Comic Book Divas looked over the pond and found Stacey Rebecca a model, cosplayer in the UK. Stacey caught our eye after we saw her Mary Jane photo shoot mirroring J Scott Campbell’s famous cover Amazing Spider-Man #601; we talk with Stacey about the cosplay and comic book industry in the United Kingdom.
Q: For those that don’t know please tell us a little bit about Stacey Rebecca.
SR: I’m a nerdy alternative model from London taking my first steps into cosplay!
Q: Have you always been into comic books, or are you getting into comics because of cosplaying?
SR: Comics definitely came before cosplay – I really haven’t been cosplaying for very long at all. It’s just another way to express myself!
Q: Did you read or follow comic books or comic book characters growing up, if so who were some of your favorite characters and why?
SR: I didn’t start reading comic books until my teenage years, when my Batman obsession began. I was totally in love with the Tim Burton Batman movies as a kid, and had some comic reading friends later in life who introduced me to the classics. I’m not sure what exactly it is about Batman, I just love Gotham so much!
Q: Do you collect or read comic books now, if so what titles are you reading and what are some of your favorite storylines now?
SR: I usually wait until the nice hardback comes out so I tend to be a little behind everyone else. I’m currently catching up on Batman: Court of Owls and some of the new 52 stuff. I picked up a few single issues when they came out but it’s so damn expensive to keep up with every storyline! My boyfriend is desperately trying to get me into Marvel but I’m a pretty stubborn DC fan!
Q: You are in the UK, is there just as big a fan following for comics in the UK as there is in the United States?
SR: I’d assume so, but that might be partly due to the brilliantly nerdy people I surround myself with!
Q: Who are some of your favorite British comic book artists and writers and why?
SR: Ultimate faves are Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Brian Bolland (who signed my copy of The Killing Joke at a convention recently, SQUEE!)
Q: Cosplaying has really taken off here in the States, is it the same in the UK?
SR: I don’t think we’ve quite caught up with you guys yet, it’s not as huge over here. That said, people do go all out for MCM Expo, which happens twice a year in London. I don’t usually go to cons in costume but I’m putting something together for the next one :)
Q: The British are always thought as being very reserved, so when you or other cosplayers appear at conventions do some people think I’s a bit revealing or over the top?
SR: Hell no! I think you can get away with it if you’re in costume (as long as it’s appropriate for the character). There are so many people in costume at cons that it pretty much goes unnoticed. I’m sure in the ‘real world’ the reaction would be somewhat different!
Q: When did you start getting into cosplay and how did you get into it?
SR: I’ve always been really into costume parties and I think the cosplay was born out of a kind of competitiveness with myself – I’d always try to up my game! It started with essentially making alterations to existing costumes (and I still do a lot of that) and developed from there. The ‘alternative’ modeling came first and the cosplay followed. I made a Psylocke costume for a sci-fi themed party and loved it so much that I HAD to get some good shots of it… And that’s how it started! I had no idea anyone would be interested in me or my work at all, it was all a big surprise!
Q: We loved your Mary Jane photo shoot especially the image of the Amazing Spider-Man #601; how did you get the job for the modeling shoot?
SR: It was just a silly idea I had… It’s an instantly recognizable cover and a pretty simple cosplay, so I felt comfortable taking my next steps into cosplay with the costume. I’ve worked on a couple of projects with Andy (Paranoid Android Films) before and when I told him my idea he was happy to give it a try – and he did such a great job with it! It’s always good to find someone who understands your vision and works hard to achieve it.
Q: The images from the Mary Jane shoot looked great what was the most difficult part of the shoot from a models point of view?
SR: Definitely the pose from the cover! Obviously I couldn’t see what it looked like so I just gave it my best shot and adjusted my position with Andy’s help and somehow it worked out okay.
Q: Are you thinking about doing another Mary Jane or J Scott Campbell cover photo shoots?
SR: I think I’m done with MJ for a while but I’m definitely considering some more cover recreations. I’d also love to do a J Scott Cambpell Black Cat!
Q: You channeled the character Mary Jane very well, are you a fan of the character, if so what do you like about the character?
SR: Ultimately I chose MJ because I thought she’d be easy to do, but she’s definitely a character that Spidey fans have a lot of love for (and I never knew Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal was so unpopular!) My boyfriend is a huge Spidey fan so I think a lot of it was for him.
Q: You also recently did a Psylocke photo shoot, this was another great shoot, with a very cool effect of Psylocke’s Psy-power, very realistic looking. Can you tell us more about the shoot and how did you get picked to be in the shoot?
SR: I was contacted by the awesome Alan Howden on ModelMayhem about working together on something, and I jumped at the chance. He wanted to get some more alternative / nerdy stuff in his portfolio, which was right up my street – so I thought it would be a good opportunity to shoot my Psylocke costume, and it turned out so well! Alan’s editing was particularly impressive on those photos!
Q: What other comic book, gaming or other female character would you like to cosplay as in the future, and he reason why you would want to cosplay as the characters?
SR: I’m currently working on a gaming cosplay for the release of a new game (one of my favorite series of all time), it’s under wraps at the moment but I’m hoping to take it to Eurogamer at the end of the month! I also have a Dark Knight Rises Catwoman costume lined up to shoot and after that I’m hoping to get started on that J Scott Campbell Black Cat. Lots to keep me busy!
Q: In recent years women have taken a more active role in comic books, gaming and other what was once mainly a male oriented communities, why do you think women have taken more of interest in these genres Or do you think that women have always been involved just but stayed in the background?
SR: There’s definitely an imbalance in those industries but it is being addressed. It can be difficult for women to admit that we’re into some of these things, not for fear of being labeled a nerd, but because (some) guys can be pretty disbelieving. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “I bet you don’t even read comics,” and “You only play video games to get attention!” That said, there are plenty more women working in comics and gaming these days, and it’s a freakin’ great thing!
Q: Some people say that women are portrayed to sexy, that they don’t represent the typical female. Do you think that women in comics, gaming and movie are seen as being too sexy?
SR: I think that’s the case, yeah. But it’s not the worst thing in the world. I figured I could either whine about it, or make a lot of nerds happy by bringing their favourite characters to life. I also make sure that I show my fans who I am in real life though, minus all the make up and Photoshop. I think it’s important for people to know that I’m a normal, boring person and nowhere near as sexy as I look in my photos!
Q; As a fan of pop culture, what female character would you like to portray in a comic, video game and movie; why do you think you would fit the role?
SR: I had a go at acting briefly in a music video recently and it was HARD. I don’t think I’m cut out for it, I have the same number of facial expressions as Kristen Stewart, haha! If I wasn’t so terrible at acting I’d love to play Batgirl. Maybe if it was Cassandra Cain I wouldn’t have to do any talking :D
Q: In comics and gaming, what female character would you like to see in a movie, and who would you cast in the role and why?
SR: I’d like to see Poison Ivy done well, no idea who I’d cast though! Black Cat would be fab too – Bad Luck Kitty can play her… I don’t care if she can act, I’d just look at her
Q: You are a model, and there are many young aspiring models and cosplayers out there that want that perfect body or that “look” what advise can you give them about looking and staying healthy?
SR: Be yourself, don’t worry about it. The alt modeling world is a lot more accepting of different shapes and sizes, just have fun and express yourself in a way that makes you happy. I’m a little self-conscious about my bottom so if I’m wearing something skimpy for a shoot I might do some squats in the run up to it but that’s about it – I just do a lot of walking and try to snack on fruit rather than biscuits when I’m at my desk during the day!
Q: In video games there still seems a little bit of a gap in the women gaming community with not many featured female leading role characters, do you feel that this is true?
SR: There is something of a gap but it doesn’t bother me too much. I think that’s being addressed too!
Q: Do you think more women are in the gaming community, and do you think female gamers are interested and participating in the same games as their male counterparts?
SR: I think female gamers have as diverse tastes as male gamers, I’m not really sure there’s a lot of difference in what we play. Women that identify as gamers anyway, I’m not talking about old women that play Farmville on Facebook!
You can follow Stacey Rebecca on her Face Book Page.