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Fashion & Style

The top 5 cosplay artists in Toronto

Posted by Shazia Khan / August 27, 2014

Cosplay TorontoThe top cosplay artists in Toronto are part of the city's thriving fan community. What was once a niche (and often mocked) hobby has become mainsteam, and will be displayed in full force at the 20th annual Fan Expo this week. Cosplay ("costumed roleplay" for the uninitiated) is so popular that some are making a lucrative career out of designing costumes and dressing up as their favourite fictional characters, whether there's a convention in town or not.

In order to get the lowdown on the Toronto cosplay seen, I consulted with Sassmira, a local up-and-coming cosplayer (and, full disclosure, my little sister) to find out who some of the most interesting and high-profile players are in Toronto's community today. These artists have a knack for crafting breathtaking costumes, building an online following, and making appearances at virtually every comic-related happening in Toronto and beyond.

Here are five of Toronto's most eminent cosplayers.

GillyKins
Admired for her prolific output and well-constructed outfits, Gillykins is a long-time player in Toronto. Many of her characters are recognizable even outside of geek circles - Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and The Avengers' Black Widow are a few of her go-tos - but she also tackles some more unconventional and clever characterizations, such as this version of X-Men's Psylocke as she was drawn in the eighties.

Cosplay TorontoVickyBunnyAngel
A 10-year veteran of Toronto cosplay, VickyBunnyAngel is renowned for meticulously crafted costumes. She's recreated memorable characters from just about every medium and genre, but is perhaps best known for her anime and videogame creations, first creating a buzz with her portrayal of Asharothe from Trinity Blood and later pulling off a stunning version of Dark Valkyrie Diana from League of Legends. It's no wonder she's snagged multiple awards at conventions like Fan Expo, Anime North and Con-G over the years.

Cosplay TorontoLee Scion
An initial desire to work in theatre was the genesis for Lee Scion's now burgeoning and award-winning cosplay career. Her seven years in the game have been spent developing techniques and honing expertise for the most intricate costuming, such as that of Cortana from Halo or the Scarlet Witch from X-Men. People now flock to her for advice in various workshops and panels. Deemed a "master level cosplayer" at Fan Expo, she'll be handing out awards at the convention's cosplay ceremony this year.

Cosplay TorontoCorrupt Cosplay
Christopher Guidotti has donned the guise of many a crusader over the past six years, predominantly at conventions but also at other times, like when he famously ran around Toronto as Deadpool asking civilians if they wanted to see a movie about him. Some notable looks to date have included Green Lantern and Two-Face; he has a couple of brand-new ones planned for this year's Fan Expo.

Cosplay TorontoZombie Bit Me
Shantel Knight, a.k.a. Zombie Bit Me, attended her first convention in costume only a few years ago, but has been ardently cosplaying at every related event in local range ever since. With more than 16,000 Facebook fans and large followings on Twitter, Tumblr and deviantART, she knows how to draw crowds via social media - whether it's with outfits like this Dragonborn from Skyrim or with her more traditional modeling work.

BONUS

Toronto Batman
Maybe less of a cosplayer and more of an extremely committed character study, Toronto Batman keeps a watchful eye over Gotham - er, Toronto - at all times. You never know when he'll pop up in Yonge-Dundas Square or on a streetcar, yelling something at you in a voice that somehow tops Christian Bale's unnerving vocal fry. Truly, he's the hero Toronto deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Photos: Zombie Bit Me by Lucky 73, Corrupt Cosplay, Lee Scion by Kevin Chan, VickyBunnyAngel by M1photo, GillyKins by Paul Hillier.

Discussion

18 Comments

wondering... / August 27, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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Does this include the Spock lookalike who is everywhere nowadays busking for coins?
RS / August 27, 2014 at 02:00 pm
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No mention of 'Northern Belle Cosplay' or the 'X-Men of Toronto'?
Fanexpo / August 27, 2014 at 03:25 pm
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yaaaa this is stupid, there are so many better cosplayers out there in the city of Toronto.
W. K. Lis / August 27, 2014 at 04:17 pm
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Anyone coplaying "Zanta"?
hair salon toronto / August 27, 2014 at 04:42 pm
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I had no idea there were all those cop laying in Toronto, I should pay more attention in downtown.
get over yourself / August 27, 2014 at 04:49 pm
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The only people who care about Northern Belle Cosplay and the X-men of Toronto, are themselves. That and GillyKins sucks.
Joseph / August 27, 2014 at 06:07 pm
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Hye guys no need to get aggressive, it's their opinion and it should count. Yes i do feel that Rogue the Northern Belle should have been in those 5, but for example i like the Nerdy Stripper, she''s a great cosplayer, but again this is relative, at the end we all just need to relax and have fun, isn't it?
bobo / August 27, 2014 at 08:21 pm
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Toronto Batman seems lame and unoriginal, why is he on this list?
Jason / August 27, 2014 at 09:03 pm
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this shit actually exists?
BeavisIsKewl / August 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm
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Wow now that I know what cosplay is, I am going to dress up as Beavis and what around picking my nose. I'll probably get away with doing more than that also! hehehehhe hehehe
RS replying to a comment from get over yourself / August 28, 2014 at 12:11 am
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Umm.......no?

I'm not affiliated with either NB Rogue, or the X-Men group. Simply appreciate their work (cosplay and fundraising initiatives) on Facebook.


get over yourself replying to a comment from RS / August 28, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Well I say you are. And considering there's a least two of these people on the list are known internationally, I can see why the lame NB and Xmen of Toronto are left off.
RS replying to a comment from get over yourself / August 28, 2014 at 09:05 pm
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I can assure you I'm not associated with them in any way. Your insistence of it is actually comical (pun intended).
Sean Ward / August 28, 2014 at 10:16 pm
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And not one but TWO of my videos are linked in this article!!!! hahaha YYYEEESSSSS
Sean Ward / August 28, 2014 at 10:33 pm
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@Get over yourself - With regards to NB Rogue and X-Men of Toronto, I'd have thought that hundreds of hours of community service - cleaning parks, hosting family events, feeding the homeless - would earn some respect, not just how internet famous they are.
Sean Ward replying to a comment from get over yourself / August 29, 2014 at 07:57 am
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Not sure what any of that has to do with the issue at hand, but thanks for letting me know who you are behind that screen name.
Clivia / August 30, 2014 at 06:18 pm
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What? No love for Peepshow T.O.? A troupe of the best cosplayers in the city!
Forester / September 4, 2014 at 01:20 am
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Well since Cosplay is a name for Japanese anime characters, I am not offended to not be a part of that list, mentionned by the reporter, that could have inquired a bit further yes. SpockVegas does costuming more than cosplaying. And is even more a busker, than a costumer, cause I do this for a living. There are already a lot of articles about buskers in Toronto, this one was about cosplay.

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