Cosplayer Convos: Cosplaying Over 30

One of the most infuriating things I hear (mostly at my day job) is "Quinzel you STILL go to comic book conventions? You STILL play video games? You STILL dress up?

Yes. Yes. and, in case this is your first time to the blog, yes?

There was a time when I was much, much younger (I'm talking high school-ish age here) where I worked hard to cover my nerd flag as much as possible, lest I'd be called out and embarrassed for it.

Fast forward to today, I let that go a LONG time ago. Once I accepted who I was, the comments bothered me a lot less. I am taking the time to do something that makes me happy. And that isn't making fun of other people's interests, Carol.

The comments still come through. On top of that, we put a HUGE emphasis on turning 30 years old and what it means. We cry and cry in our last moments of 29 like 30 really changes things.

I am a firm believer that 30 is not the mile marker for all of your life's accomplishments. 30 is only the beginning.

That is one big reason why I really connected with Erica (Suga Bear Co) because it was so refreshing to meet someone so unbothered by age. Not only is she unbothered but, as I stated earlier, this is only the beginning of many new adventures for her.

"The biggest piece of advice I can give a cosplayer over 30 is don't be afraid to be you." Erica says "If cosplaying is something you have always wanted to do, make it a bucket list item and get it out of the way. Age only means something if you decide it means something. It doesn't have to cost a ton of money or be exactly perfect. Get out of your head and just do it."

Erica is a cosplayer and talented seamstress. Known by Suga Bear Co, she's got a lot of life under her belt. That isn't to say age. I think one thing people get intimidated about starting to cosplay later in life is because they feel as though it strays away from the current life path that you've built.

Erica is living proof that at any point in life, you can press restart. She isn't just carelessly starting and stopping things, she's an inspiration that, at any point, you can redefine yourself and your goals. And this has earned her a fulfilled life.

She received her associate's degree at 30, her bachelor's at 32 and her master's at 36. If this isn't proof that your life isn't over at 30, I don't know what is.

Erica had always loved fashion and initially wanted to be a fashion designer when she was younger. But unlike the notion that says you must decide what you want to do by the time you turn 18, Erica took the time to explore different career and degree options. Along with that, she worked full time, went to school full time, and also was raising a child.

Cosplay didn't come easy for this hardworking gal. She couldn't attend conventions at first because she couldn't get the time off work. She had worked in operations in hotels where weekend shifts were required. Instead of giving up on cosplay altogether, she fit it in by dressing up for birthday parties and special occasions.

"My first con experience was at C2E2 2018." Erica says "Sounds weird since I've been a cosplayer for 13 years, but between job schedules and cost, it was not a priority. I made it a priority last years and I'm glad I did. I got to see what he hype was about and how extravagant the cosplays really could be. I was able to attend the panels for plus size cosplay and Costumers with a Cause. I think I did about 20,000 steps per day and of course, was extremely tired. I even did a costume change one of the days. That experience also let me know that I didn't need to go to any con for an entire weekend unless there are things I'm participating in each day."

Since then, she has also attended (and judged cosplay at) Toys and Cosplaycon as well as both years of Wakandacon. Wakandacon is where we initially met and I wanted to know if she loved it as much as I had.

"I have loved my experiences at Wakandacon because we weren't the afterthought. People are looking to photograph you and talk with you, interview you, respect you, because the con is about you and your tribe and how we interact. I have met some wonderful people and I hear people every time tell me how I've inspired them by something I said at a panel. You don't really get that at bigger cons where there is no real focus and you're in a crowd of people who may not be so welcoming."

As amazing and strong as Erica is, that doesn't mean that she doesn't recognize that there can be negativity in the cosplay world. Not just toward age, but size and race as well

"Some of the negative comments I've seen towards other cosplayers is that they are too dark to play a character or said character isn't Black, so you have to do someone else. I've seen people tell some of my cosplay kids that they ruined a character for them because they didn't feel they were perfect or that they were too fat to be certain characters. I've seen people be called the n-word version or ghetto version of a character."

Erica recognizes that it can be hard for new cosplayers to deal with that level of negativity “If I had gotten into cosplay when I was younger, I would have gotten out of it” She says, but then smiles and tells me “I’m secure in myself that I’m gonna check em and keep it moving...I don’t give them what they’re looking for…”

The positive side of growing with age is that you also grow out of f*cks to give. However, there is one negative aspect that we haven't covered, and it isn't what people think of you.

Spoiler alert: its money

I can attest that the biggest thing that prevents me from going to more cons and donning myself in more cosplays is money. More than what people say, cause what even are words, money, it seems, will snatch your dreams a lot faster than hurtful words can.

"Money is a challenge in cosplay because even the cheapest cosplay will still probably cost you at least $20 if you can get it all through the thrift. Let's also add in any make-up needs, wig or hair needs, shoes or boot covers, accessories, etc. Then add in the cost of actually attending cons. Because I am now on panels, my costs have started to be covered a bit (for some cons), but before that started, I had to pay for my tickets, hotels if necessary, parking, gas, etc. I also cosplay with my kid, so there's the added cost of all of that stuff for him as well. "

To deal with these burdens we learn, with age, that self-care is key. I get being busy, but it's inspiring to know that with how busy Erica is, she still prioritizes the importance of self-care. Also, have I mentioned that she is a trained therapist who is starting Group Cosplay Therapy?:

" Self-care is a must for me. Being a therapist, I teach self-care to my clients so that they know that this is a need and not a want. I also teach them what self-care all includes because many people think it's massages, bubble baths, and shopping sprees. Self-care is also spending time doing things you love and with people you love. Cosplay is definitely a self-care, both making it and wearing it at the con or other events. Sewing, dancing, drawing, painting, and listening to music are also part of my self-care routine. Spending quality time with my kids watching our favorite anime or movies is also huge. Hanging out with my friends and family is always a fun time."

Erica proves that with everything you have to balance, school, kids, full-time job, that cosplay is possible if you want it to be possible. Just take the strength you have used in all of your other life situations and apply it to something you would have fun doing

Push yourself out of your comfort zone (and other peoples comfort zones) and shine

Are you a cosplayer over 30? What challenges have you experienced? What are some of the most fun or amazing experiences that you have had with cosplay? Tell us all about it in the comments section below

Contest Day!

Leslie edited this podcast while on the road for work. Because she loves you. Bask in the glory.

Win a free copy of the game Sparkle Kitty! Here is how to win. 

1) Leave a review or comment on Apple Or Podbean. Good, Bad, Ugly. We want to get better over here at GGNi and can't do that without your help. 

2)Go to our Facebook page (listed below) and let me know your user name so I know who to send the game to!

3) *Bonus* If you leave a review on Apple, and on Podbean, that counts as two entries! Hooray! 

Help us help you get your game on!


Special thanks to Michelle for contributing to our Ko-Fi! If you would like to throw a dollar or two this way to keep the lights on (and the hosting going), consider donating to the Ko-fi.

Send Quinzel (or me!) a note or art for the dungeon: PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, In. 46290

Check out the writings of Quinzel, Melissa, and I at

Music today was LoveChances by Check him out for more music! 

Greyhound Nightmares

Quinzel talks about the hellish journey she took with Greyhound, just to bring you news of WakandaCon. We want t hear about your misshaps as well with Greyhound. Please use the hashtag on Twitter or Facebook #GreyhoundNightmares and tag us in your stories.


Special thanks to Michelle for contributing to our Ko-Fi! If you would like to throw a dollar or two this way to keep the lights on (and the hosting going), consider donating to the Ko-fi.

Send Quinzel (or me!) a note or art for the dungeon: PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, In. 46290

Check out the writings of Quinzel, Melissa, and I at

Music today was LoveChances by Check him out for more music! 

Philosopfher Review: Cute, Comfy, and Satisfying

I received this shirt and onesie in exchange for an honest review. These are my honest thoughts (but spoiler alert, it's pretty great, y'all)

I feel like we discussed this on the podcast at some point (the Captain Marvel roundtable of all places) but one of the biggest pet peeves of mine is that there is hardly any Black Panther merchandise around. As much as I love Black Panther, I am sure that I could fund an entire Disney project, should they just give me what I friggin' want.

So imagine my surprise at showing up at Wakandacon and seeing this incredible Wakanda-ish shirt. And I completely lost it when I saw the Baby-ish onesie.

Wakanda-ish shirt by Philosofher: The Love and Life of Her. Black Panther skirt by Madre Yerba. Note: Skirt has pockets!

Before I get deep into this review, let me tell you a little bit about Philosofher: The Love and Life of Her. One look at the site and you'll be drawn in by the and eye-catching apparel. Concitta, the genius behind Philosofher, also does event branding, wedding invitations, and more. She is a well rounded creative.

According to the site (because I cannot do this amazing level of writing justice), this is Philosofher's story:

With intent, philosofher is a collection of apparel, stationery, novelties, and such, curated to celebrate the life of, the love of,  creatives and women - “…from [their] hair follicles to [their] toenails,” -Jill Scott.

The selection of each item, the quotes penned or borrowed, the custom designs, and everything in between are all made possible with creative energy, passion, and detailed attention.

Embracing the laissez-faire and soul-snatching energy of New Orleans and the brazen, charming spirit of Chicago, philosofher is what happens when the creativity of two cities collide and merge...

Simply, lagniappe.

First things first, I'm a plus-size gal. So with almost any clothes I wear, I find myself very disappointed to find they have nothing in my size. Pictured below, the Wakanda-ish shirt is in an XL and very roomy, I tucked it in to give it a fitted appearance, but the XL fit is AMAZING. Not too tight, not too big. I usually wear a 2X in shirts due to an abundance of boob-age. So this was an absolute win.

I live in an area where not many people get Black Panther or Black-ish references, but I still got a lot of compliments on it anyway.

The one who got the biggest compliments was my little Bb-y 8. He rocked that onesie like the model he is. The only thing he didn't like? The tag in the back. But it's an easy solution to cut the tag if needed. I've had to do it with A LOT of his clothes. Here he is pictured in an 18-month onesie.

In case you couldn't tell, I love this company. The shirts are comfy. The sizing is dope, and it's cute as heck. 10/10 would recommend.

What do you guys think? Think you'll head over to Philisofher: The Love and Life of Her and buy? Hop in the comments section and let me know what you

Simming it up with Dimplicity

Today Dimplicity joins Leslie to talk all about the Sims! Stay tuned for stories and laughter

Dimplicity's youtube channel:

I am not going to list all the links for custom content. If you go to Dimplicity's video notes, she lists it all there!

The Black Simmer's Facebook page: *please note* I am not responsible for this page, I am just a member.

Special thanks to Michelle for contributing to our Ko-Fi! If you would like to throw a dollar or two this way to keep the lights on (and the hosting going), consider donating to the Ko-fi.

Send Quinzel (or me!) a note or art for the dungeon: PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, In. 46290

Check out the writings of Quinzel, Melissa, and I at

Music today was LoveChances by Check him out for more music! 

Gen Con the Second – Featuring Emily and Gina

Leslie, Emily, and Gina discuss Gen Con. What they did, what they want to do differently for next year.  Leslie  also realizes a 22 year old dream but nearly dies of heat stroke doing it. Join them won't you?

Octomug you may have seen on instagram -
Gaming dice, BUT MAKE IT FASHION! -

Daughters of Arkham book series-
Games mentioned:

Good Dog Bad Zombie -

Monsters and other childish things-

Special thanks to Michelle for contributing to our Ko-Fi! If you would like to throw a dollar or two this way to keep the lights on (and the hosting going), consider donating to the Ko-fi.

Send Quinzel (or me!) a note or art for the dungeon!: PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, In. 46290

Check out the writings of Quinzel, Melissa, and I at

Dora The Explorer is Every Quirky Girl’s Best Friend in Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Sure, you never lived in the jungle and had a best friend named Boots. You probably never had a song about a backpack or even a cousin named Diego.

But as I kept watching Dora and the Lost City of Gold, I had to shake my head and say "Shoot, Dora is me." And I can bet that if you spend enough time on Geeky Girl Guide, you will feel the same way.

First of all, let me say that, next to Aladdin, this is one of my favorite live-action remakes. Not only did they address the awkwardness of Dora breaking the 4th wall (can you say delicioso? say delicioso!) but that entire high school experience was accurate. When Diego told her that high school was life or death, it wasn't even an exaggerating. High School, in my experience, was being in survival mode all the time. Being in the jungle was probably a lot easier.

Now before I go any further, some of you may ask "why in the heck should I go see a movie about a cartoon for preschoolers?" I promise you, it's not like that at all. It's got a good plot and it's pretty funny if you remember OG Dora. Even if you're an adult, I think you will still enjoy it. Heck, I did!

Back to Dora. While it was hilarious that her dad told her about the dangers of raves, that piece of advice made me think. When we go to high school, none of us are prepared. All we have is tidbits of advice that we got from High School Musical or She's All That. We all go in thinking we are just going to go and be ourselves.

The scene of her dancing (doing the peacock, specifically) was enough to make me cringe with nostalgic embarrassment. I WAS that girl, I was inherently strange and getting laughed at non-stop. At the same time, I wish I had another Dora when I was in high school.

We would be weird best friends. We would sing songs and explore places and randomly yell "Swiper no swiping!" at anyone who tried to stop us.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold hits theaters on August 9th. Be sure to check it out. And be sure to stay for this new version of "We Did It."

Trust me, it will be a good time. Cheers to you Dora, Quirk Queen of the Century!

SDCC Guide for Beginners

Kim tells us her story of navigating SDCC for the first time with Mecca. She gives us lessons we should all take to heart. 

If you would like to get in touch with Kim, go outside and make a fire, create smoke signals. A bird should appear. Tell that bird your message and it will get it back to her. Or just contact Leslie. 

Artists from SDCC:

Penelope Gaylord 

@pengpengart on instagram

Mari Lobo at

@mari.ketch on Instagram

Heather Edwards (formerly Theurer)

instagram: thedoganddragon_ig

Pictures of the art that Kim purchased will be on our Instagram!

Special thanks to Michelle for contributing to our Ko-Fi! If you would like to throw a dollar or two this way to keep the lights on (and the hosting going), consider donating to the Ko-fi.

Send Quinzel (or me!) a note or art for the dungeon!: PO Box 90232 Indianapolis, In. 46290

Check out the writings of Quinzel, Melissa, and I at
Music today was LoveChances by Check him out for more music! 

Wakandacon Day 3: Do I Really Have to Go Home?

Do all good things really have to come to an end? Can't we just keep going and going and *cue music for "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye"

I woke up this morning feeling two opposite emotions. Super excited to spend one last day at Wakandacon and also super sad that I only had one last day at Wakandacon.

I ran into Lusciously_Wicked Cosplay and her fiance again (shout out to that amazing SNOWoncye cosplay) and we hugged and were so glad to run into each other one last time.

Don't worry, it won't be the last you hear of her through this blog *wink*

The amazing thing about this con is it's not just a love for all things Black Panther, it's a love for all black people. Black people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, college degrees ALLL kinds of black people were welcomed here.

That isn't to say (I can't believe I even have to say this) that this con is against white people or ONLY for POC. It's all about the openness of the atmosphere. How comfortable I was to just exist.

I wasn't a black blogger. I wasn't a black fan. At Wakandacon, I was simply Quinzel

Panel: Writing While Black

Now listen, y'all already know that I am a writer. So this panel was exclusively for me and for my needs y'all XD. But let me share with you a couple of really cool quotes I heard from the panelists:

  • "You can't revise a blank page"
  • "No one can write that story the way that you do"

I can't say enough good things about this panel! Check out Book Euphoria to learn more about the awesome panelist (which are all black authors, btw)

Panel: Closing Ceremonies With The Founders

As much as I want to beg for more time, this was the final panel that marked the end of the con. Remember that Women of Wakandacon article I wrote last year? Well I got to see Lisa and Taylor on this panel. Sadly, Ali wasn't in attendance and had another engagement.

They thanked everyone and gave the floor to anyone who wanted to say anything. What followed was an outpouring of thank you's that was enough to bring the founders and everyone in the room to tears.

Also, a couple got engaged during the closing ceremony. Y'all know I'm a sucker for romance.

Like I mentioned in Day 2, if I have one regret with this con, it's that I can't do everything. Some things that I missed out on that I regret now are:

  • Shuri's Room: The Official Wakandacon Code-a-Thon: Seriously bummed because I've always wanted to know how to code. Everyone who stopped in, whether they already knew how to code or not, loved it.
  • Gaming Marathons: I had hoped that since it was going down all weekend that I could catch a sneak in the gaming room but I did not. I know there was a Mortal Kombat and a Smash Bros. gaming competition and I would have been down to watch (and maybe play) that.
  • Queerkanda: That was a panel I would have especially loved to see for myself. But it definitely got OUTSTANDING reviews. Next year, Quinzel, next year.

This was a hard, hard con to leave. Usually, the Con Depression sets in after I've had some time to reflect. But just sucks because I don't want to go back to real life. I want to code and I want to see people walk around in amazing costumes and I want to be comfortable at the intersection where my blackness and nerdiness meet and...

Con depression can really make you spiral. But it's important to know that Wakandacon isn't just one weekend. It took all of these wonderful people to plan this, to attend this, to vend wonderful merchandise at this, and to network and speak about this.

We out here, Wakandacon just gave us a way to all be in the same space at the same time.

I still don't wanna go, though #crying

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