COSPLAYER INTERVIEW: Sameen Rahat
Profession – Currently a Middle School Art Teacher
City – Islamabad, Pakistan
Why do you cosplay?
My love for cosplay comes from my love for the characters I impersonate. I just think “I can’t be the only one who loves that character, right?”, so I try my best to bring the character to life. Even if it is a male character, I just do a female version of it; that freedom itself is amazing and many of my cosplays so far are gender bends. The whole creative process also keeps me on my toes and I learn something new each time. In the end, the best part is having fun at the events.
What was your latest Cosplay?
My latest cosplay, done on 22nd January 2017, was a gender bend/female version of Spark, Leader of Team Instinct from the mobile game Pokémon Go. I’ve started calling my version “Sparkie”. Two weeks before Sparkie, I did a female version of Doctor Strange from the 2016 movie.
How long did it take you to make this cosplay? Were there challenges in the design?
The Sparkie cosplay, in total, took me about 2 months to make. The most challenging part of it was the unique black and yellow jacket. Luckily, I have a super-talented costume-making friend who runs the Facebook page “The Seamstress”, who made it for me. The Zapdos pendant, gloves and papier-mâché egg I hand-made myself.
Your favorite cosplay you’ve done so far?
- There is a tie between my favorite cosplays. There are two –
Chat Noir (Miraculous; Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir) – I did a female version of Chat Noir, but based on the “Miraculous Moves” break-dance AU by StarryCove on Tumblr. I debuted this cosplay at my 25th birthday party, and have repeated it about 3 times.
- Harley Quinn – I was the first person in Pakistan to cosplay the Suicide Squad version of Harley, on 13th August, for the movie premiere, AT the cinema. I did that without the wig. On Pak Anime Con in November 2016, I did it again with the proper wig.
What’s your favorite convention?
My favorite convention is TwinCon – based in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the annual event and its community that made me realize how many cosplayers, anime fans, and geeks there were in Pakistan, and that I wasn’t the odd one out! Now going into its fourth year, this event keeps getting bigger and better each time.
How long have you been into cosplay?
My very first cosplay was for Pakistan Cosplay Day in October 2015, a small scale event in a local park, and just a handful of cosplayers came, but it was still a lot of fun. So it’s been a little more than a year now since I started cosplaying, but I’ve already done 7 cosplays, Sparkie being the 7th.
What was your first costume? Advice for anyone just starting out?
The first cosplay I did was a female version of Howl Pendragon from Howl’s Moving Castle for Pakistan Cosplay Day in October 2015. It was made on a tight schedule so I was worried how it would turn out. But at the event, people liked and appreciated it a lot and I enjoyed that day a lot. The one advice I’ve learned in this year of cosplaying is – If you need any kind of help, ask the people close to you, and don’t ever worry about not being good enough. I ask my parents and relatives for help and they enjoy the costume making process just as much as I do, and I wear my cosplay with pride knowing how many people helped me in making it. Lastly, !!Have Fun!! I’ve made amazing friends through cosplaying, so every event is a big ball of fun!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from all the things I love, be it anime, video games, books or movies. I give preference to characters that I know and love well and feel confident to cosplay. Also, as there are certain restrictions on the costumes (e.g. that they shouldn’t be very revealing) I turn to fan arts and international cosplayers’ photos for ideas and inspirations. I’ve taken to calling my non-revealing, edited costumes “halal cosplays” (such as wearing jeans for my Harley Quinn cosplay, instead of the shorts Margot Robbie wears in the movie).
What are you working on next?
The next big event I’m excited for is TwinCon 2017, and my friends and I are planning a large group cosplay of the Youtube show RWBY by Rooster Teeth. My planned cosplay is the villainess Cinder Fall.
DISCLAIMER: ALL THE IMAGES HERE BELONGS SOLELY TO THE ARTIST MENTIONED ABOVE. IT HAS BEEN PUT UP WITH THEIR PERMISSION AND MEN OF COMICS HOLDS NO RIGHTS OVER IT.