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#28DaysOfBlackCosplay: TaLynn Kel

#28DaysOfBlackCosplay: TaLynn Kel


Cosplay Name:
TaLynn Kel
Home Town
Atlanta now. Originated in the northeast, though.

How long have you been cosplaying?

12 Years
What was your first convention?
DragonCon. The bar was set high from the beginning.
What was your first cosplay?
Technically, it was a self-created warrior princess. I based the costume off a crown I bought at a craft show while visiting Berkeley. I spent 2 weeks making a pseudo armor bra out of safety pins and multi-colored beads. Every time I leaned on something one of the pins would pop open and drop beads on the floor. My first convention cosplay was Dark Phoenix. It was a rough costume that was too hot and left a trail of glitter everywhere I went, but helped solidify my love for this hobby.
Do you feel you have a cosplay expertise? If so what would it be? (i.e. props, sewing etc.)
I’d say accessorizing and making little details out of really cheap materials like cardboard, markers, and duct tape. Most of my cosplays are regular clothes that I accessorize the hell out of because I’m fat and that makes getting some things difficult. Like yellow boots. I’ve been known to wrap some duct tape around my sock covered legs and have nobody notice until I tell them.
What have been your least and most expensive cosplays?
That’s a hard question. The base of most of my cosplays are just regular clothes. As I’m really big on trying to create the look myself, I spend most of my money experimenting on something and having it not work. I just spent $60 trying to make a mohawk bald cap. I failed. I learned a few things, but I spent a lot of money to not accomplish my goal. I guess my least expensive was my Blade cosplay. I’d already owned the fangs, corset, black pants, and boots and I borrowed the weapons, coat, and sunglasses from my friend. It was a last minute, thrown together cosplay that I spent zero money on that day. But my truly, least expensive cosplay was Nightwing Harley Quinn. I bought blue lipstick and fake ponytails for maybe $10 and another $2 on fabric paint. I sacrificed an old t-shirt, but the rest was clothing from my closet.
What is your favorite convention to attend?
For cosplay and parties, it’s DragonCon, no doubt. If I’m a panelist, it’s MomoCon. For A-list celeb spotting, San Diego ComicCon. I guess it just really depends on why I’m going.
What is your dream convention to attend?
At the moment, it’s New York Comic-Con but only because I can’t wrap my head around the logistics of attending a convention in New York City. How do you get there in costume? A cab? Lyft? I mean, I did take Lyft at San Diego Comic Con, but that’s San Diego. I’m from the northeast. I’m not sure how that cosplay stuff is going to fly up there. I’m also super geeked up for Universal FanCon because I think that’s going to be an amazing convention even in its first year.
What is your dream cosplay?
I have two. I’ve already done these cosplays but I didn’t hit the mark on getting them perfect because the props were outside my skill set at the time. I’d like to redo Bleez with actual bone wings that I make myself and I’d like to redo Ame-Comi Raven with the standing cape of trapped, tortured souls. These both will happen the way I envisioned them…one day. I mean, not in 2017, but one day.
What do you hate about cosplay?
The outfits are not comfortable. Like, at all. We forget that these outfits were made for fantasy people who never had to actually sit down, eat, or use a bathroom. Sometimes they are so awkward and contrived that the best I can do is wear it one hour longer than it took to put it on. It took me three hours to get into Ame-Comi Raven. I only wore it four hours was because I forgot to make it two-pieces so that I could use the bathroom. It’s really easy to forget functionality in cosplay creation, especially if you are in love with a look. Or a perfectionist. Or both. I work hard not to do both.
What do you love about cosplay?
I love so many things about it. I love the problem-solving. The creativity. The colors. The transformations. The details. The way one small thing can define a look. I love the collaboration. The brainstorming. The way 2 people can do the same cosplay but have completely different and stunning results. I love the ingenuity. The photos. I love watching other people fall in love with it. I love watching people grow from doing it. I love the awe of non-cosplay convention people. I love showing my work off.
Tell us something cool!
A few years back, I was in a cosplay calendar as Hellboy. The shoot was held at a nearby office park, but because it was the weekend, the air conditioning was off. Hellboy requires face paint, so to help with sweating, I double layered the face paint sealant. I’m not sure if you know, but face paint sealant blocks your pores, which is how it prevents sweating. The Hellboy costume is a long sleeved coat, pants, a leatherish coat, gloves, combat boots…and the sealed, painted face. Within 10 minutes of arriving, I got a horrible case of vertigo from overheating. And when I say horrible, I mean I couldn’t walk two steps without swaying and almost falling over. But because I didn’t want to reschedule and put the cosplay on again, I decided to do the shoot anyway. Fortunately, we got some awesome pics from the shoot, but I ended up in bed recovering for the next 36 hours. I learned two things that day: 1 – Always drink plenty of fluids. 2 – Sweating ain’t really a bad thing. It helps keep you alive and you can fix your face paint in post production. I’m not sure if that’s cool but it sure was a learning experience.

Red Lantern Bleez: Photo by ( Photoshop by (

Thanos: Photo by Leo Photography:
Ame Comi Raven: Photo by Bryan Humphrey (
Hellboy: Photo by Jason Bohannon at Soulfuric Studios (
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