COS&Affection: An Evening with Riot Jynx & Riot Swimbananas
Written by Riri (@lillyums)
all images borrowed with permission from Riot Jynx
PAX West 2017 has come and gone, but this time around I enjoyed this much more simply because Riot. Came. Back! No, there wasn’t another League tournament… but even better! To bring the League of Legends community together, Riot Jynx (Jynx Art & Cosplay), Riot Swimbananas (Mel), and GoMatGo of Riot’s Summoner Showcase organized a daily meet up for LoL cosplayers and fans at PAX, had the Cospitality Lounge for cosplayers, plus had the official Riot party on the Friday. As a League fan, I was extremely excited for this get together since I wanted to bring my Ragdoll Poppy cosplay and to meet all the other League cosplayers. Since Riot left PAX a few years back, the amount of League cosplayers didn’t seem as plentiful as previous years, so the presence of League cosplayers slowly dwindled over the years… until Summoner Showcase brought us all back together.
With that, I wanted to interview them and find out more about what they do for our community. All mentioned artists will have their social media links provided at the end of the article!
Riri: Hi Mel! Hi Jynx! Thank you for joining me in this chat! It was so great seeing you two at PAX! How did you two enjoy PAX?
Mel: It was super fun! It was my first Pax West/Prime.
Jynx: Though this year's PAX was a bit unusual for me because of some medical issues, the players and community made up for all of that. They were amazing as always!
Riri: Oooo but you've been at other PAX cons?
Mel: Only East, and only a few times. Jynx has been a lot.
Jynx: Yeah! PAX is my favorite event, I've been going since 2009 J
Riri: That's great, I mean, not great that you got sick, Jynx! Haha I'm happy that the experience was overall positive for you both. So, it was my understanding that you two organized the League of Legends cosplay gathering every day at PAX?
Mel: Jynx did :P I mostly just helped and got the word out
Jynx: Yeah, it was really important to us that there was a designated area and time for League cosplayers to gather together and celebrate! Pfff, Mel is always a huge help, even if she doesn't admit it <3
Riri: Hahaha. Hey it's team work right?? I first saw the organized event through Facebook - the Summoner Showcase page. You two own this page?
Mel: We both work on the page, along with our 3rd half Matt. If you can have 3 half's?
Jynx: Summoner Showcase is a League of Legends community show that features a wide range of creations from our players. It's a program that has gone through a number of iterations, and originally started in 2010 in written form, and then later on video in 2011. It was also a segment on /All Chat for two years, and then in 2017 the Showcase was rebooted as a solo program (Episode #114) on the Facebook page with Mel as our host! We're so excited to be able to continue to celebrate the awesome work the community creates each day! As a producer, I mainly help source content, post occasionally, build relationships with creators, and give feedback on the episodes. I'm also the Bee-Fish puppeteer in our Star Guardian episode! Haha
Mel: On my end, I host the show, help find content for the show, come up with weird jokes like making puppets make out, and help respond to comments and the community.
Today we added Youtube to the group, and uploaded all the previous episodes (114+) to Youtube.
I also build the weird puppets, but that's not 100% related to anything :P
Riri: Hahaha of course that's related! :D Is this 2017 reboot the reason why the cosplay events were organized at PAX? A few years back when Riot decided not to come back to PAX, we were so sad! So we were so super excited to see to see Riot's presence at PAX again this year!
Jynx: Not specifically, but having Mel and the Summoner Showcase at PAX was another awesome way to connect with players! At events we usually try and organize gatherings (or support community ones), and sometimes we also have fashion shows or the Cospitality Lounge. We love going to events and meeting players and creators, so we were also very excited to be back at PAX!
Mel: Yeah the meet ups were an awesome way of connecting IRL with some of the creators I only knew online, but we also used it as a chance to share the experience with the larger Summoner Showcase community via a video and a few live streams.
I wouldn't say it was because of Summoner Showcase, more like right alongside each other with similar goals.
Mel: Meet ups are a huge part of being at cons, and celebrating the community, so we wanted to keep that going League of Legends style :D
Jynx: Awesome! I hope we'll be able to share more cosplay/PAX memories in the future.
Riri: Well, great job to the team of Summoner Showcase for coming to PAX! I myself actually didn't start playing League until after Riot stopped coming to PAX, so when I started to cosplay from League, I just couldn't wait for the day we would have a League gathering again.
I also wanted to point out something really neat in the Cospitality Lounge - I noticed that the photo banners in the room were really lovely - they were photos of people making cosplay and what appeared to be work in cosplay type photos in the banner. I loved that you guys used that, it really actually felt like ... I don't know, more tight knit?? Rather than a bunch of images of cosplayers already in their awesome finished cosplays, it was more focused on how cosplayers make their cosplays.
Mel: Yeah those banners were so cool :)
Jynx: Yeah! Two of those banners were collections of images from past events we've attended, and the other two were images from the Thresh Sky-puppet project from last year. This was one of our epic cosplay collabs from 2016! This year was PAX Sivir with Ladee Danger and Ben Bayouth (Stoopid Buddy Studios).
Riri: Oh wow that is absolutely amazing work. I love it! I'm looking forward to next year's collab (is there one in the works??)
Jynx: Nothing concrete planned yet, but we're always brainstorming ideas and being inspired by the community each day. So hopefully soon (tm)!
Riri: That Thresh looks like a pain to walk around in hahaha but everyone loved it in the photos!!
Mel: Yeah he was big. 13 feet tall and only controlled by one person :P
Riri: Holy crap haha. I'm only 4'8, i'm like, what, the length of his leg? Lol
Mel: Well the person's face was at his hips, and the guy who controlled him was about 6'3" soo maybe not even that much. And by guy I mean Brett from 4 Itchy Tasty! Cosplay
Riri: That's awesome. Now you two cosplay yourself right? Tell me a bit about how long you two have been cosplaying!
Mel: Oh I'm VERY new. I've only been doing it for a few years.
I started doing it more because I loved how much the community looked like they were having fun with it, and I wanted to try it. I try out a lot of things, but cosplay kinda just stuck.
Jynx is the OG of cosplay though :)
Riri: Well welcome to the cosplay community, Mel!
Jynx: Yeah! Cosplay is very special for me, and I've being doing it for 20 years now... haha. I first started going to conventions in 2000 though, and that was my first look at the cosplay community in person. I loved it!
Mel: Real talk, the cosplay community has been so welcoming. I never feel like I'm "new" but when I ask newb questions, they are always willing to help
Jynx: Cosplay is for everyone, and we love you Mel!
Riri: Oh wow 20 years is a very long time!! But yess cosplay is for everyone, this is definitely the message that is so important to the community; everyone is willing to help each other grow and that's what I love about it.
Jynx: Agreed! It's such a creative outlet with a passionate community, and though people cosplay for different reasons, we still share a love for the art form.
Riri: Well I think this will conclude our Cos&Affection segment !! Is there anything you’d like to bring up before we end this session?
Mel: Submissions! We love seeing art/cosplay/videos/cookie jars ... really anything made by passionate people related to League! If people have cool stuff to share, I want to see it !
Jynx: Yes please! Send us your creations!~ Or submit something from your favorite artists on the Facebook page.
Riri: Yes! Where should cosplayers submit their creations too?
Mel: Yeah! Make a visitor post on the page, or just leave it in the comments on an episode on the FB page.
Riri: Thank you so much for all this information!!
Jynx: Thank you so much Riri for chatting with us and hanging out at PAX West. It's always a pleasure to see you and your awesome Poppy cosplay! <3
Mel: AWW yeahh Poppy cosplay! It was great meeting you too!
Riri: Thank you both for spending this evening with me!
Check out Summoner Showcase's League of Legends PAX West cosplay music video! Be sure to follow them and like them and submit your creations to their page!