Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
Veronica Paniccia : When my sister and I were kids, our uncle would always bring us to conventions and toy shows. When we went to our first con in 2017, we wanted to wear cosplays since we had always seen really cool ones growing up. I remember also meeting Yaya Han at a con when I was a kid, and she encouraged me to start cosplaying.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Veronica Paniccia : My first cosplay was Misa from Death Note.
Leo Nocedo :What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Veronica Paniccia : My next three cosplans are Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII, genderbent Zack Fair from FFVII: Crisis Core, and Red Blood Cell from Cells at Work.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Veronica Paniccia : Yes, a couple of times. I was part of a Game of Thrones group that won Best Group at Megacon Tampa Bay in 2017 and I was part of a Fallout group that won Best Group at Tampa Bay Comic Con in 2018. I haven’t done any contests since though.
Leo Nocedo :Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working ?
Veronica Paniccia : My favorite think about cosplay is making props and armor. There’s something really cool about turning mundane objects or even just a sheet of foam into something else entirely. I think my favorite props I’ve made are my Catspaw dagger for Arya and my Pipboy 3000 for my Fallout cosplay.
Leo Nocedo :Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Veronica Paniccia : I usually just get photos at cons, but I don’t do many photoshoots unless someone asks me. I’m a bit camera shy.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Veronica Paniccia : Probably tomboy characters, like Arya, but I generally love cosplaying strong female characters.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Veronica Paniccia : There are a lot of cosplayers I follow on Instagram that I like, but it’s hard to name them all. I really love Kamui Cosplay’s armor work.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Veronica Paniccia : I want to say Arya, but maybe just because I have made 4 different versions of Arya. It took a lot of time to watch the episodes and find reference photos to get everything just right. I made two of them before the corresponding seasons even aired, and there were barely any reference photos and no cosplays yet for me to use as a reference. Those took a lot more time and
detail to nail, and I still had to make more adjustments when more reference images surfaced.
Leo Nocedo :What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
- Always be careful using heat tools, blades, and when using chemicals. Make sure to take proper precautions and ventilate when using anything dangerous.
- Make sure you watch a video of someone doing something before doing it yourself, it really helps you learn exactly how to do something and avoids any possible injuries from doing a technique incorrectly.
- Don’t feel pressured to make your cosplay perfect. If it makes you happy, that’s all that matters. I promise that other people probably have visible hot glue, patchy paint, etc. at cons. You aren’t alone and you don’t have to be a “pro” to cosplay.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Veronica Paniccia : Probably my Fallout cosplay, I just have so much fun whenever I wear it. I also had a lot of fun making it.
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Veronica Paniccia : I spent so much time trying to dye leather for my Reverse Flash costume that I was honestly losing my sanity over it. Once I was happy with it, something would go wrong and I’d have to start all over. I wore that cosplay twice, and
the first time I ended up having such a miserable time that, after the second, I just threw it away.
Leo Nocedo :What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Veronica Paniccia : My sister and I were cosplaying Fallout, both as the Lone Wanderer from Fallout 3. At the time, I had really short hair and my sister had really long hair. This little boy came up and pointed at my sister and said “That’s so cool, you’re vault girl,” then pointed at me and said, “and you’re vault boy!” When I told him I’m actually also a girl, he apologized quickly then ran off into the men’s restroom.
Leo Nocedo :What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Veronica Paniccia : Pretty much any interaction with my Game of Thrones friends has been really fun. At Megacon, after season 8 episode 3 of Game of Thrones aired (SPOILERS), I ran into a Night King cosplayer at Arya and we both immediately looked at each other and knew we had to recreate their scene from the episode.
Leo Nocedo :Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Veronica Paniccia :Yes, my sister and I cosplay together all of the time. We actually have a cosplay page together, V2 Cosplay, but we don’t update it very often.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?Probably this photo by Tomicho Photography:
Veronica Paniccia : I never really get professional photos of my cosplays, since I mostly do it for fun, so I absolutely love this picture. Tommy Vidal is an incredible photographer.
Leo Nocedo :What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Veronica Paniccia : I mostly shop for materials at Joann and Michael’s, but I also like to go thrift shopping to see if I can find anything that I can use for cosplays or to make pieces of a cosplay.
Leo Nocedo :Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Veronica Paniccia : I am not the best at styling wigs but I usually style my own. I am working on an Aerith wig right now so I am definitely learning a lot.
Leo Nocedo :Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Veronica Paniccia : Yes, I was mistaken for Rogue in a Jean Grey cosplay before, but I also was approached as Reverse Flash and was told they only took a picture of me because they thought I looked like Arya.
Leo Nocedo :List all the cosplays you’ve done:
Veronica Paniccia : I’ve been cosplaying since 2007, so I may miss some in this list:
Misa from Death Note
Mello from Death Note
Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Arya from Game of Thrones (4 versions: season 3, blind Arya, Mercy Arya, and season 7-8)
Lone Wanderer from Fallout 3
Ned Stark from Game of Thrones
Liv from iZombie
Leeloo Dallas from the Fifth Element
Elsa from Frozen 2
Sabrina from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Mavis from Hotel Transylvania
Colonel Mustard from Clue
Cheelai from Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Saria from The Legend of Zelda
Tina from Bob’s Burgers
Christine Daae from Phantom of the Opera
Jill Valentine from Resident Evil
Homura from Madoka Magica
Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars
Kyoka Jirou from My Hero Academia
Sylvanas Windrunner from World of Warcraft
Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z/Super
Veronica from Riverdale
Reverse Flash from The Flash
Nightman from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Chara from Undertale
Rei from Star Wars
Jean Grey from X-Men (New X-Men, Battle of the Atom, and Phoenix versions)
Daphne from Scooby Doo
Ash from Army of Darkness
Andrea from The Walking Dead (comics)
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Veronica Paniccia : Probably Megacon or Supercon. Megacon just gets bigger every year, so I’m sure it will be up there with Dragoncon eventually.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Veronica Paniccia : I prefer cosplaying characters with props, because it gives me something to do with my hands and I don’t feel as awkward in photos.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Veronica Paniccia : I can’t say I have, but I have definitely had cosplay pieces broken at cons by careless people.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Veronica Paniccia : I don’t think I’ve ever bought a cosplay piece, but I have purchased wigs.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Veronica Paniccia : I prefer cosplaying with my sister or a group. It’s much easier to pose with others and it’s much more fun being with a group.
Leo Nocedo :If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Veronica Paniccia : Please teach me your ways! I would love to make armor at the level Kamui Cosplay does.
Leo Nocedo :Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Veronica Paniccia : I co-hosted a Game of Thrones panel at Tampa Bay Libcon a few years ago, but never at a bigger con.
Leo Nocedo :Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Veronica Paniccia : I prefer to make them, but I don’t see anything wrong with people buying them either. I have severe chronic back pain, so sometimes I am not able to make everything I want to and have had to buy pieces or costumes before. Cosplay is all about fun, anyway.
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Veronica Paniccia : I wish I could tell my past self not to focus so much on what other people think and to just cosplay what makes you feel happy and comfortable.
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Veronica Paniccia : Knight Lautrec from Dark Souls. I would love to make that armor.
Leo Nocedo :What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Veronica Paniccia : I want to say Sylvanas is the most difficult to wear because of the weight (I still haven’t worn it to a con due to my back injury). Craftsmanship-wise, I would say Fallout since I had to learn a lot of new techniques in making the armor (especially the license plate shoulder armor).
Leo Nocedo :What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Veronica Paniccia : Probably Cheelai from Dragon Ball Super: Broly. That was my first time wearing full face paint and it took a lot of practice to get right. Even with practice, I still had trouble with it melting in the Florida heat as I was leaving Megacon.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Veronica Paniccia : I guess I don’t really distinguish between cosplayers and “pro” cosplayers. We all do the same thing and we all have fun doing it. If we start categorizing people by ranks, then I think it will just make people feel bad.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Veronica Paniccia : Having fun! I love dressing up as characters I like and hanging out with friends who enjoy the same hobby. I also love seeing the finished cosplay after putting so much time and work into it. It’s a very nice feeling.