When we first think of cosplay we think of the main characters in popular series being portrayed by costumers all over the world. At conventions we all run into more than that. The rare, side, and even obscure characters that are made into someone's cosplay are fantastic to find. Emma, Lord of the Dinosaurs Cosplay, cosplays her favorite villains and good guys no matter who they are. If a character stands out to her in personality and design she takes on the challenge and creates them.
|Dino Lord as King Candy - Wreck-It Ralph|
Photo taken at Saboten 2013
The cosplay community boosted Emma's self esteem and broker her shy shell in 2010 when she attended her first convention. Since then she has taken on the role of many rare and fun characters like King Candy and Kululu. I don't think I have ever spotted her at a convention not having a good time. She plays her characters well and has some killer craftsmanship as well.
Links for the Lord of Dinosaurs:
Interview with the Lord of Dinosaurs
How long have you been cosplaying and what inspired you to start?
I've been cosplaying since 2010, I started at Anime Banzai though I was a total newbie. An old friend told me there was a cosplay convention in Layton and I had honestly no idea there was a cosplay community so close to me, haha.
And it just sort of stuck! I loved the community and the people, I was dressed in a helmet so I couldn't see, but I had a lot of people really like my costume and it really boosted my seriously lacking self confidence. Without it, I wouldn't have the friends I do today.
|Dino Lord as Kululu - Sergeant Kululu|
Pic by Honesty
Anime Oasis 2012
Why "Lord of the Dinosaurs?"
Lord of Dinosaurs is my extremely nerdy nickname... I love them--it's kind of a guilty-but-openly-obsessed about topic. I'm going into Paleontology, it's been a lifelong dream.
How do you choose a character to cosplay?
Well, it really depends. It tends to be random, whatever I'm into at the moment and whatever character, metaphorically, hits me over the head and just begs me to be them.Well, roughly anyway, haha. I really enjoy challenging myself, taking on things that not many people do, or maybe taking a different approach to it.
Not to be narcissistic, but I do think it's fun to be one of the first people doing a certain character, or at least one of the rares. However, what mainly attracts me is unique designs and fun characterization. I love being able to get into character.
|Dino Lord as Pyramid Head|
Photo by Toshi Yamioka
If a newcomer to cosplay asked you how to start their own cosplay what advice would you give them?
Well, it depends on the cosplay, but I say start with what you love. Do not let variables deter you. Some will say "start simple, start with what works for you, cosplay to your body type or gender." My first cosplay was a physically large male, with an iron helmet. Most know who Pyramid Head is; perhaps I would have been deterred out of it if I had asked a seasoned cosplayer about it.
But part of the fun of cosplaying is being someone you're not, and stepping out of your zone to try something totally different. He certainly was a challenging cosplay, but I did it and even though I know of the various flaws in it, I can still be proud of it.
I would say don't lower yourself to something that you really don't want to do because someone tells you it will be "easier" or "fit your look". I think cosplayers strive to break those boundaries. If your first cosplay is simple, that's great!
And one other hint: Never feel like you can't do something just because someone else has already done it or you feel they did it better. Take chances, and shoot for the moon. All that cheesy advice. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You can learn a lot from someone who has done it before, and they can learn from you.
What is the best part about cosplaying?
That's a difficult question, and I think it varies based on the cosplayer. I really enjoy making my own and other peoples favorite characters come to life. It built my self esteem, as I mentioned earlier, and helped me make some great friends. A lot of cosplayers may be like myself, socially awkward, inept even; a bit reclusive if not completely aloof from the world.
Cosplay has allowed me to branch out, find people with similar interests as me and make me feel good about myself. So it can be a lot of things and it means something different to everyone.
|Dino Lord as Nezumi|
Photo taken at Anime Oasis 2012
Cosplay is a lot of fun and I can see the good things it has done for you. Is there anything that bothers you about cosplay?
Competition. And I'm, of course, not speaking of the fun competitions at conventions. I'm speaking of it in the community. We seem to have a problem of competitiveness leaving the places that are designed for it, it seems to infect people relatively quickly.
I've seen cosplayers who get upset at new cosplayers or even their own friends for cosplaying a character they already cosplay. Why? They feel threatened. Some cosplayers seem to think once they've built a name for themselves in a certain character, that character belongs to them and if someone else touches it, they are trying to steal their thunder. I don't know when cosplay became that, but it's really sad to see. I've seen it turn ugly too.
I would like to remind all cosplayers that what we do is a hobby, we're all spending time and money on something we're passionate about and sometimes we need to step back and ground ourselves. Nobody owns a character, unless they do and then that's a different story. However, for large scale fandoms, especially the popular ones, you have to realize you're not the only person interested in that. Why get upset? When you could embrace a possible new friend who obviously cares about something you care about too?
Along with this, comes the fights against cosplaying outside of your physical "capabilities", which I find to be rubbish. I could rant forever about this, but for the sake of keeping it simple, you should never, ever demean a cosplayer based on their "incorrect" weight, race or gender for a character. And if someone wears body paint to more accurately portray a character, you should never accuse them of being racist.
|Dino Lord as Shiva|
Photo taken at Saboten 2013
Photo by Sara Barentine
What has been your favorite cosplay moment?
Ah man, tough one. I've had so many brilliant moments and it seems another great one comes along all the time. I can't really gauge what moment is greater than another since they all had meaning in their time and place. But I think the simplest of moments make it constantly worth the stress (induced by my own procrastination) of making cosplay and hoping that it's to peoples liking. Such as just being recognized, or someone wanting a picture.
And actually, one of my favorite things is people asking me for cosplay advice! It's a "woah!"' moment for me every time, when people think my work is good enough that they want to learn from it. I'm humbled every time, and I don't mind sharing what I know and have learned.
Along with that, I love being asked to cosplay something with/for someone. It brings me great joy to know someone wants me to join them and thinks that I will be able to accomplish what they envision.
It's incredibly flattering to be viewed as someones "headcanon" face of a character. I still feel flustered and immense gratitude for anyone who feels in any way inspired by me. It makes all of those moments that I don't feel up to par wash away even if it's just for a little while because sometimes I'm still incredibly self-conscious.
|Dino Lord as Tomie|
Picture by Honesty
Anime Oasis 2012