Even though there's been so much amazing cosplay on display at conventions and various events across the country in 2018, cosplayers still manage to surprise and captivate us with unique and impressive creations. That's exactly what happened when we saw the incredible Maleficent cosplay from Denver Comic Con created by Drisana Litke of Drizzy Designs.
This Maleficent cosplay comes complete with moving wings, which took Litke 150 hours to make. The total package took her 200 hours. To create the wings, she followed tutorials by The Crooked Feather and used fabric, wire, aluminum, circuit boards, actuators, and real feathers.
Litke told SYFY WIRE this was the first time she worked with any kind of wiring. For past cosplays, she's worked with small LEDs in a sword and some EVA foam to make armor, but wiring and circuit boards was a new challenge. The wings, she says, are the "biggest and most intense item" she's ever made.
While the wings might look like a lot to have on your back during a convention, Litke says the experience of wearing them wasn't too bad. She wore the wings for a total of 12 hours, six hours over two days in a row. The first day allowed her to see what she could fix — she went home and altered pieces to make it more comfortable the second day.
"The wings weighed about 35 pounds... but they were integrated underneath the costume, so the only problem was I couldn't really take a break because I couldn't take them off," Litke says. "But they weren't too bad. They were quite comfortable for what they were."
Litke was drawn to cosplaying as Maleficent because of her love for the 2014 Angelina Jolie-starring movie and how it showed why the character became a villain.
"It gave you a chance to see her backstory. Her love took her wings away so she became evil. Who wouldn't? It was kind of fun to play the good version of her before she became bitter; she's friendly, caring, and just wants everyone to be happy," Litke explains. "It was fun to do that take [on] her because everyone just sees her as such a villain and she wasn't always a villain."
While at the convention, Litke drew quite a bit of attention, especially from kids. For Litke, one of her favorite parts of cosplaying is seeing children's reactions since they don't just see someone dressed as a character but the actual character. She met quite a few kids at Denver Comic Con excited to see Maleficent.
"Their reactions are half of what I do it for, to see the joy it brings them, but the overall response was fantastic," Litke says. "I spent most of the con in one location because I couldn't walk far without somebody stopping me, which is awesome."
This Maleficent cosplay is just one of many looks Litke has created over the years. She originally started cosplaying after attending Denver Comic Con for the first time. She was always into geeky things and made elaborate Halloween costumes, but seeing the costumes at the convention made her think she "had to do this." Some of her other favorite creations include a take on Bowser from Super Mario Bros., a battle version of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and a female version of Serpentor from G.I. Joe for which she dived for the first time into sculpting, molding, and casting to create the helmet.
"I love to take something and kind of make it my own and pull out some of that creativity which is a blast," she says.
While Litke has so far only been to Denver Comic Con, she plans to expand this year into some other conventions in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. She plans to be at Colorado Springs Comic Con in August.
"I found such a passion for this and I just can't leave it to one con anymore so I'm making the time for it," she says.
More conventions might help her tackle some of the cosplays on her dream list. Some future cosplays she hopes to create are a Conehead, Lady Death from Coffin Comics, a female predator with an animatronic mouth, and Moxxi from Borderlands. Now that she knows how to work with electronics a bit, she said it widens the variety of cosplays she can make.
Her experience with cosplay has been so positive that she encourages others to try it if they are even slightly interested.
"It's an art that everyone can get into no matter who you are [and] no matter what your shape is. It doesn't matter. You get to be the character you've always idolized and loved and I encourage anybody that wants to do it to go for it and have fun because that's what it's about," Litke says. "It's about having fun and getting to be these characters that you've loved since maybe you were a kid."