Interview with Dokudel

It’s time for another interview, this time with Dokudel! She’s a long-time cosplayer from Pennsylvania, who greatly enjoys building costumes from spandex!

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Dokudel as Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, photo by Simply Frank Productions

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Hello, my name is Dokudel. It was chosen in 2003 for the cosplay.com forums. At the time, I did three cosplays that weekend and they were Dota, Rikku and Videl. I combined those three names to make Dokudel. Later, I found out Dokudel means in to poison someone, or something along those lines, in Japanese. I went by a few names before I settled with my current one, such as Cyborg-Chick, Lemon, and Maetel Ashwa.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I technically started in ‘97/’98 as Tifa Lockheart from Final Fantasy 7. I was unable to go to conventions yet due to finances and such, so I had to wait till 2001 for Big Apple Anime Fest to attend my first convention. For that year I cosplayed as Cammy White from Street Fighter.

My inspiration for cosplay was because of Kevin Lillard. He ran the website afansview.com which can now be scene on archives hosted by acparadise.com. When I was little, I used to read the magazine Animerica which was a great magazine that showcased anime, video games and more. In the sections of the magazine he used to post images of his convention reports and the like. I really thought those characters were the real things, until my parents told me “No, those are people who are dressed up”. I wanted to do that!

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Dokudel as Nozomi Tojo Love Live!, photo by John Simons Photography

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I love working with spandex! Any fabric that has stretch to it (and shine);give it to me! People have this fear that spandex is scary and hard to work with. I never had that problem and love working with it. I even have some friends who are better crafters than me insist I make them outfits out of spandex because they have said fear.

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Not sure how this question is supposed to be answered but if it follows the material question, then worbla it is! I finally started working with that and working more with eva foam. Worbla reminds me a lot like wonderflex but softer and easier to work with. Luckily, my boyfriend Yuushi, is more of the prop builder and has shown me the ways of working with worbla.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I think something I notice is putting in LEDs. It was so uncommon or not thought about to put into your cosplays. Now everyone started putting them into outfits and props. Every time I see someone do that, it has always been successful.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It has changed most certainly since the 90s! I will mention the cliché of trying to obtain wigs or wigs in funky colors. Even if you were able to find a wig then the price would be very expensive.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see people cosplay for fun again! Too much competition that is really not needed is prominent. If you are a person who likes to enter cosplay contests, then that is the only place to have competition.

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Dokudel as Lum from Urusei Yatsura, photo by Bentpic5

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
If you are confused on what you want your first cosplay to be… think of it this way… if you enjoy the show enough you will always have more time to work on more costumes of your other favorite characters. Start off with one cosplay at a show and work your way towards more outfits. Learning to make them or buying online is totally fine.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
My favorite conventions I like to hit up are The Asian Karaoke Idol Invitational, NJIT Minicon, Liberty City Anime Con, Origins Game Fair, Animazement, and Monster Mania. I like to hit up all types of conventions, not just anime anymore. Animazement is my favorite anime convention since they like to get a lot of great Japanese guests ranging from directors, producers, voice actors and artists. TAKII is also another since its a local festival where I am in charge of the Cosplay Department. LCAC as well since they have had me as a Cosplay guest for 3 years now. NJITMC, since they also hire me as a cosplay guest and they give me the privilege of hosting the cosplay contest, is another. OGF is a table top convention that is more aimed at adults and MM is a horror convention where you get to meet lots of actors in US horror flicks.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I have a huge love for the color blue! That started with my love for Sailor Mercury and I like to gravitate towards characters that have something with the color blue whether it being their eyes, hair, clothes or prop. When people look at images of me online, there is a misconception that I am much taller when I am only 5’3”!

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Dokudel as Asellus from SaGa Frontier, photo by TheBigTog Photography

Thanks for the interview, Dokudel! You can check out her Facebook page here!

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Denver Comic Con 2017 Review

As I’m only attending one convention for the year, I chose to attend Denver Comic Con. ❤ They announced a mini-Buffy reunion and Nathan Fillion, so it was a given from there, lol! We decided to not stay in a hotel however, to save some money, as later this year, my fiancé and I will be getting married and going on our honeymoon. ❤

Friday, we arrived later than planned as I had to go to court (as a witness, I’m not a bad kid, lol), so we missed any crazy lines outside. We got decent parking a few blocks away for $15 and I was dressed as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They changed the entrance from the normal area to the other side of the convention hall and set it up for prop and bag checks. The latter two aspects were a joke; some items were checked thoroughly, while others were not. It would’ve been insanely easy to sneak items into the convention, which many people did do.

Once inside, the layout was backwards to the usual years. We went upstairs to the exhibit area and purchased our Fillion photo opportunity, which surprised us with a higher price than listed online. We then went and met Mercedes McNab (Harmony from Buffy) and Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy), before heading off to hang out with friends. We briefly checked out the Cosplay Canyon, which was in a poorly lit back hallway, so the photoshoot area had everything turn out dark on camera. First Aid’s station was back there, and the only one, which would make any emergency a little hard to get to. They also were serving alcohol at this little area, but didn’t ID anyone and we easily could walk past the “No Alcohol Beyond This Point” signs everywhere without anyone saying 2 words.

We left early on Friday, as I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. They wouldn’t let people exit anywhere except at the entrance door area, so again, walking allllll the way around the building. Super awesome.

Saturday, we arrived later than planned again, but after reading stories online… I was quite okay with that. Apparently, the morning into afternoon had terrible lines, and people were cutting in them, which caused several fights to break out. I later confirmed these with several volunteers for DCC. We parked in the same area for $5 this time and I was in White Phoenix from X-Men. I was warm (understatement) and even on our arrival still had to go through a line, and another pathetic bag check. Once inside, we went upstairs and got Khary Payton’s autograph (Walking Dead/Teen Titans) and some prints from David Mack (Marvel Comics, Kabuki). From there, food and drinks with friends were had.

Now, at this point, they had opened up another area to allow drinks to be served and more food vendors to come in, but again, lack of ID checks and stopping people from leaving areas were happening again. Several food vendors also ran out of food halfway through Saturday because they had also helped serve 2 other conventions that were there Friday and now gone.

Needless to say, we wandered around some more and left to meet friends for dinner. We didn’t check out any after-parties, as again, super tired times happened. So, we headed home for the day.

On Sunday, we arrived to cheap parking again and no lines in our Inara Serra and Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. My fiancé and I finally walked around to check out the exhibit hall and realized that everything was so mish-mashed together that it was hard to navigate. The comic vendors were all stuffed into one area, the artists and guests were all over the place in the vendors, and the only actual organization was with the Kid’s area and Author Singing area. Otherwise, it was chaotic and hard to find specific tables. I made a purchase of a Loki Kotobukiya figurine (I was a good kid and it was exceptionally underpriced) and then we went to do our photo opportunity with Nathan Fillion. That ran pretty fast and we were done earlier than expected, which ended up with a hilarious story and us getting his autograph.

With nothing else extremely outstanding, we left right before the con closed and came home.

So, TL;DR version: The guests, while not as many as years past, were awesome and interactive, but pricing was changing left and right. The layout all over sucked for navigation and few things were labeled. The cosplay photo area should NEVER be in the same area it was again as it was cramped and the lighting sucked. The extra security measures DCC had to abide by due to Argus Events was an absolute joke. I could’ve snuck in booze, a knife, or a gun without them knowing. I know how bag checks should be done, as I work security on a daily basis. Prop checks were also a joke, as people snuck in items or rules changed to be an inconsistent mess. The cosplay rules? Also a joke. I personally broke them and no one said a word. I watched others do the same without repercussion. The food vendors were inconsistent with stock and pricing was way too high for what you got. The Dealer’s area was big with a lot to choose from, but the layout was a mess. The higher police presence was awesome, but the new line system and such was a clusterf*ck. I can’t say anything on the contest or panels, as we didn’t attend any this year.

I plan to attend again, but I may not go all three days. I need to see Argus make some more intelligent decisions and work with DCC to cater to the attendees a bit better. Guess we’ll see what 2018 entails.

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Cleavage Tutorial for Flat-Chested Girls

This tutorial was created by RuffleButtCosplay and is a simple way to make those of us not exceptionally well-endowed appear a bit bustier!

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Cleavage Tutorial for Flat-Chested Girls by RuffleButtCosplay

Hope this helps! 😀 I know I’ll be using this for this upcoming Denver Comic Con, lol! 😀

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PinkyParadise Lenses Review

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on ymna:
Hi hi!!! I’m finally back  and this time it’s with a double review! Why is it double? Because I got two different lenses from PinkyParadise * click it for zoom *  EOS Fairy Grey  * click…

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Tips for First Time Con Attendees!

I was approached to construct a list of tips for first-time attendees for conventions by Vegas.com. While they’re more focused on one for LVL Up Expo, I made one that can be applied to various conventions!

1. Secure your tickets for the con prior to the con, whether for the weekend or just one day. Why? You’ll save money! 😀
2. If you’re staying the whole weekend, I find it easier to stay at a hotel for the venue. The con itself will have listings for hotels, but sometimes you can find better deals within walking distance. For a con like LVL Up Expo, you can even use a site Las Vegas travel deals for flight and hotel packages!
3. Make sure to make a list for your packing, especially if you’re bringing costumes! You don’t want to get to the con and realize something important was left at home!
4. Pack at least a day before your flight/trip, that way, should something else come up that you need to take, you can easily pack it without stressing out! 😀
5. Once you get to your destination, check in and get settled. Take a few moments to relax and meet up with friends. I like to fly out a day before the con, just to take some time to chill and get a feel for the area.
6. Make sure to get lots of sleep! Being rested, fed, and hydrated are always super important! And please keep your hygiene in mind!
7. Plan out what exhibits, panels, and guests you most want to see and make a schedule for yourself. If you’re more focused on cosplay, check out the photoshoots scheduled or ask about them with the con organizers! 😀 You always want to get some shots of the cosplay you worked your butt off on!
8. Do not be afraid to make new friends! You never know, they can be some of best friends for the future and good travel buddies! (I’m looking at you, Etaru!)
9. HAVE FUN. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Even if you find yourself not necessarily enjoying the con or it’s a slow day there, check out the area you’re in! 😀
10. Make sure to plan some time the day before you leave to pack up. Remember those lists? They help make sure things don’t get left behind either!

What tips do you guys have for new convention attendees? Please comment below with them! 😀

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Princess Leia from Star Wars Wig Tutorial

This tutorial was created by Jedimanda and like she says in the video, it’s super easy to follow! She teaches how to style a Princess Leia wig, and even links on her YouTube page for the video where to purchase everything!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Club Cosplay Denver Review…. 2!

Club Cosplay Denver has done quite a few events since the first one around Denver Comic Con 2016, and unfortunately, I never got to attend any of the others. I had continued to hear some awesome stuff about the event, so when one was announced on a day I had off… I had to go!

This time, on April 15th, my fiancé and I just decided to show and buy tickets, which were $10 a person (not bad at all) and proceeded inside of the Alchemy Arts and Event Center. This place was EXCEPTIONALLY small in comparison to other locations Club Cosplay has been held at, but hey, it’s how it goes. They had a center stage set up, with some couches around the dance floor and bar area, but it was a decent place for the size. We arrived after everything had started, but the music was a nice selection with several DJs. They had dancers again, who were doing their best to get everyone involved, as were the emcees for the show.

Now, to purchase drinks, you had to buy tickets (4 for $20), which wasn’t the worst idea. However, while they checked ID at the door, they didn’t check ID for alcoholic drinks. While that won’t hurt my feelings, that’s super bad with the way liquor laws work.

There was about… 70 people there, most of which were involved in the event itself. There was at least 8 photographers off and on running around, getting photos and video. The dancers were working their butts off, and they had a guest performer who had a beautiful voice… But screwed up Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. The emcees were both working the crowd and doing well, but the actual guests primarily just interacted with each other, photographers, and event staff.

While I had planned to stick around and watch the costume contest… I chose to leave. It was just very lackluster in comparison to the first one from DCC. We ended up trolling a local bar in costume instead, but it was a decent way to end the evening.

Overall, I still feel the event is a great idea, and the organization struck me as it had gotten better. The performers were still good and the drink prices were better, but there is always a safer way to distribute alcohol (I work security, so I think about these things ; P). The major let down for me was just the event venue itself, with how small it was. The guests being less than interactive didn’t help either. However, I still plan on going to at least one more Club Cosplay event before I can really say I have a final verdict on it all. I missed quite a few, so I can’t judge just based off of the two times I’ve gone. There’s always room for improvements!

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