Featured Cosplayer: Michelle Waffle

By Michelle Waffle

I’m Michelle Waffle, an award-winning cosplayer hailing from the vibrant cosplay scene in Southern California. My journey into the world of cosplay has been nothing short of thrilling, with a repertoire of iconic characters that range from the fiery Jean Grey to the dynamic Wonder Girl, the sultry Emma Frost, and the fierce Black Canary.

My cosplay journey began at local cons, initially just as a spectator. I love all things geeky and have been collecting comics since I was a kid. One day, I decided to dive into the transformative world of dressing up. Marvel’s Black Cat became my inaugural cosplay—a hit created through a blend of store-bought items, small alterations, and a commissioned mask. Since then, my mom, the creative force behind Mother Moon Creations, has played a pivotal role in bringing many of my cosplays to life.

A dream cosplay of mine has always been 90’s Jean Grey, my all-time favorite X-Men character! Through numerous revisions and upgrades, my mom and I were able to bring her to life. This particular look was even featured on an episode of Marvel Becoming, marking a significant milestone in my cosplay journey. Because of this feature, it has allowed me to occasionally receive invitations to Marvel movie premieres, where I get to cosplay on the red carpet!

But that’s not all! I’ve had the pleasure of becoming part of the Shortboxed Street Team, embarking on a journey creating comic book-related content that includes exploring local shops, interviewing creatives, and showcasing my comic book finds from their app. Podcasts have been a regular gig as well, and I’m lucky enough to be a recurring guest co-host on Power of X-Men, where we delve into all things X-Men such as comic book mini-series, events, con re-caps, and so much more.

Photographer: Alex Faust

Marvel has always been my go-to universe, but the allure of some of the strong female DC characters resonated with me. My DC cosplay journey kicked off with Black Canary, initially intended for a small group cosplay at WonderCon, but she is now one of my most requested DC characters! Another exciting venture was embodying the New 52 Wonder Girl for a Women of DC shoot. With a slot opening up for Wonder Girl, I couldn’t resist the challenge of bringing this deep-cut version of Cassie to life, complete with a thick stretchy bodysuit and my first attempt at foam armor! Wonder Woman, featured in a boudoir shoot, allowed me to infuse a touch of “geek chic” into the session, showcasing my love for the strong and capable Amazons. The character’s rich history, coupled with inspiration from Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, deepened my connection to the bad-@$$ babes of the DC universe.

My convention adventures have taken me to various places, including both participating as a panelist and moderating my own panels at both LA Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con. Work-wise, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with conventions and booths, including an XMENTAS photo-op at LA Comic Con and working as a character, Jean Grey, at the immersive Uncanny Experience event.

One notable accomplishment includes co-creating the Hellfire Gala Walk with cosplay icon Jordan Blaza Olsen (IG: @thegirlwithagreatsmile). This began when I debuted my Emma Frost 2022 Hellfire Gala look at San Diego Comic-Con. Jordan loved the idea of couture cosplay, and we began planning a real-life catwalk event. The Hellfire Gala Walk is a gathering to foster a stronger cosplay community that celebrates diversity as mutants and allies of X-Men and Marvel fandoms. We pride ourselves on being diverse and inclusive to all, and have brought this showcase to both LA Comic Con and WonderCon.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to become more involved with conventions as both an attendee and behind the scenes. I’ve already gotten to partner with some local conventions as the Cosplay Corner Hostess or featured guest. The journey continues, and I’m excited for what the future holds in the dynamic world of cosplay and geek culture!

Information on the Hellfire Gala Walk can be found at: www.hellfiregalawalk.com or on Instagram: @hellfiregalawalk.

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