Ebony Warrior Studios, Go Big or Go Home Cosplay, and Monika Lee, MomoCon 2018
Ebony Warrior Studios LLC. is a Georgia based prop builder and designer. Originally from California, Charles Xavier Conley moved to the east coast in 2006 and has been in the metro Atlanta area ever since.
Charles, who typically goes by the name Xavier, started prop building around 2010, although he had already been a very proficient graphite artist since his youth. As an elementary school child, he experienced bullying from other kids – today, the armors and creations Xavier makes are the tangible reality of the heroes he wishes he had by his side during those dark days.
In 2016, he started the hashtag #RepresentationMatters, after he had an inspirational encounter, while wearing his Batman armor, with a little boy, at Atlanta’s largest convention, Dragon Con.
Just recently Charles started Cosplaying professionally with his business, Ebony Warrior Studios – gaining increasing more recognition for his foamsmithing prowess.
Charles’ work has been recognized by the likes of Marvel Studios and Weta Workshop. He was also a contestant on Syfy’s Cosplay Melee TV series, winning the episode with his original Star Wars character Syresh Vos.
Emily Schmidt, known as Go Big or Go Home Cosplay, is from Atlanta, Georgia. She has been cosplaying for a little over three years and loves the cosplay community.
Emily enjoys making armor for strong independent female characters. She has cosplayed characters from Warhammer 40k, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, and League of Legends.
When making her costumes she primarily uses thermoplastics and EVA foam. She has been learning to incorporate 3D prints and LEDs into her cosplays.
She is a member of her local makerspace, Geekspace Gwinnett. She has won awards for Craftsmanship Competitions in the Masters and Journeyman levels at regional conventions including Momocon, Dragon*con, and ConNooga. Her most honorable accomplishment includes competing and winning her episode of Cosplay Melee “Throne Off,” SyFy’s cosplay competition TV show.
Monika Lee’s love of anime/manga, pop culture, and video games led her to the cosplay community in 2006. She has competed in numerous craftsmanship contests winning several Best in Shows and other various awards. She was a featured cast member of SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay reality TV show.
An avid gamer, Monika spends most of her time playing and making costumes from video games and has worked for companies such as Blizzard Entertainment, Carbine Studios, Acer, and Intel. When she’s not cosplaying, Monika is an Associate E-Commerce Merchandiser on the Consumer Products Team for Blizzard Entertainment.
Monika has received invitations to conventions and events across the world, and her work has been featured on Associated Press, GamesRadar, Kotaku, IGN, and Game Informer, among other publications.
Photo by Ngo Photography