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[Interview] PopCultHQ Cosplay Spotlight: Leah Woltanski ~ Chaotic Neutral Cosplay

Leah Woltanski, better known in the cosplay community as Chaotic Neutral Cosplay, will be a featured cosplay guest at this year’s Grand Rapids Comic Con. Though she only has been cosplaying for around five years, Leah returns to the Michigan convention where she first ventured into the cosplay world.

Leah’s first ‘real’ cosplay was at the 2013 Grand Rapids Comic Con where she premiered The Huntress from DC Comics. Since then, she has cosplayed popular characters from Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and more. Woltanski haa also become an integral member of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club (Michaigan chapter), where she handles all promotional, media and event work. And if you like armor, throwing cards, crowns, elves, nerdy things and power tools, then this is a cosplayer you’ll want to follow!

PopCultHQ Cosplay Spotlight Interview:


Leah Woltanski ~ Chaotic Neutral Cosplay
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[img src: Matt Sobo Photo]
PopCultHQ: Though relatively new to the cosplay scene, you’ve already amassed a number of awards and made a great name for yourself. What was it about cosplaying that initially drew your eye?

Leah: I guess it was the opportunity to dress up as my favorite characters and bring them to life. In a way, cosplay gives you the ability to become your heroes in real life, even if it’s for a short time, and let’s be honest, who hasn’t wished they could be their hero just once? 

PopCultHQ: What is your favorite cosplay?

Leah: Right now, my favorite cosplays are my Carved Nordic Armor from Skyrimor my Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I feel most comfortable in armor, it’s like a second skin for me, and Mai is just so chill it’s great.She’s wonderful for relaxing cons. I have a couple dream cosplays planned for this coming year, so those will probably change! 

PopCultHQ: You’re a featured cosplay guest at this year’s Grand Rapids Comic Con. What does your schedule look like for the con? Will you be hosting or a part of panels? Any set times for signings or photo shoots?

Leah: To be honest, I’m not sure yet! I know myself and several other of the cosplay guests will indeed be doing some panels such as Intro to sewing and Armor, and Cosplay 101, but I haven’t yet seen our finished schedule. I believe there will be some set times for signings or photoshoots, but anytime I’m at my table I will be available for signing. And if you don’t mind hallway shots you’re always welcome to catch me on the floor anytime for photos! 🙂

[img src: PassionImage]
PopCultHQ: Have you decided who you’ll cosplay for Grand Rapids Comic Con yet?

Leah: Surprising, yes! I’m usually terrible about picking my cosplays until a couple weeks before, but I actually have them all lined up this time. I haven’t made my official announcement yet, but I’ll have my Skyrim kit Friday, my new Greek-Styled Wonder Woman Saturday and my Mulan on Sunday. (Armor for the win!)

PopCultHQ: As someone with a background of film and theater, how has your experience in the arts helped you in cosplaying?

Leah: Coming from film and theater, I find it’s helpful with things like posing for photos and the actual costume creation. I’m able to think about things like “how would this character pose in this environment, what are they thinking, how would their face look” during photos which is great for getting good shots. I’m also able to think about costumes logically from a film perspective of “how would this function if this character has to do X” and sort of gives me an outside of the box method of coming at things.

PopCultHQ: If you had all resources at your disposal (costs, tools, material, etc.), what would your dream cosplay be?

Leah: Funny you should ask…my ultimate dream cosplay is Legolas from Lord of the Rings, and I actually just cut the first fabric on him last week! It’s going to be a completely screen-accurate costume, including all the weapons and leather.It’s taken me six months to gather the accurate materials for him and I’ve learned leather tooling and embossing, learned sculpting and casting and boot making just to make him. I’m still terrified, but totally excited. Soon!!

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Special thanks to Leah for taking the time to be interviewed. If you happen to be in or around Grand Rapids, Michigan during October 20th-22nd, be sure to look for Chaotic Neutral Cosplay! If you are unable to make the event, you can see more pics of her cosplays by following her online.

Be sure to follow Chaotic Neutral Cosplay online!

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Be sure to follow Grand Rapids Comic Con online!

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*** images courtesy of Matt Sobo PhotoPassionImageChristina June Photography, and Chaotic Neuttral Cosplay

Jason Bennett
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's senior editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. He is a big lover of coffee, cats, cooking and comics (plus all things Green Lantern). He is a strong supporter of indie comics, creators, and publishers and Chris Hardwick is his spirit animal (we don't know how to respond to that). Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett

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