Christine Sprankle is a premier cosplayer in the Magic: the Gathering community. If you’re interested in both Magic and cosplay, you have probably seen her rendition of Elspeth, Chandra, or Liliana.
Amanda Stevens: When did you wake up one morning and say to yourself “I want to be a cosplayer?”
Christine Sprankle: Never really had that moment! When I first started cosplaying I didn’t know what cosplaying was. There was a local anime convention and my friend suggested we should dress up as our favorite characters. One thrift store excursion later we happily had some very inaccurate sailor moon cosplays. When we finally made it to the convention a few others were dressed up and said they liked our “cosplay” a long discussion later of what cosplay was we were like “oh that’s what it’s called” and have been doing ever since!
A.S: Did you start off with Magic: the Gathering themed cosplays?
C.S: I did not actually! I started cosplaying about 11 years ago and my first cosplay was Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon!When I started playing magic about 4 years or so ago and just combined the two passions!
A.S: Did you make that Sailor Venus cosplay or was it one of the store bought Sailor Scout outfits?
C.S: No back then they you couldn’t really buy cosplays anywhere. You could commission a fellow cosplayer or seamstress to try and make you one. My friend and I went to the thrift store and just did what we could! Also no wigs! Wigs were either horrible expensive real hair ones or really crappy ones they sell at Halloween stores. So we just went with our natural hair.
A.S: Speaking of Magic, how did you get into playing the game?
C.S: I got into Magic via my friend. I had recently quit World of Warcraft and pretty much needed another game to fill in the hole it left haha! I started off with a b/w Orzhov deck and haven’t looked back since!
A.S: Ugh, more Orzhov people. Don’t people know the Simic Combine is where it’s at? Do you play more competitively or casually?
C.S: Casually. I mostly play Commander (easier to keep up with since I gotta make dat cosplay money) I used to play FNM a lot and that was about as far into the competitive side of Magic I ever got!
A.S: Who is your current Commander?
C.S: The one I play the most is Kaalia of the Vast! I also have Jeleva, Freyalise, Nahiri and Ob Nixilis!
A.S: Have you cosplayed any of your Commanders?
C.S: I have cosplayed as Jeleva and am currently working on Kaalia, Freyalise and Nahiri lol!
A.S: Ambitious. Is there a character you’d love to cosplay but you’re too afraid of the work that would go into them?
C.S: I wouldn’t say i am too afraid of the work that would need to go into it, because cosplay in general requires a lot of work. But one cosplay I don’t think I am skilled enough yet or would meet my standards is Elesh Norn. Not sure how to get the whole flayed fleshes/ look at my organs look.
A.S: Reasonable enough. What cosplay was the hardest to construct?
C.S: Elspeth has been without a doubt the hardest cosplay I’ve had to create. And I’ve literally created 3 (currently working on a forth) versions!
A.S: Has it been 3 versions for each Elspeth incarnation? Or just modified, better, versions of the original costume?
C.S: Modified mostly. Though I did do Elspeth Tirel and her Suns Champion incarnation.
A.S: Have you ever done a crossplay(cosplaying as the opposite gender)?
C.S: I have! I crossplayed as Squall from Final Fantasy 8 And Terry Bogard from King of Fighters!
A.S: What were the challenges for doing that?
C.S: None at all. They both wore way simpler clothes and were really easy and comfortable cosplays!
A.S: Are there any more crossplays up on the docket?
C.S: As of the moment, no. To many female planeswalkers and commanders to do!
A.S: Well, I know it isn’t all female planeswalkers and commanders on the docket. Aren’t you about to do Black Canary?
C.S: Yes! I have her all finished I just have no idea when or where I will wear her!
A.S: Are there any other non-MtG cosplays coming up?
C.S: The new Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman. I have been overly excited to do that cosplay since they first announced her new comic!
A.S: Are you big comics fan?
C.S: No a huge one I am honestly more into gaming but I do love me some x-men and spider man comics!
A.S: Do you keep up to date with them?
C.S: The only one I am current on is the Gwen Stacy one.
C.S: Amazing. I love Gwen and I love the way they are going about her story as Spider Woman
A.S: What’s another comic character besides Black Canary would you want to do?
C.S: Jean Grey would be amazing. I also have quite a few forms of Catwoman in various stages of completion.
A.S: Which Jean Grey are you thinking? Classic, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix, Jim Lee X-Men costume?
C.S: Without a doubt the Jim Lee version. I grew up watching the X-Men cartoon and LOVED Jean in it.
A.S: Great choice. Did you ever see the Jean Grey Brainstorm alters that MJ Scott did?
C.S: I did not!
(shows her the alters)
C.S: Wow! Those are gorgeous!
A.S: Since we’re back on the topic of Magic, recently you’ve been at events sponsored by both WotC and Tournament Organizers. How did all that get started?
C.S: In all Honesty I just kept on cosplaying Magic and didn’t stop.
A.S: Basically, you just kept doing it without being asked to until someone did?
C.S: Kind of.
A.S: What’s it feel like to get to be a featured guest at events?
C.S: It’s a huge honor to be a featured guest. I feel humbled and beyond happy to be invited to do something I love.
A.S: Where can we see you next?
C.S: GP Vegas and GP Toronto!
A.S: Is there any advice you have for people just starting out as a cosplayer?
C.S: Start out small! Don’t overwhelm yourself. And don’t listen to whatever negative stuff somebody has to say. Cosplay for you and do what makes you happy.