I'd like to introduce you to Ninja Shani. She's a comic book collector and a cosplayer hailing from Ohio. And a ninja. Recently I had the opportunity to pick the brain of an experienced cosplayer, in my interview with Ninja Shani herself. Check it out!
EV: Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself!
NS: I go by NinjaShani in the cosplay community but my real name is actually Shannon Thrasher. I've always been called ninja as a nickname so NinjaShani just fit. I have 3 small dogs named scrappy, scooby & daphne who are basically my children. They mean the world to me! I'm a big comic book collector & I'm into cosplay, video games, & nerdy things. Hulk & TMNT are my thing. I also collect hulk statues (:
EV: How long have you been Cosplaying?
NS: I've been cosplaying for a little under 3 years now.
EV: How did you become involved in cosplay?
NS: I've always been way into superheroes so when I first learned what cosplay was I was ready to get on board. I came across a guy that goes by "extreme costumes" & he changed my life. He is such a nice guy & really pushed me into building my first cosplay. Ever sense I've been hooked!
EV: Do you remember the first character you portrayed?
NS: My first cosplay was "Dawnstar" from the "Legion of Superheroes". I really love legion characters so right away I was set on Dawnstar & her beautiful wings! I already read/owned many comics with her in them so I knew a lot about her character & costumes she wore.
EV: What does Cosplay mean to you?
NS: Cosplay means costume play. I feel that the definition doesn't do the word justice though. Cosplay can be so empowering & freeing. You can support & show your love for a character while being creative & showing off your art. It can be inspiring & so much fun! Gives you a real escape from the world when you need it!
EV: Do you make all of the pieces you wear?
NS: I make all my cosplays myself. It's my passion & I wouldn't have it any other way.
EV: What are your thoughts on making your own costume versus buying a pre-made one?
NS: I personally am a perfectionist haha so I like to do my costumes myself. But my friends & other cosplayers I've met have commissioned out costumes or bought already owned costumes which is completely fine as well. Each cosplayer is different & has their own way of doing things so I say do what you feel most comfortable with. The rpf.com has wonderful tutorials for people just learning & also costumes for sale as well.
EV: Do you travel often for Conventions?
NS: Right now I travel to about 1-2 conventions a month but sometimes it could be less/more.
EV: What is your favorite thing about Cosplaying?
NS: I love the process of making & finishing a costume. When I finish a costume I feel I've worked so hard on it is the best feeling in the world. I'm so proud to wear it & support that character while showing off my art. Plus it just makes you feel good!
EV: Do you prefer to cosplay with a group or fly solo?
NS: I like both! I'm lucky enough to travel to most cons with my friends who are very much into cosplaying so it's definitely fun to run around & cos"play" with them. I'm actually in a group of cosplayers called "the smashers" so we have a good time!