Want to check out some of the finest cosplayers South Florida has to offer, all while helping save some animals and possibly fund a new SoFla geek convention in the process? A new Kickstarter for a local calendar of cosplayers lets you do just that.
Organizer Jonathan Stryker, an experienced cosplayer of over seven years, had the idea to create his own convention for as long as he could remember, but needed a way to draw funding. That is how the idea of the Cosplay Calendar came to be, providing a way to both fund the convention and provide a way to showcase South Florida cosplay talent.
He didn't stop there: "I'm a very spiritual person and I know that in order to receive, one must also give. So we also attached this project to charity and giving back to the community-- in this case, animal shelters. Therefore, a portion of the proceeds will go to various animal shelters." Due to Kickstarter's rules, however, Stryker could not make the secondary causes of funding a con or donating to charity the focus on the Kickstarter page, but he assures us that the twin causes remain intact.
The Cosplay Calendar is likely to raise a few eyebrows with its emphasis on sexy women. Stryker reasons that there was a dearth of men signing up to be a part of it, and he wanted to go against a stereotype suggesting that only social rejects engage in the craft. I decided to ask some of the women involved what being in the Cosplay Calendar meant to them.
Danica Rockwood works in an animal rescue clinic and jumped at the chance to use her craft to get some funding for shelters in need. For the calendar, she opted to cosplay as Morrigan from the Dragon Age video game, a "strong female who can handle her own." Her costume has been a labor of love for the last year or so, as she's had to juggle crafting with full time schooling. It involves "lots of clay carving, spray paint, foam board, beads, belts, fabric, vinyl, pleather, and feathers," along with the unconventional use of a knee pad as an arm plate, she describes.
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Nikki Wulf, a cosplayer for over ten years who also goes by Azuki, also holds the shelter cause dear to her heart, as she's studying to be a vet. Wulf cosplays as both Wonder Woman and Kitana in the calendar. She had plenty fun experimenting with different materials for her Kitana cosplay, she says, using clay and different kinds of molds to fashion her iconic killer fans.
Both women agree that the cause is just, and the calendar is a great way to showcase the craft of cosplay, unlike some evolutions of cosplay that specifically put the showcasing of skin over crafts(wo)manship. Rockwood stands for accuracy of character above all, while Wulf just wants people to have fun and love what they do. They acknowledge that the cosplay calendar could raise a few eyebrows, but a good lion's share of female character options are scantily clad anyway. They're just working with their source material, warts and all.
As long as the women are owning their craft and loving what they do, we can't argue with that---and if the calendar sales fund a for-fans-by-fans con and save some little furry lives, we're good with that, too. Head to the Cosplay Calendar Kickstarter page for more info and to throw some money their way before the campaign ends on November 15.