(Cosplay Culture) All Hail Doomkitty As she shares her love of cosplay and kittens
All Hail Doomkitty As she shares her love of cosplay and kittens Twilight befalls the great city on the eve of its grand convention. Tomorrow, these hallowed halls will be filled to capacity with devotees of all sorts. But tonight…there is only silence. A calamitous feeling cascades over the slumbering hotel; a sensation so intense, its almost palpable. For at dawns break, the baroness of these lands will reassume her mantle. With an iron fist and a furry tail, she will reign over her kingdom of cosplay. For only then will the world truly know the meaning of DOOM……KITTY.
At first glance, superstar cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty may seem like she would relate to the intro above, with her larger-than-life persona and her attraction to portraying the most sinister villains geekdom has to offer. But as youll see in our in-depth interview with Ms. Doomkitty, her true strength lies within her heart. Ivy has become the ambassador for body confidence and how it relates to cosplay. Through her work, she has inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of people to not only cosplay, but to love themselves as they are without trying to conform to what others think they should be. In addition to her cosplay career, Ivy has also worked tirelessly alongside Kitt Crusaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes for abandoned and stray felines along the California coast. Shes a pioneer, a philanthropist, and one hell of a cosplayer. For those reasons and many more it is our great honor to have her join us in this very special rebirth issue of Cosplay Culture Magazine. So without any further ado, strap in and prepare to join the ever-growing army known as the Legion of Doomkitty.
CCM: How about we start things off with the question Ive been wondering about for a while now. Where did the name Doomkitty come from?
Ivy: Doomkitty actually started as my Gamertag on the first-gen Xbox. Doom is my fascination with the darker side of things and kitty is my obsession with cats. Seriously, this obsession is pretty bad, as several of my fur-babies can attest to!
CCM: Growing up, what was your first gaming console and what were some of the things that started your fandoms?
Ivy: “My first console was the SNES and as a kid, I loved watching all of the 90’s cartoons such as X-Men, Batman: The Animated Series, TMNT, and a few others. I find myself pulling a lot of my costuming ideas from the things I loved as a child and have continued to love as an adult.
CCM: Im glad you mentioned X-Men because that leads right in to my next question. Judging by your amazing cosplay, I can assume you are a Magneto fan. But do you prefer Magneto the hero or Magneto the villain?
Ivy: I think I prefer Magneto as a villain because there is always more conflict with him, and his being a villain gives him significantly more dimension to his character. Magneto himself is already a very deep character and it would be difficult to not be able to sympathize with at least a portion of him. He was a holocaust survivor who saw his people murdered at the hands of Nazis and couldn’t do anything to stop it. Now he has his mutant abilities and wants his new-found people to be safe and not suffer at the hands of humans who don’t understand mutants.
CCM: You’ve put together quite a few costumes over the last four years. Would you say you prefer sticking as close to the source material as possible, or do you prefer putting your own twist on each one?
Ivy: I honestly enjoy doing both. I have a few costumes, such as my Ms. Marvel, which I used Frank Cho’s design as reference to create. I love his work and wanted to make sure that everything was accurate to the source material, down to the stitching that you can see on her logo. Other costumes, such as Magneto and Dr. Doom, deviate from the source material. I like to also have freedom to express and create as I go. I definitely want to keep the key components present and make sure that you recognize the character, but also want to add my own twist to the character.
CCM: It is all about the love. Now, seeing as how you’ve put together all those costumes over the years, is there still an element or a section of a costume that you continue to struggle with, even with all your experience?
Ivy: I’d say that I struggle with a little bit of everything. I say this because I look at each costume as a challenge to learn something new or to try a new technique. Some come easier than others. I used to work solely with spandex materials and have found that I love working with [woven] fabrics even more. With armor, I love the painting process more than making the actual armor.
CCM: There may be a handful of people reading this that are thinking about getting into cosplay for the first time. What advice would you give to someone that is getting ready to take the plunge?
Ivy: Enjoy yourself and have fun! Cosplay is Costume [plus] Play. It’s meant to be fun. At the end of the day, if you can say you had fun, then that’s the most important thing. Don’t be afraid to try different mediums or to cosplay outside of your body type or skin color. I fall in love with the character and their characteristics; what makes them who they are, not what skin color or size they are. Lastly, pay it forward. Along the line, someone is going to help you either with their words of encouragement, a compliment, or helping you make the costume. Help the next person have as great of an experience as you had!
CCM: I think that answer is a great testament to why youve attracted such a following over the years. The confidence and positivity aspect of cosplay is something you have actually become a spokesperson for. What is it exactly about this topic that motivates you to be so passionate about it? Was being the face behind this tender topic something you set out to do from the beginning of your cosplay career?
Ivy: I never set out to cosplay professionally, nor be the spokesperson for this movement in the community. As a kid, I was made fun of and picked on for my weight and for liking video games and comic book characters…things that were uncommon for girls to like back then. As a result, I had no friends and I had little to no self-esteem or self-worth for that matter. When you hear people calling you names and fat-shaming you on a daily basis, it starts to become your truth. I ended up carrying this perception of myself into my adulthood and when I saw cosplay for the first time at a con over 10 years ago, I fell in love with the idea. However, I was terrified with the idea of putting myself out there and risking being ridiculed and name called like I did when I was a kid. I didn’t want to relive that. Years passed and con after con passed with me wishing that I would cosplay and not be afraid. Then the comic book artist, Frank Cho, asked if I would be interested in modeling for his figure drawing class. I couldn’t refuse, so I modeled for him and had an amazing time. I was lucky enough to be able to do it the following year and then the year after that, which at that time I decided to go ahead and cosplay for the first time at San Diego Comic-Con. They were mixed feelings of fear and excitement because this is something that I have wanted to do for so long, but was afraid of everyone else’s reaction. Luckily for me the experience on the convention floor was phenomenal and I was able to make new friends who were just cosplayers walking the convention floor just like myself. Unfortunately though, that night my photo popped up on the internet and while there were a lot of positive comments on the photo, there were also several negative ones. Then someone told me, For every one negative comment you have, you have 20-30 positive comments. So why are you letting the negative ones affect all the good that the positive ones are doing? This is something that stuck with me to this day and I realized that I can’t live my life for others; worrying what their opinion of me is going to be. I can’t be afraid of people trying to bully me and I have to live my life and enjoy the things that I like. Otherwise I’m living for others and I’m missing out on so much that life has to offer. When I began cosplaying, I realized that there was no one out there that I had seen cosplaying that fit my body type, or that was actively talking about accepting body types, skin colors, varying ages, disabilities, LGBT, etc. This did make me sad because one would think that this is a topic that someone is at least talking about, but unfortunately there was no one in the community doing this. That’s when I decided to create several panels that discussed body confidence and being positive in the community and accepting others. I hoped that through my own personal experiences, people would be able to connect with that and hopefully change their lives for the better and learn to love themselves. I had hoped they would know that there is someone out there that can identify with them and know what it feels like to be made fun of and picked on throughout the majority of their life that isn’t afraid to talk about it. It’s incredibly important to me because I don’t want others to feel what I felt and I don’t want others to stop living their dreams and experiencing life because they’re afraid of what others will say about them. We live in a time where there is so much diversity in all facets. That is a very beautiful thing to be around and to celebrate. I think it’s beautiful to see cosplayers dress up as their favorite characters regardless of what skin color they have or if they are in a wheelchair or if they are male or female. We need to learn to celebrate the things that make us unique. There is only one of each of us on this Earth and that’s a very beautiful thing that should never be wasted. Cosplay has given me confidence that I never thought I had within me, and through it I want to try to give back to a community that has given me so much. Because of cosplay, my glass is always half-full and I am an immensely happier person because of it.
CCM: I think that’s such an important message. The internet has become sort of a double-edged sword for some cosplayers. And as cosplaying becomes more mainstream, certain stereotypes and stigmas evolve over time. What would you say is the one stigma we in the cosplay community could do without?
Ivy: One stigma I could definitely do without is the idea that you are not a cosplayer unless you make your own costumes and the elitist mentality that comes with it. I think it’s great if you have time to make a costume, but the vast majority of people have full-time jobs or family responsibilities that do not allow them to take on learning a new craft or dedicating that kind of time to make something. I have multiple friends that hold 40-50 hour long jobs per week, and as much as they would love to learn how to make their own costumes, their schedule simply will not allow for it. Instead, they commissioned their costumes and they are incredibly happy to be able to express their love and fandom for a character. I make the vast majority of my costumes, from textiles to armor work, but I will commission costumes on occasion. One example is my Star Wars Ewok Playboy bunny suit, which was a commission from Castle Corsetry. I find that with my schedule being as crazy as it is, I don’t have the time to make every single costume that I want. So what I do is focus on making the costumes that I want to push myself on in learning how to create as well as feel immensely passionate for, and then commission a few pieces that I think are fun to do but don’t have the time or energy to work on. This also works great because with my reach, I am able to help promote other artists and creators in the community and their work, and hopefully others will see the quality of their work and will also want to commission from them. So it works for them as well as for myself.
CCM: Now, in addition to your cosplay activities, you also work alongside an organization by the name Kitt Crusaders. Tell us a little about them?
Ivy: Kitt Crusaders is a Non Profit Charity based in Southern California that helps save cats and kittens from high-kill shelters. They also provide food and medical care, and try to get each one adopted into their forever home. I’m a firm believer in giving back and when I was contacted by Katrina Law [Nyssa on The CW’s Arrow] about helping with Kitt Crusaders, I could not refuse. After working with them for over year, I was honored to become an official member of their board. My dream is to one day be able to open a facility for them where all of these saved cats can be housed and prospective adoptive pet parents can come and interact with them on a closer level.
CCM: Before we get out of here, I wanted to ask you a little about Stan Lee. I know you guys have worked together quite a
bit at conventions and such. For all the people who haven’t yet gotten the chance to interact with The Man, is he really the warm lovable guy we all see on T.V.?
Ivy: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Stan over the last 3 years, and he is just as charming as you see on the big screen. Stan absolutely loves his fans and he said something to me once that stuck with me. He said that without his fans, he wouldn’t be where he is today. It still blows his mind that his characters have had such an impact on people’s lives. It’s humbling to hear someone as great as Stan Lee speak in such a way as he does. He is a truly humble and wonderful person and I feel incredibly lucky to know him and interact with him the way that I do.
For all interested in following Ivy Doomkitty’s cosplay adventures, she can be found on all social media platforms and at ivydoomkitty.com. (For more information on how you can purchase one of the mentioned signed celebrity photos, or to make a donation, visit Kitt Crusaders at http://www.kittcrusaders.org.)
PLAYBOY: The Secret Origin of Ivy Doomkitty, Queen of Cosplay
Playboy: The Secret Origin of Ivy Doomkitty, Queen of Cosplay
February 26, 2015
I used to think “cosplay” was code for “weirdo.” Turns out I was completely right – in the best way possible. Because these weirdos are, more often that not, bold, funny, sassy, brassy, smart, dedicated, fun-loving, creative folks who give zero fucks about what the world at large thinks of them. And I can’t think of a better representative of the art and craft of cosplay than Miss Ivy Doomkitty — she uses a pseudonym due to past experiences with negative online and offline attention, something to which a lot of public women can undoubtedly relate. A thoughtful, insightful dame, she’s cool as hell and easy on the eyes, to boot. We recently chatted via Skype from our respective headquarters in Los Angeles (her) and Brooklyn (me) and talked about her journey from a bullied young girl to a sought-after sex symbol and spokesperson for body acceptance.
Growing up in Los Angeles, was the concept of performance something that came naturally to you?
No way. I would say I’m more of a wallflower. At least growing up, I was very antisocial. I didn’t have many friends. I dressed dorky. People would always make fun of me. I’d get picked on at school for my weight.
When did that start?
I’d say it was as early as first grade onward. It was always an issue. I never really played with other kids in school… Everything was academic. So I focused on bettering myself from an academic standpoint because I was made fun of because I was “a nerd” as it were. But then also I was into a lot of things that other girls my age weren’t. I grew up watching the X-Men cartoons andBatman: The Animated Series andTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And it was weird, in that time, for girls to like those things. It wasn’t considered normal.
Did you read comics at that time?
I watched the cartoons and I played a lot of video games — my first console was a Super Nintendo. I was five or six years old when my dad took me to go get it. So I was gaming from an early age. I was into all of those things. No one really liked me because of it… I mean, it sucked.
And once I hit maybe 16 or 17 I started picking up on comics and actually reading them. I didn’t know that comics even existed…all I knew is that I loved Magneto ‘cause he was a badass on the cartoon. And I loved Batman because he had all of these different facets to himself.
But you didn’t know that there was this community of people just waiting to embrace you?
Oh God, no.
When did you find out?
When I went to my very first Con, nine, maybe 10 years ago.
So you went through adolescence not knowing you could be a part of this huge world that would love you.
Absolutely. The typical loner, nerd person that has no friends that no one hangs out with who’s home playing video games when everyone else is out and dating and doing this and that… I lived that stereotype. And when I went to my first convention, it was just insane. Just being able to see all of those things that I grew up all in one place. It was definitely overwhelming, and I was immediately hooked. I went back home and said, “What other shows are there? I’m going to more, ’cause this is amazing. And these are my people.”
When did you become aware that cosplay existed?
I believe it was a Mystique and a Storm that I saw at that [first] Con. And for me it was, “Oh my God, my favorite characters are being brought to life. This is awesome. I wanna do this.” But as much as I wanted to do it, I was very much afraid. Because one, I felt like I did not have the skill set to bring any of these characters to life, and two, I felt that I would be made fun because of my body type. At that point in my life, I had a lot of self-esteem issues. At the end of the day I was just afraid of being ridiculed for the way I looked, physically. And not in the terms of, “Oh, she’s wearing a costume,” but in the sense of, “Oh my God, look at her. She is this huge person that should not be wearing a costume.”
Full Article can be read at Playboy
Ivy DoomKitty is a Cosplayer who Loves her Fans
Comic conventions are happening all across the country lately. They have them in all of the major cities and each one houses its own unique brand of stars, celebrities and some even have tables with professional cosplayers. Jay Snook has attended a number of conventions lately as a press and has seen Ivy Doomkitty a couple of times. When he attended Silicon Valley Comic Con in San Jose he ran into her and was able to ask some questions on a number of different things. Here are some things he learned about this wonderful cosplayer.
How long have you been cosplaying?
Ivy Doomkitty: For about four years, well it will be four years this year.
What originally got you interested in cosplaying?
Ivy Doomkitty: Honestly just the creative outlet and being able to dress up as your favorite comic book and video game characters. For me it is something that always appealed to me. I grew up playing video games and watching all of the 90’s comic book cartoons. Like Batman, Superman and all of that stuff. When I went to my very first Con I saw all of these different cosplayers and people in costume. I didn’t know what the term was at the time. I said you know I want to do that. I want to dress up as Mystique and this character and that character, you know this is great. This is my childhood but re-imagined as an adult.
What are some of your favorite cosplays?
Ivy Doomkitty: Currently Bison. Bison is definitely a favorite. Meg Griffin is fun, I enjoy cosplaying as her. And Kylo Ren, my most recent one is a lot of fun.
Can you tell me a bit about the cause you are a part of?
Ivy Doomkitty: Oh Kitt Crusaders. We are a non profit organization based in southern California and we help save cats and kittens from high kill shelters. Since it is very, very high kill in the area that we are in. So it is a really, really small organization comprised of four heads and then everybody there is a volunteer. These are all women that have full time jobs and just volunteer whatever time they have to try to save all of these cats especially since we are in kitten season right now. We get them spayed or neutered and find a forever home for them. We are very selective about placing them in peoples homes. We always screen everybody to make sure that cat is a good fit for that home. But is has been really successful, we hope to be able to grow and actually have an actual facility where people can come in and play with them and adopt them out from there.
How did you originally get involved with them?
Ivy Doomkitty: Funny thing I was contacted by Katrina Law, she plays Nyssa on CW’s Arrow. She shot me an email asking if I was interested in doing a photo shoot for them where 100% of the sales of each one of the photos would go towards the charity. So I went in and I did it, spoke to them and fell in love with one of the cats I was shooting with there. I ended up adopting that cat. After that just started promoting their work more and more, learning more about them and now I am on their board.
How many members are a part of that organization at the moment?
Ivy Doomkitty: I honestly couldn’t tell you. There is so many because it is all volunteer based so it is depending on who has time at that moment or not to just go and pick up a cat or go get one from the hospital. You know anything like that. Transporting them, feeding them and things like that.
Where is its base of operations?
Ivy Doomkitty: The adoptions are held out of Petco in LA, I would need to look at the actual address. The other location is 100 North Larchmont Blvd in Los Angeles.
How many conventions do you go to each year?
Ivy Doomkitty: It varies. My first year as a cosplayer I did sixteen conventions. My second year I did about thirty. Last year I decided to start cutting down a bit and went down to twenty six. This year I will be doing more around nineteen.
What is the hardest thing about being a cosplayer at a Con?
Ivy Doomkitty: I would say the most difficult thing is if you go and you don’t have a handler. It can be very taxing especially if you have a very large costume that you can’t see all of its components and you need someone to help you with that or get into and out of it. But overall everything is usually fine. Maybe eating, not forgetting to eat is always an issue.
What would be some advice you would give to people who want to get into cosplay?
Ivy Doomkitty: Just have fun. Have fun, go with it. Enjoy yourself. Pick a character that you feel passionately towards.
Most of the time she has a booth and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. If you happen to attend a convention in your city it is worth it taking the time to meet her and talk to her. If you want to learn more about Kitt Crusaders click on the link. She always is wearing amazing costumes that won’t been seen that see where she will be next follow her on social media for updates.
– See more at: Good Men Project
(Video) Wizard World Cospladies: Ivy Doomkitty
Wizard World Proudly Presents… Cospladies: Ivy DoomKitty
Go to http://wizd.me/YouTube to check out when we’ll bring a Comic Con to a city near you!!
Cosplay is a phenomenon as powerful as spandex is stretchy, and each year more and more people come to our Ohio Comic Con (http://VIP.me/CosplayOhioComicCon) after creating the most amazing costumes, portraying their favorite heroes and villains. Which is why we are excited to bring you Cospladies, an intimate look at the women of cosplay!
In our premiere episode, we sit down with the amazing Ivy Doomkitty to find out what got her into cosplay, and what she loves about it. Look for a new Cospladies episode each week!