Welcome to the latest edition of DCN Cosplay Spotlight, where I talk to some very talented people in the wonderful world of cosplay. This month I had the pleasure of talking with someone who has recently made some waves in the cosplay scene with her awesome Wonder Woman cosplay, Lis Wonder!
Check out the interview below:
DC COMICS NEWS: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally?
LIS WONDER: My name is Lis, and I am from sunny Miami, Florida. I am 30 years old and I was born in Cuba, but when I was eight years old my family left to Russia, and I was raised there. Then, we came to the USA to pursue the American dream, and here we are! I am a simple Florida girl who loves photography, the arts, cosplaying, and animals.
DCN: What was your first ever cosplay project?
LIS: My first cosplay was at the age of 12 when I decided to become Tutankhamun, but those pictures will never be released. It was terrible, but amazing at the same time. I did the full makeup, and I used materials from around the house to create the Egyptian pharaoh. I have always loved makeup and transforming myself into various characters but didn’t have the means (Instagram, Facebook) to share my passion.
DCN: You’ve gotten a lot of notice for your Wonder Woman cosplay, particularly from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. What is it, for you, about this character in particular that made you want to create a cosplay?
LIS: Growing up I struggled with my accent and my look was definitely not your typical “American” TV girl, like Lynda Carter for example. So when it was announced that Gal Gadot was going to play Wonder Woman, I was beyond excited. The original Wonder Woman was not from the USA yet she loved the world and this country, like me, and the values she stood for, fairness, kindness, hope, resonated with me. And then when Dawn of Justice came out, and my entire family turned to me in shock and said “You look just like her!,” the dots connected themselves and the idea to cosplay someone I admired, who I identified with, and I actually looked like was born.
I started with a very basic cosplay that someone had already made, and I did some modifications to it. I also studied Alyson Tabbitha’s tutorial and photos of her Wonder Woman, which helped me tremendously. But it’s when I went to Tampa Con and dressed as Wonder Woman and saw the reaction of all the little children that I realized just what a beloved and important character Diana Prince is. It is my goal to do her justice and bring something positive and good in this world through my cosplay. I also feel validated by Patty Jenkins who noticed my cosplay and re-tweeted my photo. I know this is something I am meant to do.
DCN: With Wonder Woman being more in the public spotlight recently, have you felt any added pressure to portray the this character right?
LIS: The world really needs Wonder Woman right now and everything she stands for. So yes, I feel pressure to make sure my portrayal is accurate. Especially since I have organized a few community outreach events. I will be visiting some local hospitals this holiday season to bring gifts, and I know that a Wonder Woman cosplay done well will bring joy too!
DCN: How long did it take you to put this cosplay together?
LIS: Not long, as I purchased most of it completed and the modifications were not major. I am currently learning to work with EVA foam and getting better at sewing so that I can create more armor and other cosplays.
DCN: What is it about cosplay that calls to you?
LIS: Creativity and the fact that you can be any character you want whenever you want. Before I used to think I could only dress up on Halloween, but now I dress up every weekend and share my ideas and concepts online with the cosplay community.
DCN: What has been your favorite cosplay project so far?
LIS: Daredevil for sure! I had lots of fun doing all sorts of fantastic martial arts moves and putting blood all over my face. It was a simple cosplay (black shirt, black pants, boots, and a face cover), but it was the most fun I have ever had cosplaying. I also loved my Aquaman cosplay because it was done by the ocean and although it was very challenging due to the big waves and the slippery rocks, the photos came out amazing. I organized the photoshoot myself with some help, and I edited my own photos.
DCN: Do you have a favorite memory or story while cosplaying?
LIS: When I went to Tampa Con I went with my best friend. My skirt for Wonder Woman was very stiff and so were my boots; I COULD NOT BEND AT ALL. I had to go up and down stairs with stiff legs, and I couldn’t even pick up my shield and sword every time I dropped them, which was a lot. But we laughed so hard that it made it fun and memorable. I wish I had smiled more but I was very uncomfortable and it was extremely hot, so when I look at the pictures I always laugh at my face.
DCN: Outside of cosplay do you have any other interest/hobbies?
LIS: I love photography! I actually created a separate Instagram account for photography @lis.tham. I also sing and play golf.
DCN: How do your friends and family feel about you cosplaying? Are they supportive?
LIS: They love that I am doing something that makes me happy, and I am blessed to have an amazing support system.
DCN: Do you have a pet peeve when it comes to cosplay?
LIS: Some folks think that costume and play is for children. They don’t understand the concept, the fun, the hobby, the good it can do…it boils down to judgmental people. But I won’t allow that to stop my passion.
DCN: Do you have any cosplays you will never do and why?
LIS: Nothing with nudity. I can be attractive and impactful with my clothes on!
DCN: Why do you think cosplay has become so popular in the last few years?
LIS: Two words: Social media! This has allowed for people like me from all over the world to share their projects and receive feedback.
DCN: Which DC character may we see next from you?
LIS: I am working on Donna Troy, and I am very excited about it. She is very powerful and strong – just the type of female characters I go for.
DCN: Thanks so much for your time! Let our fans know where they can find you.
Once again, I’d like to give a special thank you to Lis Wonder for taking the time to do this interview. Please be sure to check out her work on social media and support this very talented cosplayer!