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LHARS150

LHARS EBERSOLD THE WOMAN BEHIND THE BLACKBIRD MASK

Comic Book Divas Publishing talks with North Texas cosplayer, gamer, and all around cool geek girl Lhars Ebersold to get her insights on all things pop culture  cosplay and geeky,  Plus did we mention that Lhars will be portraying the hero “BlackBird”in the upcoming “8 Page Action: Featuring BlackBird” comic book.

 

Q: For those of us that are not cool, tell us a bit about Lhars Ebersold.LHARS 1

LE: I’m an artist of all kinds, grew up in a very artistic family. (Original Disney artist Hank Porter, followed by and couple of children, Museum curators, professional commission artists, ect) I’m working for a custom manufacturing company making everything from various materials, as well as doing all the digital work. I Found this nitch after being a commission artist doing paintings, pencils and pastels for the past 12 years and wanted to expand my knowledge.

Q: We have seen you all over the convention circuit, and we all know your photos from social media and the Internet; How did you get started in cosplaying?

LE: I was first discovered from video gaming. Nationally ranked for a while and a site found me and put me in a spotlight at PAX Seattle. After that (being my first time and terrified me half to death) I had more and more people track me down and pull me out of my security blanket. I went to a couple of conventions before cosplaying and admired those who did. I think it was 2011 that I took the leap, (Dark Pheonix) and went with a group of my friends for support. Been non stop since.

Q: When you were growing up were you interested in comics, games and other things associated in pop culture; what did you gravitate to more as a kid and why?

LE: I was into He-Man and ThunderCats as a kid, thanks to all my neighbors being boys, so I only hung out with boys. Played lots and lots of Zelda and Mario and always dug through their comics (preferred Spider-Man as a kid and then I grew up and realized Batman was way better).LHARS 2

Q: Do you think your tastes in comics, gaming, and all things pop culture have changed through the years; and is there a particular “Geeky Product” that is not around anymore that you miss?

LE: I miss my He-man and Thundercat collection. I had everything!!! Think my parents sold them at a garage sale.

Q: When picking a cosplay, what inspires you to want to cosplay as that character?

LE: I have a dark side, been hurt and emotionally thrown in the gutter. I depict characters I can relate too, the built up rage, the anger, vengefulness. Something is empowering in that.

Q: Do you remember the first cosplay costume you created, looking back on your first experience what would you change?

LE: Dark Pheonix was my first, I learned to not spray paint boots….that stuff starts cracking and falling apart within an hour lol

Q: If you could re-design any costume in comics, gaming, or in cartoons which costumes would you change and why?

LE: Maleficent was one, I did that back during Fan Days Con last fall, and actually didn’t get to finish everything I wanted to do.

Q: What characters would you like to cosplay in the future?

LE: Hawk Girl, Tigra, Spider-Girl <- don’t see much of theseLHARS 3

Q: What is the most challenging cosplay costume you have created, what was the most difficult part of the design?

LE: Maleficent was the hardest, most time-consuming. Spent hours hand gluing scales and never finished… it turned into an expensive project I couldn’t finish in time

Q: What comics did you read as growing up, and what characters did you relate to the most?

LE: CatWoman. I own every comic. I am her.

Q: Are you reading any comic books now, what storylines and characters are you following now. What are you enjoying about the two?

LE: I was reading Punisher Max, 1-60… after 60 writers and artists changed and it got kind of crappy. I love Batman’s (Dark Knight), started up on the new Red Sonjas…bout all I’ve had time for.

Q: What was your first video game you played and your fondest memory of playing the game?

LE: That stupid Nintendo Duck Hunt, and that stupid dog that would harass you. It used to make me the angriest little girl.

Q: What games are you playing now, have you hit a level(s) that you have started screaming at the screen?

LE: I play a lot of MMO’S MMORPG, but the types of games that have me jumping around like a tard would be the Devil May Cry games. I love them…boss fights I still bounce around like a bunny.

Q: Do you feel you were treated differently or did you feel a bit out-of-place for liking comics and video games when you were younger?

LE: No not really, think it helped I was only friends with boys. Don’t think I was treated differently. Unless I conveniently blocked it out of my memory

Q: When you go to conventions as a cosplayer what moments stand out most?LHARS 5

LE: Little kids googly eyes. When they walk up and want a hug…omg cuteness overload

Q: What is the most geekiest moment(s) you have had at a comic book convention or other event?

LE: One of my geekiest moments was running into Christopher Lloyd when he was on a break from doing autographs and panels. Nice guy, took everything not to shout out “1.21 gigwatts”

Q: What female character in comics,gaming,cartoon or other pop culture character you feel deserves their own comic or game and why?

LE: Hawkgirl, no one really knows much about her. Why is this?

Q: Women have come to the forefront in recent years in the pop culture community; but it still seems that they are still in the shadows in creating and drawing comics, and in gaming design. How do you feel these things can be changed?

LE: I think its getting way better to be honest, I know tons of women in the fields now that beliefs aren’t that we just make babies and sandwiches. I think encouraging the interests at younger ages, high school, ect. Show them how much fun those areas can be. (Take your kids to more conventions!!)

Q: What advice do you have for those just getting into the cosplay community?

LE:Do something you like!! Don’t worry about popularity of it, or how you look as that character, do it cause you want too! The community is a very loving bunch and will accept you no matter what.

Q: Where can fans follow you and your cosplay?

LE: I’m on FaceBook, Google +, Twitter @Loreleina, Instagram as Lhars Ebersold ( Yes that’s my real name)

Q: What conventions will you be attending this year?

LE: I know I will be at Dallas Comic Con, Dallas Fan Days, Texas Frightmare Weekend, and talking about a couple more

 

EMILY ANN 150

COSPLAYER EMILY ANN TALKS COMICS, GAMING & GOLDILOCKS

Comic Book Divas Publishing sits down with North Texas cosplayer Emily Ann, we talk to her about coplaying, comics and her insights of women in pop culture; we also talk with Emily about her first ever comic book appearance as she portrays “Goldilocks” in the Goldilocks In ZombieLand” mini-series our first published comic featuring a cosplayer model.

 

Q: Let’s really start with the tough question. Tell us a little about yourself.EMILY ANN 1

EA: Oh, goodness! Let’s see… I work in a children’s hospital in the NICU and I’ve got a bachelor’s in Business Management. I’m working on a second bachelor’s in Information Systems currently and I’m learning lots about computer programming languages as I go. I really enjoy a nice cup of tea and to hang out with my puppies when I’m not working on a costume. I like to read books (dystopian young adult novels are apparently my favorite) and I have an unhealthy addiction to daytime judge shows such as Divorce Court. Pasta and I are the best of friends (except with just plain old marinara sauce!) and I love cheese.

Q: When you were young were you drawn to things that many consider being nerdy or geeky like comic, gaming, cartoons..etc?

EA: I was an only child and didn’t grow up around cousins or anything, so I gravitated to the computer when I was very young and haven’t been far from one since I was six or seven. It is an easy way to entertain yourself without needing someone to “play with”. I remember being super into Sonic the Hedgehog. I would make my dad tape it every weekend in the morning, so I didn’t have to get up too early (gee, I suppose I was never a morning person!) and I played the Sega Genesis games like my life depended on it. I never beat one, but I guess it never mattered because I still love Sonic and his friends. I didn’t know that comics were really a thing until I was “too old” and “too cool” for them so I missed out on that part of the “geek” childhood, sadly.EMILY ANN 2

Q: Do you think you were looked at as being the “Weird Girl” for liking many of the same tings that were primarily enjoyed by the boys?

EA: The things that I liked never seemed to cause people to look at me funny, but the way I dressed did bring those judgments. I was quite into brightly colored hair and dark clothes and it usually made people think I was unapproachable or some sort of Devil worshipper. I’m still a little darker than most, but I’m actually pretty friendly and I’ve never worshipped a Devil in my life haha. I was pretty much in the same classes with the same 20 or 25 kids from elementary school until high school, so we were very tolerant of each others’ weirdness.

Q: Growing up what comics, game genres, and cartoons did you like and still enjoy today and why do you still enjoy them?

EA: The comics and graphic novels (Umbrella Academy, for example) I loved as a teenager, as well as the cartoons I gravitated towards (for example Ahh! Real Monsters), tended to be more dark and strange than some of the other choices I could have gone for. As I mentioned, I loved Sonic the Hedgehog, and I still love him. I play the games every once in a while and I’m really considering rewatching the series! My mom played a game called Wasteland when I was very small and I loved watching her play it. That game is what my favorite game ever,Fallout 3, is basedEMILY ANN 3 on. I think I just really tend to stick to the same formula because it’s always worked for me!

Q: What pop culture characters did you enjoy reading, watching or playing growing up and which ones do you enjoy today, have your tastes changed greatly?

EA: As a child I was incredibly into the Disney Princess thing and I absolutely loved all of the movies. I loved to be a Princess and dance around the house singing their songs. I tended to read some strange things like Egyptian historical accounts, mythology, and things like that. I am still into that stuff, but it’s hardly a part of pop culture. I’m not so much into the more recent Disney adventures, though there are a few princesses/strong ladies from animated films that I’m still obsessed with such as Anastasia, Megara from Hercules, and Esmeralda. I try to read, watch, and play characters that I can feel connected to. My favorites have been some of the Harry Potter characters (Bellatrix and Pansy Parkinson for example) and Hunger Games characters (Katniss and Clove, in this case). I’m still very much the kid I was years ago, haha.

Q: What comic book and comic book characters are you following now and why?

EA: Right now, I am only following one comic book. School tends to guilt me out of reading much. “Oh, if you have time to read, it should be a textbook!” I tell myself. The series is called Vitriol the Hunter and I just love the art style. Very dark and edgy and I really dig it! Vitriol is the main character and he’s a vampire hunter, so there’s lots of really neat fight scenes and just general awesomeness.EMILY ANN 4

Q: Which video games have you screaming and yelling at the television right now?

EA: My favorite video game of all time is Fallout 3 but I play World of Warcraft pretty often and it makes me quite the competitive mess! I’m also trying the beta of Wildstar Online and it’s had me frustrated a time or two so far!

Q: When playing video games online or playing against someone next to you, if you are victorious do you do a “Victory Dance?” or give them smack?

EA: I am not much of a victory dancer, but I will talk crap incessantly! It’s actually sort of embarrassing!

Q: I am a “Old School” guy, and not a fan of many of the comic book based movies bcause the origins or the comic is changed so much. How do you the movies studios and comic book publishers are doing telling these stories on the big screen?

EA: This question is probably not one that I can really answer, as I haven’t ever read the comic books that many of these movies are based upon. :( Boo

Q: What female comic book character, and or video game character do you think should have their own title or video game, why do you think they should have their own title or game?

EA: Comic book wise, now that Harley Quinn is having more of her own titles, I think it’d be nice to see the same of Poison Ivy or maybe some revived Batgirl! Oppositely, it’d be really neat to see some comics based on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, I would think.

Q: When did you start or first get interested in cosplaying?EMILY ANN 5

EA: I would say I’ve been into cosplaying for only about three years. I have become more immersed in the culture within the last year or so.

Q: What was your very first cosplay, and did you create it yourself?

EA: My very first cosplay was Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. I bought the skirt and shirt and repurposed them and redesigned them to fit the character, bought her official wand, and (poorly) made a corset from scratch to match her design. I made it the night before the final Harry Potter movie came out in theatres, to wear to the release.

Q: When deciding what character to coplay, do you cosplay them because you just like the design of the character or is it a character that you have followed or are following at the time?

EA: This decision is usually based on my love for the character, not the design of the character. For example, I am just really in love with Katniss’ character, so I’ve cosplayed multiple versions of her over the last couple of years. The exceptions I’ve had to this rule were Raven from Teen Titans and the Silent Hill nurse. They just look cool! I couldn’t resist recreating their iconic looks.

Q: When selecting a cosplay what type of connection do you have with that character to make you want to portray them?

EA: If I can feel a part of myself in them, or a part of them in myself, I usually can’t help myself. People hate the character Narcissa Malfoy, but she would do anything to protect her family and I can empathize with her and I empathized so much that she is one of my all-time favorite characters. On another end of the spectrum, so many people love the character of Katniss and I felt empathy for her emotional struggles and strength that she displayed in the face of so much uncertainty.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the hardest cosplay costume you have worked on in the past and currently?

EA: I would have to say either Narcissa Malfoy (because making a coat is just a pain in the butt) or Daenerys Targaryen. Daenerys should have been a simple costume, but it seemed that everything that could have went wrong did! It was such a disaster, but it turned out alright in the end.

Q: You stated that you were going to be scaling back on your cosplaying for a time, but is there certain characters you would like to cosplay as in the future?

EA: My absolute dream costume is the Lone Wanderer from the game Fallout 3. But I plan to continue working on Hunger Games costumes as I have more time, and also some fun things like Princess Jasmine or the Corpse Bride.

Q: For those cosplayers just starting out, what types of cosplay should they start out with working on?

EA: Anything that you love! You don’t have to make something “screen” accurate or worthy. HAVE FUN. Never take it too seriously. Choose someone you feel strongly about and go for it. You’ll always get better and learn new things and that’s the beauty of it all.

Q: As a cosplayer are there any cosplayers that you look up too, if so who are they and why do you admire them?

EA: All of them. It sounds really cheesy, but anyone doing something they love is someone you should look up to.

Q: This is a question that I sometimes ask to cosplayers and also those in the pop culture genres. Women are often portrayed in cosplay, comics, and video games as not being depicted as “everyday” women, that they are either drawn or cosplayed as being to sexy. What are your thoughts?

EA: Without a doubt! So many places in media, women are portrayed as supermodels and the like, and there aren’t enough every day women. You don’t have to be a barbie doll to be beautiful and worthy of being featured in the media. Beauty is something that radiates from within and shines through on the outside. However, it’s also important to mention that it’s also okay to look like a barbie doll! Everyone is beautiful in their own right and we should all have equal representation. Regardless of ethnicity, body shape, size, or disability, we should all be represented in the media equally and it should be celebrated that we are all so different but so similar!

Q: Women have really made their presence known in the pop culture community, but it still seems that there are still very few women comic book artists and gaming designers; do you think that is a correct insight or do you feel that they are just not as well know?

EA: I think we are going to see a boom in these industries soon of women from the younger generations being more involved and more well-known and one day we might not even remember how unbalanced the world of Geekdom can feel at times.

Q: Those last questions got a little heavy. So how about this to lighten the mood. You are the shotgun wielding, zombie butt-kicking Goldilocks in the upcoming “Goldilocks In ZombieLand” mini series, Can you tell your fans about being in your very first comic book?

EA: It’s such a lovely opportunity and I’ve met so many wonderful people through Goldilocks in Zombieland and CMD. It’s something really just awesome to be able to tell people that you’re going to be in a comic book (and then explaining that you’ll be a blonde hehe!). I am so grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait for everyone to see all of the awesome art and great characters and freaking awesome monsters! It’s a really fun script and I think a lot of people will enjoy it from beginning to end. I am so lucky to be a part of it!

Q: How would you survive a zombie apocalypse if one actually occurred?

EA: Oooh, this is not a fun answer from me. I’d hide. I’m not actually any good in a situation like that, I’d imagine!

Q: Where can your fans follow you and keep up to date with your cosplaying?

EA: I’m not the best at updating it, but I always respond to messages and comments on my FaceBook Page!

Q: What conventions will you be attending this year?

EA: I will be at Texas Frightmare Weekend and Dallas Comic Con in May then possibly (work allowing) one of the days of A-Kon in June! I will not be cosplaying, but I will be attending QuakeCon in July. Past that, no plans set in stone.