Becoming a superhero isn’t easy… unless you have a keen visual sense, some free time and stamina, and a whole lot of latex.
However, for one 21-year-old from Mosta, dressing in replica outfits of some of her favourite characters – known as cosplay – has become second nature… when she isn’t studying for her Advanced Diploma in Animal Management and Veterinary Nursing, that is.
“Cosplay is a way to bring a character to life by recreating the characters’ look with costumes and props,” Yaz Mirabella told Lovin Malta. “It’s also a way to step out of your boring day-to-day life to portray and live as that character.”
Having been introduced to cosplay by a friend back in 2013, Yaz has since made waves in the local comic book and superhero scenes with her cosplay work on Draca Cosplay, a page dedicated to Yaz’s creations.
Draca Cosplay has become an avenue for Yaz to experiment and show off her outfits
And with more and more people getting into cosplay, she’s being seen as a pioneer in the Maltese scene.
“The cosplay scene in Malta is absolutely amazing,” Yaz said. “Every year it grows even more. I think many people can be shy at first, but when they get to see how loving and welcoming the community is, we get to see many more talented cosplayers entering the community.”
To get started in cosplay, first you need inspiration
“Before I work on the actual costume, I do as much research as I can so that I can best represent the character,” she said. “I then write every material I need down, create a time management plan and get to work.”
However, not all costumes are the same; for every easy Wonder Woman, there’s a hard Beast – but Yaz has mastered the science and fashion of cosplay.
“It really depends on the character and how you choose to go about it,” she explains. “Materials such as thermoplastics, worbla and specific fabrics must be bought online.”
Having created about 15 different cosplays since starting in 2014, Yaz already has a favourite
“My favourite would be Snow Bunny Nidalee from League of Legends.”
When it comes to the Maltese scene, there is definitely one big annual event that the cosplay community looks forward to every year
“Once a year gaming, comic and cosplay enthusiasts look forward to the Malta Comic Con, organised by Wicked Comics,” she said. “Wicked Comics also organise multiple other events during the year for us to meet up, share our common interests and simply have fun together. This convention was the first place for me to run around in my first little homemade cosplay and every year I meet so many wonderful new people that I have to say it is very important to me, personally. As for the scene, it is a wholesome event that a lot of people can express themselves freely, not only with cosplay, but with art, make-up, prop making and so much more!”
And it’s not just her – check out some other cool Maltese cosplayers, with awesome costumes including Black Panther and even Digimon’s Angewoman – with working wings!
Yaz has a word of advice for anyone interested in starting cosplay
“Cosplay is practice, practice and more practice,” she said. “Never give up on a character or on yourself. Finishing a cosplay and watching yourself improve over time is simply the most rewarding feeling ever. The time, stress and money put into it is going to be so worth it!”