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Hot Topics Interviews

Sunil Choppala: Cosplayer Interview

1. What is your name and age?

My name is Sunil Choppala, I’m 27 years old.

2. Stage name if any?

I’m mostly known as Sun2. ( Story behind it: Once I kept my name in facebook as “sun Il( capital letter “I” and small letter “L”, so people thought it was sun and roman number 2 and started calling me sun2 and it became my real name lol). And also I’m often referred as Chappie and T-Rex by other city cosplay friends.

3. Are you professionally a cosplayer? If not, what you do?

Nope, I’m not a professional cosplayer. It’s my hobby and passion to cosplay and will continue to do it.
I work at Dell as a Quality Analyst. And also I do freelance photography and also I do small prank videos with T-Rex Costume.

4. How long have you been cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying since 5 years. Started from Hyderabad Comic Con to cosplaying at other city comic cons too.

5. What was your inspiration for cosplay?

Everyone’s story starts from their childhood. Mine, started when I saw Robocop movie when I was a kid. I started building something at the back of my house with a cardboard and I remember it clearly coz I went so far to get those cardboards. I was a nob and still i’m of course 😛 coz I didn’t know how to create one. And then Internet came.
When I first went to hyderabad comic con in 2013, dressed as Jason from Friday the 13th, I was like “Man! This is where I belong! So many crazy people like me!” And then itself I decided what to cosplay for next year.
And then I met Hyderabadi Cosplayers in 2014 when I cosplayed as War Machine from Iron Man. I don’t remember how many people I met but I remember meeting Anantha, Hari, Sai Prakash, Ronit Roy, Sreeman, Rafi, Harshit Madan and Mahima. I met Vijay Sinha, Tanya, Surya, Rohan Jain at other city cons. I get so inspired by these guys, the way they cosplay and the time they spend on their costumes. It was more than what  I could have asked for. This is when friends became family.

6. How do you think the cosplay scene in India has changed over the years?

Awe-inspiring. It’s awesome and inspiring at the same time man. The cosplay scene is growing pretty neat in India, People are actually earning few bucks by doing what they are into. There are pretty awesome cosplay scenes which are happening around the cities. The convention halls for comic cons are growing bigger and bigger day by day and also the number of cosplayers are rapidly increasing which is an awesome change. As a cosplayer I/we always wanted to bring awareness of the cosplay culture in Hyderabad and I/we think I/we are doing an awesome job.
Hoping for more.

7. How different are Indian Cosplayers from Foreign Cosplayers? Are they given the same amount of respect?

Personally, I don’t think we can compare our cosplay scene with foreign country scenes. Because in foreign countries most of the companies earn monies through pop culture, whereas in India it isn’t like that. But as far as I know there are pretty good cosplayers around the city and they have been living their lives as professional cosplayers. They have been hiring from gaming companies and also with other event organizers whenever there are events.
And about respect of course man, the amount of respect these cosplayers get from other individuals is just perfect. We nobs always wants to become better and better when compared these professional cosplayers. We get inspired by them and wish to cosplay like them someday. In cosplay community they treat with respect no matter what happens and everyone helps each other if anyone wants a suggestion on how to build a costume. It’s a pretty amazing scene in India.

8. What are the difficulties and challenges you face as a cosplayer?

Finding proper props, proper material for making a costume. For example if I need to buy Eva Foam for building a costume I have to go to like other galaxy to get it, the place where they sell it, is in other part of the city. And ya travelling to other cons with the heavy costumes. You definitely need to relay on your friends to carry half of your costume with them. I have seen people who leaves their entire costume to other cosplayers  to carry. In Comic Cons the cosplayers don’t have a specific room or booth to change their costumes, I have seen many people do their makeup and change their costumes in washrooms, which is kinda difficult to do it for few cosplayers.The convention halls are good but sometimes it gets too crowded and it’s so difficult for the cosplayers to go around in their costumes coz there will be breathing problems in the costume coz of too much of crowd and loads of sweat and also have to make sure that no one is breaking their costumes.
The biggest challenge is with the non-cosplayers who just show up and take the props without even asking and placing hands on the cosplayers not noticing that the costume is delicate and it may break. As a cosplayer we will be delighted to get clicked by them coz at the end of the day all we need is that little appreciation from the audience. People who are taking pictures, holding probs or placing hands on the cosplayers, they need to ask permission first.

9. Being a man have you ever been discouraged from cosplaying by family or friends?

I don’t think gender has anything to do this in here. Trust me, we men get a lot of discouraging when compared to women. We live in democratic country man, no matter what you do people will judge you. My family supports me in and out. My dad sometimes helps in painting the costume if i’m on deadline. Mom’s are angels anyways. Friends! Grrr! I would say non-cosplay friends! Few of them are like this : I mean when I meet an old friend who doesn’t know about this but he saw me doing this in social networking site and he will be like “dude! You still doing that costume thing! blah blah!” I mean we got used to it but it’s kinda annoying coz he/she got a nice job, got married and doing nothing at the age of his/her 20’s.Other people are like “dude! I’m so happy you are doing something, I’m so proud of you and I wish I could do that too!”These people are so sweet and encouraging and they can’t cosplay coz of their personal issues and we can understand too.We face many challenges at home, work and in this society too. We just need to ignore and pass on.

10. What are the suggestions for budding cosplayers in India? Can cosplaying be taken as serious career choice?

No matter what don’t and ever get discouraged  for whatever people say. We may think that we can’t find proper materials or props for making a costume, all we have to do is research and ask around the cosplay clubs which we have like Hyderabad Cosplayers Club and Indian Cosplay Community. Cosplayers are nice you know they will help us. If you are building a costume make sure that it’s not uncomfortable and if it is properly attached part by part and also may be kinda water resistant. Always ask or search for tips coz it might help you finishing to costume in time and also it will be kinda easy making too, you never know! If you are unable to make the costume there are many people who will take up for commissions  and build costumes for us. And if you are going for the convention with your cosplay always carry a cosbuddy who will help you in wearing or removing the costume and also will make sure that no one breaks our costumes. Cosbuddies are god given happy people I say hehe. And yes! We can choose cosplaying as a carrier choice. Few of my friends are earning some decent amount of bucks by cosplaying and also by making probs. We need to really work hard for this so that we won’t stay in dim light. And also there is an old saying “Where there is a Will, there is a way!”
N.B. All the images displayed are the property of the cosplayer. The Noob Knows holds no copyright over them and the images are being used with the permission of the said cosplayer.
Follow Sunil on Facebook.
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Hot Topics Interviews

Romi Mondal: Cosplayer Interview

1. What is your name and age?

Romi Mondal. 22years.

2. Stage name if any?

Well, I am only using instagram now. I call myself “Romtz” now.

3. Are you professionally a cosplayer? If not, what you do?

No. I am a doctor by profession.

4. How long have you been cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying for the past one year.

5. What was your inspiration for cosplay?

Inspiration from great cosplayer Rheality Lapse and for the event Kolkata comic carnival.

 

6. How do you think the cosplay scene in India has changed over the years?

In India, cosplay has become much more popular in last 2-3 years. Now, a lot of people do understand what cosplay is and respect cosplayers as artists. Though, scenario is limited to big cities only. But, comic cons and different cosplay events are taking place in all over India.

 

7. How different are Indian Cosplayers from Foreign Cosplayers? Are they given the same amount of respect?

Basically, the difference is different countries. But as experience matters and as they started almost a decade ago, they really are good; where we have to work hard to catch up. And sometimes, the availability of some prop materials do matter as well, which are not available in India. And about social media reach,most of the Indian cosplayers have various social media accounts. Even some cosplayers are making you tube videos, streaming , making patreon accounts. So, we are growing.

8. What are the difficulties and challenges you face as a cosplayer?

The most difficult thing was money at “first”. But right now, it is “time”.As I prefer to make my own cosplay clothing and props, Time is a factor now.And the challenge is to maintain both passion and profession. People discouraged me a lot. But,some good friends did stay and helped me to overcome all the negativities. Now, I challenge myself to make me a “Cosplayer” from an “Aspiring Cosplayer”.

9. Being a woman have you ever been discouraged from cosplaying by family or friends?

Yes, I have been discouraged a lot, both as because I’m a female person and I have another profession. Family didn’t support at first. But my mom understood and accepted me and also taught me cosplay clothing pattern making.

10. What are the suggestions for budding cosplayers in India? Can cosplaying be taken as serious career choice?

My suggestions are –
a. To believe
b. To work hard
c. To exercise and maintain good health
d. To study a lot

Last, but not the least, it can be taken as a serious career choice. But, just like the other professions, you really really have to work hard with patience and have to find a good way to showcase your talent.

N.B. All the images displayed are the property of the cosplayer. The Noob Knows holds no copyright over them and the images are being used with the permission of the said cosplayer.

Follow Romi on Facebook.

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Hot Topics Interviews

Cosplay – Birth and Evolution in India: Part 1

Comics were always an integral part of India’s youth. The young minds have always been fascinated by the all the superpowers demonstrated by their heroes. I recall my childhood when I was stoked by the on-screen bravery of the likes of Spiderman, Superman and Batman, to name a few. The comics’ scenario in this country got a major boost when the first ever comic con was hosted in Delhi way back in 2011 by Twenty Onwards Media. And we got to see live-depiction, aka cosplay of the characters we saw in the pages of our comic books or our TV screen.

Today, we have Comic cons in plenty of cities in India, with Hyderabad and Delhi being the forerunners. “The cosplay scene is growing pretty neat in India, People are actually earning few bucks by doing what they are into. There are pretty awesome cosplay scenes which are happening around the cities. “says 27-year old Sunil Choppala who works at Dell and pursues cosplay as a hobby. “As a cosplayer I have always wanted to bring awareness of the cosplay culture in Hyderabad and I think I am doing an awesome job.” adds Sunil.

Sunil as Kakashi Hatake

 

A cosplay on GoT and Breaking Bad, with Sunil as Walter White.

Cosplay has become a very necessary part of comic cons nowadays. Mirza Ahmed Ali Baig, a 22 year-old student, comments, “When Comic con came to Hyderabad for the first time in 2013, me and my friend cosplayed as the Joker and we went to the convention. When we walked in and looked around, I saw a happiness on every person who saw us. The joy of bringing a smile on others’ face was enough for me to keep on cosplaying.”

Ahmed as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Though people have had different beginnings for cosplaying for the first time, one thing stays the same. They were getting a platform to portray their creative talents and bring happiness to a lot of people who have always wanted to experience superheroes in real life. “I took my inspiration from cosplayer Rheality Lapse. I was lucky that Kolkata Comic Carnival was right around the corner and I showcased my cosplaying skills there.” quotes Romi Mondal, a 22 year-old dynamic lady who is also a doctor by profession.

Romi as Gender-Bent Meliodas from Seven Deadly Sins
Romi as Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion

To be honest, there has been something that had been gnawing inside me. Whenever I see the foreign cosplayers and our own Indian cosplayers, I can’t help but find a stark difference. “In India, cosplay has become much more popular in last 2-3 years. Experience matters. They started almost a decade ago, they really are good; where we have to work hard to catch up.” agrees Romi. “Perhaps the major difference speaking quality wise is that due to lack of exposure to materials. Further, money is an issue with most of us here because more than half of the cosplayers are students and we don’t have too many money making options or even the time, thanks to our education system.” adds Rohan Ramakrishna, a 22 year-old student.

Rohan as Scorpion from Mortal Kombat X

 

L;R Nitin N as Ninjask gijinka, Rohan as Gyarados gijinka and Abhilash as Glalie Gijinka

 

Cosplay has definitely been a great addition to the Comic Cons. We can agree that we have reached a threshold, but we still have miles to go.

 

To be continued.

P.S. The cosplayers are the owners of the images displayed.

How did you like the article? Tell us in the comments!

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Hot Topics TV Show

13 Reasons Why – A personal take

Are you suicidal? No? Or putting it lightly, do you feel like pulling off the plug of your life-support system? Not quite? Well, you should still read this article and I’ll tell you why.

Katherine Langford’s Hannah Baker in the series is a mess of a woman who can’t cope up with her surroundings and finally decides to take the decisive step of committing suicide. Well, it isn’t as simple as that. There’s a twist. Baker leaves behind thirteen tapes, with each being dedicated to one of her friends, colleagues or professors, and explains to the listeners what made her do this.

This is what I was told before me binge-watched this Netflix series and boy! I have never been so wrong. 13 Reasons Why is an utterly complex sequence of tapes which takes you through a delusional ride consisting of vicious graphical depiction of rape, assault and suicide. When the entire ordeal ended, I was forced to think about my loved ones and what I can do so that this never happens in real life.

This show talks about friendship and the deep roots such relationships run. We find this closeness reflected in Baker and her friends Jessica Davis (played by Alisha Boe) and Alex Standall (played by Miles Heizer) in the initial days of her school which was very heart-warming. The story continues to show how Baker lost her support from her friends, with rumours taking a bad shape and people accusing her of a lot many things.

By the time, you reach this far, it has already woven into an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation with Hannah dangling by a thread and we see Ross Butler’s Zach Dempsey shaking this thread to the snapping point.

I remember a dialogue thrown by Langford to Dylan Minette’s Clay Jensen. This scene is actually happening inside Jensen’s mind, where he says to Baker, “I love you, Hannah. And I would never do anything to hurt you.” And his conscience, as Baker replies, “Why didn’t you tell me this when I was alive?” This dialogue is one of the best from the series and is really moving.

We have Christian Navarro’s Tony Padilla who oversees that the tapes are listened to by everybody named on them. One can say that Tony acts as the Guardian Angel for Hannah. The irony here is that this concern for Baker was not reflected by Padilla when she was alive.

Sometimes, all we have is a straw and we try to stay alive with that, hoping that our saviour would arrive and swoosh us from the difficulties. What happens when that saviour doesn’t bother enough to understand that you’re floating with just a straw? This is what percolated here when Derek Luke’s Kevin Porter who was the assigned counsellor for Hannah in her school doesn’t understand that Hannah came to him just before pulling off the plug.

If my memory serves me right, one of my friends commented on the visual portrayal of Baker’s suicide as radically horrific and this comes from a person who sees post-mortem videos for fun.  This been said, it is very much clear that 13 Reasons Why isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Although, the show has been in the news for all the wrong reasons with people accusing the producers of promoting suicide, I feel that we can all learn a lesson from it. Baker shows us an entirely different approach to our day-to-day lives. A random act of kindness, an outward thank you or an occasional politeness is often not there in our schedule. Maybe it is high time to make changes to it.

Image Credits – Netflix

What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments!

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DCcomics Featured Movies

What does an Indian Woman feel about Wonder Woman?

The hype and the excitement for the movie was so piqued and real that I travelled almost 200kms all the way to Kolkata from my hometown because the later didn’t have any screenings of the movie (unbelievable, right?) but man, it was worth my every penny, time and energy!

Diana Prince. Image Credits – Warner Bros.

 

So now, the movie starts with the present day Diana Prince who gets a couriered photograph from Bruce Wayne. The photograph takes her down the nostalgia road to the beautiful and picturesque Themyscira, where Diana was born and raised. Strong and fierce amazons habituate the island unknown to mankind, carefully hidden from the rest of the world by Greek god Zeus. As Diana mentions, it’s their sacred duty to protect the world, so we see women training everywhere under General Antiope. Everything looks good and engaging till now but I just wish Gal had a better entry, though. The queen of Themyscira , Hippolyta and the mother of Diana is extremely loving and over protective of her child and still lives in denial about the return of Ares, the god of war. Diana trains under her aunt Antiope but in secret. Robin Wright delivers a commanding performance within the short amount of screen time she was provided with. She’s super  intense and powerful. Now, let’s talk about the most inspiring and empowering scenes of all times where we witness the amazons defending their land from some invading German soldiers. It took the world 75 years to create and bring something as powerful and unique as that scene. All the amazons are actually played by strong female athletes in real life and that’s what makes it so special. The women are able to kill off all the men but the fight convinces Diana that her brother Ares has returned.  The young woman prepares to leave with an American spy, Steve Trevor who she had once saved from drowning. She believes her brother, Ares is behind the world war and stopping him will bring peace to the world.

Image Credits – Warner Bros./ DC Comics

 

Steve brings Diana to London where she is introduced to ice-cream, appropriate women’s apparel and etiquettes. Diana takes time to blend in and this gives the director ample chance to bring a few funny and light moments into the movie. There is this scene where Diana saves Steve from some disguised, crooked German goons, which is a clearly a tribute to the 1978 Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve. Pretty cool, right? Meanwhile, Steve takes a notebook which he had earlier stolen from the German scientist Dr. Maru and hands it to his senior Sir Patrick Morgan who is planning a negotiation of armistice with Germany. They decode the notebook with the help of Diana and learn that Dr.Maru with the aid of General Ludendorff plans on releasing a deadly gas at the warfront. Morgan shows sympathy, secretly agreeing to help Steve and provides him with some money. Steve and Diana form a team with few of Steve’s associates and they move towards Belgium. The movie loses it pace and starts to lag here and there.

Image Credits – Warner Bros.

Diana and her mates become local heroes where she breaks in to No-man’s land and they are able to free a village. Steve and Diana bond later in the evening and share a passionate kiss and spend the night together.  Later we come to know that there is a gala held by Germans to celebrate their supposed victory and Diana comes to believe that Ludendorff himself is Ares and goes after him. She engages in a fight with the General eventually killing him but the war does not stop.

Ludendorff . Image Credits – Warner Bros.

The climax is pretty obvious and Ares had disguised himself as Morgan all this while. Diana tries to kill him with the sword, but Ares destroys it and tells Diana that she is the real Godkiller. Meanwhile Steve’s team destroys Maru’s lab and fight the Germans and Steve sacrifices himself trying to detonate a bomb. Ares tries to misuse Diana’s anger and rage but inspired by Steve’s love and ultimate sacrifice, Diana finds the strength within herself and kills Ares which finally leads to the end of the war. And the world finally gets the Wonder Woman it actually deserves.

Ares. Image Credits – Warner Bros.

 

Gal Gadot and Chris Pine deliver top notch performances. I’ve always been a fan of David Thewlis (who plays Ares) but they should’ve found somebody better suited for such a role. I’m tired of Danny Huston(who plays General Ludendorff) being constantly typecast in villainous roles. Patty Jenkins has given us one of the best movies of the DCEU (not at all underwhelming and the strong nod to feminism) so far and I hope the sequel will be as good as it’s predecessor. I had a huge smile on my face while I came out of the movies and if it were possible I’d watch it at the theatres again.  The super heroine has come a long way (earliest comic books included a lot of bondage which was later toned down) and I hope she continues to inspire young girls (and boys!) with her patriotism, love, strength and bravery.

 

What are your views? Let us know in the comments!