Given that this week we get to start Wonder Woman Rebirth, we will feature the Wonder Woman of Down Under, Lani.
Lani is one of the few cosplayers that doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Well known for her cosplays of women with a lot of power under the hood such as Forever (Lazarus) and Diana (Wonder Woman), she is also incredibly down to earth and one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure to talk with from the cosplay community.
Lani / Heroine For Hire
When was your first cosplay
High school during the 90s.
What was it
I guess having creators give me major love. Greg Rucka, Kelly Sue Deconnick and Marguerite Bennett are all amazing humans. Having Greg publish my Forever Carlyle in an issue of Lazarus is well up there with a highlight of my life. The greater Internet community writing articles about my Wonder Woman was pretty nice too.
Cosplay pet peeve
In doing it? Underestimating the time it will take every single time (also shipping materials from the US – nightmare) .For Cosplay in general? I think it’s the idea that cosplay is for anyone in general. Cosplay is just an artistic way to express a love for your fandom; I think that idea needs to be celebrated more.
What inspired you to get into cosplay?
More recently, partially because I wanted to develop skills and I kept seeing these amazing cosplays coming up all the time. Partially because I know I can represent something different maybe, and maybe someone can get inspired by it.
What is the piece you are most proud of?
Red Sonja is my new most proud because of attempting Scale mail for the first time. Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman are well up there though.
Who is your dream team to work on a cosplay with?
Oh as in other cosplayers? I haven’t really done a *team* yet. However, there is something super exciting coming up for the end of this year with Belikovs Costumes and Baby Got Cap Cosplay.
What is a typical day in the life of you when working on a cosplay?
CHAOS! Lots of yelling at things. Sometimes a EUREKA moment too.
How long does it take to do an average cosplay?
From start to finish with no disasters it usually takes a fortnight if I really get into it. The longest has been two months and the shortest has been a week.
What is the process how do you start from picking out the cosplay to finally wearing it?
First of all a character really has to mean something to me. So I have a list of my loves and concepts and art work handy as I’m cruising around the internet. Then when I finally decide that I’ve wasted enough time NOT doing it, I will break down the costume into its parts and try to sketch out details from every angle. I will shop around for fabrics and possible patterns if I need them and order the Worbla (or whichever thermoplastic I am using at the time) and start to pull it all together. I’m never working on just one aspect, it’s often every little bit at once so that while something is drying or I’ve had enough of sewing there are other aspects of things to be working on. Then it’s just about putting the time in and not being afraid to ask for help and not procrastinating about the harder bits.
Who are your inspirations?
In Cosplay it’s my friends, my friends are amazing people who really constantly challenge themselves the way I also like to challenge myself. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who are always going to make you strive to be that bit better and add just that little more extra thing to your cosplay. Other than that, it’s really down to the Characters and the creators. If I LOVE a Character and a creator has done amazing things, I will work my butt off to do that justice.
What is the current project you are working on?
I am working on Rebirth Wonder Woman and Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy.
What is your dream project?
I think I am doing it! Wonder Woman is my lady. Though I can’t look past the urge to do a big armoured piece eventually.
If you could pick anyone to act as your mentor, who would it be?
Well Yaya Han is amazing, the intricate details and skills that woman has. But Major Sam is incredible! The amount of work and details and effort she puts into everything blows my mind.
How has the industry changed since you first started?
I think it’s become more competitive, and in a way less inclusive feeling to outsiders. There is a more business aspect to the way people present themselves (which isn’t bad at all, don’t get me wrong) and so there can be a perception that you have to be at this high level immediately which isn’t the case at all.
How do you feel about the change to mainstream thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory and the movies now in the cinema like Spiderman and Batman vs Superman?
Hey the more people who are around to listen to me talk on and on and on about my geek loves the better. I think there are some issues with fandom things, and recently there’s been a lot of discussion about that which was long overdue. But if it means here is more people buying comic books and more people to keep things afloat then hell yeah.
Who is your favourite comic book character?
How dare you make me choose just one. I can give you my top 5 of all time: Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Danny Rand/Iron Fist, Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, and Big Barda.
Who is your favourite author (books)?
Greg Rucka, Brian K Vaughn, Brian Bendis, Charles Soule, Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker.
What is your favourite movie?
I cannot choose just one, I love too many movies. Ha-ha.
What is your favourite band/music artist?
Soundgarden, Muse, You Am I.
What is a quirk you have (like dipping fries into chocolate Sunday)?
As an athlete (we always have the weirdest things) but I always thought it was a bad omen to go into competition uninjured.
Day or night
Star trek or star wars
Coffee or tea
Summer or winter SUMMER
Cats or dogs
Batman or Superman
Movies or a book
Pizza or Burgers
Coke or Pepsi
Next project release date of current project:
Brisbane Oz Comic Con!