Get to know Panterona
Panterona is an award winning cosplayer, fashion/costume designer and convention organiser from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. She has been actively cosplaying for the past 17 years and has created a plethora of costumes of varying technical difficulty, from the worlds of anime, comics, cartoons, games and much more. She has won a number of cosplay competitions in the Caribbean as well as the London Film and Comic Con Cosplay Championships in 2015 and most recently won the Best Modern Creation Category at Blizzcon 2021. She has travelled to conventions and judged cosplay competitions around the world from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom, Italy, The United States, Canada and Japan! She has also been the resident Head Judge for the Caribbean Cosplay Championships from its inception for the past five years.
Panterona has produced numerous Ready to Wear and Carnival Monday wear collections over the past 8 years. Her talents in costume design and construction were also showcased as the Head of the first ever cosplay Carnival band in the Caribbean in 2018. The Band went on to place fourth in the National Carnival Commission Parade of the Bands Competition, which is the biggest Carnival Competition in the Caribbean.
Panterona is also the Executive Director of the biggest pop culture convention in her country, “ALIAS Entertainment Expo” and the Editor in Chief of the only pop culture magazine of its kind in the English Speaking Caribbean, ALIAS Magazine.
She has also Co-directed and produced a television program following cosplayers as they created their competition pieces for both the Caribbean Cosplay Championships and the World Cosplay Summit Preliminaries in Trinidad and Tobago called “Project ALIAS”. This show was broadcast for two seasons on the biggest local television channel ‘TV6’.
Panterona sees cosplay as the perfect avenue for creative self expression and believes that anyone can become whoever they want to be regardless of race, size, gender etc and uses her platform to inspire and encourage acceptance and equality within the cosplay and pop culture community.
Name: Panterona but you can also call me Josie!
Birthday: August 8th, LEO FTW!
Ethnicity: Mixed/Black Caribbean
Height: 5ft 8 inches
Languages: English and Intermediate Italian
Country of Residence: Trinidad and Tobago
Likes/Dislikes: I love plantain but hate bananas…..weird right?
How long have you been cosplaying?
I started cosplay in 2004, so I am basically a cosplay dinosaur! But I haven’t gone extinct yet 😉
What was your first convention?
My first convention was a con called Anime City in Trinidad and Tobago
What was the first character you ever cosplayed?
Rurounin Kenshin/Hitokiri Battousai!
How did you get into cosplay?
I remember seeing someone cosplay as my all time favorite character, Kenshin Himura and thinking that I could do it better hahaha So I slaved over my cosplay for months and debuted it at the very next con! What started off as a bit of over indulgent fanaticism has since grown into a really enjoyable hobby and has effectively changed my life. I have never looked back since!
Do you make your own cosplays?
Yes I do! The most fun part of cosplaying for me is making my own costumes! If I got any sponsored or commissioned I would definitely say but 99% of my cosplays are all hand made by myself!
What was the hardest costume for you to make to date? What is your favorite cosplay?
That would definitely be my Neptulon from World of Warcraft! That build took me a little over a year to complete and challenged me in so many ways. It redesigned the character to not only be more complex but also to resonate more with my Caribbean background by including a rotating coral reef at the base! The engineering alone in this build took awhile to figure out and is my proudest moment in cosplay to date!