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Essie Finessie Does Cosplay

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What is cosplay? How did you get involved?

The textbook definition of cosplay is “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game.” To me, it’s definitely a creative outlet where I get to express my love for cartoons, movies, and anime, as well as my love for fashion. The way that I got involved was by seeing other black cosplayers do it, but wanting to put my style into it. After going to a popular anime and gaming convention, Dreamcon, and being surrounded by so many creative individuals, it definitely inspired me to take it to the next level.

What’s your favorite cosplay design you’ve ever done?

I think my favorite is probably Raven from teen titans because although it is a classic that everyone does, I put a lot of work into it, and it was the first cosplay I’ve done in a fashion show, so I’m very proud of it.

What’s the scene like for Black people interested in cosplay? What cities have you been to that have a Black cosplay community?

Not too long ago, cosplay for the black community was kind of frowned upon because of racism, of course. Some people believe that black people should not be cosplaying characters who aren’t black, but who gives a fuck. But besides that, the black cosplay community is excellent, everyone is super supportive of each other, and I think that’s my favorite thing about it. Being from Arkansas, the black cosplay community is pretty much non-existent. Still, I did recently go to Atlanta for a cosplay event, and they have a really big black cosplay community, possibly the biggest. Texas also has a vast black cosplay community which is where the anime/gaming convention, Dreamcon, that I spoke of earlier is held.

What’s your favorite anime?

I have a couple. I think my number 1 will always be Death Note because that’s what really got me started in watching anime, but at the moment, I would have to say Michiko and Hatchin. I just finished this series, and it has a great storyline, a lot of action, and black characters, and it’s heartfelt.

You’re highly creative. Do you plan on writing any anime?

I definitely have some ideas. I’ve always been a writer, so it’s kind of inevitable for me, but I’m still not sure if I want it to be an actual anime series or just ani-inspired, maybe even manga…I haven’t decided yet.