Many faces of cosplay attend local shoot

Cosplace, a photo app dedicated to sharing cosplay images, celebrated its first anniversary from May 2–3 with its first visit to Portland in nearly a year, since meeting with local app design agency DADO, the app’s designer.

A year later they are back in Portland filming local cosplayers, costume players and prop-makers in their studio and out-and-about in downtown.

“Portland is the foundation of the [Cosplace] community,” said Seamus Condron, founder and CEO of Cosplace. “I keep coming back [to Portland] because I was amazed by how many people came to the meetup.”

Many local cosplayers attended the event.

Cosplayers Katie Ford and her son Kifa Ford of Milwaukie brought their Grunt cosplay from Halo 2 and 3. Ford used EVA foam and recycled products to construct the alien costume, including egg cartons, prescription pill bottles and a nightlight.

Many cosplayers get into the hobby after attending one the many geek-enthusiast conventions—such as Comic Con, Penny Arcade Expo and Sakura Con—held throughout the world every year.

The Fords’ first convention was the Wizard World comic con in 2012 where they met Jeremie Sloan, another Halo cosplayer and prop-maker. They worked together to make a Master Chief cosplay for Rose City comic con.

Sloan, of Beaver Creek Proving Grounds, lives in Oregon City and is part of the PDX Halo group Hood’s Hellions, the 405 infantry. He wore a Halo 4 Spartan Demarco to the filming. The costume itself was made from EVA foam and hard resin casts. He used 3D-modeling and printing to manufacture all of his props.

“My hunter was six feet wide and 12 feet tall,” Sloan said. Hunters are enemies in the Halo series.

Sloan began cosplaying back in 2012 after being inspired by the Halo 3 live-action ODST trailer.

“I thought, ‘I could make that,’” Sloan said.

Grace Chang of Kiby Ella cosplay lives in Beaverton. She arrived wearing a Ranmaru Mori from Warriors Orochi 3. Her sword was a full blade made of balsa wood. The rest of her outfit was made from a mixture of brocade silks, cotton and tissue lame.

Her first convention was Kumoricon in 2007 where she wore Sora Naegino from Kaleido Star.

“I was watching anime and a friend invited me to a convention. I researched it beforehand and saw people wearing costumes and thought ‘I like making costumes.’ It just fit,” Chang said.

Chang attended Cosplace’s first gathering at the Tardis Room a year ago. She has since been involved with the application and crowdfunding.

Beverly Downen, of Downen Creative Studios, is from Portland and started cosplaying in September.

“We went to Rose City comic con [in] 2014 and we had no idea what it was. When we walked in we thought, ‘These are our people,’” Downen said.

Downen knew how to sew a little at the time and helped her stepdaughter make a Tauriel cosplay from The Hobbit.

For Wizard World she wore Jean Grey from X-Men: The Last Stand, and her husband wore Magneto. She bought her stepson a Wolverine cosplay as well.

Downen arrived at the studio wearing Lady Sif, from Thor: The Dark World, made of Worbla, pleather and EVA foam.

“A friend sent me the post that Cosplace was looking for people. I decided to get out of my shell and applied,” Downen said.

Pearce Baker and her daughter Aria Robin, part of AriaJae Cosplay, got involved with Cosplace last year during the meetup. Cosplace loved Aria’s cosplays and energy and asked to share them. Specifically, her Wonder Woman and Princess Leia costumes.

Robin arrived wearing Quorra from Legend of Quorra, which included painted scarves for each of the elements for her to bend. Her cosplay was made of cotton, leather, jersey fabric, faux fur and Worbla.

“I cosplay because I think it is fun,” Robin said.

Condron ended up liking the application’s beta build so much that he moved back home with his parents for a year to fund the initial application, which is available for purchase and download in the iPhone store.

Crowdfunding will start soon to help pay for the second version of Cosplace for the iPhone and a beta version for Andriod, which will include things that Instagram users have come to expect from an application.

“A cosplay focus feature, genre and search functions, as well as a database for cosplay customization,” Condron said.