Some of the nation’s top pro cosplayers are assembling at the Tampa Convention Center on December 10-11 for Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay, a new winter-themed, family-friendly comic convention that features anime, comics, science fiction and gaming as well as world-class cosplay. Tickets are $30 for a single day and $45 for weekend pass.
The eight big-name talents collectively have more than 1 million followers across five social media platforms and have earned awards from the largest and most prestigious conventions. “It’s rare so many top cosplayers are at one convention,” said Nicole Wilcox, whose cosplay name is Avera Cosplay, and is one of the eight pro cosplay guests.
Wilcox recruited the pro cosplayers who are nationally recognized specialists in props and costume construction, armor crafting and painting, makeup and body paint, sewing and needlework as well as unique elements like wings and lights. And the pro cosplayers will be hosting panels. “This is an elite team of pro cosplayers whose panels are better described as master-class instruction,” Wilcox said.
Pro cosplayers include:
• Evil Ted (aka Ted Smith), from Los Angeles, California, is a legendary propmaker and costumer whose more than 30-year career includes work on major films and TV shows like The Fifth Element, Guyver, Hunger Games, Titanic, and Xena Warrior Princess.
• Tock Custom (aka Christopher Tock), from Dallas, Texas, is a sewing specialist with impeccable needlework who is widely known for his easy-to-follow tutorials on You Tube.
• Casey Renee, from Atlanta, Georgia, is an expert at historical, time-period-accurate sewing techniques like corsetry, smocking, and other intricately detailed costume construction.
• Ginoza Costuming (aka Brittani Ginoza), from Columbus, Ohio, has twice represented the U.S. in international cosplay competitions and is widely known for her highly detailed painting that recreates textures.
• PlexiCosplay (aka Candace Bergin), from Baltimore, Maryland, specializes in EVA foam, SFX, and armor painting as well as unique elements like wings and lights.
• Tiara Bree, from Jacksonville, Florida, is known for her genre diversity using makeup and body paint with characters from Disney movies.
• Gremmcos, from Orlando, Florida, is known for wig styling and makeup who portrays characters from anime and video games.
• Avera Cosplay (aka Nicole Wilcox), from Fort Myers, Florida, is known for highly detailed armor builds and creative re-imagining of classic characters, and recently finished in the top four in a national cosplay competition.
The new convention also showcases six big-time voice actors who portray characters in anime shows like Sonic the Hedgehog, Genshin Impact, Re:Zero, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Hunter x Hunter; cartoons like Young Justice, The Clone Wars, Arcane, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Marvel Future Avengers, Danny Phantom, and Thundercats; and video games like Marvel’s Avengers and Final Fantasy V.
In addition, there are five nationally known comic creators who have illustrated for Marvel titles like Spider-Man, Venom, Black Panther, The Avengers, and X-Men as well as for DC titles such as Batman, Superman, Flash, and Justice League of America.