Meagan Marie
Years of Cosplay: 6 years
Redwood City, CA, USA
Meagan Marie went from commercial modeling during college to discovering a fulfilling and diverse community of like-minded photographers and make-up wizards. Gaming can be a serious educative milieu. Once you start playing hard inside it, it can lead and expand into a passionate career, getting a former gamer out and into the game world and back again. Comic books also (a)dress us up and orient our fashioning(s). Cosplaying can also push you farther than the farthest reaches of the fashion industry. Hands-on experience about Prince of Persia femininity, Witchblade gauntlets and Two-Faced glamorous villainy.
 
Meagan Marie as Catwoman (Batman)
Photo by Scott Miron
Meagan Marie as Velocity (Cyberforce)
Photo by Chanh Tang
 
Cosplay Gen: When did you first start cosplaying? Did you find any difficulty in blending in with other cosplayers at the conventions you participated in?
Meagan Marie: I’ve always loved the fantastical worlds and characters found in video games, comics, and anime. I tried my hand at some commercial modeling during college, but didn’t find it fulfilling. Instead, I started scouting like-minded photographers and makeup artists and took on the role of art director for increasingly thematic shoots. Eventually, I began to fabricate costumes and tried to re-create my favorite comic book covers. After attending a few conventions I realized that there was an entire “cosplay” culture, and I was hooked. I started meeting new friends and joining costume groups.
Meagan Marie as Lara Croft (Tomb Raider Legend) // Photo by Leonard Lee
Cosplay Gen: Your cosplays involve a lot of games and comics characters. How have games and comics influenced you over the years?
Meagan Marie: I’ve been a video game fan for as long as I can remember. My dad is a software engineer, and as such he has always been interested in the newest tech on the market – games included. I guess I was spoiled in that I always had fresh gaming systems around. My brothers and I grew up with NES and Sega Genesis, but everything changed for me when I was presented with a PlayStation and the first Tomb Raider title. Lady Lara Croft was the first video game character I could identify myself with, and I genuinely looked up to her charisma and strength. From there my affinity for games turned into a passion, and eventually a career. I worked at Game Informer magazine as an editor right out of college, and recently moved to California to take up the Community Manager position at Crystal Dynamics, working on nothing other than the next installment of Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider was also my catalyst into the comic world. When I laid eyes on my first Michael Turner cover featuring Lara Croft and Sara Pezzini from Witchblade, I was in love. I’ve been a fan of comic books ever since, and my tastes have greatly diversified over the years. My passion for comics and video games eventually led me to conventions, and ultimately cosplay.

Meagan Marie as Princess Of Persia (Prince Of Persia)
Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Princess Of Persia (Prince Of Persia)
Photo by Leonard Lee
 
Cosplay Gen: You have cosplayed a female version of the Prince from Prince of Persia game as well as a female version of Two Face from the DC Universe. How did you come up with these ideas? Can you share with us a few details of the creation process?
Meagan Marie: Costuming is an artistic expression in my eyes, and I not only enjoy the craftsmanship, but the conceptualization process as well. When I first saw Ubisoft’s 2008 take on Prince of Persia, I fell for the stunning art direction. I thought it would be fun to collaborate with a group of other girls on some cross-play at San Diego Comic Con 2010.

Redesigning the Prince to be feminine wasn’t difficult. I decided to leave the shirt open per the original design and wear a bra underneath for modesty. I also made the pants significantly tighter and opted for long hair spilling out from underneath the head wrap.

Instead of making the long duster from scratch, I sifted through eBay listings for months before finding a perfect leather duster with crochet accents. I removed the sleeves and dyed the jacket, ensuring not to stir the bath so that it had an uneven, worn look to it. I took in the waist to make it fit better, and added trim around the arms and length for an ornate touch.

The shirt was another found item, which was cut up and taken in appropriately. I couldn’t find orange leggings, so I purchased white cotton ones and dyed them instead – again not stirring the dye bath, in order to give it a textured look. I reused the sleeves of the jacket for boot covers, attaching snaps to the leggings to make sure they stayed in place. I fabricated the belt from scratch; the same with the head scarf, fraying the ends as needed.

I had previous experience with gauntlets thanks to my Witchblade costume, so the prince’s glove wasn’t entirely terrifying to make. I started with a leather gardening glove, elongated it with Wonderflex, and used paper to pattern out the pieces for the claw. I made a point to cut and position the pieces so that the fingers would still articulate. From there I heated the pieces and molded them to my hand, and used puff paint to add the patterning. The last steps were distressing the gauntlet with paint, and adding accent pieces and leather to polish off the look.

I had such a great time cosplaying as the Princess of Persia that I opted to debut another crossplay the very next year. Two-Face has always been one of my favorite villains. Instead of replicating the more realistic version of Two-Face from the movies, I wanted to play with the styling from Batman: The Animated Series by contrasting electric blue makeup with the crisp black and white suit. I also thought it would be interesting to try something simultaneously grotesque and glamourous.

In reality, the costume wasn’t that difficult to pull together. It took a few weeks to find similar cut suits on eBay, but the corsets and shoes were easy enough to secure. Non-prescription contacts were slightly hard to come by, and slightly hard to wear considering I had never used them before. Even with the costume done I was nervous that the look wouldn’t come together. As such, I didn’t tell anyone about Lady Two-Face until I stepped out the hotel door at San Diego Comic Con 2011.

I had nothing to worry about though, because Hydred Makabali – the makeup artist I hire for SDCC every year – knocked the look out of the park. It took six hours of applying blue latex, sculpting wax, acrylic nails, and white hair spray to finish, but I’m very, very happy with the result. Lady Two-Face is one of my favorite costumes to date.

Meagan Marie as Lady Two-Face (Batman: The Animated Series, original concept) // Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Lady Two-Face (Batman: The Animated Series, original concept) // Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Lady Two-Face (Batman: The Animated Series, original concept) // Photo by Leonard Lee
 
Cosplay Gen: You recently cosplayed as Anya Stroud from Gears of War; what was the most difficult part of this costume and how did you pull it off?
Meagan Marie: I love Gears of War. Not only do I love the games, but I’ve read all the novels and comics so to stay caught up on cannon. My fandom landed me a spot on the Game Informer/Gears of War 3 cover story team back when I worked at the magazine, and that particular trip is when it was first hinted at that the women of the Gears universe would be taking up COG armor. Our suspicions were confirmed when the final cover art arrived at the office, showcasing Anya in full combat regalia. From the moment I saw Anya suited up, I knew I wanted to cosplay as her.

Sewing the pants and corset was more time consuming rather than difficult. The armor took months to complete, and choosing the best technique was the result of much trial and error. I ended up using a hybrid of motocross armor, Wonderflex, and craft foam. I actually have no idea what the large circle pieces on the chest are, but I think they’re somehow associated with toilets, as I found them in the plumbing department of my local hardware store.

After finishing the armor, I used a soldering iron to burn in battle damage and make it look worn and weathered. Afterwards I coated each item with black and silver paint. When the paint was fully dry, I sanded it down with a block to make it appear dull and worn. I also stippled a warm brown on top of each piece to make it look dirty. Red and yellow were used in various locations for accent, which I again sanded down. I polished off the look with little flecks of a rust color near any damaged pieces. Everything was then coated with a clear (satin) coat, and again sanded down so that only a few areas looked reminiscent of once-polished armor. The whole process took a week to finish when taking into account drying time.

The team at Epic Games lent me a Lancer replica for the show, and then gifted it to me after seeing the finished costume. It is now the pride and joy of my prop collection.

Meagan Marie as Anya Stroud (Gears of War)
Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Anya Stroud (Gears of War)
Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Anya Stroud (Gears of War)
Photo by Leonard Lee
 
Cosplay Gen: Not only do you cosplay, but you also have a passion for modeling. What have the two taught you?
Meagan Marie: Modeling has taught me to appreciate the collaboration with talented individuals – photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and so on. I try to bring the same level of quality to a cosplay photoshoot as I would for a traditional modeling gig, if not more because of the time and money invested on my end. In other ways, modeling has taught me to be aware of myself and my body, my posture, the way I hold my head or smile and so on. Cosplay is much more rewarding than fashion work, though, and helps bring me out of my shell and have fun embodying different characters.
Meagan Marie as Mad Moxxi (Borderlands)
Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Patience (Magdalena)
Photo by Leonard Lee
Meagan Marie as Sara Pezzini (Witchblade)
Photo by Scott Miron
 
Cosplay Gen: Let’s face it, cosplay can become quite the expensive hobby, with some spending a lot of money on their costumes, and you’re probably no exception to this rule. Do you ever regret spending so much on something that you only wear for a day or two, or do you think it is money well spent?
Meagan Marie: If I kept a ledger of every dollar I’ve spent, I may have some hesitations, but in the end the final costume is always worth the time and money invested. Hanging out with friends at a convention, taking photos with the fans of a particular franchise, and setting up photoshoots to capture the costume professionally is a huge creative outlet and a ton of fun. Even if I do wear a costume only once or twice before retiring it, the experience is well worth it.
                  

4 Comments

  1. Jason says:

    I found your work on Devaint Art. You are an amazingly talented young woman. I hope that the day will come that I can express my self as flawlessly as you.

    Sincerely,

    Big Fan

    Jason Tubbs

  2. Game Thriller says:

    SO… beautiful! MARRY ME!!! lol

    foreveralone.jpg

  3. j slack says:

    I really love your artist talent ! I’ve done a lot of make-up for Halloween that is intense and your work is AMAZING ! It takes a long time to get the right shade or texture or control how the make-up may melt.. ( Better Make-up Better Results against smearing & melting..ya know what I mean..) I really Like how you made Harvey Dent/ Two Face ! The make-up really captures the true Comic Lines ..Your really brought that through in your work on that.. Your Cosplay Costume also ..! Wow! that’s cool … It is a true work of Art ! Keep on doing so well and I hope your artistic talents make their way on to Canvas ! because I really believe you can make Wall Murals and wonderful art inside your home to reflect the Wonderful Artistic Talent you have and your Passion for Fantasy with Vibrant Color is a true Treasure ! Keep up the Great Work ! Much Luck to you in the Future !

  4. This is the perfect site for everyone who wants to understand this
    topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not
    that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject
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