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December 2, 2010

Cosplayer Spotlight: Jennifer Wicks

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Written by: Andy
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Welcome back to another Cosplayer Spotlight! This time around we feature Jennifer Wicks, a 24 year old from Upstate, NY!

COMIC ATTACK: Start out by telling us how you got into comics. What was the first comic book you ever read? How about owned?

JENNIFER WICKS: I had read comics quite frequently when I was younger (mostly Sonic the Hedgehog…!), but in my teenage years, I had gone back into video gaming, mostly.  About three years ago, I attended Free Comic Book day in May, and it rekindled my interest.  I picked up several works from Aspen Comics and quickly fell in love again.

CA: How did you discover cosplay, and what made you want to get into it on a serious level?

JW: In high school, I heard that a local convention was approaching.  Several friends and I decided to put together a Final Fantasy VII group for fun.  We weren’t very good, and none of us could sew at that point, but we had a great time and really enjoyed cosplaying in general.  We were hooked.

CA: Who was the first character you cosplayed as? Whom have you portrayed since?

JW: Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII!  Final Fantasy was really a muse for so many of us budding geeks.  Since then, I’ve enjoyed doing characters from all different sources, including Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle), Dante (Devil May Cry), Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil), Prince Nuada (Hellboy 2), Albert Wesker (Resident Evil), The Magdalena (Witchblade/Magdalena), a few costumes from Cirque du Soleil, Ultraviolet, Grell Sutcliff (Black Butler), Jin (Samurai Champloo), Protagonist (Persona 3), Fujimoto (Ponyo)….to name a few!

CA: Which characters do you plan to represent in the future?

JW: Currently, my big project is from a Taiwanese puppet drama called “Pili”.  I’m making the main character; Su Huanzhen, the White Lotus.  The costumes in the series are dramatic, beautiful and visually striking…not to mention a challenge!

CA: Which costume(s) are you most proud of?

JW: I particularly like my costume of Vayne Solidor from Final Fantasy XII, though it was a bit of a pain to wear!  The costume required a lot of different mediums (clay, thermoplastic, leather) and was certainly an interesting challenge.

Vayne Solidor

CA: Can you tell us the Comic Con’s you’ve attended in costume? Plan on doing any more this year?

JW: For comic-specific conventions, I’ve been to New York Comic Con twice and Albany Comic Con a few times.  Recently, I’ve shifted away from anime conventions and I’m trying to attend more multi-genre ones.  I just went to the fall show of Albany Comic Con, so I am done for 2010!  There is always next year, though!

CA: Do you make all of your costumes? If so, how long do they take to complete? If not, where do you obtain them?

JW: I do make all of my cosplay costumes.  They usually take about a month or two, depending on the difficulty.  I tend to get impatient if they take longer than that.

CA: What’s the average cost to make a desirable costume?

JW: I try to keep them around $200, but if it requires contact lenses or special materials, the cost can get a bit higher.

CA: Have you ever met any of the creators whose character’s you were cosplaying as in person? What was their reaction(s)?

JW: Yes!  Nelson Blake II and Ron Marz met up with me when I was wearing Magdalena.  Nelson and I chatted about the costume itself, and Ron is always a blast to talk to.  It was amazing to get such a positive response from the people behind the character!

CA: What comics do you currently read? What are some of your all time favorites?

JW: Right now I am catching up on “The Darkness” and continuously enjoying “Soulfire.”  Those are two of my favorites, along with “Fathom”, “Awakening”, “Witchblade” and more recently, “Artifacts”.

CA: Who are your top characters?

JW: In regards to comics, I adore Malikai from “Soulfire”, Patience, The Magdalena and Jackie Estacado from “The Darkness”.

CA: In your experience, how do you feel cosplay is accepted by comic book fans?

JW: I think people are always excited to see a well-executed costume, no matter what genre it is from…I know I always am!  The lines are so blurred between what belongs exclusively to what type of media now, that I think the sense of community has grown a lot.  You see a lot of anime cospalyers at comic cons, and vice-versa.


CA: Have you ever had any awkward encounters while in costume with any fanboys or girls?

JW: On occasion!  I try to be as friendly as possible, but sometimes people can get a bit too personal!

CA: On the contrary, tell us some of your most memorable cosplay moments.

JW: I was fortunate enough to win “Best in Show” for a skit at Anime Boston 2007 with a group of friends and my sister.  We had a great time!  Nowadays, any time I get to meet someone new is a memorable moment.

CA: What do you do in “real life”?

JW: I work for a university in the Environmental, Health and Safety department.  I mostly deal with chemicals, chemical wastes, biohazards and other nasties.

CA: How is your passion for cosplay received by your family, friends, and co-workers?

JW: I’ve always been “geeky”, so I don’t think they’re too surprised!  Everyone has been supportive, and I even took my dad to a Renaissance Faire for his birthday this fall; and he loved it!

CA: According to your Facebook page, you seem to have a passion for firearms. Can you expand on this a bit?

JW: “Passion” is certainly the right word!  I have been into sport shooting for a little while now; specifically trap and skeet.  I think gun owners are stereotyped pretty badly, and I try to get friends who are curious about sport shooting involved.  It’s a great hobby full of really personable and knowledgeable people.

CA: What are some of your other interests and hobbies?

JW: I’ve always been a big fan of video games and I spend a good portion of my free time playing them.  On the other hand, I try to stay healthy and active with bellydance, and I also try to stay active with music.

CA: Do you have a fanpage or website?

JW: I have a DeviantArt gallery (shinobihime.deviantart.com) where I pose up costumes when they are completed.  I also waste time on Twitter (ArgentSouled).

CA: Any parting words about cosplay or comics in general?

JW: I’ve done many panels on cosplay, and I always have one message; nothing is impossible!  Cosplay is a great, rewarding, positive hobby that gets you out and about meeting people and doing great things.  The skills you pick up will stay with you for life; keep at it!

For more cosplayer interviews and photos, click here!

Andy Liegl
andy@comicattack.net

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5 Comments


  1. Eli

    Jennifer has some amazing costumes, great work.



  2. Great costumes and an all around cool individual and since she can shoot she’d be a valuable person to have around when the zombie apocalypse hits! 🙂



  3. I love The Magdalena costume. So awesome!



  4. […] the panel over I ended up running into Cosplayer Spotlight alum, Jen, sporting her awesome Magdalena costume, and she let me know that Nelson Blake II was in the other […]



  5. […] panel was led by Jennifer Wicks, as well as some members of the 501st legion. They showcased a vast array of their props and how […]



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