The Cosplay Deviants revealed themselves at Dragon Con 2013!
Madison Valentine is the Model-Photographer Liaison, the Event Team Coordinator and character model for Cosplay Deviants. Needless to say, working with the company keeps her very busy. At Dragon Con 2013, I spoke with Ms. Valentine about the company’s origins, celebrating a milestone at Dragon Con and cosplaying as characters from The Venture Bros.
How would you describe Cosplay Deviants to the average person?
– “Well, if the average person is cool enough and nerdy enough, I would describe it to them as kind of a nerdy Playboy. It’s a pin-up site where we have these lovely, nerdy young ladies, who get into costume and into character… and then they strip out of the costume, but stay in character.”
How is Dragon Con going for you?
– “Amazing. Dragon Con is always one of our favorite shows to come to. It’s a lot of fun, for a lot of us. We get to see a whole bunch of people we don’t get to see every day.”
Where are you based?
– “I’m based out of Orlando, FL. The company, itself, is based out of Orlando, FL. We have models all over the world… every continent but Antarctica. I can’t seem to talk those penguins into taking off those feathers.”
How long has Cosplay Deviants been attending Dragon Con?
– “This is our sixth year. Dragon Con is always our birthday. Last year we had our big fifth-anniversary party. It was a big milestone for us. We put a lot of love and effort into this. It’s really great that we’ve been able to keep pursuing it and to keep upping our standards and keep treating our models better and perpetuating the idea that a nerd can be attractive and intelligent all at the same time. We’re trying to battle the whole ‘fake geek culture,’ to an extent.”
What’s the backstory of Cosplay Deviants?
– “The creator is Troy Doerner. He started the entire company as a school project. There was a college professor who had a final project where you had to create a secure payment system and gave no further information than that. So, Troy, as to spite this teacher, went ahead and created Cosplay Deviants and the professor tried to fail him. Troy took it to the Dean, who said, ‘No. He completed your criteria. You can’t do that.'”
“After that, it was left alone a couple of months and he realized people were trying to sign up for the site. About two years ago, he was able to make it his full-time job and his wife’s full-time job. They pay a lot of attention to us, models and they take great care of us.”
How many Cosplay Deviant models are attending Dragon Con?
– “Eight on the event team and then there are a whole bunch who are just attending the convention. We’ve had about 12 girls, in and out of the booth, the whole weekend.”
How do you like your new location in AmericasMart?
– “Sales wise, we’re doing better than last year, but it’s really difficult. We have a number of friends who want to talk to us. But with the booth situation, as it is, it’s really difficult for us to interact and not block off the whole booth.”
Did you get to attend any panels?
– “I got to do a couple of Venture Bros. panels. I’m a huge Venture Panels fan, myself, so I got to see James Urbaniak a little bit. Actually, eight of us girls, at the booth, are Venture Bros. characters, in some fashion.”
What are some of the characters you’ve cosplayed during Dragon Con?
– “Right now, I’m a female Hank Venture. Yesterday, I was Black Widow. Day before that, I was Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.”
How did you become a cosplayer?
– “I got into cosplaying by covering San Diego Comic-Con for a general-interest magazine called Splat. I was writing for that, at the time. It has since gone out of publication. I was all excited, because I’ve been reading comics for years, and I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. These are my people. This is going to be the best thing ever.'”
“So, I was running around, and instead of getting interviews, like I was supposed to, I was so amazed with everybody being in costume, taking many pictures. The next day I came back in full costume. I had to purchase a full costume, so I could be like those cool kids. That was the first time I cosplayed Black Widow. I loved it so much and I’ve been hooked since.”
What are you currently geeking out to?
– “I absolutely love the Bioshock Infinite DLC. I super-love the games. I’ve loved it, since the first one. The world was so immersive. The storyline was so amazing. I really want them to do one more. And the big surprise at the end is that there’s no big surprise at the end, just to ruin everything for us.”
Rapture or Columbia?
– “Rapture, because I’m a huge fan of that type of architecture. The whole art-deco thing really works for me.”
Where is Cosplay Deviants headed next?
– “This is our last event, for this year. Everybody has to get a little rest. Recoup from Dragon Con. It is a fun — but a little bit taxing — show, for us. We’re actually in talks with a number of different conventions and we like to keep our books open, at this point of the year. This year, our first convention was C2E2, so there’s always the chance that we’ll go back to that.”