Cosplayer Highlight – Komplex
Welcome to Cosplayer Highlight, where we are joined by an incredible Cosplayer from the cosplay community.
Today we’re joined by a familiar face from a previous Cosplayer Highlight in Komplex from the Cosplay Duo, the British Bumpkins. We thought we’d interview these two lovely ladies separately this time around and see what’s new for each of them.
So read on for another awesome interview with an incredible member of the cosplay community.
Interview with the Cosplayer – Komplex
Q: Welcome back to GeekOut South-West. For those who didn’t catch you the last time you were with us, can you introduce yourself?
A: I’m Komplex, one half of the British Bumpkins, or Jaz when I’m at home. I’m twenty three and from Devon, and I spend a disproportionate amount of my life cursing my cosplays into existence. Otherwise, I’m pretty easy going, though I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great around new people and it can take me a little while to relax and warm up; but honestly, I’m nice!
Q: Since the last time you were on Cosplayer Highlight, have you done any new costumes?
A: Oh lordy, now I have to remember what I’d done last time round… Erk! I have one that is definitely new, which is my Seras Victoria (Hellsing Ultimate, Red), who I debuted in full for the first time at Winter LAGC this year.
I’ve also fleshed out and rebuilt parts of one of the cosplays that I had at the time of our last interview – that being my satyr OC (original character) – who I in fact made my first solo masquerade appearance in at the aforementioned LAGC. My first ever masquerade appearance, however, was last year at Alcon, where I was Artorias alongside my cosplay partner, who was the Great Grey Wolf Sif (Dark Souls). I’ve also spent some time sassing around as Grell Sutcliff (Black Butler) and I put together my own version of Armand (Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles).
Morgaine (Satyr OC) has had her scythe rebuilt for serious strength, she’d had a rapier added to her arsenal, and she’s also gained a cloak. She’ll be getting a new set of horns soon, assuming I get over my long standing rage with papier mache. Armand, on the other hand, is a very casual affair, but he’s quite fun to wear even if he gets less recognition than a potato until I actively introduce myself to people. Selene’s also got new guns, but she’s an old cosplay now and unfortunately, I can no longer wear her as I’ve lopped off much of my hair and now require a wig!
Artorias was my first ever armour build and I did the stupid thing where I didn’t do much in the way of tutorial hunting and the like, and as a result it’s an insanely uncomfortable cosplay which I’m planning to entirely rebuild. He was a positive experience though, I’d say I’ve learned a lot from him – including the importance of building large props light, and softening the grips appropriately. I managed to send my sword hand into spasm right before I went on stage in the masquerade and it made life a wee bit complicated.
Grell Sutcliff I had all these glorious plans about making his coat form scratch and everything, but to this day my Grell is coatless – but he does have a nice big chainsaw which learned from Artorias and as a result, is delightfully light. It’s a tad oversized, but I have great fun whipping it round my head.
Of course, I’ve had lots of things in progress too, but those are the only ones that have hit completion so far – I’ve got two new ones planned for MCM in May alone.
Q: We’ve met up a few times in the past year, which have always been great meets. Have you got any more goals for conventions in the next year or so..?
A: This year, I’ve kicked things off with Winter LAGC, but I’m planning to return to the London MCM in May, as well as hitting the Summer LAGC for the first time. After that, I’ll be descending upon Alcon (Woo hoo, Alcon!) and then I’ll be taking myself off to the new Bristol Anime and Gaming Con, which is one that finally, I won’t have to travel like four hours for. Or eleven hours for (looking at you, Sunnycon).
However, next year… Next year is pretty rough for me at this point, in that I have essentially no plans, but there is hope that I and a few others (including my cosplay partner, of course), will be travelling to Berlin for Ringcon. This will be my first con outside the UK and I get strangely hyped up just thinking about it. I’ve got a couple of personal, convention related, goals for this year too – like getting my clumsy ass into more cosplay videos.
Q: Do you tend to find yourself sticking to the same people around conventions, or are you generally meeting new people each time?
A: This is my third year on the convention scene, and I’d say that I’ve developed a bit of a core of people – a couple of old friends from before conventions were a thing for us, and a few newer ones (like Rob, also known as Drifter, who you’ve also previously interviewed). As I’ve said, I’m not the most social of people and I can be quite stand offish, so meeting new people is very difficult for me, as it takes me a while to warm up to them. However, each convention we seem to come away with a few people who we know better and look forward to seeing again.
For me though, at this point, conventions have also become a space where I can see friends who I otherwise only have online contact with, so I try to spend as much time with those people as I can.
Q: The last convention you went to was London Anime and Gaming Convention. Do you have any particularly crazy or silly, or just downright fun stories from it? Did you get many pictures of the event?
A: I’m embarrassed to say I took incredibly few photos even by my standards. I’m not very good at asking for photos and this particularly applies to cosplayers I’ve met before and grabbed photos with previously. I have this crazy anxiety that they’ll think I’m a creeper if I ask for photos all the time.
Crazy stories… We did manage to get an astonishing number of people into a hotel room for pizza (17 people in a twin room, lawdy!), which possibly says a lot about how wild my life is, haha. Silly stories… I can tell you tales of my own stupidity, if that counts? I’ve always thought myself a decently intelligent person, but this year I got off to a wonderful start by forgetting how my eyes worked. Yes, that is honestly as stupid as it sounds, I turned off the light in the hotel room and shut my eyes at the same time, then wondered why it was particularly dark. I commented as such, then realised about four seconds later my eyes were shut. I would claim that it was late and I was tired, all that fun stuff, but I don’t think it really excuses just how dense I am some of the time.
More directly con-related, however, as I said earlier I did my first solo masquerade appearance at LAGC. To my horror, I discovered I was the first to go on and promptly wanted to die inside, and so stood behind stage, shovelling burger into my face and gulping down water while Drifter brushed my wig and my tail for me. Over and over, I went over what I was going to do on-stage in my mind, and I thought pretty heavily on the timing of my music (which was a touch too short for the recommended pose lengths, woops), and then I went on and everything went absolutely swimmingly.
I didn’t even get my scythe stuck in my cloak, which I’d been worrying about pretty intensely. Instead, on exiting the stage, I went off the wrong side and therefore ended up dashing back across to the other side in possibly the most camp fashion the world has ever seen – for a digigrade satyr, at least.
You live and learn though – and in my case, still giggle at myself periodically for just downright failing to engage my brain.
Q: We thought we’d interview you separate from your cosplay partner for this season of the series. As such, how are The British Bumpkins doing? Have you got any plans together this year?
A: The British Bumpkins are still going strong, we’re still helping each other out and learning about all sorts of things together. For this year’s Alcon, we’re to be part of a larger cosplay group, and we’ll be tackling Lord of the Rings. It’s a pretty intimidating project, and I’m supposed to be Aragorn; all I can think about is the fact that our Gimli is like twice the size of me, and there will certainly be no tossing of dwarf going on! Don’t get me wrong – anyone can cosplay anyone – it’s just that the mental image of me trying to throw our Gimli anywhere is a giggle worthy thought for me. Georgina is to be the Witch King of Angmar, which should be pretty badass.
Other than that, we’ve got plans for a D-Gray Man group (with Drifter joining us), but that’s about it. We’re collaborating with other people a bit more this year, and doing a few more solo projects. We’ll still be helping each other build stuff wherever we can though, and we’ll always be there to cheer each other on.
Q: The Witcher or The Witcher 2? Which do you prefer and do either of them make for better costumes?
A: I’d just like to take a moment to say I actually nearly cried when it was announced that the remaining Witcher books were going to be translated into English and released in a reasonable timeframe. Honestly, this series is so dear to me that it hurts.
I adore both games and have the third on pre-order (pre-ordered long ago at this point), and the whole Witcher Saga is just something I sink into and feel like I’m with an old friend, familiar and absolutely at ease with, in tune with. The first game I enjoyed for its fairly elaborate plot, its twists, and for the fact it introduced me to a protagonist who I utterly love. The first game is also where I’m pulling my first Witcher cosplay from; I’m planning to cosplay the prologue version of Geralt at May MCM, in part to celebrate the release of the third game and one of the three remaining books, and in part because his other outfits distress me on a costuming level. I figure I’ll start out basic and work upwards.
The second game I love for its beauty, for Iorveth, and again for its plot and for its wonderful storytelling. It’s hard to say which I enjoy playing more, but as far as cosplays go, I do think the second game is generally the better source, particularly if you’re looking to cosplay a female character. The designs are much more elaborate and generally more interesting, though this admittedly also makes them more daunting.
The second game, from a gameplay perspective, is much more enjoyable than the first, because it is less unusual – the combat in the first is distinctly strange at times and can take a little while to get the hang of. But the first game has other Witchers in it (Letho and his crew don’t count in TW2, they’re bad!) and it holds a huge place in my heart for that, Kaer Morhen is the home of my soul, I swear. What the hell though, I think I’m gonna come down in favour of the first game, for all that it symbolised for me, and because I’ve never managed to run quite the same playthrough twice.
To say I’m excited for the third game is the understatement of the century.
Q: Let’s say money and skill was absolutely no boundary for you, and you were allowed to do whatever costume you wanted. What costume would you do and why?
A: Oh such a loaded question. There are so many cosplays that I look at, and in all honesty, I know I will never really be able to tackle. How many of them I’m actually troubled by this fact with though, is harder to say.
I feel that many cosplays now are much more within my grasp than they used to be, but if money were truly no boundary, I might actually go for a commission from a particular fursuit builder, aka Clockwork Creatures. This might seem a little strange, but I admire her greatly and a big part of me just wants to own a piece of her work, because it is truly art to me.
However, if we double back to building… Ack. Perhaps I could become the Dragon God (Demon’s Souls). For me, he encompasses a huge part of the Demon’s Souls experience, and I often reach his boss room and I just sit and revel in his roar.
Sometimes, I think I’m a bit weird.
Q: Final question now, a new cosplayer has approached you and wants to know more about working with a specific material. Let’s say they want to know more about working with fake furs. What would you suggest they do to find out about working with the new material? Would you tell them to research the material entirely, or enough to “pass by” with what they’re doing?
A: I’ve got extremely minimal experience with fur, so my kneejerk response would be to direct them to somebody more knowledgable, particulary in the area in which this cosplayer wishes to apply fur. If they’re looking to fur a fursuit head, for instance, I know many who can assist far better than I. However, the one thing I do know about fur? Samples are your friend if you’re ordering online, which is true of any fabric, but is especially true of furs.
In general though, if somebody wants to tackle a new material, I do thoroughly recommend researching it. I researched Polymorph (Friendly Plastic to some) extensively because I wanted to use it in my mouth, and I had no wish to poison myself. As far as I’m aware, at this point, my use of it is perfectly safe, but I will admit I wouldn’t make a guarantee of that to anyone else. It’s like Worbla’ing one’s face – it’s not how it’s supposed to be done, but it’s alright for some. If you’re completely unfamiliar with a material too, I recommend buying a tad more than you think you need, because the security of knowing you’ve got more you can fall back on is, or so I find, a great comfort. Being stressed out by your new material is an excellent way to make mistakes and waste it.
I also recommend not working to a tight deadline. A new material may not work the way you want it to, and you may need to find an alternative; nobody wants to be having that hanging over them in the week running up to a con.
Ultimately though, an overall knowledge of a material is very useful, but to start out with, just researching the particular application you’re looking to use it for is fine as far as I’m concerned. More learning can always be done later.
I’d like to extend my thanks to Jaz for joining us once more for a cosplayer interview.
Last time we had Jaz here, we interviewed her together with Georgina of The British Bumpkins and we did an audio interview. This time around, we felt like it’d be interesting to see what they both had to say separately. In the coming weeks, we’ll be interviewing Georgina. It’s nice o see there is a wealth of information out there and that even those who have some absolutely stunning costumes have had times where they’ve had to make costumes that weren’t quite what they wanted.
We’d also like to extend our thanks to the two talented Cosplayer photographers featured in this post. We have TPJerematic, who can be found on his Deviant Art, his Facebook and his Twitter accounts. We also want to thank Manga Girl Photography, who can be found on her Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Deviant Art.
So please tune back in next week for another exciting Cosplayer Highlight!