It was a pleasure featuring Queen B Cosplay for this Up and Coming Cosplayers. I would have thought that cosplayers would be more open to being featured for all of the home-bound masses of a COVID-19 world, but strangely enough we have been hurting for cooperative and participating cosplayers (hence our new series “Cosplay at a Glance).
If you haven’t read our interview with Queen B Cosplay, I suggest you do, as it will lend portent into our choice of photos for her pictorial, as well as give you more of a appreciation for them.
One thing that we will tell you that we did not get to touch upon in her interview, is that Queen B Cosplay is a graphic designer and editor. In fact, you can see some of her work in her pictorial, as well as the other pictures in her Cosplayer Score Card and Interview.
Without further ado, please enjoy the pictorial for Queen B Cosplay: The Fighting Queen!
With COVID-19 still in full effect, I’ve had a dry spell of cosplay goodness for my Up and Coming Cosplayer series, and so I had to find another way to share great lesser known cosplayer with you all. Fortunately for me, this fighting queen answered my call without fear, and we’ve gotten some great articles and content from working with her.
She’s #CosFit as a fitness enthusiast and a martial artist of several disciplines. She’s a gamer that loves her fighting games, and lives her life like her cosplay characters: in charge and independently.
All Cool Things™ is proud to present 2021’s first Up and Coming Cosplayer: Queen B Cosplay!
I think I always ask this question, but it’s too big to put as a form question in my “Cosplayer Score Card.” How did you get into cosplay? Is there a person that helped indoctrinate you?
I saw a Facebook event suggestion for Anime Pasadena back in 2019. Then one day I looked at concept art for C. Viper and I was like: “I could totally pull it off!”
It took me like a month and a half to pull together store bought clothes that looked similar, and a whole bunch of YouTube videos on how to do the wig.
What were some of the things that you really fell in love with, about cosplay? What made you realise that you had found a community for you?
I loved that not only do I share some martial arts skills as some of my favorite characters, but now I can look like them!
I am always in love with the transformation and give me an excuse to dress up. My makeup game has improved because of cosplaying.
POC Cosplayers on Facebook has been overwhelmingly supportive and inspired me to take cosplaying more seriously.
Like many cosplayers, you have passions beyond that you draw inspiration from. One of them is martial arts. How did you get into martial arts? What disciplines do you know?
My very first introduction to martial arts was Karate at the age of 16. I was consistent for about a year and a half, then took to studying and preparing for college. During college I’ve dabbled in Krav Maga, Gumdo, and Kung Fu San Soo.
I really got serious with my training when I took up Juj Jitsu for the purpose of MMA. Through that, I’ve also taken boxing and Muay Thai classes. During COVID, I plan to take Gumdo back up because I can still practice social distance, but I plan to get back into Muay Thai and Jui Jitsu after COVID is under control.
I can tell by your cosplays that you are also a fan of fighting games. Which did you like first: martial arts or fighting games? Did one get you into the other?
I was exposed to fighting games first, but shortly after I took up Karate which boosted my confidence a little. It wasn’t until I saw Tekken 5 for the first time, and I was so pumped up, I signed up for Kung Fu the next week.
‘Been my obsession ever since.
I grew up a SEGA man, for various reasons. To me, SEGA systems always made the best SNKports, and tried their best to be arcade accurate with every port they ever got, rather than other systems that took liberties depending on their strengths and weaknesses. What was/is your console manufacturer of choice?
What is it about fighting game characters that inspires you to cosplay? Do any of those qualities translate to the other characters you have cosplayed, like Sephiroth?
Being a martial artist, it’s such a nice feeling when I pull off a move during a round and I’m like “I can totally do that in real life!” Walking around as my favorite fighting character at cons knowing that I can mimic their fighting moves is icing on the cake for me.
Also, a lot of game characters have such unique fashion sense. King of Fighters has great fashion in my opinion.
I LOVE weapons, so much so that I collect antique blades. So a character donned in black leather, long gorgeous hair, and a katana… Why didn’t I cosplay him sooner!?
Between the cosplay, working out, and martial arts, would you say that romantic interests find you intimidating? Do you find time for it? Would you say that you have to find time for love outside of these interests, or does it help to find someone within them?
I spent much of my adult life on my own, getting my work and home in balance. I have been told once that I was intimidating: A woman who can defend herself, makes her own money, and has a place of her own? I suppose it’s kind of a rarity. I think those who have the right mindset, or one similar to me, wouldn’t be intimidating. I do love that the intimidating factor does weed out the not-so-eligible suitors, LOL.
The only problem I find when looking for love is that I am extremely picky: I look for a man who shares the same core values, is just as loyal as I am, and physical activity is a must, (martial arts is a huge bonus for me) and is a nerd like me.
I’m sure you can imagine the search for a partner takes quite a while, but I have taught myself to love my own company so I never settle or rush into anything, and I am content when I am single. I rarely consider anyone outside of shared interests. What would there be to talk about? I prefer quality connections, not to collect bodies.
You are a relatively new cosplayer, so there is still so much to learn. What aspects of cosplay and crafting would you like to explore next? Is there an aspect that you are working on, now?
I would LOOOOOOOVE to learn EVA foam armor. I am planning on getting a 3D printer soon. Being a 3D Artist, it only makes sense to incorporate it into my cosplay. I figured I could learn 3D armor printing first
Have any cosplayers taken you under their wing to help give tips on the craft? Are there any cosplayers that you like to collaborate with?
I am the type of person to figure things out for myself, LOL. Sometime I do post a question or 2 on Facebook cosplay groups, but I tend to be pretty independent.
Some would say that now is one of the worst times to get into cosplay because of COVID-19, and how it has caused so many conventions to be put on hold. How do you keep your fledgling flame alive without so much interaction with the community?
I feel I do get the interaction of the community…but without being crammed in a hall next to potentially hygiene-compromised fans… and all of the other downsides to con-going. I’ve taken part in
a few online contests, live chats, and I’ve even won some prizes here and there. I use this at-home time to be my own subject for learning photography, and improving my photo compositing and 3D photo integration. I am excited for when cons come back. I have so many new costumes to show!
Were there any conventions in particular that you missed because of COVID-19 that you definitely would have attended?
I’ve never been to Fanime, but the idea of a 24/7-ish con is amazing. I was about to go earlier last year, but COVID happened. I definitely want to go one day.
Is there anything that you particularly enjoy about conventions? Before cosplay, had you ever experienced “con life?”
I’ve always been to tech/game conventions like SIGGRAPH, and even a few E3’s.
When COVID-19 becomes moot, do you think you would like to start travelling to conventions out of state or region?
100%, I plan to first go to GACUCon, which is a gaming/anime convention via Royal Caribbean, then I want to go to Thailand for some Muay Thai camps, and beach fun/cosplay shoots, and
of course, Japan, LOL. I actually have a whole list of travel ideas…
As a newcomer to cosplay, do you have a message to would-be cosplayers sitting on the fence?
Cosplay really is for everyone! It adds an extra dimension to your favorite show or video game when you can cosplay as your favorite character. You don’t have to start big, in fact you could even just do closet cosplay, or even casual versions of your favorite character. It is a very good outlet to expressing oneself.
This Up and Coming Cosplayer is a remarkable woman. She reminds me a lot of Free Safari. She has overcome great odds and is a survivor. She also reminds me of AlliZ Cosplay. She is an Amazon with a great natural body honed by nature as well. She reminds me of FeistyVee. She is proud of her body and not afraid to share it. Who is she? Her name is Extraordinary Erika.
For the first time there will be more non-cosplay pcitures in a feature for an Up and Coming Cosplayer. Extraordinary Erika is one of those cosplayers whom’s life, interests, and passions rival those aspects of her cosplay life. We not only have a truly interesting cosplayer in Extraordinary Erika, but a complete and vibrant complete person.
Have you always lived in Hawaii? That’s quite a place to live. What do you love most about living there?
I actually grew up in Colorado, and lived there most of my life. I moved to Hawaii after I finished school for a job. I never thought that I would leave Colorado, but I also never thought I’d get an offer in Honolulu! My favorite thing about living here is the ocean. Back in Colorado I used to keep salt water fish tanks, but now I’ve upgraded to actual reefs!
For fun I ask Up and Coming Cosplayers what their superpower is, and you gave an interesting answer. You said you have two sets of DNA. Would you mind explaining? How did that end up happening?
I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 22. After chemo failed to keep me in remission, I got a bone marrow transplant from a donor in Germany. The effect of that is that I now have her blood, since her stem cells were used to repopulate my bone marrow. So if a DNA test were done on my skin or organs, it would be me, but the DNA in my blood is from my donor.
Shameless plug, but being a donor is super amazing and easy, and it really saves lives. You can sign up for free at bethematch.org. I probably wouldn’t be here today without my donor.
You look like you keep extremely active. Were you like that before Hawaii, or is that just something you took advantage of? Does this active lifestyle help with your cosplay? #Cosfit
I moved to Hawaii for work, but I don’t think I could have gone somewhere where it’s hard to go outside and do stuff. Living in Denver I got very used to being able to hike, and snowboard, and kayak, so when I moved I had to make sure that there were new things to keep me busy. I just got freedive certified as a level 1 diver, so that’s been a really awesome new skill to learn. While I firmly believe that cosplay is for every body type, many of the characters that I play are of a fairly muscular and lean build, and I definitely prefer to emulate that where I can in my cosplays.
I’m really not into tattoos, but of the ones I have seen, I think your phoenix is one of the more beautiful ones. Is there a story behind it?
Phoenixes are all about rebirth by fire, so that was a huge factor in the design choice. I got this tattoo to commemorate my 5 year cancer free anniversary. Going through chemo and transplant was very much a trial by fire, so I thought that it was a fitting metaphor for my experiences.
I’ve mentioned before that you are very active and fit. You also don’t seem to be very shy about sharing it in nature. Is there something about exotic settings or nature that sets you at ease, or are you pretty much a free spirit?
I struggle with the societal concept that the human body is something that should be hidden or that we should be ashamed of. Nature is my happy place for sure but, it’s more that. I’m there a lot, so that’s where a lot of the photos are, but I’m definitely always trying to be at peace with my body, and I’m ok with showing what I am; no more and no less.
I’ve seen you in quite a few shots in full mermaid cosplay complete with a mermaid tail. I’ve always wondered: Is it hard to swim in one? How do you learn? How many tails do you own?
They’re really easy to swim in! I’m naturally a pretty strong swimmer, so they weren’t very challenging. I learned when we were at the beach and there were dolphins in the bay. Some friends decided to go see if they would swim with us (always better to go swim and let the dolphins come to you! Don’t chase animals!) and take photos. I didn’t have fins so I was offered a tail. The monofins are good propulsion so we hopped in and ended up swimming all over the place since the dolphins were so playful. Now I have two tails of my own: one fabric one and a partial silicone from Merrowfins.
Some of the things I’ve seen you do look kind of dangerous. Are you ever afraid on your adventures? Have you ever been hurt on some of them?
Some of the hikes in Hawaii can be dangerous, but we typically don’t go on those. I do a lot of bouldering in my free time, so I’m usually pretty confident when climbing up things. Freediving is really safe as long as you’re following basic rules, like diving with a buddy and doing a proper breathe up before a long dive. It’s not uncommon to get little cuts or bruises, (reefs are sharp) but I’ve been lucky to have never gotten seriously injured.
Are you an actual doctor, or do you just play one on TV?
I’m going to give you two random words, and I want you to tell me the first thing that pops into your mind: “fuck” and “cancer.”
Yeah, fuck that. I have a “Fuck Cancer” poster in my room with Jane Foster as Thor by @artlidawn. Cancer in young adults is a different beast, and there’s so little data or resources for it. If you are a YA Cancer peep, look into First Descents, they’re an awesome group and there are so many people to talk to, plus there’s adventures.
I know that you are a fan of Pokémon Go. That, plus where you live and what you enjoy doing probably means a lot of cool water Pokémon in a lot of awesome places. ‘Care to share the coolest examples of both?
We actually got a little screwed on PoGo. We’re apparently not part of North America, so we don’t get regionals from there or anywhere else. But there’s a really big community here, so we’re lucky because we can always get a good group for raids and community days are lit. That said, I’ve literally seen Charmander spawning out in the bay, so I think they got a little confused on our biomes…
Speaking of Pokémon, you’ve come face to face with some pretty awesome real animals! You’ve swam with sea turtles, kissed a shark, and picked up a hitchhiking octopus. How do you get to actually meet and swim with them? Do you just know and have access to these great places? Are they kind of secret?
Part of it is knowing where to go. You’re nearly guaranteed to find turtles at cleaning stations, and you have to know where to find octopodes, but a big part of it is just being out in the water a lot, and having a friend who is incredible at photography really helps too.
So with all of the things you do and activities you enjoy, how did you find the time to get into Cosplay? I think most of the questions I’ve asked have nothing to do with cosplay! You may be busier than FeistyVee!
I don’t even know anymore… I’m almost never not doing something. I find the creation process in cosplay to be really relaxing, so I’ll often work for a few hours on the weekend or after work. I hate con crunch, so I usually start making something as soon as my last costume is finished.
Are there any cosplayers out there that you think you would get along with, and might want to travel and go to cons with? (Personally, I think you would have lots of fun with AliZ Cosplay and FeistyVee.)
I love meeting new people and I really want to travel to some mainland cons! I’ve always been really inspired by Kamui Cosplay; her attention to detail is amazing, and she tends toward armor builds which are my favorite. Plus, she has really cute dogs.
Before you kick off into the Wild Blue Yonder, do you have any inspiring words for our readers and your followers?
Thanks for the feature! I’m looking forward to making some fun stuff in the future!
Well, by now you should know the drill. Friday we publish Extraordinary Erika’s pictorial, and we think you’ll like what we’ve done with it!
There will be a few cosplays, but it will be Extraordinary Erika in her second element: the beaches, reefs, and waters of Hawaii! Enjoy!