All Hail the Queen: An Interview with Gethsemoni at SDCC 2018
Queen Gethsemoni is an Underworld icon. Not only does she lead the Flesh Faction, she is mother is to all mourners and a powerful necromancer. Gethsemoni is a force to be reckoned with.
To bring this powerhouse to life, we needed a cosplayer as commanding and compelling as the Queen herself. Fortunately, we knew just the heroine for the job. The fierce and talented Miss Chrissy Lynn reprised her role as our beloved Queen in 2018, with an all-new, hand-made gown worthy of ruling the Underworld.
Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how Miss Chrissy Lynn transformed herself into the incomparable Queen Gethsemoni…
What was the building process (or “build”) like for such a massive project as a Queen Gethsemoni cosplay?
Chrissy: “This year’s build was intense, mostly due to the crazy L.A. heat waves, and working at a studio in downtown LA. Aside from that, it was one of my biggest builds. There were many mediums to work with and several different techniques to achieve the look. From the 8+ different types of fabric alone to the construction and drafting of a pattern from scratch for the bolero (jacket). Last year was less clothing but a lot of sculpting, casting and molding then paint and of course making sure it stuck to my body! There is no statue for this costume to reference but only artwork. My partner, Jesse Thaxton, and I basically made it all up! I had a vision and she helped me execute it.”
What was the most challenging part of constructing the costume?
Chrissy: “Deciding on how we wanted the whole thing to be constructed. We toyed around with one whole dress or a jacket with a skirt. We wanted a more authentic look based on a theory that the Underworld would have no zippers! Lol. The skirt ended up being a wrap skirt over a cage bustle which was tedious to build; the top was a bolero jacket that cinched up on the back and sides with grommets and ribbon. Making the bolero was probably the most work – at least the sleeves were – we wanted a stretchy lightweight mesh to help me breathe under all that taffeta and leather.”
What part of the cosplay was your favorite?
Chrissy: “I truly loved the leather molded spine I made on the back, but it’s so hard to decide on one piece. I have to say I loved the skirt, rasping and distressing all the material was tough but when I decided to do ‘pretty guts’ with the velvet and lace I was so happy with the way it looked it was my favorite part, not to mention as an airbrush artist, I loved airbrushing the whole costume to give it dimension.”
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
Chrissy: “It was slightly difficult getting into the top since it had to go over my head and I had to wiggle into it so maybe even making it a little easier next time would be awesome. There will always be little things we would want to change such as, adding snaps to the cuffs, or taking the sides in on the back more, or reinforcing the pleats in the back of the skirt, but we were overall thrilled with how it turned out.”
What was it like when you finally put the dress on?
Chrissy: “Once it was all on, and makeup was done, the wig was on with the crown… the last item I always do is the contact lenses, Samhain lenses did these custom for me based on the statue. Once they go in, it’s effortless for me to transform if you will. After two years of being Gethsemoni, it just becomes organic. I can float around with ease.”
What was meeting all the Court of the Dead fans like?
Chrissy: “It’s such a wonderful experience! Especially when they followed the process on social media of the entire build, it was terrific to see them back after last year having seen the first costume we made. They are a lovely group of people who love the world so much and appreciate the characters and what went into it all. My face hurt so much after every day of smiling!”
Do you have any favorite fan interaction stories you can share with us?
Chrissy: “It was wonderful meeting the writer for Shadows of the Underworld, as well as one of the artists from the Chronicle who illustrated one of the reference art pieces I used to construct the ‘pretty guts’ for the costume! However, my favorite was interacting with the kids! They either get really excited to take a picture with me or they are terrified!”
What was one of the highlights of the con?
Chrissy: “I also almost flipped out over having a long discussion about my costume along with a little history of the Court of the Dead with creator Tom Gilliland and the legendary Rick Baker! They were absolutely lovely and made me feel like I did a good job of bringing the Queen to life!”
If you could cosplay any other Court of the Dead character, who would it be and why?
Chrissy: “I have a thing for shape-shifting assassins, so Gallevarbe would be amazing to build, body paint and bring to life. She is fierce and dangerous, and I love the new statue! I also love the look of Shard, and Kier, as well, of course.”
What were your thoughts going into SDCC?
Chrissy: “There is a lot of prep, physically and mentally. Being in a costume of this caliber was something I had to prepare myself for. Like most cosplays, there are many factors to think about for comfort, hydration, and fatigue. I have been attending SDCC since 2004, and the crowd has definitely gotten bigger, but I also love it so much.”
How do you de-stress after SDCC?
Chrissy: “I often take one day off to rest, catch up on home and other aspects of life; then I immediately start thinking about what I’m wearing and doing next year! Lol.”
The Underworld is ever thankful for their Queen, just as the Court of the Dead team is ever thankful for Miss Chrissy Lynn. Her passion shows through her work. Follow Miss Chrissy Lynn on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch for more behind the scenes and photography.
Have a deadly day, fellow mourners.