There are many talented models and performers who bring their love & enthusiasm to dressing up as their favorite characters. Comic Book Critic will regularly showcase a performer who embodies this spirit of cosplaying.
Whether it’s creating the costume from scratch, altering the appearance of an existing one, or just getting into character, these performers spend a lot of time and effort on their craft. As much as we all enjoy seeing our favorite fictional characters represented in real life, let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes work that goes into that portrayal.
One thing is for certain though, their love of cosplaying shines through in their work.
The Comic Book Critic Featured Cosplayer Interview this week is:
Katie George from Atlanta, GA
Katie George, the beautiful and talented cosplayer from Atlanta, has been creating costumes for herself and others for a very long time, and it shows in their craftsmanship. It also doesn’t hurt that she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Costume and Makeup Design from Auburn University either!
Having won major cosplay awards across the United States, she has also had a hand in coordinating and judging cosplay events across the Southeast US. Katie has a great deal of experience in her art. We were lucky enough to have an interview with such a talented performer and costumer as Katie George. She not only brings talent and enthusiasm to what she does, Katie is also very beautiful and elegant – you can see that come across in many of her costumes, especially Selena Kyle.
Read on to find out more about Katie George…
You’ve been cosplaying for a long time, do you remember your first costume and why you chose it?
Haha, I don’t think any cosplayer forgets their first costume! It was Haruko from FLCL, and I picked it because she’s an AWESOME character with a costume that seemed possible for a first time effort.
What made you decide cosplaying was something you wanted to pursue?
Honestly, the first time I saw photos of it on the internet when I was 11 or 12, I thought “I WANT THAT TO BE MEEEE!” It was a group of girls doing Sailor Moon- the original Sailor Jamboree, I think. As I got older, I saw more and more pictures of cosplayers at cons, having an awesome time, and it called to me something FIERCE!
Do you model outside of cosplay?
I don’t. I’ve considered it in the past, but modeling takes passion, and without my costumes, the idea of posing pretty in front of a camera just doesn’t have much appeal!
You’ve made so many costumes over the years, which of them are your favorites?
My all-time favorite is Princess Aurora or Briar Rose. I have a stupid amount of love for Sleeping Beauty (it’s a stunning, groundbreaking, artistic masterpiece with TCHAIKOVSKY. Need I say more?) and being Aurora fulfills my not-so-childhood dreams of being a Disney princess.
Who are some your favorite characters?
Other than the above, I’m incredibly partial to Sailor Moon, Sheryl Nome, Wonder Woman and Takane from [email protected] My favorite characters do tend to come and go as my passion for a show fades, but Aurora and Sailor Moon are pretty much consistent as my all-time favs.
When you cosplay, do you also try to get into character as well?
I try to do so for photos – I think that’s part of what makes a good cosplayer great. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing an awesome costume, then when someone asks them for a photo, they just stand there without assuming any sort of pose. Unless you’re cosplaying Daria (or I guess any sort of listless trope variant), that just ain’t OK, man! I know some people might be shy or awkward (or bad at posing), but you can’t succeed if you don’t try!
What do you find to be the main difference between an anime convention and a comic convention?
There’s a difference in energy that mainly has a lot to do with age. Anime cons are younger and more… enthusiastic (see: hyperactive), which was awesome when I was a fellow hyper-energized youth (okay, there are probably some who would say I’m STILL hyperactive), but as I get older, the energy that once fueled me can be kind of draining, so I like the more relaxed pace of comic/sci-fi conventions a little more (although they often come with the double-edged sword of bigger crowds).
Since you’ve been to Japan for cons, do find a huge cultural divide between fans that attend in Japan & the ones in the U.S.?
I wouldn’t call it a huge divide- we definitely all speak the universal language of geek, but they definitely do things different over there!
For example, Japan is MUCH more aware of cosplay in mainstream culture than we are in the US- so they regulate it a lot more than we do- and they also invite cosplay for local events put on by the city! I’ve actually never been to a con in Japan- every event I did for World Cosplay Summit and the International Karaoke Contest was put on for the city in which the event was held as a fun spectacle/family outing.
As for the conventions, the BIGGEST cons in Japan are usually dedicated to fan-created manga (doujinshi), so it’d pretty much be like going to a con here where there was nothing but an Artist Alley full of REALLY high quality, somehow legal(?), fan-produced comic books of original Superman stories and Wonder Woman x Batman porn, and every obscure or ultra-popular comic under the sun. Weird to imagine, huh? But that’s Comiket! It’s held twice a year and over half a MILLION people attend. HALF. A. MILLION. (For the record, the industry-run Tokyo Game Show only breaks about 220,000… and SDCC was estimated at 130,000+ in 2012.)
Do you read comics or play video games and which are your favorites?
I read comics somewhat sporadically – I actually tend to love short runs more than big titles because the lack of continuity isn’t a problem- for example, I am alllllll about Saga ATM. My TRUE jam, though, is DC cartoons (Marvel is great, too, but DC knows how to make a fucking animated series!!) – I have a LOT of love for Batman and Superman Animated, Justice League, JLU, and more recently, Teen Titans and Young Justice. Plus, the animated films they do are usually fantastic (like most recently- Flashpoint Paradox? GORGEOUS.)
As someone obsessed with continuity, I honestly can’t afford comics because I’d need to BUY THEM ALL, so cartoons are how I keep up with those worlds (and purchasing a good trade every now and then). If Marvel or DC animates it, I’ll watch it (even if it sucks – I’m looking at you, X-Men Anime!!).
As for video games? I’m not much of a gamer. I loved Mario Kart 64, Space Channel 5, Final Fantasy X, and more recently, watching my boyfriend play Bioshock Infinite and Injustice: Gods Among Us. :D
Are there things that are bother you when cosplaying?
I wish cosplay wasn’t so damn expensive. It was super cheap when I was younger because A) most of my fabrics were obtained for free from my grandma’s legendary sewing room and B) I didn’t care as much about using high quality materials for everything. Katie in 2006 would have made her Black Cat/Ms. Marvel mask out of craft foam and been REALLY happy with it. 2012 Katie found that idea unacceptable, and purchased a $50 (w/ shipping) urethane rubber mask from http://www.xtremedesignfx.com/ I blame this change partially on age and partially on hanging out with friends who keep me on my toes, craftsmanship-wise!
On the other hand, what do you enjoy the most about it?
I think everyone needs a hobby (unless they’re lucky enough to turn their hobby into their career, those bastards!) and I love that cosplay is a particularly creative one, full of amazing, talented, like-minded people. And I’ve made all of my closest friends through cosplay (which is great because then you don’t have to worry about your friends judging you for being “obsessed”)!
Do you have any favorite shows that you like to attend?
DRAGON*CON. HANDS DOWN.
If I could only go to one show a year, that’d be the one. NYCC last year was also AMAZINGLY fun, and MomoCon here in Atlanta is starting to become a baby-Dragon*con ever since it moved to the same hotel 2 years ago. Katsucon is also a GREAT convention for seeing spectacular costumes on display.
What’s one of your most memorable moments while cosplaying?
I have several, so I’ll pick one at random: at HeroesCon in 2012, as I was roaming the dealers in Briar Rose, I suddenly felt a small hand appear out of nowhere in mine. I turned and the most ADORABLE little girl had just walked right up behind me, and decided she wanted to hold hands with someone who, to her, was a real-life Disney princess. It took ALL my inner strength not to squeal out loud from the cuteness of the moment, so I knelt down next to her and instantly went into Disney magic mode for this little princess.
Like I said before, I don’t have the looks or the acting talent to measure up to Disney Casting’s high standards, but to that little girl, I was a real princess, damn it!! DREAM BASICALLY FULFILLED, I’LL TAKE IT.
Who are some of your favorite cosplayers?
Is it gay to say my friends? BECAUSE MY FRAAAAANS. Hahaha- these are the girls who inspire me the most and also provide me with comfort and emotional support when cosplay blues get me down. They know who they are, so there’s not much need to list them! (ILU, COSPLADDLE)
How has cosplay changed at all since you began?
It’s so much easier to get what you need nowadays vs. how difficult it was in the past. Wig quality and availability has SKY-ROCKETED. I remember back in the day when girls would drop $90+ for a wig from Cyperous that you could now get on eBay from China for $30 or less. It’s crazy.
Not to mention, you can’t start a project without finding a slew of tutorials written up by helpful cosplayers or hobbyists on the many different ways they handled a crafting technique. For example, when I went to create a lace-front hairline for Faye, I was able to combine techniques from not just cosplay tutorials, but MULTIPLE video tutorials on YouTube from women who ventilate full lace-front wigs for both personal AND professional use! I never would have found resources like that back in 2004- pretty much if Katie Bair didn’t have a tutorial on it, you were on your own for whatever wig project you undertook! XD
What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
LEARN TO INTERNET.
No, seriously, that’s all you need to know. Not even kidding. See answer above. XD
If you could change anything since you started, what would it be?
Hahaha, I would have double-majored in a degree that could earn me money so I could afford to travel more and afford cosplay AND a cute NORMAL wardrobe (as opposed to ONE OR THE OTHER. LOL). Following my passion for costume design in college might have made me into a better cosplayer, but it certainly doesn’t give me the edge I’d like to get a higher paid desk job. Haha~ @^@
What does the future hold for you?
One of these days, I’m going to finish TDKR Catwoman (ideally before everyone forgets the movie, GJ, KATIE LOL) and then after that, who knows! My cosplay plans change daily.
My con plans for 2014 are hopefully (ideally) Katsucon, Momocon, SDCC, D*C, AWA, and NYCC. Should the stars align, and a convention invites me to be a cosplay guest, that’s always wonderful, but hilariously enough, footing the bill for 6 cons next year is my idea of “cutting back.” XDDD
Share your thoughts about Katie George in our comments section below!
Katie George Links
You can see more of her work at these links:
Tess of TLY Photography
Fong – Guy Behind the Camera
– The Comic Book Critic