I first came across Myriam Jander on Tumblr where I spotted a picture of her doing Lollipop Chainsaw cosplay but with her own unique spin, effectively giving birth to the ultra cool Chocolate Chainsaw. I knew we had to interview her for our new feature!
Walk us through the first time or the first day you decided that you were going to jump into doing cosplay. What inspired you?
Wow. That goes seven years back. My parents allowed me to go to the AnimagiC when it was held for the last time in Koblenz (Germany) and that time I really loved the anime Loveless, and I thought, “Ritsuka’s cosplay is simple, so I’ll cosplay as Ritsuka.” Of course, I looked horrible! I didn’t flatten my chest, I didn’t wear a wig…But at least I did see for the first time some of my first Internet friends I made the same year!
Now, I noticed you have an impressive following on YouTube (512 subscribers!!!) and you do some vlogging. Your most recent video was “Clichés uber Schwarz” which from my very rudimentary German, and from looking at the video, it appears as though you were taking stereotypes about black people to task. I thought the video was well edited and funny. So, tell us a little more about your Myriam Unchained vlog.
I should say that this isn’t my first YT channel but my 4th. I did Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy parodies years ago where my channel reached almost 2000 subscribers, but was often deleted because of copyright infringements: music or video material. I was known in the community and people recognized me [at] conventions and also did a fan meeting for me one year. But the motivation and inspiration went away with all the channel deleting by YouTube. And since I’m a big YouTube fan who is subscribed to many German vloggers, comedians, etc. I got motivated to finally do something which is 100% me and me only. And “unchained” is just a category of my channel where I always will talk about a certain subject. I plan to do other comedy short films and serious short films later. In German only.
To that point, I’m sure being a minority in Luxembourg or Cologne is different than being a minority in the US. Some African-American cosplayers have indicated that they’ve been challenged for portraying non-black characters in cosplay. Have you ever experienced something like that?
Besides [three to four] comments sometimes that it looks “funny with that color”, I never experienced negative feedback because of my skin color. And I stopped cosplaying light skinned characters because I don’t feel well in them BECAUSE I’m not light skinned. I experienced that I had much more fun wearing a cosplay of a dark skinned character when I cosplayed as Hannah from Kuroshitusji 2 for the first time. There I decided to never cosplay as a light skinned character again because I feel better like that and it makes more fun. Just last weekend I received comments like, “Finally an accurate Nadia cosplayer with the right skin” for my Nadia Cosplay. Feedback like that motivates me and I have more fun wearing it.
Your Lollipop Chainsaw cosplay is one of the best I’ve seen, and it looks like you customized it a little bit. Tell us a little more about that cosplay and the changes you made from Juliet’s.
“Chocolate Chainsaw” was just a crazy idea I had because I really wanted to cosplay as Juliet. If the game wouldn’t have been named Lollipop Chainsaw I think I would never have gotten the idea to do a Chocolate Juliet and that’s where I received my first critique… I would’ve been happy if it would’ve been comments like “[Nah], prefer the blonde version” but when Jessica Nigri posted my photo I got comments that I looked like a boy with fake tits, and that really hurt my feelings and I felt [bad] that people thought I was a transvestite. But it was surprisingly by Americans only. So I question myself what’s going on in that country that people can’t tell anymore if it’s a girl or a boy… It’s sad.
For the colors of the cosplay I got inspired by the color set of the Clovers cheerleading uniform from the movie Bring It On [featuring] a dark skinned cheerleading group. So I just requested these colors when I ordered the Juliet cosplay on eBay. Surprisingly, I was one of the first costumers who bought this cosplay so I got the cosplay for not that expensive.
We know that you like to cosplay but do you have any other geek or nerdy interests?
I love playing videogames! From [RPGs] to shooters and back! I portray my geekiness by wearing fan shirts from Call of Duty or Bioshock, because the feedback for that is funny too. Some boys are like “WHAAAT ?” But I think it’s a good way to find new friends with the same interests if you show it on yourself what you like. That reminds me. I need to check out the new qwertee shirt for today!
Which convention (Con) would you love to attend in the future? And what has been your favorite convention so far?
I really would love to go to American conventions someday but the flights are so expensive. This year I went for the first time to the DoKomi in Germany, and it’s now my new favorite con! The march on the other conventions never changes, but here I couldn’t even see everything because it had so [many choices]! And also around the con were such beautiful locations for [shooting photos]. Lots of gardens. Also a Japanese one! I’m looking forward to [going] there next year! Since I live in Cologne now, I’m much closer to the cons. And through the Animexx.de (website) community you can find offers where other convention visitors offer rides to take you there and back.
What is your process from start to completion for your cosplay characters and such?
Since I can’t sew myself there is not much to do. But for Ms. Fortune [cosplay] I try to do everything myself . She wears [much] less! There are cosplays where you can find everything you need without sewing much. No one in my family can sew, so no one taught me, and sewing courses in Luxembourg are expensive. And even if I would go to courses here , I can’t even afford a sewing machine. But I prefer asking friends to help me than asking cosplay shops, because like that I can at least learn a little, because I think it’s also a better feeling if you can say you made it 100% yourself. Karako, for example, was made out of clothes you could buy. You just had to cut them a bit, and draw patterns on [them].
Also, the accessories I do mostly myself and it surprises me every time that it’s also expensive. My ex-boyfriend helped me with my Chainsaw. My idea how to make her was “too crappy” he said, and he really did a good job. I had fun painting it and putting the pink diamonds on it and the blood stains. I plan to do the chainsaw blaster one time too!
Do you look up to any other cosplayers and if so, which ones do you admire the most?
I look up to Jessica Nigri and some other German friends who have awesome cosplay skills.
I [workout] to get the same beautiful tummy as Jessica Nigri. Many people say she’s just famous because of her boobs, and that she’s a slut and blah blah. She looks sexy, but she has that crazy funny side too and that’s what makes her adorable. I would love to meet her one day. I proposed the Gamescom staff to invite her for the Gamescom this August, but I got no reply. Her best friend took a photo of me last year. She needs to bring her along one day, because I don’t think I’ll go to America next year.
What can we expect from you in the future in regards to cosplay? Which characters are you currently considering?
I have a huge list of characters I WISH to cosplay but not sure yet when. Cosplays for this year are Chocolate Chainsaw again and the Maid Version, Panchito from the 3 Caballeros (Disney), Oreo Gijinka (Humanized) with a friend of mine as Nutella. For next year I want to do Coco from Django Unchained. My first maid cosplay! My wish list is too long …
Tell our readers where they can find more of you on the internet streetz:
Tumblr: (not so active..) http://xxangelus.tumblr.com/
Thanks Myriam! Check out more pics of Myriam: