North Texas Cosplayer Emily Ann talks about comics, gaming, and portraying Goldilocks in the Goldilocks In ZombieLand comic book mini-series. CONTINUE
North Texas Cosplayer Lhars Ebersold the woman behind the BlackBird mask talks cosplay,comics, and all things geek. CONTINUE
Comic Book Divas Publishing is offering the Goldilocks In ZombieLand #1 sketch variant cover at the Dallas Comic Con 2014. Get the sketch cover colored by colorist Cara Nicole or colorist Jeff Balke CONTINUE
Let’s just call them the power couple of the Dallas Cosplay scene! Everyone that attends Dallas area cons knows them…..Scotty and Courtney. Knows them so well that their last names are not even needed. But if you are one of the few that don’t know Courtney Varnado and Scotty Bleck, by name, you certainly are familiar with their work. They recently sat with Comic Book Divas Publishing to discuss their recent builds and cosplay.
They met in November of 2010 and started dating in January of 2011 but they have always collaborated and consider themselves a team. Helping and motivating each other.
So what is The Team? Comic readers? Gamers? Cosplayer only?
Scotty does not really “consider myself just one thing. I love Comics. I really love videos games and I can’t live without movies. Cosplaying is new to me compared to most but I’m learning really fast. I’m also a car guy. I enjoy being under the hood turning wrenches.”
Courtney was “none of the above” when she first met Scotty! Adding, “Now I consider myself a Gamer for sure. I read some comics but sometimes it’s just so hard to get out to the comic book store and keep up with the series that interest me. Out of everything I would categorize myself as a SERIOUS MOVIE BUFF! We go to the theater at least once every other week. If we are at home and not working on our suits, even during, there is always a movie popped into the XBOX.”
Scotty’s first build was a Lich King from World of Warcraft for a Halloween party followed by General Grievous costume built for Comic Con. Courtney adds,” After Scotty had built his General Grievous for Comic Con. I wanted to cosplay/dress up as something that would coincide with the General. So my first cosplays were Asajj Ventress and Janga Fett. But, my first build was actually Ironmaiden. It was very tough considering its head to toe armor and I’ve never built anything before.”
Scotty’s past creations have also included, an Ironman MK6 and MK42, a Jurassic Park Raptor, the “self-aware” robot Johnny 5, and an Alien Queen. Courtney has either created or been seen as Asajj Ventress, Thor, JangA Fett, Ironmaiden, Sexy Robert Muldoon, Magnaguard, Ironmaiden 2.0, Medusa and a Wolf Predator.
Does The Team break into The Creative One and The Tech One? Or do your skills overlap? Scotty says, “I’ve taken a couple art classes in high school but never really built any costumes. Building my first was an inspiration to me to continue building and to learn new techniques. After each build I look back on what could have been better or improved. Things such as material weights and durability, ventilation and vision. I don’t really consider myself the Tech or the Creative one but more of the student.”
Courtney admits, “I had little to no background with anything involving Cosplay. I was just good at coloring! Seeing Scotty make his General Grievous really got me interested in seeing what talents I could discover and improve upon. I still consider myself the apprentice and Scotty the master. I am still learning.”
Scotty talks about favorite builds from a vast selection. “As for a favorite that’s a tough one. I love and hate them all!” He confesses with a laugh. “All of them have their own story…. but my most popular is my General Grievous. My Johnny 5 was my favorite to cosplay. So many people recognized the character and were very infatuated with it.” Not only did he look like Johnny 5….He sounded like the robot. Imitating the robot by altering his voice and not with electronic assistance.
Courtney absolutely loved her Medusa. “She’s my most unique Character and I fell in love with her because of it. The only tough thing about her was being half naked. But other than Medusa I absolutely loved rocking my Wolf Predator. He’s kind of my Pride and Joy right now.”
So where does this skill, idea and completion blend come from? How do you go from idea to walking around in a unique suit? Scotty tells us that “a lot of my inspiration comes from my family, friends and fans. I watch all the Sci-Fi movies and am a big fan of building unique characters. I like to build big to challenge myself. With all my projects I encounter bugs….some easier to work out than others. My suit that had the most was my Alien Queen. I almost threw in the towel a few times! Sometimes I would watch the movie again or simply take a break and hit the issue on another day. Courtney gets frustrated very easily so to help and motivate her, I tell her to take a break and that if I can do it she can to. She has never given up and has always made things work. For this I’m proud.”
From Courtney, “My ideas usually coincide with Scotty’s. If we pick a theme I pick something that would go good with that. But mostly we try to think outside of the box and be unique. Movies play a big role in what we want to be! The Technical difficulties are where Scotty prevails. Whenever I’m having trouble with a build I always go to him for a second approach.”
This Team can easily be considered Con Fan Favorites. Fans look forward to your builds and are excited to see what you come up with next. Considering their fans and supporters Scotty adds, “To me the fans are everything! I couldn’t have made it this far without their input and support. After each build I make many new friends and fans. I know I can always count on them to help motivate me through each build. Words really can’t express my gratitude towards them.”
“The fans are amazing and are always there to motivate us when we can’t motivate ourselves. We are still fairly new to Cosplaying and Cons and the fact they are so open and welcoming makes us feel at home whenever we go to cons” says Courtney.
Logistical issues….how do you drive in the car on the way to a con? For Scotty, “ The ride to each event is always nerve-wracking. I’ve done it many times and I still get butterflies in my stomach that makes me sick. I believe all cosplayers can relate. You question yourself, if you have everything, what you can do in case of a costume malfunction, what if you fall or trip, what if you have to use the restroom!” But for Courtney “That is pretty much always the exciting part…. to see if the suits will fit in the car. With most of our suits my SUV does the trick. With the Alien Queen, we had to rent a Trailer from Uhaul. Scotty’s suit was too big. The most insane ride to a con was AllCon 2013. We brought General Grievous and I had made a Magnaguard (Grievous’ Bodyguard) to go along with him. Well the morning of the con we tried to start the SUV and it wouldn’t start…. so we did what we had to….broke them down and put them in the hatch of my Integra. It was definitely not a comfortable ride to Dallas!”
Scotty has “always been very open with my next build. Cosplaying is about having fun but it can get very competitive. At each Con you make friends but also rivals! We are always creeping online to see what the others are building and how we can improve our own. Some photographers are the same. I have built a reputation for building big and insane projects. Yes it will be big! Courtney warns,”If you know our reputation then we always go BIGGER!”
Article and Photos by Comic Book Divas Publisher Bob Sanders
Comic Book Divas Publishing is excited to be bringing some very cool titles to the Dallas Comic Con May 16th-18th 2014; including a “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” #1 penciled and ink sketch cover by artist Kristi Zerga from co-publisher Legends Of Heroes And Villains Publishing.
Comic Book Divas Publishing will not only be debuting the re-launch of “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” #1 for the first in Texas at the Dallas Comic Con but also we will be debuting a very special sketch cover of “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” #1; the cover is a pencil and ink sketch cover by artist Kristi Zerga from Legends Of Heroes And Villains Publishing who is also the co-publisher of the comic. The cover will be printed on heavy card-stock paper and will be limited at each convention of only 25 copies.
What makes this variant edition very special is since it’s printed on heavy card-stock paper it can be taken to any colorist and have them place their own unique color touches to the cover, by doing this the cover because a truly one of a kind variant cover making it a one of a kind edition. At the Dallas Comic Con 2014 there will be two awesome colonists on hand to color your edition of the “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” #1 variant cover. Fans can visit cosplayer and colorist Cara Nicole aka AZ PowerGirl, she will be located at Alfred Trujillo‘s table in artist alley, Cara has a very unique coloring style that really brings out the flesh tones of the artwork she works on. Also attending the convention is Eagle award-winning colorist Jeff Balke; Jeff Balke has worked with many large and small publishers; He also is the creator of the original idea of “Sketch Coloring” Jeff will be locaed at the artist alley area.
Take your copy of “Goldilocks In Zombieand” #1 sketch cover variant cover to either one of these fantastic colonists to make your cover pop with color and give your variant a one of kind look. When you pickup your copy of the “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” #1 be sure to have your edition signed by cosplayer Emily Ann who portrays Goldilocks in the comic book.
Emily Ann will be at the Comic Book Divas table on Sunday May 18th; but don’t wait to get your copy!