Hasslein Blog: Getting Into Character, Part Seven: Jean Gomez


Hasslein Blog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Getting Into Character, Part Seven: Jean Gomez

by Rich Handley

Earlier this year, while preparing an article for Bleeding Cool Magazine issue #6, I spoke with eight cosplayers who shared their insights into why they enjoy dressing up, how they craft their creations, the mainstreaming of comic books, and the sexism and negativity that some women face regarding their participation in a once male-dominated hobby. That issue recently hit stands, containing truncated versions of the interviews I conducted with each costumer, in a roundtable format. Now that the article is in print, I thought I'd highlight each cosplayer by presenting his or her unedited answers on this blog. You can read the other interviews here

Cosplayer: Jean Gomez

Jean Gomez on the bridge of the Enterprise, mixing the generations.

RICH HANDLEY: How long have you been cosplaying, and what first drew you to the hobby?

JEAN GOMEZ: Ive been cosplaying for several years now, and it all started back when I first attended Comic Con. I was so intrigued seeing all the elaborate costumes that I knew I had to be apart of this world!

Jean as Jessica Rabbit.
She's not bad; she's just drawn that way.

HANDLEY: Why does cosplaying appeal to you? What characters do you most enjoy portraying, and why?

GOMEZ: I love portraying "good girls." I don't do many villains, although it may be fun, too. Getting to cosplay means that you're getting to show your love for a character, and that's what inspires me to keep doing it.

Jean as DC Comics' backward-talking magician, Zatanna Zatara.
"Llew enod. Tnellecxe emutsoc!"

HANDLEY: In years past, those who attended conventions in costume represented a smaller percentage of total attendees. These days, that percentage seems to have grown exponentially. Why do you think cosplaying has become so prevalent, and how has the media played a role in this growth?

GOMEZ: People are starting to realize that this is a FUN thing! And, hey, you dont have to wait 'til halloween to dress up.

...and as Marvel Comics' Elektra.
Jennifer Garner who?

HANDLEY: In 2012, the Internet was abuzz regarding the negativity being aimed at so-called "fake geek girls" by some male fans, and even some male comic book creators themselves. Have you encountered this bias—and if so, can you share an example or two, describing how you reacted to such negativity? In your opinion, why do female cosplayers have such a harder time than men in earning respect for what they do? And what can be done to improve the situation so that female fans are treated fairly?

GOMEZ: Yes, I've heard of this "buzz," and honestly, I don't take it personally, because I feel like I don't have to prove myself to anyone. The people who really know me know that I'm a real fan, down to my core. Us girls can't be intimidated by this. We need to keep doing what were doing, and they will see who we really are sooner or later.

Jean as the Joker.
Why so serious?

HANDLEY: Finally, how large a role do think cosplaying has played in the widespread acceptance of the comic book genre, encouraging many more fans to openly embrace their comic geekdom? And why is cosplaying ultimately a good thing for the comic book industry, as well as for Hollywood?

GOMEZ: I think the generations that grew up on comic books are now grown up, and now they're able to freely speak about "geek stuff" without having to be scared of what people might say. It's a beautiful thing seeing what they are creating with their love for something, just like we do when we cosplay. To me, those two go hand in hand—being a fan and creating something to show how much you love it!

...and hard at work making a Mandalorian suit of armor for a Boba Fett costume.
Hopefully, there were no disintegrations.

Stay tuned, as the final installment of the "Getting Into Character" series will be posted in the next few days. Once that's uploaded, you'll find it listed here, along with the other articles in this series.

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