Comic Books Magazine

Featured Cosplayer – Angi Viper

Posted on the 25 March 2013 by Comicscritic @comicscritic

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Angi Viper

Angi Viper as Catwoman

There are many talented models and performers who bring their love & enthusiasm to dressing up as their favorite characters. Comic Book Critic will regularly showcase a performer who embodies this spirit of cosplaying.

Whether it’s creating the costume from scratch, altering the appearance of an existing one, or just getting into character, these performers spend a lot of time and effort on their craft. As much as we all enjoy seeing our favorite fictional characters represented in real life, let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes work that goes into that portrayal.

One thing is for certain though, their love of cosplaying shines through in their work.

The Comic Book Critic Featured Cosplayer for March 25th, 2013 is:

Angi Viper from Burbank, CA

Angi Viper as Phoenix

Having started cosplaying in high school, Angi Viper is no stranger to costuming. We caught up with Angi and asked her about her experiences dressing up as her favorite characters.

Angi Viper as Black CanaryWhat made you decide cosplaying was something you wanted to do?

Ever since I was little, I always loved dressing up in costumes and pretending to be my favorite characters.  I’d mimic their voices and attitudes and throw quotes into everyday conversation.  I guess cosplay was just a natural continuation of something I already loved to do.  Plus, I loved the draw of making my own costumes.  I feel like it brings me much closer to the character and creates a deeper connection that I never got just throwing a black blanket over my head and saying I was Batgirl or wrapping a red towel around my chest and insisting everyone call me Jessica.

What was your first costume? 

I get my first two big costumes confused a lot and I can’t really recall which was first, but I know Gunner Yuna and Carcaptor Sakura’s final battle uniform from the second movie were my first real ventures into the world of cosplay.  I was heavily influenced by anime back in high school and my mom was extremely supportive.  She was the one that pushed me to start making costumes and helped me figure out how I could recreate outfits and made many of my costumes back then.

Angi Viper as Black WidowDo you model and is it something you did before you began cosplaying? 

Modeling (and acting) has always been a pastime that I enjoyed, but never something I actively pursued.  I went to film school, so there were tons of opportunities to put myself in front of the camera (still or action) and I took all of them.  I’ve always been more comfortable in front of a camera than in person, though, so cosplaying at conventions has been a push for me to step out of my comfort zone.  I try to become the character every time I put on a costume so every photo I release is as close to an embodiment of the character as I can manage.

Angi Viper as MeridaDo you make and/or design your own costumes? 

I make all of my costumes.  I try to take each new costume as a challenge to learn a new technique.  I do buy gloves and shoes most of the time just to take a little stress off and sometimes I enlist help to make props, but I always try it myself first.  I love to design costumes, but I have a wild imagination, so most of the things I design are way out of my budget.  I’m hopeful that some day soon you’ll start seeing more original costumes from me, but for now, I use images of characters as reference for my costumes.

What are your favorite characters? 

Angi Viper as CatwomanI’ve always been drawn to strong women and redheads, so growing up my favorite characters were Ariel, Jean Grey, Poison Ivy, Starfire and Jessica Rabbit.  Catwoman has always held a special place in my heart, as well as Raven, Morrigan, Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Saturn.  I also love characters with big personalities, so Harley Quinn is very close to my heart.  My favorite characters to cosplay are naturally sexy while maintaining a strong image.  Catwoman, for example, is one of my favorite characters to portray because she oozes sexuality through an almost full body of clothing.  It’s in the way she walks and talks and poises that she sells her charm.  She’s confident and powerful and she knows how to command her environment.  I also like to have fun, so I like to mix things up when I can and throw a crazy character in.  Someone I can just let loose as.  Snow White was one of those characters for me.  I made that costume solely so I could prance around and squeak out high pitched songs all day.

Angi Viper as AmaltheaWhich character do you find the easiest to play and which is the hardest? 

If I had to pick one, it would be Catwoman.  But the thing is, the characters I find easiest to portray are the ones I’ve loved the longest because I’ve literally spent my entire life trying to be them.  I basically just do what I do every other day, only in costume.  I think the hardest so far has been Amalthea.  I love the character, but she’s so sad and reserved.  It’s very difficult for me to get in that mindset.

What do you like to do in your spare time, other than cosplay? 

I love to sing.  I sing all day every day.  I also draw a lot and do special effects and beauty makeup.  I love movies, so I watch them constantly (especially animation and superhero movies).  I go for a lot of walks and hang out with my friends as often as possible.  I also love to dance, even though I’m not very good and I enjoy swimming, badminton and archery.

Angi Viper as Snow WhiteDo you read comics regularly and which are your favorites? 

I do!  I can’t afford to buy them as often as I’d like, but I try to follow my favorites – X-Men, Teen Titans, Deadpool, Grimm Fairy Tales, Gotham City Sirens, Batman, Green Arrow to name a few, plus whatever I randomly come across that strikes my fancy.

Are there any particular events or conventions that you prefer to appear at and how many do you usually attend in a year? 

I love comic book conventions, especially the smaller ones.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Comic-Con for the fact that I work in film and can stay up-to-date on the industry, but as a cosplayer, I much prefer "smaller" cons like Comikaze, LBCC and Wonder-Con.  It’s much easier to connect with the artists at those shows and there’s more space to breathe, socialize and actually see the costumes.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the crowd at a big con.  I try to go to as many conventions as possible, but I’m limited in my budget and travel abilities, so it’s mostly local and inexpensive cons or any that I get invited to as a guest.

What are some of your most memorable moments while cosplaying? 

I’d have to say one of my favorite things to come out of my cosplay career is my relationship with Random Encounters.  My first video with them, "The Best We Can Be" is what inspired me to start cosplaying again and I’ve loved every collaboration I’ve done with them since.


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