Since I'm doing a Black Creators countdown this month, I didn't have time to do spotlights on black-created comics like I normally like to do in February. Instead, though, I asked the nifty comic book writer Regine L. Sawyer to do some spotlights on fellow black women members of her Women In Comics NYC Collective. Enjoy! - BC
Darlena Marie is a Military Veteran turned Professional Cosplayer. She has been a Costumed Performer for 6 years and a Professional Costumer for over 10. Since elementary school, Darlena had always been involved in performing in school plays, which lead to community theatre as she got older. Wearing costumes was a fun avenue to express creativity and fantasy for her. In terms of Cosplay, Darlena’s beginnings started out with Star Trek, (she’s a huge Trekkie!) and Renaissance Fairs; it soon branched off into steam-punk and comic book characters.
As an Advocate for Veterans and those in need, Darlena founded and coordinates the NY Cosplay Network; founded in 2011 its mission reads as such: Our group is recently formed and we are dedicated to establishing a vibrant and active community of cosplayers and costumed performers, who will involve themselves in fellowship, workshops, and most of all, VOLUNTEERING! In between conventions it is our desire to bring joy to those in hospitals, or in shelters, as well as to families at various community day activities! We bring to life your favorite characters from all genres! Sci fi/ comic superheroes/ gears of war/ renaissance/ fantasy/ military/ etc. We perform for free at hospitals/ elderly centers/ shelters and family day events. We welcome all who love the art of entertaining through cosplay, no matter what level or how long or not long you have been doing it!’
Through her advocacy by-way of Cosplay, Darlena has been covered by several media outlets, such as The Meredith Veira Show, The New York Times, and Good Morning America. In addition she’s received recognition for her service though The United War Veterans Council and a Citation for Outstanding Community Service through the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. On top of all this, Darlena also a filmmaker, creating fan films that crosses various genres; from sci-fi to action to fantasy! Check out her websites here: https://www.facebook.com/DarlenaMarieCosplays/, http://www.meetup.com/cosplayasrule/, https://www.facebook.com/nycpn/?fref=photo