A family-like group of four individuals brought together for the common goal of cosplay, the Titanesque Cosplay group, unlike their name, had much smaller beginnings starting with Heather Hodges. She met fellow anime enthusiast, Marissa Cuce, while they were both in high school. “After my first one (convention) with her (Marissa),” Ms. Hodges stated, “we knew we had to get into this cosplay thing.” Caitlyn Moran, Ms. Hodges’ little sister, eagerly bolstered the group not long after being introduced to the anime series Soul Eater. Lastly, Sumner Bukoski joined the cosplay team in 2012 after meeting the group at a convention. By the 1st of January in 2013 the group was designing and building their cosplays and taking their work to convention contests.
When asked how they decided to cosplay League of Legends, Ms. Moran said:
“I had really wanted to cosplay Riven for a while and was really bugging the group about it. I guess we finally did it because we saw it as a nice challenge.”
Ms. Hodges added:
“She (Caitlin) has always been so willing to go along with any character we needed her to be and wear whatever crazy outfit we wanted her in; so, when she requested a league group, how could we say no?”
Not all members of the group picked their favorite character to cosplay; some champion selections were purely aesthetic. Ms. Cuce confessed:
“I haven’t played enough (of League of Legends) to have a favorite character yet, and I haven’t played LeBlanc, but I love her design and skins!”
With only two members of the group having steady jobs, and one out of work in preparation for foot surgery, funding for the cosplay was touch-and-go. Not only did Ms. Hodges need to sell books on Craig’s List to bring in money for her costume, but also the family members of the group, realizing their loved-ones dreams of cosplay, gifted them with wigs and supplies on birthdays and holidays. Titanesque Cosplay received additional support through a sponsorship from GeekLurv, a match-making site that specializes in matching like minded people, which helped them attend Anime Matsuri. The group revealed that it does not have an online store; however, they are in the process of setting up a store to sell cosplay items to the public in order to help raise funds for future projects.
The group’s sponsorship and decision to cosplay League of Legends led them to design and hand make each of the costumes used in the final skit. To design and build Ms. Hodges’ “Annie” costume took about one week. Her dress was constructed using velveteen, a velvet substitute, iron-on designs made of vinyl, and custom printed fabric leg-warmers designed and ordered from Spoon Flower. Ms. Moran and Ms. Cuce’s creations took one month and two months, respectively, to build. The designs included the manipulation of several types of satin and vinyl as well as spandex and worbla, a thermoplastic modeling material. Reaching eight feet tall, Mr. Bukoski’s Tibbers costume took the most time, four months, to construct. It features an internal skeleton of PVC piping and high-density packing foam, and it is lined with LED lights to create a menacing presence. After the skeleton was complete, the team added fur and built the head using stacked pieces of insulation foam board; the claws were formed using the same material. To achieve the proper height in proportion to the other cosplayers, stilts were made from a pair of Wal-Mart paint buckets attached to rain boots via zip ties. Each member of Titanesque Cosplay finished their costumes by styling their own wigs.
Using the costumes, they competed at the 8th Annual Anime Matsuri, hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, on March 15, 2014. After a grueling hour and a half delay in scheduling, Titanesque Cosplay went on stage and concluded their act to thunderous applause. They won 1st place in the “Skits” category, and the crowd bequeathed them the “People’s Choice Award,” which was decided via live voting through the mobile devices that registered before the contest began. Of their win, they said, “With a giant bear on stage, we didn’t really know what to expect! There were a lot of really great contestants and it could have been anyone’s game, especially for “People’s Choice”.” Titanesque Cosplay has received awards in the past including 2nd in the “Skits” category and the “People’s Choice Award” at the 7th Annual Anime Matsuri, “Best Group” at the Dallas Comic Con, and 1st place in “Comic Characters” at a Si-fy Convention.
When asked if they had considered cosplaying as something they were looking to do professionally, either individually or as a group, Ms Hodges responded:
Oh man, what a thing that would be! I feel like all of us have that dream, and I know we all want to stay together if anything like that were to happen. We’ve come this far together, and we will continue on to bigger and better things the same way!
As for what the group will be cosplaying as next, they said they recently started watching the anime Kill La Kill. Ms. Hodges revealed that, “Those costume designs are to die for! Definitely expect us to be sporting some of the characters in the near future.” A revealing, but not overly, statement that ought to leave fans wondering when and where this group of impressive peoples will decide to display their select choices for the anime series Kill La Kill.
In addition, Ms. Hodges offered this advice to future cosplayers:
“Everyone starts somewhere. I feel like many people get discouraged from starting to cosplay because they think they will be bad, but we all started off not knowing any of this stuff either! It doesnt matter if your first costume isn’t perfect, or the next one, or the after that. I still have so much to learn about costuming; so, (you) treat it like a learning experience! Like Jake the Dog from Adventure Time says, “Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta’ good at something.”
Without a doubt Titanesque Cosplay is a group with immense drive and skill. It is likely that they will continue to see success in their future endeavors. If possible, catch the group at the 25th Annual A-Kon happening June 6–8 of 2014 at The Hilton Anatole in Dallas. For now, as the League of Legenders say, “Good luck. Have fun.”
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A brief introduction to the League of Legends:
As a result of the world’s growing physical and political instability, magicians came to the conclusion that conflicts needed to be resolved in a systemic way; thus, the mythical land of Runeterra created the League of Legends and formed the Fields of Justice, battle arenas, to resolve any and all political battles.
Click here to learn more about the game League of Legends.