It has been awhile since I last featured an interview with a talented cosplayer. For that I apologize and promise you not to wait so long for future posts. My schedule was hectic for the past few months but I am now able to focus on what is important. What is important? Why, you the readers are what is important to me.
I had to make today’s post extra special since it has been so long so I got an extra special cosplayer. I guarantee that you have seen her work somewhere because she is absolutely amazing! She is as talented as she is beautiful. So, without further ado, here is my interview with Angi Viper.
1. Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Angi Viper and I am a cosplayer born in Texas, raised in New York and living in California.
2. How did you discover cosplay?
I discovered cosplay when I was in high school or junior high. Back then, Japanese animation was just starting to become popular and I was enthralled. I started going to my local scifi/anime/fantasy convention and saw a lot of people dressing up in costumes. I’d always loved playing dress up and an excuse to wear costumes outside of Halloween was right up my alley. When I wore my first costume and started playing in character, I was hooked.
3. I really love your take on the Madame Hydra, how did that idea come about?
Thank you! Viper/Madame Hydra was such a surprise for me. When The Wolverine was in production, I was very excited. I followed the movie very closely and when photos and information started leaking about Viper, I was captivated. I wanted to know more about the character, so I looked her up and I instantly fell in love with Madame Hydra. She fit every bullet point I look for in a character – strong, powerful, deadly, evil with a soft side, and for once, she had a weakness. She developed strength from her past experiences and refused to stop at anything to get what she wanted, but the whole time she had this crippling weakness of self-consciousness with regards to her face. As someone who’s struggled with body image most of my life, I see a lot of myself in Madame Hydra. I used every blurry leaked photo I could find online to make my Viper costume from The Wolverine and almost immediately started work on a comic book version of Madame Hydra. I’m so excited that my namesake became my favorite character and I have a number of other variations I’ll be doing as time goes on.
4. What other comic characters have you tackled in your work in cosplay?
I jump around through a number of genres, but specifically comic book characters I’ve tackled are Dark Phoenix, Catwoman, Ms. Marvel, Mystique, Black Widow and Black Canary. I’m currently working on Polaris and I’ve also made a Shadowcat costume for a friend both of which will debut at Comikaze 2013.
5. Have you cosplayed other genres?
Most definitely. My interests are very broad and I cosplay anything that inspires me. My main passions are Marvel comics and Disney. I’m drawn to redheads and strong women and it doesn’t matter to me what genre they stem from. I’ve cosplayed characters from animation, video games, anime, Marvel and DC comics, live action films and even novels.
6. What is your favorite method to show off new costumes?
Sharing photos online is definitely the fastest way to reach a lot of people, but there’s nothing like wearing a new costume to a convention. I love being able to connect with people and make new friends based on our shared interest in a character or series and the opportunity to meet some of the creators of my favorite books, series and movies is completely indescribable. Plus I love the performance opportunities of cosplay and being able to move and act as the character can’t always be portrayed in a photo.
7. If you had to pick one cosplay, which one is your favorite?
Oh my gosh I hate this question LoL. My favorites are always changing and it always depends on the situation. At this point, my favorite comic book cosplay would definitely be Madame Hydra, but my favorite overall would probably Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. I don’t know that I’ve bonded so completely with a character before the way I have with her and I look forward to seeing the final film and doing even more variations of the character.
8. What are your plans for the future?
I plan to keep doing what I’m doing. I love cosplay and I have a million and one characters I want to portray so you’ll definitely be seeing more from me for a very long time. For 2013, I have a few new costumes coming before the end of the year and I will be at Comikaze, Long Beach Comic & Horror Con and possibly PMX in November.
9. Where can my readers see more examples of your work?
I post photos to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/angiviper, on my blog at www.angiviper.tumblr.com and on Twitter @angiviper. I also post cosplay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/theangiviper and sell prints and cosplay commissions in my etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/angiviper
10. Do you read comics on a regular basis? If so, what titles are you currently reading?
I do! I love reading comics. I’m currently reading Hack/Slash, Hatter M, Grimm Fairy Tales, Essential X-Men (trying to read everything LoL) and like a billion others. I’m constantly cycling through series and taking recommendations from friends so there’s always something new and different on my bedside table.