Interview With Cosplay Ladies The Commando Queens!!
AngelWingsAyane and Komadina are the commando cosplay duo from Chicago that is tearing up the cosplay scene. With the quality of their cosplay costumes, you wouldn’t think they have only been doing this for only two years. Their cosplay favorites include characters from Mortal Kombat, League of Nations and Super Smash Bros. The Ac got the opportunity to interview these busy ladies to find out what they do in their spare time, and where they will be appearing next!
Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
Komadina: I remember meeting Yaya Han for the first time and being completely taken with her cosplay as well as how nice she is. It prompted me to look into all the projects she’s done. In doing so, it sparked a desire in me to want to create cosplay costumes. Not just to be able to recreate some of my favorite characters, but because I was so enamored with all the detailing that goes into it. It’s definitely an art style.
What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
AngelWingsAyane: I recently got into streaming on Twitch. I also like to watch anime and Asian dramas when I have the down time.
Komadina: Knowledge is Power, they say. In the time I spend not cosplaying I enjoy learning the French and Russian languages. In the early mornings I frequent the gym, and, in my off work hours I am either reading, playing video games, or spending time with friends.
Which character is your favorite to cosplay?
AngelWingsAyane: I would have to go with my Sub Zero cosplay. Mortal Kombat was the first fighting game I played as a child and Sub Zero has always been a favorite. Bringing Sub Zero to life felt like such a great accomplishment. The feedback I got of my fatality prop made it even more rewarding! It’s a nice dose of nostalgia for myself and others who grew up playing the games.
Komadina: Sona is my favorite character to cosplay as of now. The costume I created modeled after Guqin Sona was my first major costume project. It turned out beautifully, but not without MANY mistakes and lessons well learned on the way to the “final” (let’s face it….there’s always room for improvement…) product. She was my main in League for a very long time, my connection to this costume in particular strikes a chord with me. Then there’s also the major fact that I feel like the creation of this cosplay LITERALLY included blood, sweat and tears!
How did the creation of the brand ‘Commando Queens’ come about?
Komadina: Angel and I have known each other for many years, but it was only in the last few years we discovered we both were taking an avid interest in Cosplay Culture. I don’t wish to say Japanese culture because I personally have yet to delve further into their culture past anime and food, though it is my hope to do so in the near future!
I worked on my Mega Lucario (My first) with the help of my Nana and attended Acen with Angel in May 2014. From there we decided to work together to on our next costumes. We wanted to do things bigger and better than the last!
During all of this we came to find that we worked well together and really enjoyed each others company, so it seemed only appropriate that we solidify the bond IN BLOOD!!! haha jk! We made a group and thus Commando Queen’s Cosply (CQC) sprang into existence!
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
AngelWingsAyane: My Nidalee cosplay was the most challenging. It was my first 100% made cosplay and I had to hand sew a lot of “ripped up” fabric onto a bra. My Nidalee cosplay also helped me get out of my comfort zone and make myself more confident about my body as a cosplayer.
Komadina: Hands Down: Guqin Sona. I absolutely LOVE how my costume turned out. It’s everything I thought I could be. There were so many things I learned during the creation process. One of the biggest hurdles I had to leap over was when I made the red outer robe. Apparently, there’s an order in which one is to put on the lining and the trim. I had yet to learn this order and there bloomed chaos!
I had attached the lining and the trim in the wrong order and it ruined the look I was going for. I had to take it ALL apart and redo it. DAYS of work (much of it HAND Sewn to achieve a certain look!) ripped to pieces in a matter of minutes. To say I was heartbroken and demoralized would have been an understatement. Eventually, I pulled myself together and did it all again, but the correct way.
So to have it all turn out as great as I perceive it to be? My heart overflows with happiness every time I put it on!
What do you think of the state of the Cosplay fandom right now? How do you think it can be better?
AngelWingsAyane: As of now, I think many (not all) cosplayers or fans of cosplay are too busy tearing other cosplayers down on their work out of unnecessary hatred or jealousy of that cosplayer. There is always room for improvement. However, more people need to support one another in this community instead of stepping on each other to get to the top.
Komadina: Truthfully, I’m out of the loop on many things. I only glance here or there at the goings on of the community, but something I noticed that I like is that people are starting to open their eyes to the fact that cosplay is the celebration of a character, anime, video game, show, or character/costume design that one enjoyed, and that it should not be looked down upon if you don’t “look” like that character be it because of skin color, body type, disability, or any other factors.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
AngelWingsAyane: Have fun with it! Don’t be afraid to try new things and challenge yourself with every new cosplay. Most importantly, don’t forget why YOU love to cosplay. As long as you accomplish that goal, nothing else matters.
Komadina: Don’t get discouraged if things get tough. Every mistake is a lesson waiting to be learned! Be sure to learn it!
Do you get to travel the country to different conventions? What cons can fans expect you cosplay ladies at next?
We mainly travel to local conventions in the Midwest, but we’d like to branch out to other states, or maybe even other countries. You can check us out at Anime Milwaukee and C2E2 in March 2016 and Anime Central in May 2016!