Explain how you came up with your name?
GillyKins was the nickname given to me by one of my best friends when we meet in 7th grade. Meaghan and I would have Xena marathons and trade comic books. We started going to conventions and cosplaying together in high school, the nickname just stuck.
How have you seen the cosplay community grow since 2005?
It’s become a larger community and made it into the mainstream. I almost don’t have to explain cosplay and conventions to co-workers anymore. The availability of information and products is also insane compared to earlier. Back in 2005, you had a hard time finding coloured wigs that weren’t varying shades of fluorescent. There are also so many amazing tutorials on YouTube, tumblr and the RPF makes learning new skills super accessible.
So what is a master costumer, and how does that ranking system work?
I’ve competed in many masquerades that use the Intentional Costumers Guild (ICG) judging system. There are different levels: Novice, Journeyman, Artisan and Master.
Contestant’s workmanship is pre-judged up close and then there is a stage presentation element; which can be a full skit or simple walk across to show off your costume. By winning awards at different levels you graduate through the system. I’ve won awards at every level for both craftsmanship and presentation, including a Best In Show and Best In Master.
What other types of fun stuff do you do outside of cosplay?
Cosplay eats up a lot of my time! But outside of cosplay I love to play tennis or board games with friends. I also play D&D (almost) weekly with friends.
How was your NYCC visit? What was your most memorable experience?
It was my fourth year going to NYCC and like every other year it was amazing. One of the big reasons I go to NYCC is to see some of my American friends, who I also luckily get to stay with in NYC. Most of my memorable experiences are getting to meet other fantastic cosplayers. When I was Catwoman I met multiple lovely Harley and Ivy pairs. I even got to make it rain diamonds and dollar bills with a pair (Siryn and Harleen Adele Quinzel).
What has been the craziest thing you’ve seen at a convention? (Hopefully you weren’t the one performing the crazy act…If so, we need details)
Without a doubt most of the crazy things I’ve seen have been at Dragon Con. From Giant Dragon Rider costumes that blow your mind to drunken ninja turtles drag racing in a mini truck.
Cosplay is largely female, roughly 20-1. Are there any male cosplayers’ work you have on your radar?
Henchman Props and Cosplay, My Canada bro! We actually drove down to NYCC together along with my boyfriend Jeff and Zombie Bit Me. Jordan’s work is amazing, he does a ton of armor and prop work that leaves me speechless. I’m actually going to be helping him with some sewing for an upcoming project.
We’ve seen some great cosplayers out of Canada, what’s the overall cos scene like there?
Canada’s cosplay scene isn’t quite as big as the US’s, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of us. Southern Ontario particularity has a ton of cosplayers, but I’ve meet people from Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax. The community is still fairly close-knit, you can play three degrees of separation pretty easily.
How has sexual harassment changed the face of cosplay over the past 3-5 years? How do you deal with it on social media or at conventions?
It’s really tragic that sexual harassment has become such as large issue in the cosplay community in the past few years. It’s made conventions feel like less of a safe place, people shouldn’t have to worry that they will be harassed while attending an event.
I haven’t had many run in’s with harassment in person, but I can also be rather tall and intimidating since I’m usually 6’+ in heels. But I’ve told more than a few people off for being rude to myself or others at conventions. Whether it’s in person or online you need to let people know that their actions or words are not okay. You need to call people out on their poor behavior, it takes one person to ruin an event for everyone.
Scarlet Witch vs. Jean Grey, who wins?
Scarlet Witch, hands down. She can alter reality to make it so Jean Grey was never born. Also House of Maximoff forever.
You’ve just been dropped in the middle of the desert, which superhero or super heroine would you want by your side?
Roy Harper, my comic book husband. I’ve been obsessed with Red Arrow since I started reading Teen Titans in my teens, he is my #1 comic book crush. If I was more tactful I’d choose someone to help me get out of the desert but I’d rather just hang out with Roy.
One misconception you would like to put to rest about cosplay?
“They are not real nerds, they’re only doing it for attention.”
Cosplay is about expressing your love for the character, series, artists, actor etc. Cosplayers put hours of work into their costumes the same way an artist would. Cosplaying makes it easy to meet people with similar interested to you, if your dressed as Batman then I’ll probably talk to you about Batman comics/movies since you and I clearly have that in common.
There is no such thing as a real or fake nerd, just varying levels of fanatics.
From what we can tell, GillyKins is a fanatic of dorkery and overall nerdism. Her nerd light shines bright and we’re happy that she took a little time out of her day to answer some of our questions. If you haven’t been swooned by her adorkableness, you soon will, keep on the look out, this kid is gonna make it.
Well, she might make it, or she might die in the desert with Roy Harper, who knows.