We are blessed to be highlighting the work of Gina, also known as Woman of Wonders. At the time of publication, Gina has created more than thirty costumes in collaboration with her husband, Bishop Cosplay. She has judged and won a variety of cosplay competitions, and her work has even been featured on television. She discusses her impressive Gravity Suit costume from the Metroid series in this feature, and how it came to be.
Woman of Wonders
Hello, all! My name is Gina, and I thank you for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself.
In the cosplay world, I go by the handle, “Woman of Wonders”. It was a name given to me by the awesome comic book writer Gail Simone, so I treasure it and wear it proudly.
For the past twenty years, my professional life has been in graphic design, but I’ve been creating from a very young age – drawing things I would see around me, or from images in books and magazines. My first love was drawing and painting portraits, while I later applied design and decoration to almost anything I could get my hands on. I’ve dabbled in many forms of creative art, but I developed cosplay fever in 2009 when my husband Harry (aka Bishop Cosplay) and I attended our first comic con competition in Baltimore. Ever since that fateful day, I’ve loved dressing up for Halloween so I fell in love with cosplay. It was on!
My cosplay adventure has opened up many doors and experiences that I could not have imagined before. I’ve won Best Presentation at New York Comic Con’s costume contest n 2013, I was interviewed to be a contestant on the (unfortunately cancelled) TV series Cosplay Melee, I have judged costume contests, I was recognized by game developer Ubisoft and awarded a free video game for my Assassin’s Creed cosplay, I have been featured on and interviewed by many social media and entertainment outlets, met and been recognized by several celebrities, traveled overseas and been acknowledged by people around the globe, met and shared knowledge with many other creatives, been part of a photo shoot done by a celebrity photographer for my husband’s Superman and my Wonder Woman armored cosplays, and I’ve appeared on the advertising for New York Comic Con’s (NYCC) video promotional materials, subway posters, and convention programs. Lastly, all of this has given me the confidence to start a business doing costume and prop commissions.
I began cosplay with my husband, making costumes for the both of us. So, for the past ten years (with a one year break), I have been on double duty; making over thirty costumes, with my inspiration coming from many different places. The bulk of that inspiration comes thanks to my husband’s unbelievable knowledge of everything geeky (as well as an enormous collection of action figures). There’s also the video games of today. While (to be honest) I am the last person to play video games, I continue to be an admirer and spectator of them because of the amazing graphics in today’s games. Thanks again to my husband’s collection, I was introduced to the character of Samus Aran from the Metroid universe. I loved the sleek look to the costume, as well as the bright color scheme – not to mention the arm cannon she sports! After my husband told me that the character was a female protagonist, I decided that I had to build the costume! After extensive research, I learned that Samus had more than one suit. I fell in love with the Gravity Suit, mainly because of its purple color (my favorite). At the time, I had vowed to try incorporating lights for my next cosplay, so this was a no-brainer. After obtaining the supplies, it took a full month to build the entire costume. I worked late weeknights, and all through the weekends with little to no sleep (my mind doesn’t stop until I get a costume done). Out of all the costumes I’ve created and worn, this one has been the most fulfilling, and allowed me to outdo myself. It’s also because of that reason that I struggle choosing my next project, but there are a lot of characters on my wish list that I still need to conquer. The commissions I am working on are challenging, but I always welcome any ideas for my next cosplay.
Everyone has their own reason for cosplaying a particular character, but it always comes from a place of passion and admiration. I have immense respect for Gina’s work on her Samus cosplay. Speaking from experience, women who cosplay are often expected to be expert super-fans of whatever series they are cosplaying from. But Gina reminds us that there can be all kinds of inspiration to cosplay. Despite not being a die hard gamer, she admires the art, which is a huge component in gaming. She also recognizes the significance of having a female protagonist, a rarity in the early days of Metroid and something we still don’t have much of today. Her research and attention to detail are extensive, and seeing her rocking the Gravity Suit makes me want to work harder on my own future cosplays.