In our next Spotlight, we are featuring the work of an extremely talented cosplayer named Leanne, aka Gonemushrooming, who has been crafting cosplays since 2017. A longtime Metroid fan from the dawn of the series, Leanne has already made her mark on the community with great cosplays of Samus in her ending outfits from the 2-D Metroid games.
My name is Leanne, AKA Gonemushrooming.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Metroid franchise. I spent hours running around in the NES Metroid game as a kid. I looked up to Samus a lot as a kid; I wasn’t really into Barbie or Disney Princesses because I wasn’t a super girly-girl. I went to CONvergence in 2017 with a casual Metroid Fusion cosplay made from some dance wear I ordered online for Halloween the previous year. I remember walking around the con and seeing all these amazing cosplays. It was an intimidating experience to be around so many talented people; I had no idea what EVA foam was or how to use it, I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine, and I didn’t understand anything about cosplay wigs, contact lenses, etc. But during that con, I decided I wanted to be a cosplayer.
I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but it’s been an adventure. I’ve traveled to several states for cosplay, made lots of friends, met my boyfriend, and learned lots of skills along the way.
At ACEN 2019, I was in a Metroid Cosplay meet up, and Entertainment Weekly (photo courtesy of Chris Cosgrove for EW) featured a picture of our group in their ACEN gallery. I’m super grateful for everything that has happened because of cosplay. I remember how intimidated I was back at CONvergence 2017, and now, I’m doing all these things I didn’t think I was capable of doing, and that has inspired me to try to push myself in other areas of my life.
During the past couple years, it’s been a journey of learning to sew and make foam props, and the journey continues. Right now, I’m paring with a couple of fellow cosplayers to host foam-working panels at large cons in the Midwest and trying to remake some of my previous Samus cosplays.
Leanne is one of the most imaginative and creative Samus cosplayers I’ve ever seen. Rather than making a boilerplate Zero Suit, she’s taken Samus’s lesser known suitless appearances from throughout the series and given them new life. Her “beach” Samus cosplay is a fun spin on our favourite bounty hunter and I can see the real Samus chilling on the beach in something like that. I’m really looking forward to seeing where Leanne goes next with her cosplays!