Last March at WonderCon, we got to snap some pictures of the group Toxic Dawgs Cosplay.

If you take a look at their instagram, you’ll see that this group is a staple at conventions around the SoCal area and often cosplay Star Wars, Disney, and X-Men characters. On top of that, they’ve done quite a few Disneybounds as well.

On Saturday afternoon, Chris and I made our way down to the front of the Anaheim Convention Center, where we met the members of Toxic Dawgs Cosplay: Amanda, Mark, Thommy, and Richard. Their theme that Saturday was something I’m not sure I’ve seen before — X-Men pirates.

That’s right. In a creative twist on classic Marvel characters, the four re-imagined what Wolverine, X-23 (aka Laura), and Gambit might look like if they were sea faring pirates.

Their Sunday theme was something more familiar and somewhat appropriate for the area since the convention center is down the street from Disneyland. Toxic Dawgs brought Agrabah to Anaheim, dressing up as the beloved characters from the Disney classic, Aladdin. — complete with a lamp and magic carpet

Unfortunately, we encountered some technical issues with our interview footage from the con, but Amanda was kind enough to answer our questions via email! (Text within the brackets is information from the initial interviews.)

How did you get into cosplaying?
Amanda:  I got into cosplay because of my dad and we started out through pirate
conventions.  It was also a new way my dad and I could bond.
What made you decide to cosplay as a group?
Amanda:  We kinda just became friend and though it be cool to do a whole group together
and play off each others characters. 
What is your favorite cosplay that you've done?
Amanda: My favorite cosplay is Princess Jasmine.

[According to the group, one of the fun parts of cosplaying is embodying the character. As Aladdin, Richard gets to be friendly and outgoing, entertaining everyone, while Thommy enjoys cosplaying Gaston and showing off a little bit of his arrogant side.

One of Mark’s favorite cosplays though, was a crossover between Jason Voorhes and Wolverine, which shocked many con-goers to his delight.]

Is doing cosplay as a group different than cosplaying on your own?
Amanda:  I have always done group cosplay so it's hard for me to say. Being in a
group makes you feel very comfortable and like you can have fun with each other. 
How many cosplays have you done together as a group?
Amanda: I believe three.
What cosplay theme do you want to try?
Amanda: I think "Avatar: The Last Airbender" would be cool.
What is the process for making your cosplays?
Amanda:  For my Princess Jasmine, I had to find the dress and adjust from there

[Amanda told us that for many cosplays, splurging on expensive pieces isn’t necessary, you can use clothes found in your closet or at stores like Forever 21 to create your outfit.]

How do you guys decide on what cosplay theme to do?
Amanda:  We normally all go off common interests or take turns of what each individual
person likes.
What has been your best geek/ comic con moment?
Amanda:  The best one would have to be for me when I got to meet Hodor (Kristian Nairn)
from "Game of Thrones." He was super friendly and actually had a full conversation
with me.
Do you have any advice for people who want to cosplay, but are unsure where to start?
Amanda:  Don't ever be afraid to dress up and don't worry how you look we are
all accepting of everyone. It's a place where you can be yourself.

To see more of Amanda, Thommy, Richard, and Mark’s cosplays and to follow them on their con adventures, follow them on Instagram and Facebook!

Interview by Nik Jermaine
Photos by Chris Nelson & Nik Jermaine
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