is legitimately fun to me and every time I love thinking of new ways to promote our books.

GP: How reactive is your role? I know you juggle a lot of plates, but does anything ever happen that makes you switch gears and take a campaign in an entirely different direction?

GK: Yeah, it’s entirely possible that things can change at the last minute, and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I panicked instead of thinking about the best way to adapt and move forward. It’s important to remember that everything is a learning experience, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, and there’s never just one path forward.

GP: Valiant have been known to give away some really fun promo items (the only baseball I own is the Doctor Tomorrow one). Do you get to come up with those?

GK: I can’t take any credit for those. Those are called POP (point of purchase) items and they’re created by the Sales team which consists of former retailers. Those items are sent to retailers (and sometimes select press and fans) to either utilize (like signage, pens, etc) or give to their Valiant shoppers. 

GP: When it comes to marketing comics, do you ever find it hard not to reveal things?

GK: All the time. Again, I was a big fan of Valiant before joining the company, so being able to get an early look at everything and plan so far in advance is something I’ll never take for granted. That said, I may or may not have off the record conversations with some fans and press that I trust…

GP: Do you have a favorite market campaign that you’ve been involved in?

GK: I sincerely love working on every single announcement campaign (each one is carefully crafted to complement the book), but I’ve always had a soft spot for building press tours and coordinating interviews. As a former press guy and someone who built signing events at Midtown Comics, getting creators to interact directly with press and fans is always fun. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it.

GP: I probably already know the answer to this, but is there any character you’re a little more excited to talk about, and if so why is it Ninjak?

GK: Oh, it’s definitely Ninjak but also X-O Manowar. They’re easily my favorites. Fitzy is my favorite “lesser-known” character from the Valiant Universe. I think that guy has a lot of potential.

GP: As you know, I completely agree with you regarding Ninjak. Thanks for your time!

Meet Indonesia sensation cosplayer Vinvid Luke

Here, as we are all just staring into space and wondering when 2020 will ever show some good news from this Pandemic year and I believe I’ve found it. Vinvid Luke is a cosplayer from Indonesia and was gracious enough to allow this old report at a chance for an interview. She is cute and petite and all complete. A lover of great food and of course cosplay veteran for some years now. Her name is Vinvid Luke and she is my guest to offer sight about her life, love of cosplay, and everything in between. Please give a warning American welcome to cosplayer, Vinvid Luke.

Raven: Hello Vinvid Luke. Indonesia’s most precious gift for the world to enjoy! I really appreciate you taking your time to answer these burning question about you and your artistry.

Vinvid: Thank you for having me here. I am so looking forward to answering all your questions.

Raven: It is a tradition of mine to offer a cosplayer, who I have the pleasure of being interviewed by me, to offer some words of advice, inspiration, or encouragement. So here goes, “ My life is like a camera. It just focuses on what’s important and captures the good times. It develops from all the negatives and if things don’t work out, I take another shot”.

With that being said, please tell us all about Vinvid Luke? I’m all ears!

Vinvid: Hi everyone, my name is Vinvid Luke, I was born in Indonesia. I’ve recently cut my hair very short. I once had about a meter long hair, but drying it was a bother. So I cut it short. My eyes are brown/hazel in color. I love offering one’s fortune with tarot cards. My clients consist of friends and family who have become very loyal customers. They love to discover their luck, especially when it comes to finding their soulmate. Haha! What sort of secret am I keeping? Once, I confessed my feelings with someone, twice. Each time, I was rejected, twice. On the third attempt, he finally confessed his feelings for me. I was extremely relieved!

Hemm. I am 165cm (5’4) tall and was born in the month in July making my Zodiac sign,  Cancer. At times, I am more comfortable writing in English or Japanese. But when I have to speak in English, I’m still submissive. Drawing things like Fanart, manga, and original characters fill my heart with joy.

When I’m in a bad mood, or stressed-out, I like to drink a matcha latte. The bitter taste and creamy milk make me relax. Just the smell and taste alone is enough to enjoy having it. I like vampire genre comics like “Vampire Knight, Vampire game”. My favorite anime is Code Geass, and the character, Lelouch, is one of my favorite characters.

Raven: Let us go back to when you were younger. Were you a shy or outgoing young girl growing up? Were you Nerdy or Geeky? 

Vinvid: When I was little, I was very geeky in appearance, but I got into fights with guys a lot, that’s for sure. I was a Tomboy kind of girl and I blame that on an aunt back when I was 7 years old. She said I was ugly to my face. It changed my life from that time forward. I hated looking at myself through a mirror or if someone were to take my picture of me.

If you ever read a manga called, “Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge” where the main character is a girl named, Sunako, who hates all things beautiful including his reflection. Sunako, like myself, got his feelings and affections for someone rejected because she believes she was ugly.

Thus, in some way,  life inmates’ art. The resemblance is uncanny. My appearance is somewhat similar to the character. We both love to wear all things black with dark accessories like Goth features. I became so obsessed,  I even wanted to paint the walls of my room black, providing my mom allows it. Haha!

Raven: What got you started into cosplaying? What was your first cosplay character? 

Vinvid: It wasn’t until I was 17 years old when I found a cosplay community. At first, I didn’t know what cosplay and cosplayers were until I joined them. My first cosplay was “Hatsune Miku”, and it was a character that traumatized me a lot.

Why, should you ask?

Raven: I choose you, Pikachu. Why?

Vinvid: Because my first time cosplaying and my first time to an event I saw so many “Hatsune Miku” cosplayers. They were so many beautiful cosplayers wearing these amazing outfits and their fabulous makeup to compliment there cosplay. Many asked for their photos, whereas I was never asked at all. That event kept me from cosplaying for two years, but since then, I’ve made it a goal to practice with makeup applications and making better costumes.

Now, while tending an event, I again was cosplaying, Hatsune Miku,  and would you believe, the fanfare was overwhelming. I couldn’t even move a bit because there were so many people asking for my photo. It is the most precious, most amazing thing I have ever experienced.

Raven: What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear? Do you create these amazing outfits?

Vinvid: The character I like the most is “Neliel” from the anime Bleach. I do all of my costumes and makeup myself.

Raven: What characters draw you to cosplay them? 

Vinvid: I choose a character that I like because when I like a character, I can act like him. Because in my opinion, cosplay is a character that we like. Makeup is very important in cosplay. No matter how good your costume is, if you can’t make up and style the wig according to the character, then you can’t be the character you cosplayed.

Raven: Does makeup play a role in your cosplaying? 

Vinvid: Usually, before I cosplay a character at any event or a photo-shoot, I practice makeup,  and their persona about 2 to 3 times. If I’m satisfied with my makeup, and my performance, I will cosplay that character then. I especially love to cosplay with my dear friends.

Raven: Many fans want to see more of their favorite cosplayer do Lewd or Only Fans photos? What is your opinion about women doing Lewd photography?

Vinvid: About sexy cosplay, I don’t mind it, because cosplay is a hobby that we must be able to enjoy. That’s why I cosplayed the characters I enjoy playing the character. But, it all depends if the character’s costume is really sexy, and offers that certain allure or attractiveness a cosplayer gives off.

For example, I cosplayed Nami Swan or Jewelry Bonney where their costumes can be said to be very sexual, but the allure I portray is not a Hot- Pornographic allure, but an allure as the character. So if it’s a matter of sexy or open cosplay, it depends on what the cosplayer’s intentions to portray it.

Raven: Do you find yourself dressing in sexy cosplay wear from fan requests or what you want to offer them? 

Vinvid: I prefer it if my friends approve my cosplay, not because it is sexy, but because I am suitable and can make a 2D character come to life, which means I have successfully cosplayed many of the characters with the help of my friend’s suggestions. With their positive comments and suggestions, that is well appreciated, can I enjoy and do more interesting cosplays and not just being a sex symbol in the cosplay world.

Raven: Now, a more established cosplayer, can you see some of the mistakes people do when cosplaying?

Vinvid: I like to pay attention to other people’s cosplay preparations, for example, I noticed that one cosplayer whose wig was not neat or real hair was visible, my body spontaneously wanted to help her straighten her wig so that her cosplay would be better, even to strangers. And I like the environment of cosplayers in Indonesia, they are kind and open to anyone helping them.

Raven: I am always curious about the cosplayer choice of character outfits. Does the personality of the person determine what sort of character to wear? Or, does the character’s personality chooses the cosplayer?

Vinvid: I cosplayed a lot of different characters, and I like them all. I don’t look at what their costumes are like, as long as I admire the characters and I can act them out, then I’ll cosplay them.

An example is  “Lalatina” from the anime Konosuba, she is a masochist girl, a character I can relate to. She’s alluring and full of expressions as well as detailed makeup.

On the other hand, the character “Boa Hancock” from the anime One Piece is quite different. She’s a pirate queen whose personality and appearance give high self-esteem and grace. Overall, if I can’t portray the character well, no matter how much I adore the character, then I won’t cosplay it.

Raven: I’m told you love Gothic and love Vampires. How did that possess your soul? 

Vinvid: I like goth more mainly because I love to wear black. I always wear the color black in my clothes and my accessories.

Raven: Do you Bite? 

Vinvid: I don’t bite..XD

Raven: What sort of places or locations do you prefer to show off your cosplay outfits? What do you prefer doing indoor or out shots? 

Vinvid: Location .. Depending on the kind of character I am portraying. It could be a sandy beach and ocean location, a forest, or a simple house location. I do prefer having all of my photo-shoots be outside, it is refreshing. XD

Raven: When you are in front of the camera, your face is full of emotions. What are you thinking? Food? Milkshakes? Did I leave the stove on?

Vinvid: When I was cosplaying and taking pictures, what I thought at that time was, how to become the character, what would this character be like if someone asked him to talk or pose. Well .. sometimes I think “have you turned off the stove and locked the door of the house” XD.

Raven: When not in front of the camera, what sort of fun-filled adventures does VinVid do?

Vinvid: Culinary hunting..XD is something I must do when I’m not in front of the camera..XD.

Raven: Is having a friendly relationship tough when you are a cosplayer

Vinvid: In the world of cosplay that I live in, that relationship is a delicate one and one that can break easily. When you’re on a project while working with two or more people, there are times where teammates take on the same character. There have been some egos bruised that later has festered into creating animosity among each other. But, even in the world of cosplay, there’s beauty in a relationship because they understand and respect each other. Its the fun of meeting at events, sharing knowledge, and sharing stories

Raven: If I could just leave my COVID-19 mask at home and fly over to visit your country, what place can you show me?

Vinvid: The place that I would recommend, to be honest, I have never traveled around Indonesia myself because I’m the type who likes to stay at home except for cosplay activities. But there is a place that I want to visit and that I might recommend, namely “Raja Ampat” off the island of Papua.

Raven: Because of the Pandemic, a lot of public events have been postponed until further notice. What would you love to see come back? 

Vinvid: I miss some of the big events in Indonesia like Ennichisai. It is one of the biggest event ever. Visitors from various regions and outside countries will make their way to this. I really like walking in the middle of all the activities and enjoy the atmosphere. It is full of diversity.

Raven: Do you have anything in the works right now that will break the internet? 

Vinvid: Nope, I prefer to make works, such as makeup practice, making an original character, practicing concepts, making my own photo studio so that I can still work at home.

Raven: What sort of advice or words of wisdom you can offer new cosplayers out there? 

Vinvid: I want to say that cosplay, is a hobby where I can be anyone and anything I want to be. Just keep practicing and you will become better at it. Don’t give up when people insulted you, especially if starting. Make the insults and harsh criticism a source of strength so that you can become powerful. Prove to those who are against you that one day they will praise and adore you. They will eventually be your biggest supporters.

Raven: Can I get a Hug? 

Vinvid: Of course not, we are in a pandemic. When this pandemic passes, quickly, and we can all enjoy the beauty of the world again, only then will I give you a hug, friend.

Raven: Thank you so much for that amazing interview, “It is in the Books”! If I could as one more question Vinvid. Where can anyone find more about you and be a fan? 

Vinvid: Raven, it was my pleasure, and thank you for having me do this interview. I really appreciate it. For those out there interested in finding more of me, they can go to these websites:

Facebook Page
Instagram Page

Please Like. Please Share. And above all, please LOVE!

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