Caliburn24 here with an interview with one of the cosplayers at Cosplay Con held on April 13.
Toni Darling was dressed as Lady Thor at the convention. She introduced herself:
“I’m Toni Darling, I do cosplay, I’m originally from Arizona, but I do a lot of [events] in California. I’m supporting my cosplay calendar that the girls in Arizona and I produced as well as Ivy Doomkitty was featured in it. Ivy invited me to come. I thought it was really cool that this is a first year convention. Also that [Cosplay Con is] specifically celebrating cosplay.”
“It was kind of by accident. I got this helmet at a costume shop because I really liked it and then someone had been asking me to do a Women of Marvel shoot and I thought maybe doing Valkyrie. And then I realized I had the helmet and I thought to myself I’m just going to do Thor. So one thing led to the other, the photo ended up going viral on the internet and the rest is history. I don’t have a ton of costumes like most cosplayers. I have two or three like Lady Death.”
Then, Toni discussed her best fan experiences:
“My best fan experiences are typically from women and sometimes men too. [Fans] will come up to me talk to me about my fitness routine that really inspires me. I’m actually pursuing becoming a personal trainer. So it really means a lot to me when someone comes up to me and says, `Hey, you’re really fit’, but more importantly they say these are my goals, they tell me about themselves, this is what I really would like to accomplish. Beauty is something that we have inside of us at any size. It doesn’t matter the size and the shape, it’s a matter of health. Also these people are going to be like me, they’re really geeky, but also like fitness. That’s kind of rare to find people who like both.”
Toni was asked about her interests:
“I’m into comics. I’m really patient and I wait for trades to come out. Most recently I read Batman Court of Owls volume 1 from the New 52. I like a lot of the New 52 stuff. I haven’t really checked out the new Wonder Woman, I’m really hesistant, I heard it’s not as great, I kind of prefer the classic Wonder Woman. I’m really enjoying Batwoman. With Marvel obviously Thor, the Thor from the last ten years, not so much the older stuff, I have it, I collected it. I really like American Vampire, Preacher, and some of the darker stuff. I just read Revival (an Image series by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton), it’s so fantastic, I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, so my friend was like you should check this out. Revival is amazing, really epic, really noir.”
Next, Toni was asked about the appeal of comic books for her:
“I get to go into another plane of existence for a little while and forget about life. I really like the artwork. I’m actually an artist, not many people know that about me, so I appreciate it from an artistic standpoint. Growing up in rural upstate New York, there was one comic book shop, I didn’t start reading comics until I was nineteen. I didn’t realize the potential of there. I would have gone to school to learn artwork.”
Toni was asked about tips for perspective cosplayers:
“I think if you love a character, you should cosplay that character. It doesn’t matter what size, shape, color, creed that you are, I think that if you love a character, you should choose to make that costume and portray that character however you feel inspired to, don’t do it for the “fame”, I think that’s ridiculous. Do it because you love it and if you are doing it because you love it, it will come out well. Also, There’s a ton of youtube videos out there about how to make costumes. Ask. Not all cosplayers will answer. Ivy Doomkitty is known for helping girls, pointing them in the right direction, products to get, so ask. If you are going to do it and really be a part of the community, then don’t be afraid to reach out there and ask for help.”
Finally, she was asked about the Cosplay Con:
“I’m proud of it, I’m really proud of it, I think there’s a lot more people than I expected there to be. I’m really proud of the team that put it together including Ivy Doomkitty. I think it’s really cool for such a big name cosplayer to be pushing not just herself, but the entire cosplay community. I think this convention was really important for the cosplay community. I think it went really well, it was packed in there, I could barely move.”
Toni Darling is an interesting personality in the realm of cosplaying. Thanks to Ivy Doomkitty for helping to set up the interview.