When Felicia McComb gets her hands on a lump of moldable Thermoplastic — watch out.
In the last two years, the Red Deer cosplay prop maker has made a mask, staffs, swords, shoulder armour, and shipped a 1.6 metre bow to California.
“(My client) had to be able to pack it in a suitcase. So I had to make it so she could break it down into four pieces so she could pack it up. It’s definitely challenging,” said McComb, 25, who started her own business Stealthy Cosplay.
One of her recent commissions was a ‘first blade’ based on the television show Supernatural.
McComb started making props soon after attending Calgary’s 2013 Comic and Entertainment Expo with a friend.
She wore a Doctor Who costume she put together by visiting Value Village.
“We knew that people dressed up, but we didn’t know to what extent. We just put together some basic costumes and we got there and I saw these huge armour pieces and sewn dresses and all these amazing costumes it was like, ‘Yup, I need to do this. I need to get into it.’”
In just two years, the caliber of costumes in contests have skyrocketed, she said.
McComb, a member services employee with Red Deer Public Library, led a prop design and costume creation workshop at downtown branch last week that attracted about 30 teens.
“They are so creative at that age. Some of the stuff they were coming up with, I was blown away by it.”
Cosplay workshops will continue throughout the summer as part of the Teen Summer Reading Club and will finish with a Library-Con photoshoot.
McComb has created about six cosplay costumes for herself and has a dozen more she wants to make.
“I have Warrior Princess Peach on the go. And I’m looking at doing Thranduil from Lord of the Rings with all of his armour.”
She has also designed a World of Warcraft rogue she would like to wear for a costume competition at the 2016 Calgary expo.
“My budget is about $600 to $700 because it has LED lights in it. It’s full head to toe armour and leather everything.”
She said it’s fun when kids get excited about seeing her costumes and recalled a young boy’s reaction at an expo when she was decked out as Lady Sif from Thor.
“I was looking at comics and I looked up and he was pointing at me. He said, ‘Mom, mom, I need a picture.’ He went right over to me and struck this action pose like we were fighting. It was wonderful.”
She said her Luna Lovegood character with her lion head hat, from Harry Potter, also draws a lot of attention.
“This one I actually threw together in two days. It’s the easiest one to wear. I tend to wear it a lot.”
And of course she gets a kick out of other people’s costumes at expos, like an entire young family that was dressed up like the Scooby Doo gang.
“The littlest one was dressed up as Scooby and they made his stroller into the van and they were pushing that around. It was so adorable.”