Welcome to Part two of our feature on Cosplay Babe of the Month for October, Monique Renee, also known around the net as “Rebel Alliance Barbie” or just plain old “Rebel Barbie” for you longtime fans. The first part of the interview with Monique was fantastic so let’s get to part two.
Comics Ninja: What is your best and worst fanboy experiences at the conventions or events?
Monique: Best experience is a real toughie, there are so many. Every convention I interact with them I’ve had so many wonderful experiences. Compliments, concern for my health, it’s all so heartwarming. Worst is a toss-up, though I’m not sure you can count any of them as fanboys. I had a fall-down drunk guy swipe a credit card down my rear while I was dressed as Slave Leia in front of a rolling camera at New York Comic Con one year–and it was only 10 in the morning! (He was escorted out of the convention by security after that.) The other was a drunk townie pinning me to the wall and doing things I won’t go into, right in front of a bunch of people, including my boyfriend! I’ve had plenty of rude questions asked of me and plenty of groping, but in general I’ve found that the guys who behave that way aren’t really geeks or fanboys, just weirdos that assume that because I’m a nerd I must be desperate for male attention, specifically their attention, no matter how repulsive. Real fanboys, the male geeks and nerds at conventions who I have interacted with, have never treated me that way. They are always very respectful and kind, very gentlemanly, and I’m so thankful for that.
Comics Ninja: Score one for the geeks! Now back to being geeky, best movie Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark or other and why?
Monique: Ooh that’s a real toughie, Empire and Raiders are the on the same level of excellence…but I have to say Empire. One could argue that Raiders is better, but I think that’s simply a matter of preference, they’re both phenomenal. Empire was such a team effort that incorporated the best of every idea the writer, director, and actors had. I do have a soft spot for both though–Indiana Jones is rumored to be partly based on one of my real life paleontology heroes, Roy Chapman Andrews, and archaeology and paleontology are seen as somewhat sister fields of study, so to speak. As for Empire…I’m a long-time ‘shipper (fan of a fictional relationship) of Han and Leia, and quite frankly there is no greater romantic dialogue in science fiction than “I love you,” “I know.” Obviously, Star Wars started it all and revolutionized not only science fiction but film making, but Empire surpassed even that.
Comics Ninja: Empire was the correct answer. We are very proud of you on that one. Now, we note that you are friends with cosplay legend Alisa Farrington. Did she get you into cosplay, the other way around or did you meet on the convention scene?
Monique: We met on the con scene years ago through mutual friends, and over a series of unfortunate events that we had in common we became close, making the best of a bad situation, then realized we had a lot in common outside of this negative experience and really bonded over our common interests. She was already very good friends with my now boyfriend, Toby, when we first met, and now she’s become one of my closest friends. These days, Alisa, her boyfriend Derek, Toby, and I are a big ball of mischief! She’s an awesome person, a talented cosplayer, and a wonderful friend.
Comics Ninja:What comic books are you personally reading right now? Favorite games or Anime?
Monique: Right now I’m catching up on the Farscape serials, which are just amazing. My favorite anime would probably be Inuyasha. I read the fan-translated manga every week when the series was still ongoing, until it finally ended. I’m actually not much of a gamer, mostly because I’m an MMO type, and I’m 4 years sober of WoW now haha. Other game types just don’t hold my attention span, and I steer clear of MMOs because they hold it too much.
Comics Ninja: What character would you be if you could be any character in real life?
Monique: I’ve thought about this question in the past, and truthfully, I have never been able to come up with an answer. I don’t think I want to be anyone I’m not already. I like the outfits, dressing up and putting on the persona and look of a character, but at the end of the day, the costume comes off, the clothes go back on, and I’m just me again–and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Comics Ninja: If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
Monique: I’d be a Force-user. Choosing force sensitivity as a superpower is almost like wishing for more wishes in a way, you can do almost anything!
Comics Ninja: What costumes are you planning in the near future?
Monique: A few things I’m keeping under-wraps, but I’ve had Chiana from Farscape on my to-do list for far too long. I hope to get that finished this year. I’m also moving forward with plans for a group build of Stillsuits from the David Lynch interpretation of Dune, and I’m hoping to revisit the very first Star Wars costume I ever did (as a 13 year old for Halloween), Mara Jade. We’ll see how it goes!
Comics Ninja:Any advice for fellow cosplayers planning to go to the conventions dressed as their favorite characters?
Monique: Have fun with it! The whole purpose is having fun. Costuming is not serious business unless it’s your livelihood, but even then it should never be about being better than someone else, or winning some popularity contest. Do it for the right reason, to enjoy yourself. There are many reasons to choose a certain costume or character to portray, there aren’t many real rights or wrongs to it–I think Lilah’s character in Jonah Hex was a one-dimensional plot device, but I just adored that costume. I decided to do Babydoll simply because so many people insisted I should because I looked like her, though I did end up loving the character in the end. And while my Slave Leia is far from accurate now that I have blonde hair, I chose to do that costume because of my fanatical love of Star Wars, and my adoration of Leia herself. I’m happy with all my costumes, whether I love the character or not. If you love a character and his/her costume, go for it!
There’s no wrong or right way to ‘act’ in costume. You can behave as your character would, or you can be yourself. (Personally, I tend not to be very good at getting into character aside from posing for photos, whereas for my boyfriend, not breaking character is his specialty.) Again, it’s all about having fun and doing what makes you happy!
(There are a few faux pas in the grander costuming community, however, that I thought were worth mentioning. The two most commonly heard of is dressing as well-known characters you know nothing about, and the other is that many costumers frown upon store-bought costumes in most circumstances, though I don’t think anyone would fault a first-time cosplayer for wearing a store-bought costume! Whether or not I believe in these is irrelevant, but these are the two biggest complaints that cosplayers and costumers tend to have at conventions, just as a heads up!)Hope some of you on the bench about dressing up join us, there really is nothing like it! And I hope to see you all at conventions in the future!
Thank you Monique, great interview and we look forward to seeing more from you in the future! Thank you again Ninja Nation for tuning in as well and making part one and part two of Monique’s feature such a success. Until next time, get the latest comic book, gaming, sci-fi, movie, cosplay and animation news on The Ninja Report, containing sourced and aggregated news from every corner of the internet and updated every ten minutes! Never miss another headline, preview or breaking story, Ninja Nation! Then, when you’re done with the news meet and rate your favorite cosplay models and fans over at our sister site Cosrater.com.