I was cruising through the cyber streets of Instagram solo without my woes looking for the usual: thirst traps, dogs and cosplay (not always in that order, mind you) when I stumbled upon Katrina’s photos. Her take on 90’s Superboy was instantly recognizable and I kept coming back for more. Here’s another cosplayer from Canada that I’m stoked to interview! Enjoy! -Carrie
Black Nerd Problems: Please tell us little about yourself. How long have you been cosplaying?
Catae Cosplay: I’m Katrina, I’m 24 years old and I’m currently working for a Risk Management Services company. I love watching movies, reading, and writing. I’m a cosplayer based in Toronto, Canada and I’ve been doing it for about 3 years. I used to just admire cosplayers from afar, thinking it’s really cool but not really something I wanted or even could do myself. Then I discovered Homestuck.
A huge, huuuge percentage of the fandom cosplayed and there were plenty of characters from the comic that had fairly simple designs that are easy to do so I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. I ended up loving it and though my interest for the comic eventually faded, my interest in cosplay did not. So here I am now, with several cosplays in my closet and plans for many more.
BNP: What does Cosplay bring to your life? Is it just another art form to appreciate and participate in? Is it just a fun pastime?
“Cosplay has given me a lot more self-confidence than I used to have.”
CC: It is an art form and it is a fun pastime but beyond that, cosplay has given me a lot more self-confidence than I used to have. It’s a more hands-on form of escapism I think, in which you get to literally walk in your favorite character’s shoes. Sure, you don’t get to fight bad guys and save the world but still, after I put on a cosplay I always think: “Oh man I’m wearing Black Canary’s fishnets, it’s THE fishnets, who cares whether I look good in it or not? I’m the effing Black Canary!! I kick butt!!”
I’ve also met and continue to meet some really fantastic people through cosplaying. It’s like wearing an advertisement of your interests. I would see someone, or someone would see me cosplaying a character from their favorite series or a series they’re interested in and it’s an instant conversation starter. A lot of the time the people you talk to have a lot in common with you and you hit it off right away.
“It’s a more hands-on form of escapism I think, in which you get to literally walk in your favorite character’s shoes.”
BNP: So I’ve noticed that you’ve also done photography for your cosplayer friends. What’s it like to be on the other side of the lenses shooting?
CC: It’s very fascinating. When you’re in front of the camera, you only have a vague idea of what you look like and sometimes it confuses you when your photographer says “turn the other way, no lower your arm more, tilt your head a little” it can feel a bit funny on your end, you’d feel a little silly and like the position you’re in is a bit awkward.
But when you’re behind the camera, you see all the minuscule things that can make a pose better or worse. It’s also really amazing to see your friends or other people turn into the character they’re cosplaying when a shot really works out. I geek out a lot when I snap a really good picture, it’s really very exciting to say to your cosplayer “YOU LOOK SO AWESOME, YOU REALLY ARE __” and to yourself “You did that, look at that!”
BNP: You’ve dressed up as some very popular comic book ladies: Spider-Gwen, Black Canary, the Suicide Squad film version of Harley Quinn: which one was your absolute favorite and why?
CC: That would be Harley Quinn. I was a little nervous the first time I wore her to a convention and again when I started posting pictures of myself as her on my Instagram because her character design is a bit controversial and I’ve been exposed to more people who hated it then loved it. I myself didn’t like it initially and was worried that I’d be judged for changing my mind about it and that people would make not-so-kind assumptions as to why.
There’s also been this stigma around cosplaying Harley that’s been around for a long long time, it’s sort of faded to the background but resurfaced again and much more potently with this particular Harley. People were rolling their eyes in exasperation and sighing. I’ve seen so many people say something along the lines of “Con drinking game: Take a shot every time you see a Suicide Squad Harley cosplayer” which I don’t get. Because no one says anything about the hordes of Deadpool cosplayers that show up in almost every con too. Is it because the costume is kind of revealing and people love to shit on female characters who show a lot of skin?
“I’ve seen so many people say something along the lines of “Con drinking game: Take a shot every time you see a suicide squad Harley cosplayer” which I don’t get. Because no one says anything about the hordes of Deadpool cosplayers that show up in almost every con too.”
But I put on that cosplay anyway because hey, I’ve seen the movie and this Harley is a badass on so many levels. Why should she be put down just because her outfit isn’t a skin tight cat suit that only reveals a little cleavage like MCU’s Black Widow? It doesn’t change the fact that she can put 5 armed guards in the hospital. (And come on! those pigtails are adorable and those shoes? The heels may not be ideal for saving the world but they are hella cool) So I went out there and it was a pretty awesome experience. A hundred percent of the people I encountered at the con I went to responded to my cosplay with a level of positivity I did not expect. I got asked for so many pictures and only got very kind, appropriate compliments.
It was very uplifting and I had a great time and that’s when I said to myself: You don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything you do especially not with cosplay. Whether that be changing your opinions, or doing something that other people think is annoying or not cool, cosplay is supposed to be for YOU and as long as you’re having fun and not harming anybody, you do what you like because there will always be negative opinions but there will always be positive ones too.
#GPRepost,#reposter,#notetag @cataegispuer via @GPRepostApp ======> @cataegispuer:”Yer never gonna mess with me or my mind again ya hear me? Rot in hell you chuckling schmuck.” And this is my favourite out of all the pics from this shoot. Here’s to hoping Harley will beat the shit out of the joker in future #dceu movies Joker: @iammarriott ? by @heybadcat #harleyquinn #joker #suicidésquad #suicidésquadharleyquinn #harleyandjoker #cosplay #dccosplay
BNP: SO I LOVE YOUR V-BLOGS. (The MTCC one was hilarious and is my favorite) What are your thoughts on how much more accessible cosplayers (and entertainers in that vein) can be nowadays? How has that translated into networking and making new friends for you?
CC: Thank you! I like to think of it as a good thing. Because when you put yourself out there, all sorts of people can get to you and not all of them are good but again, I try to think of it more as a positive thing. I haven’t seen this with my cosplay stuff personally but I’m very involved in fandom and I’ve seen it with other content I put out there like headcanons or fanfiction and I’ve seen it with more famous cosplayers whose follower count on multiple platforms reach 6 digits; you don’t know how you affect other people’s lives just by being you.
Without knowing it, you can help someone be more comfortable with who they are or encourage them to do things they thought they couldn’t do before. There’re so many people out there who could use a confidence boost or just something to smile at. It’s also a pretty good thing for cosplayers too because there are some of us who could use the exposure to get a foot in the door careerwise. I know of plenty of cosplayers who aspire to be models or get into the entertainment business and considering how hard it is to get discovered these days, being easily accessible is definitely a boost I think.
Without knowing it, you can help someone be more comfortable with who they are or encourage them to do things they thought they couldn’t do before.
As for networking and new friends, it does help a lot in terms of being able to do new things. For example, I’ve been approached twice about posing for costumed drawing sessions and some people who’ve seen my cosplays have messaged me on some of my social media accounts, suggesting I look into making prints like other cosplayers do. It’s all very exciting and I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve also met some fantastic cosplayers via Instagram last year that I then got to meet in person at New York Comic Con this past October. Not only were they awesome cosplayers, they’re lovely people too and I probably wouldn’t have met them if not for Instagram so yeah!
CC: Thank you very much! It makes me so happy to hear that oh my gosh. I was very relieved because my body type could not be further from Conner Kent’s. I know that body type doesn’t matter at all when it comes to cosplay but I think everyone gets insecure sometimes with how they’ll look in the final costume. And this is SUPERBOY, if there is a cosplay where that could make an impact on how good your cosplay is, it’s him. The muscles and the wide build are kind of a vital part of the look of powerhouse superheroes and the Supers, they’re THE powerhouse heroes. There is not an ounce of muscle on my body and I’m barely 5’2 so I was a little afraid that the drastic difference could make me look just a little bit silly, but I don’t think I did and I am beyond glad. Not only is he one of my all-time favorite characters, I also wanted to do Connor justice for my uncle. He’s been a fan of all things Superman his whole life, and I have always looked up to him a lot.
CC: Red Robin, Spoiler, Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), Oracle and Nightwing. I’m sorry if that’s a bit of a cop out but they all work together and get along waaay better than anyone else I considered picking. None of Batman’s kids need superpowers to accomplish way more complicated things than bank heists by themselves so it would be a piece of cake with all of them on board. Plus I just really kind of want to see it happen. It’d be like the super hero version of a bunch of teenagers asking their cool older brother and his even cooler girlfriend to help them do something crazy that they’ll probably regret later.
BNP: There’s a slew of comic book films that will be coming to us all in theaters soon: which ones are you most excited to see and why?
CC: Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I was one of the people who clamored endlessly for a Wonder Woman movie and I’ve been excited about it since DC announced they were finally, finally making it. I’ve looked up to Diana of Themyscira for as long as I could remember and even as a child, I found it deeply unfair that she was as much of an icon as Batman and Superman, yet they each have so many movies about them but she has none. And it’s not just her, the only other female-led superhero movie we’ve ever been given was the largely unsuccessful Elektra way back in 2005. I’ve seen all the trailers and clips that have been released and I am so stoked. I’m really hoping that this would pave the way and start bringing more female-led superhero films on screen because girls need and deserve that, especially now.
I’m excited for Aquaman because like with women, there’s a serious lack of leads in superhero movies that are people of color. Aquaman is the first one I’m going to see that has a title character that isn’t a white dude. Also, I’m a huge Jason Momoa fan, he’s a fantastic actor I’m super excited to see what his take on Arthur Curry looks like. I’m really digging the new costume too and I’m really interested to see how the DCEU would sell a character that hasn’t been in the limelight as much and who most of the world only knows as “that weird orange guy who talks to fish”
BNP: Who or what haven’t you cosplayed yet that you want to make happen soon?
CC: Arrowette from the Young Justice comics. She’s another one of my all time favorites and a good friend of mine who is an artist and animator actually helped me redesign her outfit. We came up with this really cool (in my opinion anyway) modern costume that I think is a pretty neat take on what she would look like now if DC decided to bring her back and I’m excited to show it to the rest of the world. I’m working on other cosplays now and I don’t have the time or money to make her happen as soon as I’d like but I’m hoping that in the not so distant future, I’ll be walking around a con floor, decked out in red with a kickass bow and arrow on my person.
BNP: Lastly, what future cons will you be attending that people can find you at?
Hey Bad Cat Photography
Interview published online: Jan 24, 2017