NEWS: OCTOBER 3 - Our Kickstarter is live!
Women vs Cosplay is launching it's first annual calendar! We're highlighting some amazing cosplay talent while we celebrate our favorite video games! This project is also run by women from all around the world. :)
We reached out to gamers, convention goers and cosplayers, and we're putting together a roster that brings our favorite characters to life - plucked from the realms of Arkham, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and more!
The gaming calendar also acts as a showcase piece for the amazing talent involved! Here is a breakdown of the planning process that went into designing the calendar to make it beautiful and functional.
What is "Women vs Cosplay"?
Women vs Cosplay is a sister project that was inspired by our original project, Men vs Cosplay, which was founded last year. Volunteers, fans, and backers asked us for a female gaming calendar to compliment the male one.
The Ladies of Women vs Cosplay
We are working with female cosplayers with a variety of experience and talents, and we're putting together a roster that brings our favorite characters to life - plucked from the video games we love and play. We work not only with cosplayers from around the world, but photographers as well. This helps us cut costs (versus the incredible expense of flying every cosplayer down to use a photographer of our own), and allows us to feature many different talented photographers versus each photo having the same flavor.
Note: Some cosplays are a WIP for this calendar- images below may not reflect the character appearing in the calendar in a few instances.
Joining the calendar as Harley Quinn (Arkham Knight):
Nichole is a college student, aspiring writer, video game enthusiast, and lover of cats. Her cosplay journey began in the Star Wars charity organization Rebel Legion, where she first donned the Slave Leia bikini, and is currently learning to sew from the talented Maise Designs, while her boyfriend learns the ins-and-outs of prop making. Her favorite character to dress up as is Harley Quinn, if it isn't obvious. Her goal in life is to publish a novel (or maybe a comic book)! Her other hobbies include hiking and camping, reading, and blogging. Also she's short. Really short.
Joining the calendar as Garrus (Mass Effect).
Sarrah is a lifelong lover of creature special effects, costuming, puppetry, and all the ways that the mythological, alien, and otherwise unreal can be brought to life in movies or right before our eyes. She made her first cosplay, a Jurassic Park velociraptor, back in 1993, and has crafted and worn many costumes since! She's also a sculptor, a digital artist, a lover of books, and a gamer, and enjoys a (relatively) quiet life in Arizona with her husband and two cats..
Website: Red Nebula Studios
Alexa is a fine arts college student trying to earn her degree in Illustration. When she isn't crying over her art projects, she spends her time drawing, singing loudly, watching cartoons and of course, gaming. She has been going to cons for years and has been a big fan of the cosplaying community. Even though she has been around the community, this is actually her first cosplay. This cosplay would not have been possible without the help of her cosplayer friends. Many hands went into making the costume which just makes it even more special to her. Now that she has gotten the taste of cosplaying, Alexa will be doing a lot more in the future.
Joining the calendar as Ellie and Joel (The Last of Us):
Cheryl is a cosplayer from the Orlando Area. She has no formal training in art or sewing, but she has a passion for learning new skills. At the end of 2012, she decided her crafting hobby needed a focus and so she regularly started planning and creating costumes for cosplay. She has since picked up leatherworking and is now dabbling in wig styling. Her favorite thing about cosplay is working with her husband and cosplay partner.
Joining the calendar as Naoto and Kanji (Persona 4):
Ariel is a part-time cosplayer, part-time corporate ladder climber from Albuqueruqe, New Mexico. She discovered cosplay and conventions, with her partner-in-crime Jovan Gauthier, while studying Theatrical Costume Design at the University of Florida. The two started The Keeper Thief Cosplay in the summer of 2010, immediately placing in the Masters division and paving the way for four years of cosplay, challenge, and creativity.
Joining the calendar as Cassandra and Leliana (Dragon Age):
Raquel and Melissa started off as just geeks with a passion for games and cosplay. As time went by and more of their projects became intertwined and living rooms became cosplay work stations, that passion became a living. Thus they together created "Armed & Dangerous", a cosplay duo based in Vancouver BC, looking to amaze and spread their passion or knowledge in cosplay to all those who look for it!
Joining the calendar as Laughing Octopus (Metal Gear Solid 4):
Smoldering Flame Cosplay has been cosplaying since 2004. She first discovered cosplay when her mother took her to her first convention, Anizona 04. Seeing all the people dressed up, Flame fell in love with cosplay, and began getting more into the hobby. She loves playing video games, reading comics, watching movies and anime. Flame has embraced her hobby, turning it into a career. She works with broadway theatres in Arizona, making props, and continuing to make her skills grow.
Joining the calendar as Aqua (Kingdom Hearts series):
Karissa is a single mom to a 4-year-old gaming who spends her spare time gaming or working on cosplays (on a budget). She entered the cosplay scene as FemShep for D*C 2012, and has donned Isabella (Dragon Age), Mal Reynolds (with her son as a little Wash), and Elizabeth Comstock (BioShock Infinite) have joined the mix. Aqua (Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep), who was just completed this year, was her most time-consuming costume to date thanks to making her own props (Rainfell and Aqua's Wayfinder) 100% for the first time. Her to-do list includes a Ventus cosplay, so her son can accompany Aqua, and Lightning Farron (FFXIII) for PAX South.
Joining the calendar as Morrigan (Marvel vs Capcom):
Laura is a cosplayer from New Jersey with a predisposition to putting rhinestones on whatever costume she can make an excuse for. She has been cosplaying for roughly 4 years with Morrigan being the first project she has ever sewn and built props for. Friends made through conventions account for roughly 90% of her social life. Outside of cosplaying her hobbies include martial arts, marathoning shows on Netflix, baking, and cuddling her cat.
Joining the calendar as Last of the Order and Vigilante Thief (Towerfall):
Jackie Backer started doing this crazy costume and prop stuff with her husband, Garrick, Halloween of 2008 and haven’t stopped since. They have been able to start their own business, KnowOne’s Designs, and have been lucky enough to be co-founders of an amazing charity group called Project Hero. You may be able to find her in Phx, AZ hissing at the relentless sunlight when she's not holed up in her house working on projects, playing video games, or building Gundams. Her (not so) secret dream is to pilot a mecha. Oh and cats. Did I mention she likes cats
w/ Debra Belle
Nerdy, Athletic, Costuming, Coffee Mug Collecting, Happily Married, Fantasy Geek Girl and more. I enjoy sewing and crafting with my husband. We run Frank and Nat's Armory, a costume / prop shop that focuses on functionally fun custom builds. I believe the best costumes are ones that come from my own imagination, so I really like to personalize all my work. My favorite past time is volunteering and I'm a founder of Project Hero, a non-profit charity booster. I play a lot of Left 4 Dead, love adventure and travel, spend an exorbitant amount of time reading. work the the 9-5 longer than 9-5, and have an amazing dog named Ms David Bowie who loves kisses.
Website: Project Hero
Joining the calendar as Caitlyn (League of Legends):
Sarah Hall is an Arizona costume designer, photographer, artist, and huge nerd. She's been cosplaying since 2010, and has several gaming cosplays, from Hysteria Alice (Alice: Madness Returns), Talim (Soul Calibur II), Caitlyn and Jinx (League of Legends).
Joining the calendar as Lara Croft (Tomb Raider):
A huge fan of all things fantasy/sci-fi/action/adventure, Amanda could be found during her early years cosplaying at Harry Potter book release parties as Hermione Granger. Costuming didn't stop there, however. The years took her from creating costumes for fanfilms to various garb for swordfighting and Medieval events that she took part in. Now, Amanda loves to cosplay the rustic and the adventurous. Most recently, you can find her cosplaying Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider (Reboot) and [Female] Mordecai (with Bloodwing!) from Borderlands 2. Amanda, along with her husband, Chris, continue to explore cosplay and prop creation and look forward to their next projects!
Joining the calendar as Mink (DRAMAtical Murder):
"JouninK" (joe-neen-kay) is a former U.S. Army soldier who was introduced to cosplay in spring 2009. She used cosplay as a way to reintegrate herself back into civilian life after separating from "active duty". She hopes to one day be a cosplayer known for her positivity and skill. She believes cosplay is not only about dressing up, but it's also a tool to build confidence and strong bonds between fellow nerds.
Joining the calendar as a Wasteland Merchant:
Abby is a professional tattoo artist and illustrator who started costuming in 1995 with Lucca, from Chrono Trigger. Since then she's completed dozens of costumes and hundreds of props from video games and movies including Fallout, Star Wars, Dredd, and Warhammer 40K.
Website: Abby Lusk Photograpy: Ian Lusk
Joining the calendar as Miku (Vocaloid):
Lissa Carroll is a full time artist whether it be taking photos, drawing or cosplay. She started with small cosplays and slowly worked her way up, building her knowledge of prop-making and sewing with help from her parents until she began working on her own costumes and props all on her own. Lissa does a mix of anime and gaming costumes, preferring characters and costumes that are usually not as popularly cosplayed or as well known and likes to show off her skills in each cosplay with her attention to detail or in the materials used for each cosplay.
Joining the calendar as Delsin (InFAMOUS: Second Son):
Androgynous Monster Creations’ favorite part of cosplay is making props. A senior at ASU, AM is studying Earth and Environmental studies. She is passionate about both cosplay and sustainability, and takes it as a challenge to use the most sustainable practices she is able to when working on her costumes and props.
Website: Androgynous Monster Photography: Team Mumsy
Joining the calendar as Scorpion (Mortal Kombat):Dara has been cosplaying since 2006. After she made a Witch Elf costume from Warhammer Online, she was hooked! She loves to travel to cons around North America and meet new friends. Dara's big projects for 2015 are Futuristic style Disney warrior Rapunzel, Daisy from Dan Luvisi's artbook "Last Man Standing", and Kasumi's stealth suit in Ninja Gaiden 3. This year, you can spot Dara at PAX South, Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, Phoenix Comic Con, and Dragon*Con!
Joining the calendar as Zelda (Twilight Princess):
Leah Rose has been cosplaying since she wasn't even old enough to walk across the street by herself, but didn't know what she was actually doing until 2005. She prides herself in finding “hacks” and cheap ways to create, and only cosplays characters she loves from all flavors of nerd. Her two big projects right now are Project Rogue, making every single Rogue (Xmen) variant as she's ever appeared, and Project Daenerys, where she is trying to draw attention to commissioners and remove the stigma of not making your own cosplay. She's working on a second degree, slings video games, and is a die hard charity supporter and worshipper of Jean-Luc Picard.
Joining the calendar as Lilith (Borderlands):
Penny entered the cosplay world a few years ago, most recently finishing a beautiful Hellequin outfit from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Multiplayer, and her Lillith outfits from Borderlands 1 and 2. Her favorite part of cosplay are the guns and props and pouring her creativity into making them as realistic and accurate as possible.
Limited Edition Calendar w/ Harley Cover
Limited Edition Plum Shirt
Limited Edition Postcards
We are finalizing artwork for these, but we will have options for backers in the Kickstarter Survey on which set you would like.
Rewards, how to add extra calendars/shirts
- $25+ tiers - Your name will be listed in the back pages of the ladies gaming calendar as a supporter!
- Add $15 per extra calendar you want.
- Add $25 per extra shirt you want.
Note: When we hit Kickstarter goal, the funds will go immediately towards: Printing/Shipping (3400), 1500 (production/gas money needs for photographers, props, and other photoshoot needs - with 12/18 ladies, it adds up!), Kickstarter/Amazon fees (roughly 500). We're not making a cent - selling over our funding goal will allow us to put more into the project in the form of stretch goals.
$8000: Project will be upgraded from 12 month to 18 month. We will add 6 extra ladies to the calendar. All backers (current and new) will receive an 18 month calendar if we hit this stretch goal.
$11000: Upgrade the calendar's size from 8.5x11 pages (11x17 spread) to 12x12 pages (12x24 spread). All backers (current and new) will receive this upgrade if we hit this stretch goal.
Thanks for helping us spotlight some awesome cosplay ladies!
My name is Anabel Martinez, and I’m an artist, cosplay enthusiast, and graphic designer out of Chandler, Arizona. I met my creative partner, Allen Amis (an award-winning costume and prop maker), during my work as Marketing Director for Phoenix Comicon 2010. We remained active advocates of geek culture, often gaming geek culture. We've worked hard to support and connect cosplayers to several creative events, from: Video Game Night with downtown Mesa’s Second Friday Art Walk, Controllers and Canvas at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Costumed Bowling at Lucky Strike for Pepped Up (a gaming charity), The Art of Video Games Exhibit in Phoenix opening, the first Men vs Cosplay Gaming Calendar, cosplay programming at conventions like Emerald City Comicon,Tucson Comic-con, Albuquerque Comic Expo, Phoenix Comicon, and more!
We can't do this without your support!
Last year, I had the idea to launch a project that celebrated the incredibly talented male costumers and cosplayers in our community. And man, did we have an amazing adventure this past year! (Pictured below are several amazing cosplayers featured in our first annual calendar.)
The Men vs Cosplay guys are also excited to see the ladies having their own gaming calendar launched!
Featured in the Kickstarter Video
"Second Hand" by Frame (http://www.framemusic.org)
MELISSA FRANKLIN (Leliana), ANABEL MARTINEZ (Dragon Age Inquisitor), BEN DICKINSON, CHRIS ROSARIO (Ezio), CAP SANTIAGO (El Blaze, Dovahkin), KADEEM MUNDY, DANQUISH (Sam Gideon), JASON ISENBERG (Joel, Kilik), KEVIN BLEY, MARSHALL LIM, PHILIP DE LA TORRE, GARETT DESMOND, JACKIE BACKER (Loki, Bat Woman), ARIEL VINCENT (Zevran, Naoto), DARA DEFREITAS (Scorpion), Karissa Barrows (Elizabeth Comstock), ALLEN AMIS (Samurai Boba Fett), JOVAN GAUTHIER (Kanji), GARRICK BACKER (Batman), IT'S-A ME COSPLAY (Morrigan), CHERYL ISENBERG (Ellie), AMANDA HEADY (Lara Croft), SARRAH WILKINSON (Garrus), RAQUEL LIN (Cassandra), ABBY LUSK (Wasteland Vendor), ITTY BITTY GEEK (Harlequin), LEAH ROSE (Zelda), TARASQUE PRODUCTIONS (Dante, Miku), NIKI BIRKENDAHL (Polaris), JOUNINK
Photography Courtesy Of
GEEK ASSOCIATED PRESS, LAUGHING KOI PRODUCTIONS, NAMAZU COSPLAY PHOTOGRAPHY, COSPLAY CLOSE-UP, C2D2 PHOTOGRAPHY, SEAN CAMANYAG PHOTOGRAPHY, SAM MORT PRODUTIONS, CANTERA COSPLAY, NIKITA COZPHO, APERTURE ASHLEY, NATHAN CARTER, THE WILL BOX, IAN LUSK, ADAM PATRICK MURRAY, SF DESIGNS
Calendar Owners Featured
HEATHER GRANT, KIRALYN BLACKWELL, SYLENE COSPLAY, LISA KRAUSE, NOTGODZILLA
UAT, BOOKMANS, IGNITE PHOENIX, ASU, CONSTANTLY CALLIBRATING, TUCSON COMIC-CON, COMIC MEDIA EXPO, PHOENIX COMICON
Risks and challenges
After the Kickstarter funds, we have only a month to produce the calendar to get it printed and shipped for the holiday season. We are currently shooting the calendar months during the progress of this Kickstarter, so that the post-Kickstarter times goes to ordering rewards for backers.
Our main challenge is a minor shipping delay should a photoshoot come in late, or something happen to a reward. Our calendar printer is incredibly communicative and we can fix any complications with a short turn-around. Our t-shirt printer also has a quick turn-around, and we've scheduled buffer time.
We also have a team ready to help us pack and ship your rewards. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)