Comics, Cosplay, Conventions & Community!

What is up, party people?!!
My name is Sonny, and welcome to my Cosplay and Conventions feature! 

I’m a new writer for The Variant, and I’ll be bringing you a variety of convention coverage, listicles, reviews, interviews, and more!
A recurring feature I will be doing is this one; a column where I write about prep I’m doing for upcoming conventions, b
ut first, here’s a little bit about me!

I’ve been cosplaying for roughly seven years now. It was a hobby that I was interested in as soon as I learned what it was. However, I’m from a small town in West Virginia. I didn’t know anyone who cosplayed. I didn’t know how to start. I didn’t know what I would do. I didn’t know what I would do with it. I didn’t know how to talk to my mom about it. And while I had started to get into fandom related spaces as young as 11/12, I didn’t really have access to things kids might now. I didn’t even know there were conventions outside of San Diego Comic Con until I was in late high school. I just let myself think it was something far too cool for me. 

When I was 20, I met somebody very important to me and he was a novice cosplayer. He told me all about conventions and cosplay and would excitedly urge me to start. We went to our first convention together in spring 2018, and it changed the trajectory of my life. Admittedly, I was still pretty casual about it for a long time. I didn’t really make anything myself, I didn’t do a lot of personalization, and it wasn’t something I put a lot of energy into. I wanted to do more, but I found it difficult to really make myself take it more seriously. I do have a lot of fond memories from those early years; mainly, getting into cosplay at get-togethers with some old friends in Northern Virginia. 

Fast forward to 2020. Lockdown. A lot of people got into cosplay while they were stuck inside their houses with nothing else to do. I thought I would get more into it too. After all, it wasn’t as new to me as it was for some people. I just finally had the time and energy to do the kind of stuff I’d been wanting to do! I spent quite a large chunk of that good stimulus money on various cosplay pieces. I still didn’t do it as often as I wanted. I also didn’t roller skate as often as I said I would. 

I was cosplaying here and there. Every time, I put in a little more effort. We did photoshoots in the backyard. We made Tik Toks in our basement. Still, I found myself feeling like I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be with this. It was disheartening in a way. Especially considering how much my partner loved it, and how much progress he was making. I was happy for him, but I wanted to be there with him. He continued to support me though, and was my biggest cheerleader any time I started a project. He was patient and understanding, and always reminded me that this was a hobby to do for fun and for myself– not to stress about and compare myself anxiously to anyone. I honestly got quite strung out sometimes, and he was the lighthouse calling me back to calm shores. 

Eventually, through a lot of trial and error and frustration— I found my own way in cosplay. I found the characters that made me happy and comfortable. I found that I liked adding my own embellishments. I cosplayed with friends in big groups, and I cosplayed on my own. I like to think me and cosplay had a slow burn relationship.

In the last year, I’ve really pushed myself. I’m still not sewing costumes on my own or making elaborate wigs, but I am making small props. I paint things. I am trying to learn to style wigs myself. I am doing better about using my resources. 

And I owe so much of that to Bow— the special and important person who brought me into this hobby and introduced me to so many wonderful people. Even now, through so many changes in our lives– he’s still my biggest cheerleader and my favorite cosplay partner. I am now constantly surrounded by incredibly talented and supportive cosplayers. That community and that camaraderie is what fuels this passion. I am at my happiest while in silly little costumes with my friends.

This year I have quite a few conventions lined up and lots of new projects to tackle. This column will act as my way of documenting my processes, and hopefully sharing it with you will inspire you! This is an in real time learning process so there might be something I do that I end up changing my mind about.

Nothing will be perfect.
There will be mistakes.
It’s going to be beautiful.
I hope you’ll join me for this ride. I’ll be happy to have you! 

My next post will be about my prep for Triad Anime Con at the end of this month!
Please feel free to follow me on my Instagram and TikTok pages as well: @sonnyaliencosplay Below are pictures of some of my recent cosplays!

Photos by The Variant, @holocherrycos & @snugglyduckling_photography

Sonny Alien Cosplay