Comics, Cosplay, Conventions & Community!




We’re spotlighting talent in the cosplay community!
Every month, The Variant showcases cosplayers who display talent, creativity, and a positive voice within the cosplay community.

This month we are pleased as punch to bring you three great cosplay sets from Variant newcomer ShelKaitCos!!!
Shel was a staple at our cosplay photo booth at conventions since 2022 or so and we loved her attitude,
her put-together looks and her attention to detail!
Here’s what she had to say:

Hi, I’m Shelby, aka ShelKaitCos!

I call myself an NC cosplayer, but in reality I’m a Virginia native just 15ish minutes from the border. One of my life-long friends began cosplaying when we were in high school and it looked like so much fun and I wanted to try it so badly, but I was incredibly shy and self-conscious. Once I got out of college I took the leap and I’ve been cosplaying since 2018! My gateway into cosplay was make-up artistry, which I started learning in 2014 through YouTube videos and experimentation. I went from doing full glam, beauty guru style makeup to doing body painting
and special effects. That ultimately lead to the closet cosplay of Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul that
I wore to my first con, a small anime convention in my hometown.

My love for cosplay evolved to becoming my main hobby in 2019 when I attended Walker Stalker Convention, a now defunct Walking Dead con in Atlanta, Georgia where I placed second overall in their cosplay contest for my fully screen accurate cosplay of Enid from TWD. I started gaining a following from this cosplay as well when Enid’s actress, Katelyn Nacon, reshared my cosplay on her social media multiple times and praised the attention to detail that I put into it. I also began my Tik-Tok account around that time, gaining a large amount of my following due to my cosplay content from the hit animated series Miraculous Ladybug during the pandemic.

Throughout my life, I’ve always loved random animes but I can honestly say that My Hero Academia truly changed my life. I hadn’t even finished the series by the time I’d accumulated three cosplays from the show and started wearing them to cons. It was at Galaxycon Raleigh in 2021 that I met people who would ultimately become my found family after being added to an Instagram group chat for My Hero cosplayers in the NC area. I would not be where I am as a person or a cosplayer if I hadn’t gotten bored on a random day off work and turned on My Hero.

I’ve been dancing off and on since the age of 3 and after seeing several friends apply for the Ichibancon 2023 masquerade, I decided to apply on impulse with a routine to “Boyfriend” by Dove Cameron as Himiko Toga from My Hero Academia. I fell back in love with performing and choreographing and have been competing in masquerades and lip-sync battles ever since. I’m one win/placement from moving up from the novice category to journeyman, and I’m so excited to transition to that level and further develop my skills.

Cosplay has truly changed my life like no other hobby I’ve ever had and it makes me so happy. I’ve always loved and celebrated fandom culture since I was in middle school and I’ve also loved dancing, acting, fashion, makeup, and music. Cosplay ties all of those things together with a little bow in the most perfect way. When I’m not cosplaying, you can find me at the dance studio I’ve been studying at since I was 8, shopping, going to concerts, hanging out with my incredible friends, and obsessing over my absolutely beautiful cats, Mina and Sero. If you ever see me at a con, please come up and say hi. I love meeting new people and being nerdy and silly with everyone!”

 For this month’s Spotlight we headed up to Virginia and Tomisina did some on-location shoots in the lovely Downtown Danville area. ShelKaitCos brought us Charlie from Hazbin Hotel, as well as Professor Chaos and Wendy Testaburger from South Park.
Special thanks to Sero the cat for appearing in the Hazbin Hotel photos as KeeKee. 

WAIT!!…why are you still reading this??

Photography by

Tomisina Lynn

Director of Photography