EvilleCon 2012: Interview with Cosplayers SynchroHearts
by Crystal Steltenpohl on May 15, 2012

Image credit goes to Mike Boike

From March 30 to April 1, I attended EvilleCon in Evansville, Indiana. While there, I conducted an interview with Malinda and Kyle Mathis of SynchroHearts. Micah Solusod sat in on the interview, as I also interviewed him.

Malinda is an art graduate from Missouri State University with a concentration in computer animation. Malinda is the quieter of the two, but emanates warmth and grace. Kyle is a digital media arts graduate from John Brown University. He’s the more outspoken one, quick with jokes and easy to relate to. Both come off as very good-natured and friendly. They complement one another quite well, finishing each other’s sentences and laughing at each other’s jokes. “Synchro-Hearts” is the name for Ex-Shadow (Kyle) and Malindachan (Malinda). They are members of a larger group, “We *Heart* Card Games,” but this is their personal alias for reference in cosplay and anime convention going.

Kyle and Malinda have been married since October 2011 and currently live in Missouri. The two have won multiple awards for their cosplay craftsmanship and performances and have been published in Cosmode, Otacool2, CosplayGen, and Cosplay in America. Kyle recently won second place in the North American Otaku House Cosplay Idol contest, and Malinda was featured in Shonen Jump for her Yugioh cosplays and artwork. You can find Kyle’s DeviantArt here, and Malinda’s here.

After some jokes about stomach growls being recorded and Kyle asking photographer Alex Kessler about his Superman shirt (it had a cape), the interview began. The interview posted below was transcribed by Mark B. Image credit, unless otherwise stated, goes to Alex Kessler.


DHGF: I guess we’ll start with the obvious question. How did you guys get into cosplaying and how did you take it to that next level?

KYLE: Micah, I think you should take this one.

MICAH: Well, it all started when I was a little kid and my dad told me, “No Micah, no. If you get As, that’s not good enough. You have to get better than As, you have to get”””Why are you letting me talk?

[Everyone laughs]

MALINDA: We were a part of the high school anime club. The higher ups encouraged cosplay for the homecoming parade and special events where we had an excuse to dress up or do something to promote our club or show club spirit. People thought it was pretty weird, but since we had several people doing it, it was really fun. I made an Edward Elric costume for one year’s homecoming parade and Halloween.

KYLE: I did a Seiichirō [from X]; I got one of those Matrix coats from Hot Topic. And I did Taishi from Comic Party. It sucked so bad. That was before we actually started making our costumes. Well, she’d kind of started to make her costumes””

MALINDA: “”I’d been sewing since middle school””

KYLE: “”I didn’t start sewing or making stuff myself until 2007.

MICAH: So you just bought a brown suit.

KYLE: Yeah, it was whatever I could find. I was really good at hodge-podging stuff together. And my senior year of high school I took that Matrix coat that I had for Seiichirō and had it altered by a local seamstress who did wedding dresses. I gave her reference pictures for Vash and she managed to make a pretty decent Vash coat. It was still black””

MALINDA: “”it was still cool though””

KYLE: “”yeah, it was awesome, but later I was like, no, I want it red, so I tried bleaching it. And I just dumped bleach straight onto the coat, and it came apart in my hands… as did my dreams.

[Everyone laughs]

MALINDA: After we had graduated and gone off to college we had more freedom to travel, and we started attending conventions. My first convention was in 2007; I went to A-Kon with a bunch of friends. I made some costumes in advance; I was still making them for Halloween, but I wasn’t really frequently making them. But I made two costumes, and I just had had such a blast. It was just being in an environment where you’re finally being accepted for your hobby, and I got addicted.

KYLE: That first A-Kon was really fun. That was also about the time I started actually making my own costumes. I had just met my birth parents ’cause I was adopted. My birth father didn’t live too far away and he did leatherwork. So about the time I wanted to remake Vash, I still bought pieces for it but I wanted to actually make a really good one. So I was like, you know what, I am an artist, how bad could it be? So I sort of commissioned my birth father to help me with a leather coat. He made the basic coat for me because I didn’t know how to sew yet, but he also basically””he was kind of catching up on birthdays””he gave me a sewing machine too. So not long after I finished the Vash costume, I started sewing myself, but for the Vash one since I didn’t sew the coat, I did all the other work. I did all the leather straps, I weathered the coat so that it looked like it’d been out in the desert for decades, put bullet holes in it, did all this crazy crap.

DHGF: Did you actually shoot it?

KYLE: [laughs] No, I drew the pattern out for it and cut it out, but it’d take forever to explain it. But it’s cool. I’ve seen a lot of other good ones since I’ve done mine. And that’s what’s cool about it. If anything, I’ve been a good inspiration for a lot of other Vash cosplays.

MALINDA: We’ve seen a lot of Vashes since then do the bullet holes.

KYLE: And I’m cool with that. More power to you.

MALINDA: It’s like a compliment.

KYLE: It is. It’s like, they’re not going to do it if they think it sucks. So that was a very extended answer to your question.

DHGF: No, it was great. Do you guys always cosplay together?

KYLE: Well, we weren’t dating when we started cosplaying and convention going, but shortly after.

MALINDA: But we’ve been friends since we were in middle school–

KYLE: –Eighth grade–

MALINDA: –We had a lot of the same interests, but we did have different interests too. But now, even as a married couple, even though we do a lot of stuff together, there are things that we each nerd out about on our own. Sometimes we want to lure the other into that, into cosplaying that with us, but at the same time I’m not gonna make him do a costume from something he doesn’t care about or doesn’t really relate to…

KYLE: [whispers] She does. [Everyone laughs]

MALINDA: He’s just easier to convince to do it I guess. [Laughs]

KYLE: Yeah. [Laughs] No, she gets me geeked up on so many things. She got me to do My Little Pony.

MALINDA: I got him to do My Little Pony, okay?

KYLE: It wasn’t hard. I swear to God, it’s because I grew up with this little sister, who liked all that girly stuff, and I was just like, “Okay, it’s okay,” and I got used to it. It’s like, it’s funny, y’know?

MALINDA: At the same time though, he does have things that he likes and he wants me to be a part of.

KYLE: I’m trying, it’s a little more difficult because I like all this bloody, manly stuff, like Berserk and Trigun [laughs], and she’s like, “Okay.”

MALINDA: And occasionally, I’ll be okay with doing something, while other times it’s harder because he’ll like something where there’s not a whole lot of characters I feel like I can relate to.

KYLE: Yeah… Halo. [Laughs]

MICAH: Halo.

KYLE: She said she might do a Spartan.

MICAH: Wish really hard, everyone that reads this. [Laughs] Really hard.

MALINDA: Shortest Spartan ever. [Laughs]

KYLE: I told her she’d make an awesome Cortana.

MALINDA: Uhhh…

KYLE: She was like no. Oh well. A bodysuit, uh-uh. That’s okay though.

DHGF: So, you had said you have probably over forty costumes, right?

MALINDA: Yeah.

KYLE: I can’t believe it’s that many.

DHGF: If you could pick your favorite costume or your favorite couple costume, which one would you guys say is your favorite costume?

MALINDA: Right now I’d say it’s Yusei.

KYLE: Favorite couple costume? That’s not Yusei. [Laughs] I don’t completely ship that.

MALINDA: Yusei is a very strong, mature character. I’ve done so much with him, and I’ve done so much with my cosplay friends that I’ve met over the years, and brought it to so many conventions. I’ve brought it to more conventions than any other costume. Over the past three years I kinda remade it. I originally made his original design, that was the longer jacket, but since then I’ve taken some of the same ideas but also developed my craftsmanship, so that the new outfit that I wear is so many times better compared to my first one, [Laughs] and it’s just something I’m really proud of when I look back on my progress. I redid my wig; I think it is my favorite wig I’ve done at this point. Also, when you put on a character, sometimes you feel like you actually become that character, and you take on the traits that you admire about those characters, and with Yusei, I feel more confident. I’m a very shy person, but when I’m in Yusei, I feel more naturally social. I mean, his character is not really that social, but I feel I have more courage to go up and talk to someone, or when someone talks to me, I don’t stutter as much as I do when I’m in another costume. I just feel like a stronger person when I walk in his shoes.

KYLE: You’re a dork. No I’m just kidding.

MALINDA: Shut up. [Laughs]

KYLE: Yeah, I feel the same way. When I’m in cosplay, it’s so much easier to be social. Well, I’m social in general, but… the costume makes me even more social, I don’t know. Well, sometimes it makes me less social, because then everybody’s coming up to me, and I’m like, I don’t know you, so I’m not quite sure how to talk to you, but at the same time it’s still cool, so, I dunno. My favorite costume is Vash, it’s always been Vash. Jack Skellington’s really close, but he’s a lot more obnoxious. [Laughs] It’s harder to talk to people in him, because I have to take the mask off usually, or talk real loud…

Micha: Project.

KYLE: Project, yeah. So I’d say… Vash has always been my favorite character. He’s cool enough in the anime, and then when you read the manga you get the full story, deeper stuff, and he’s a really deep character. There’s so much more to him than people see at a glance, and that’s what I really find intriguing about him. But he’s still such a good natured fellow, like, he’s a really good do-gooder, and he’s not flawless, but he fights the good fight for a good cause, he’s always seeking peace. I look up to him, and I see a lot of good traits in him as a character, so it’s cool to be him from time to time and have people think that I am him.

DHGF: Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite costume of hers?

KYLE: Either her Cloud or her Aqua. Yusei’s up there too, but I really like her Cloud and her Aqua, but that’s more of a couple thing… well I guess Cloud’s not a couple thing but it’s a buddy thing.

MICAH: It depends on who you ask.

KYLE: Yeah, I don’t ship it, but it’s still cool. I know that she’s still really proud of her Cloud costume, and she put so much effort into it, and the gun’s fricking… man, and the wig’s fricking amazing, and the outfit’s cool… and Aqua, I feel kinda cool with, because I have the hots for that character. [Laughs]

MALINDA: Character crush!

DHGF: Do you have a favorite of his?

MALINDA: Well I do have a character crush on Zack so… [Laughs] But I do like his Vash… I think his Jack Skellington’s cool, but whenever we’re actually trying to do things together, it’s hard for us to go anywhere.

KYLE: Yeah, it’s kind of sad, I generally go solo with Jack these days, because it’s just easier for all my friends, they can do their own thing and not have to wait on me because it seriously does get cloggy when I’m walking around.

MALINDA: But whenever he’s in Vash he’s just all over the place, so ecstatic and excited, it’s just like…

KYLE: It’s easy.

MALINDA: Yeah.

DHGF: So you do make your own costumes. How much, on average, does making a costume cost?

MALINDA: We’re really bad at keeping receipts and keeping track of that, but it’s usually because we will collect things over a period of time when they’re the cheapest we can get it.

KYLE: We usually go for the best prices unless we’re desperate for something, like if we need it last minute.

MALINDA: I can say even on a complex costume, we don’t really even spend more than two hundred dollars. We can keep it under that, or even in the hundred to hundred and fifty dollar range.

KYLE: Hundred to hundred and fifty is probably average these days.

MALINDA: Because when you think about it, a wig is about thirty dollars, and if you have to get shoes, that can be another thirty dollars, but usually we can make boot covers and we can keep our budget because we have things that we can modify. We’ll go to Goodwill sometimes and get things that are, y’know, “It’s cheaper to get this than buy fabric and make it from scratch.”

KYLE: And for a lot of our outfits that we’re working on right now, we already have most of the fabric in our bins of leftovers, so that’s always helpful. It never hurts to buy extra, but it does accumulate over time, so we do our best to only get extra of stuff that we think we can reuse.

MALINDA: Yeah, like broadcloth fabrics or denim.

KYLE: Like black twill or denim, blacks and whites are really good because white can be dyed and black is generic, it’s used a lot.

MALINDA: One of our favorite fabrics is this suede that costs, like, twenty three dollars a yard normally, but we make sure we get it when it’s fifty percent off, and that really helps. We always use coupons, to keep it in our budget.

DHGF: And as far as time goes? I mean, your costumes seem like they’re pretty involved.

MALINDA: Some of the simpler costumes can take as little as two days, and I’ve had costumes that take as much as three to six months. It depends also on collectively how much work it is, because sometimes I’m working on something off and on or I’m working on multiple costumes at once.

KYLE: On average it’s anywhere from a week to a month though. That’s pretty typical these days.

MALINDA: For a costume like this one [gestures to self, dressed in Yusei], it was two weeks for the outfit, and another week for the wig.

KYLE: But also keep in mind that we’re not working hardcore and doing nothing else, it’s working throughout those weeks while still doing normal things, so, it’s a few hours here, a few hours there, maybe one day we only work on it an hour, some days we don’t work at all. It’s not as much work as it might seem.

MALINDA: I’m working on a costume right now. I wanna make Twilight Princess Link; it’s a dream costume of mine. I’ve been wanting to make my chainmail from scratch, and I’ve been working on this costume on and off for years now, because I’ve just been collecting materials, I’ll work on chainmail for a month and then I’ll stop for a while and then go back to it.

DHGF: Wow. What would you say that the hardest costume is to pull off? So for Kyle, maybe Jack Skellington?

KYLE: No that was the easiest.

DHGF: Oh, okay.

KYLE: Actually pull off in-character or make?

DHGF: In character.

KYLE: I still say he’s easy, because, first of all, I have really good balance. I guess you could say I have good sea legs, even though I’m not really on a boat very often, but I bought those stilts and I could immediately walk around in them without even practicing, so, I cheated. [Laughs] I guess I’m really adaptive at just picking up the movements that the characters do, seeing how they act and respond, so with Jack Skellington, he’s very spider-like, he’s always bending at these crazy angles, and so I just practiced that, I noticed that I could slink around really well on the stilts, I’m good at getting those kinds of angles and stuff, and it was really not that hard. All you had to do to be in character for Jack is be very curious about everything, he’s like a child. [Laughs] I’d say the hardest ones to pull off for me are grumpy, angry, evil characters, not goofy evil, but like… Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh.

MICAH: Like brooding.

KYLE: I felt like an asshole. [Laughs]

MALINDA: I think you were able to get into character, but you weren’t having as much fun.

KYLE: Yeah, I mean… it depends on the situation I suppose. Like, with Jack Atlas, he’s kind of a derp. He’s still kind of an ass, but he’s a derp. So it’s fun, and most of the time these days, I’m not even in character with him as much, I’m just kinda myself, but I think with each character it gets easier and easier to go into characters, because I can just kind of adapt to it. Next month, we’re going to be doing a Yu Yu Hakusho group, and I’m really stoked to be Kuwabara, because he’s so hilarious. He’s just like, [in Kuwabara voice] “HEY YOU GONNA EAT THAT?” [Laughs] I don’t know, it’d just be so random. You can pull off anything with that and it’s in character.

MALINDA: I’m not really very confident about doing super sexy characters. I guess I could do a little bit on the subtle side, but not the overdone kind of stuff, like certain poses, I’m just not really comfortable with that. I’d also say I might have a hard time with–even though I’ve done some, including the one I’m wearing right now–the more serious characters. They’re kinda hard for me, because while I can be pretty serious and calm and stuff…

KYLE: What?

MALINDA: Shut up. [Laughs] When I get excited about something, I can’t just hold that within myself. I have to let out. I’ll jump and down, get giddy about something, and it’s just like…

KYLE: That’s why I’m all the goofy characters.

MALINDA: So I oftentimes end up very out of character. But I don’t try to stay in-character at all times; it’s not something I think is really necessary. It really depends on the person, some people take it more seriously than others. Also, I guess when I have my neutral face, I have a slight smile to it. So if I’m trying to do an intense, fierce pose or facial expression, It’s just a little hard for me.

DHGF: About how many cons do you guys go to in a year?

KYLE: Six or seven.

MALINDA: I’d say maybe five, give or take. More like give, but… [Laughs]

KYLE: This year we’re getting more than usual.

MALINDA: Yeah, this year we got a little ambitious.

KYLE: We did… Katsu, this one, Acen, Fanime, Afest… that’s five.

MALINDA: Yeah, we’ve got five so far this year. It kinda depends on what we can afford.

KYLE: We could potentially tack another one in there, at the end of the year.

MALINDA: We can’t really do two conventions within the same month. Also, during certain seasons, like winter, when you’ve got Christmas, you’re spending so much money on family and presents and stuff, you can’t afford to go to a convention.

KYLE: It’s really awesome when we do get invited as a guest, because that takes care of the expense of it, and we’re very gracious to accept it because it’s an opportunity to have fun. It’s not as much work to us, because we love to come around the fans anyway.

DHGF: How long do you guys prepare in advance for those types of things, as far as costumes and all of that?

MALINDA: For each convention?

KYLE: Well, we plan out groups and stuff months beforehand.

MALINDA: Yeah, we already know what costumes we want to do for all the upcoming conventions this year. It’s kind of crazy, but I’m trying to manage my time so I can get certain ones done as soon as possible because I’ve got some bigger ones later on, and it’s like, I’m not going to have as much time to work on that if I’m working on these costumes up to the last minute for that con, so…

KYLE: Nothing’s ever completely set in stone, though. Sometimes, things just don’t work out, or we get excited about something new, and last minute things happen, but we’re getting better about keeping stuff in schedule pretty well.

MALINDA: I mean, often times when we do group things with friends, they’re not really the most complex of costumes so it’s not too hard to knock them out real quick, it’s just a matter of, also, expenses, y’know? “Can we afford to get another wig?” Sometimes we underestimate how long something will take, and often times someone is working until the last minute on a costume right before we leave for the con. It’s kind of crazy and stressful, and we get tired. [Laughs]

DHGF: When you guys actually are in the process of getting into your costumes and getting into character and everything like that, how long does that process usually take?

MALINDA: Each morning so far at this con, I’ve taken an hour to get ready for each costume, and it’s not so much putting on the costume as much as it is makeup… I mean, even if I’m a boy character, I still try to use basics for any blemishes, but also accent my eyes, put in special contacts, I sometimes use skin tones that are a little darker to accent certain areas, to sharpen my face, so it takes thirty minutes to put makeup on, and then another thirty put on my costume or fix something on a costume or wig that I need to fix, so, on average, about an hour for me. For him it’s…

KYLE: Half an hour to an hour.

MALINDA: He has to shave, so… [Laughs] ’cause he has stubble in the morning.

DHGF: We kind of briefly talked about this when we were talking about rabid fans, but do you have any favorite cosplayers of your own?

MALINDA: Oh yes.

KYLE: Yeah.

MALINDA: We have lots. I mean, there are some of our friends. We’ve got lots of Texas friends who are very talented; they do some great skits. And we’ve got…

KYLE: Jace.

MALINDA: Our friend Jace Moore is a costuming veteran, fantastic cosplayer. I’ve also always looked up to Pikmin Link since I’ve started cosplaying.

KYLE: Yeah, recently we’ve been talking to her through Twitter and Swapnote and stuff like that, and we’re hoping to get to spend some time with her at Fanime.

MALINDA: There are lots of people that we just see online, and we follow because it’s just like, “Oh my gosh, they pulled that character off so well!” or, “Their craftsmanship is fantastic!” I feel like sometimes it’s just kind of crazy that we’re getting invited to these conventions. I’m like, “Why, when I have friends more talented than me?” [Laughs]

DHGF: As far as costumes go, do you ever have to deal with weight loss or gain, and adjusting costumes for that?

MALINDA: I have a really fast metabolism, and I know I’m like my mom, so once I get older I’ll have to put more effort into it.We’re thinking about starting to work out, actually, once we get back.

KYLE: Yeah. I’ve gained a little bit of weight recently, and it doesn’t show very much, but I do feel it in some of my costumes, because a lot of them are tailored really tightly to me, so they were kinda… holding it in this weekend. [Laughs] It wasn’t uncomfortable, it was just noticeable to me.

MALINDA: It’s a seasonal thing; we’ve been in our warm house, haven’t really gone out much to do stuff, but now that it’s warm outside, we can go out and rollerblade or things like that.

KYLE: For me it was like freshman fifteen all over again. [Laughs]

MICAH: Things are a little snug around the edge, right?

KYLE: Yeah. I blame urge. I’ve got blame deities. [Laughs]

DHGF: What are the best and most frustrating parts of cosplaying?

KYLE: Frustrating?

MALINDA: The process can be frustrating. I mean, you enjoy it, but then there’s just some times when you get really frustrated with a certain part and you have to step away for a minute.

KYLE: Yeah, usually it’s when you’re making it that you get stuck on something, and with us, that happens once or twice each costume, because we generally tend to try new things each time. I don’t think there’s a whole lot that we use over and over again, we’re trying new things all the time. Say, when we started making props and armor, that was a pretty big roadblock for a little while, then we started figuring it out and it got easier. Sewing machines always piss you off.

MALINDA: You’ll break a needle and you’re just like, “AAH IT’S THE THIRD ONE!”

KYLE: The tension goes weird, you run out of thread in your bobbin.

MALINDA: Little things. It’s just, when you’re so into it, and you’re trying to be productive, or even just rush, it can be kinda crushing. But the best thing, I think, is when you’re finally done, and you can finally show it off and wear it proudly.

KYLE: Absolutely. The end justifies the means.

MALINDA: It’s a very satisfying feeling to go out and say, I made this.

KYLE: Yeah.

MICAH: Must be really cool too, like if you get a lot of pictures taken and you’re looking at it online, thinking, wow, that actually looks really good.

MALINDA: Oh yeah. [Laughs] We’ve been fortunate to have met some really talented photographers throughout the years, and it’s a real treat to get good photos of your costumes. Sometimes we’ll meet a photographer we already admire, and when we get the opportunity to work with them, it’s a huge honor.

KYLE: It’s even cooler when they’re geeking out about your stuff too. [Laughs]

MALINDA: We met Lionel at Katsucon and he was geeking out about our Cloud and Zack, and it was adorable and flattering. He wasn’t just doing it because he was photographer, he was also a fellow fan of those characters.

KYLE: Yeah.

MALINDA: It was really cool.

DHGF: Now my last question would be, do you have any advice for anybody who hopes to get to the level that you’re at?

KYLE: Keep practicing.

MALINDA: Never underestimate what you’re capable of.

KYLE: It’s a lot like learning a sport, learning how to draw, anything that you want to master you have to practice, and practice a lot. You have to be willing to…

MALINDA: Experiment.

KYLE: Experiment, and not be afraid of failure. Don’t be afraid of messing up, take it with a grain of salt and try again, because we mess up all the time and… it just makes us stronger because we don’t give up, we overcome it, we learn from it and it makes us better in the process. I do think that it’s helpful for people who are starting out to learn the basics that we cover in our panels. Always be willing to learn. That is the biggest thing. Get your references for your characters, talk to fellow cosplayers.

MALINDA: Also, never limit yourself to what is out there, don’t limit how you make this costume to how this person did it, look out, explore.

KYLE: Yeah! Look around. Use what you see as a guidebook, not the definitive means of doing it. It’s kind of like buying a video game. You use the guidebook to get through the game but you can still do your own thing. You don’t have to follow to the letter, otherwise it’s not your game, it’s the guidebook’s game.

MALINDA: Back on the point of never underestimating yourself: I started doing wig styling, and I never had any sort of experience cutting hair. I decided to be ambitious and do a character with an intense hairstyle. I went around and did some research and I was just so intimidated by it, but then I finally sat down and worked on it and I surprised myself with what I came up with, and I thought, “This is just like sculpting, but with hair.” Before I knew it, this was the highlight of my costume work. I never knew I’d be able to style wigs. Anyone could have a huge hidden talent, whether it’s sewing, prop work, wigs, makeup, anything. There’s so much out there that you could focus on and make your costume shine. You may have just never discovered it yet.

MICAH: I have a question.

KYLE: Okay.

MICAH: So when it comes to doing the outfits, especially when it comes to props or wigs… obviously you look at the line art and character designs… does it help having a figure?

MALINDA: Oh, figures are wonderful.

MICAH: I was thinking, that looks like a sculpt, you were just talking about, it looks like a sculpt, y’know?

MALINDA: Yu-Gi-Oh hair can be hard.

KYLE: Any kind of three-dimensional render is the most perfect thing you can have because with anime, it’s not always going to be accurate from every angle, because they’re drawn with a particular style, and they’re not always even concerned with the angle. Especially with Yu-Gi-Oh; Yu-Gi-Oh is hilarious.

MICAH: Exactly, yeah.

KYLE: It’s like, their hair might be drawn the exact same from three or four different angles.

MALINDA: You’ll look at the line artwork and it’s like, “How is that possible?”

KYLE: Yu-Gi-Oh loves to do the mirror effect, where their hair does the same thing this way, and they just flip it when they turn, so those kind of things are hard to interpret. If you ever watch Yu-Gi-Oh GX there’s this character called Chazz Princeton, and I swear to God, he’s probably got this mohawk of spikes, but it doesn’t look like that from certain angles.

MALINDA: From the frontal view it’s going to be one or the other.

KYLE: Frontal, it’s like, [starts motioning] spike spike spike spike spike, and it droops over the side of his head, then he flips and it does it this way, just from a slight turn.

MICAH: It switches sides and stuff?

KYLE: Yeah, it switches sides. But the only true way to interpret that would be, probably, a mohawk.

MALINDA: But even with a frontal shot, it’s going to be one or the other; it’s just the style of the show.

KYLE: Yeah, so it’d be interesting to see what a 3D render of him would be, like an action figure or something.

MICAH: Yeah.

KYLE: But there isn’t one. [Laughs]

MALINDA: There’s a thing I took note of when doing my Yusei wig. In the frontal view, it kind of goes outward, but at the side it goes back, so I did more of a mix between the two, but I also kind of took into consideration, well, in front of the camera, when someone’s taking a picture, I usually take a three-quarters stance, where I’m turned a little to the side… what can I make that is either going to look good in front of the camera from that angle, or, if I can, make multiple angles, so this actually looks good for a three-quarters or a frontal, so that’s kind of what I stuck with.

KYLE: That’s the challenge, usually.

MALINDA: But having a figure… I mean, there wasn’t really any figures of Yusei when I first styled my wig, but now there is. And that’s kind of how they do it, so I guess I made the right choices.

KYLE: If you get enough angled shots from the anime or the manga you can usually figure it out, but a figure is just like, [snaps fingers].

MALINDA: It’s like an official representation of that character. That’s the 3D model.

KYLE: Then all you have to do is turn it around and just make your own angles, and the details are all there too.

MICAH: That’s cool.

DHGF: Well thank you very much, that was really great.

MALINDA: Yeah. Hopefully there’s still room on your tape recorder. [Laughs] We talked a lot, sorry. [Laughs]

DHGF: No, that’s fine, that’s great, I think that’ll be really helpful, because I think some of our readers really are into cosplay, but then, there’s a lot of information out there but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming to look through all of it.

MALINDA: Like, where should I start, where should I look first?

KYLE: Even people who ask us questions on Deviantart, a lot of them will ask us the same questions, like they’ll just post it on our main page or just send us a note, and it can be a little frustrating because we know that we’ve answered most of those questions already, but you have to take the perspective of that new person asking the same question doesn’t know that, and they’re not always going to look around for that.



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