Riki LeCotey, known professionally as Riddle, has confirmed that she will be a guest at the inaugural BoroughCon event. The new pop culture expo, which caters to New York City’s outer boroughs, will take place May 26-29 at the Queens campus of St. John’s University.
Named by Kotaku.com as “one of the world’s best cosplayers,” LeCotey has been at the craft for more than 15 years. She was a main cast members on both season of Heroes of Cosplay, winning the most awards during her time on there.In this regard, her BoroughCon appearance will reunite her with castmate Monika Lee. LeCotey also has appeared in two award-winning documentaries, 4 days at Dragoncon and Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity.
She is internationally recognized in the cosplay community for her ability to translate costumes and focus on craftsmanship. She has been invited to conventions around the world to judge costume contests, host workshops and promote confidence in cosplay through craftsmanship. She has been interviewed by Playboy, NPR and The Washington Post, and has been featured on the covered of two of the most well-known cosplay magazines in the word, Cosplay Culture and Cohaku. All the skills she has learned through cosplay also has gotten the opportunity to work on a few superhero films during that time.
Also an avid cook, LeCotey is the creator of Cosplay for a Cause, whose first project was a cosplay calendar that raised more than $30,000 with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Japanese Red Cross tsunami disaster relief. Her favorite act of charity, however, is rescuing and rehabilitating baby squirrels.
Mikomi Chan, whose learned approach to cosplay has made her a nationally respected authority on the craft, has confirmed that she will be a guest at the inaugural BoroughCon event. The new pop culture expo, which caters to New York City’s outer boroughs, will take place May 26-29 at the Queens campus of St. John’s University.
She has been an avid cosplayer since 2011, having discovered cosplay in her junior year of college. Early into her hobby, she decided to learn how to make her own costumes, as many of her favorite characters were not available to purchase online. Through hard work, determination and the help of her cosplay friends, Mikomi learned how to create beautiful costumes from comics, anime, video games, television, and movies.
Mikomi continues to want to improve her art, and she has completed a formal leatherwork and woodwork apprenticeship under Dr. Mark Conley. Mikomi has been learning how to make armor and weapons for theater and reenactment purposes. Through the encouragement of her mentor, she opened her own costume design and fabrication business where she designs and creates costumes for clients all over the world.
Mikomi’s cosplays have received acclaim both in and outside of the convention circuit. She has won multiple awards for both craftsmanship and performance in masquerades, and her costumes have been featured in newspapers, magazines, art galleries, television shows and multiple geek and pop-culture websites. She has worked as a booth cosplayer for several geek and cosplay companies and is currently sponsored as a content creator and costume designer for the E-sports apparel company, RE: Activ Designs. Mikomi has also led panels on different cosplay topics from how to get involved in cosplay, to leatherwork and many things in between at conventions from Chicago to South Carolina to New Jersey. She loves leading panels and workshops at conventions, and uses panels as a way to teach the next generation of cosplayers and costume hobbyists.
Follow Mikomi on social media: Facebook.com/mikomiscostumedworld and @mikomiscostumedworld
Cosplayer Danquish has confirmed that he will be a guest at the inaugural BoroughCon event. The new pop culture expo, which caters to New York City’s outer boroughs, will take place May 26-29 at the Queens campus of St. John’s University.
Danquish is a cosplay, ninja, giant robot, and Shiba Inu fan. He got into costuming in 2010, when he discovered he could extend his love for recreating his favorite characters to more than just once a year at Halloween. Danquish has attended numerous cons, making great friends along the way and meetings some of his personal cosplay and creative heroes – all while bringing smiles to fans who share the passion for characters he strives to recreate.
He joins colleague Monika Lee as an attraction to BoroughCon’s cosplay track. The names of other celebrity cosplayers will be divulged in early January. Well-known guests in the anime, comics and manga, gaming and live-action film/TV/stream tracks will then be announced.
BoroughCon’s leadership team expects around 20,000 attendees to what they envision as the first running of an annual Memorial Day weekend event.
UPDATE: Here are some more pix of Danquish in action:
As you all know, Monika Lee broke the ice back in October and was the first celebrity guest to announce her appearance at the inaugural BoroughCon. She is, of course, still committed to coming, but we didn’t want her to be lonesome. So we invited some of her friends to join her.
They’ll be modeling their creations, judging the cosplay contest, hosting the masquerade, posing for photo ops, leading panel discussions, sharing their costuming tips through hands-on workshops and answering questions from fans.
So who will be filling out BoroughCon’s cosplay track?
We have a series of announcements scheduled, the first coming this Tuesday. We’ll post these here along with a photo gallery but … they can only be accessed by registered boroughcon.com users!
So if you want to be the first to know who’s appearing at BoroughCon, take a minute right now and sign up here.
The cosplay announcements will be followed by those for voice actors, comic artists and live-action film/TV/stream heroes. And again, if you want the inside track, register today and you’ll know before anyone else.
This will also subscribe you to the weekly Nerd Yorker™ newsletter which keeps you abreast of “the coming week in geek” here in the Capital of the World. So if you take the briefest pause to share your email address with us, we can keep you informed of everything that we’re up to on this end.
The first guest to commit to the first BoroughCon is renowned cosplayer Monika Lee!
Monika’s love of anime/manga, pop culture and video games led her to the cosplay community in 2006. She has competed in numerous craftsmanship contests winning several Best in Shows and other various awards. She was recently a featured cast member of SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay reality TV show.
An avid gamer, Monika spends most of her time playing and making costumes from video games and has worked for companies such as Blizzard Entertainment, Carbine Studios, Acer and Intel. She is currently a Consumer Products Coordinator for Blizzard Entertainment.
When she’s not cosplaying, Monika is a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in Industrial Design. Monika has been invited to conventions and events across the world and her work has been featured on Associated Press, GamesRadar, Kotaku, IGN, and Game Informer, among other publications.
Social media links located here: http://www.monikalee.net/about/
Inbeon Con this past Saturday was a small, intimate gathering — a one-day affair in its second year. Rather than aspire to be a multi-fandom exposition, it’s content to be a gathering of Long Island’s sequential arts creative community, and at that it is delightfully successful. There were representatives there from the renascent I-Con committee and it was from an Inbeon Con vendor there at the Islandia Marriott that I learned about yet another new con in the Outer Boroughs: Fort Hamilton Comic Con!
There weren’t a lot of panels, but there was at least one of critical importance to the con-going community: “Cosplay and Consent”. Here’s a link to our Facebook Live capture. This hour-long discussion is by far the most-viewed video on BoroughCon’s FB page.
As well it should be. This is an important topic. Unless we want cosplay to stop being the integral part of comic book conventions it now is, we need to behave ourselves. All of us.
This post, based on that panel, is not directed toward the troll who wants to shame cosplayers online for the perceived weaknesses of their costume designs or body types. Nor is it directed toward the wannabe pornographer who wants to take upskirts of Supergirl. They know exactly what kind of scum they are. Rather, this is directed at the awkward, poorly socialized, masturbation-addicted nebbish with low impulse control and lower self-esteem. The kind who fit right in at comic book conventions until pretty girls started showing up in spandex and leather. But these events are no longer a bastion of boys of all ages in various phases of arrested development — and we are all better off for that! So, all you Y-chromosomal nerds who for whatever reason — whether it relates to a diagnosed position along the autism spectrum or just plain being socially maladroit — don’t deal well with this situation, here’s the primer you’ve been waiting for as to what is and isn’t appropriate to say to a cosplayer.
(Note: We’re taking the prevailing case of the straight male who might be objectifying a female of unknown sexual orientation, unknown relationship status and unknown anything else that isn’t revealed by her costume. Not to say that male cosplayers aren’t occasionally subject to unwanted attention, or that this is a non-issue among the LGBTQ community. But let’s start where the problem is endemic and keep the word count down.)
First things first: Look but don’t touch! Women — not just cosplayers — are well aware of the male gaze and each has her own way of dealing with it, some more welcoming than others. You have no idea at first sight how that woman deals. Just know it’s a factor of her upbringing, her self-confidence, her childhood traumas, her past experience with men, her current relationship status, her position on the Kinsey scale and a myriad other effects that make her an (say the word with me) individual (as opposed to object). That’s not really Mystique you’re staring at — she’s a person who is living a non-fiction life. She might intend to run for office someday, and doesn’t want her picture taken in little more than body paint with a guy she’s pretty sure is going to get busted someday with a hard disk full of kiddie porn.
If she does deign to take a picture with you, don’t lay a skin cell on her! There’s a move called the “hover hug” — akin to the air kiss — in which your arm appears to be draped over her shoulders or around her waist, but there’s still some daylight between. That’s the standard protocol. (If she decides to touch you — peck on the cheek, palm on the torso, what have you — that’s still not an invitation to reciprocate.)
Now we move on to any opinion you might have of the cosplayer’s attractiveness. If the cosplayer does not approach your ideal of the female form, shut the hell up about it. If she does, shut the hell up about it. Look, as a het-cis male myself, I will never understand why women who obviously put so much work into being attractive to us get uncomfortable when we express our admiration in public. But guess what? We don’t need to understand it. Just accept it. And think about this: When was the last time you saw a woman walk up to a well-tailored, perfectly coiffed, 6’2″, 180-lb. hunk and tell him, “Dang, you are soooo hot!” No, she just puts the image in the female equivalent of the spank bank and keeps walking. So should you.
And I know I used the word “pretty” above to discuss cosplayers generally. If you call a specific one “pretty” to her face (or “hot,” or “sexy” or even such descriptors as “beautiful” or “stunning” or “breathtaking” or “enchanting” which are best saved for date night), she might chop you down a la Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead:
For your edification then, BoroughCon’s Obser’d blog breaks down for you what to say and not say to a cosplayer. To sum it up: Say positive things about the costume or don’t say anything at all.
I need to state this, but I deliberately put it at the bottom of the article to bury it: Most unwanted attention doesn’t rise to the level of felony, although it can get you kicked out of the convention with a lifetime ban, then put on watch lists for all nearby comic book expos. Your actions will be construed as harrassment. You will lose any argument. You are the creeper, the stalker, the deviant. You will be 100% to blame.
But you probably won’t go to jail for being a drooling squid around cosplayers.
Still, just don’t.
By William Freedman
The BoroughCon team was out in force at Washington’s Awesome Con this past month and, while Victor and Matt had the privilege of squiring around famed voice actress Grey DeLisle, I got a chance to simply wander around and soak it in.
Spending most of the time on the vendor’s floor, I of course saw a lot of people dressing to impress. Some people had some seriously inspired costumes, like that father and son above, but let’s focus for now on the ones that didn’t. I’m not going to embarrass people by mocking their appearance at a con and running those horrendous photos here – we want them to come to BoroughCon after all! – but some people did just phone it in. If you’re a guy who wants to cosplay but don’t want to actually put in time, effort or expense, you can do what one dude did and come as Matt Murdock. If you already have a suit and a pair of sunglasses, then all you need is a folding white cane.
Similarly, ladies, if you have a blue dress and a red hat, you too can call yourself Agent Carter. I lost count of how many Peggys there were at Awesome Con, but I venture to say it was by far the most popular outfit in Mount Vernon Square that weekend.
In the showdown of Marvel vs. DC, DC hardly even showed up. Avengers were very much assembled, and X-Men were well-represented too, as this combination of Psylocke and Captain Marvel illustrate. There was one woman dressed in a Fantastic Four uniform as Sue Storm. (I should say “at least one”. There might have been others but I didn’t see them.)
Star Wars was by far the most cosplayed space opera franchise. It’s telling that The Force Awakens drew the most emulators, followed by Episodes 4-6 (seems like there are more Boba Fetts and slave-girl Leias on the circuit each year). Absolutely nobody even brought up the subject of the prequels.
Not to say that Star Trek was absent, but everyone Starfleet officer on deck was in a uniform dating back to the original series. And let me be clear: I’m specifically saying they weren’t wearing the uniforms from the movie reboot with the same characters. This is definitely a Nichelle Nichols-vintage Uhura costume:
What does this mean? Not much. Hardly a scientific study. But it suggests to me that Trek and DC need to up their game if they’re going to inspire this kind of fan loyalty.