Tanya Tate is well known for her work in the adult industry, but what may surprise a lot of her fans and other people is that she is also huge comic book fan who loves to cosplay as well. Growing up in Liverpool comics for her were humorous kids comics. Having watched shows like The Incredible and movies like Superman 2, she had already been a fan of the superhero genre. When she moved to L.A. she saw more genre related events which peaked her interests into comic books even more. Now in her spare time she does a separate site called JUSTALOTTATANYA.com where she reviews action figures/statues, shows off her cosplays, talks comic books and about upcoming Comic Book conventions she attends and does signings at.
- How did you first get into cosplay and what was your first cosplay?
In 2009 I was still living in the UK and I came to America for a shoot and by coincidence it was in San Diego. I knew about San Diego Comic Con, but didn’t realize it was going on the same weekend. So I found myself in San Diego submersed in geekdom. I was taken aback at the scope of it all. I had always been interested in geekdom, but the way it was so celebrated was awesome. Right there I made plans to come back in 2010.
When it came time again for SDCC, in 2010, I got my little Emma Frost costume ready. I was a little nervous at first, but got into the spirit of it. I’m use to not wearing much, but that skirt was MINI! LOL. It was hard to keep my bum from showing in the back and boobs from showing in the front.
- What interested you about cosplay?
The characters. The feeling of being as close to being an actual superhero. It is extremely fun.
- What factors determine the character you will cosplay?
I have to look like the character. I think I look like what a She-ra, Susan Storm or Emma Frost would look like if they were real. And there are my personal quirks; I don’t like masks and I don’t wear wigs. LOL, I thought that may limit the characters I cosplayed as but actually it hasn’t.
- What affect has cosplay had on you?
It’s giving me a freedom to express my geek side. I’ve liked a lot of this stuff since I was little, but didn’t really do much about. When I jumped in and started to cosplay, in my thirties no less, it really opened things up for me.
- Did you find comic books as popular in your home country growing up? How do you compare it to the U.S.?
It’s hard to compare. Because I’m from Liverpool and that in itself is drastically different from Los Angeles. In L.A. There is something going on all the time. Almost every week there is some genre related event. In England, yes it’s popular, but not as popular as what is going on in L.A.
- Were you a fan of comic books growing up or did someone get you interested in it?
I did read comics, but not quite the way you may think of. The comics I had in England were different from the ones you had in America. I had stuff like The Beano and The Dandy. They were humorous kids comics. I was a fan of superheroes because of watching The Incredible Hulk television show and movies like Superman II.
- Who are your favorite Superheroes or characters?
Hulk and Superman. The first two that I can ever remember seeing. I also love Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Emma Frost and Susan Storm.
- Growing up as a kid what cartoons or stories stood out for you the most?
Cartoons – I remember watching a lot of She-ra, LOL. But the story that always stood out for me was Superman II. He gives up everything for love. Very romantic.
- I see that you are a big Disney fan as well. What are your favorite Disney films and/or character?
Mary Poppins. Yes, I am a huge Disney fan. I have an annual passport to Disneyland, I enjoy the movies, the classic characters. There is such a wealth of entertainment in that brand. I can’t help myself but every time I got to Disneyland, which is often, or go past the Disney Store I always bring something back home. I have taken to collecting the blu-rays, if you look closely in my youtube videos you’ll see some of the collector sets in the background. All my Christmas tree decorations are Disney…it’s mad.
- What characters do you plan on cosplaying next?
Ah, I had some really cool ones planned for SD Comic-Con this year. Very disappointed that I won’t be going. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, because I hope to revisit those ideas in the future. I would like to try and get to the New York Comic Con or C2E2. Maybe I can use them then.
- Do you design your own outfits, or do you buy and modify them?
All of the above. My ElectraWoman costume was my own design, based off the 70’s TV show. I just made it sexier and more ‘today.” Arisia Green Lantern I bought online and just had it altered. I had a hole made in the chest area, had it taken in to fit me, those type of things. Susan Storm I had made for me. I wanted a cross between the one Jessica Alba wore in the Fantastic Four films and Pamela Anderson used in “Superhero Movie.” So it just depends. Some people get their knickers in a twist because I have bought some of my costumes. Which I find ridiculous. I said this before, I am a “cosplayer” not a “costume maker.”
- What kinds of reactions have you gotten since you have started cosplaying?
Generally it’s all been positive. I think there is always some skepticism pertaining to female geeks but I also I think that people know that I am legitimate because I am passionate about what I like and talk about. I talk about Hammer Horror, Disney, Superheroes, collecting Funko POP! figures…things like that. I don’t talk about things like video games, Star Wars or the new Dr. Who, because I’m not into those things. Well except for Chewbacca. Him, I like. So generally, people are very encouraging.
- Which comic books are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m not reading anything. I have been back and fourth between the US and UK, shooting, signing…I have not time to chill out and read any comics in months. The only thing I have read lately is the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series of books by George R. R. Martin. But that’s because every night before I go to bed I read a few pages. I plan to start looking into digital comics. I am thinking of getting the new Ipad and while traveling I’ll be able to be kept up-to-date. For the most part I think DC has stronger stories but Marvel has deeper characters.
- Which comic book film(s) are you looking forward to and which ones do you want to be made into film?
The two big ones this year; Avengers and Dark Knight. It’s very hard not to be excited about them. I’m also excited about the Superman movie. As for what I would like to made? Justice League of course. I would like to see more DC characters on the big screen. Wonder Woman. Maybe Flash or Power Girl.
- Having been in one yourself, how do you feel about the XXX comic book parodies?
I have been in a couple but not as any superheroes. Some are cool and they actually put a lot of thought into the costumes, details and stories. I don’t really watch them because I don’t watch porn in general. Ironic, I know. But I can appreciate the effort put forth by some. The other side of that is some of them seem like they are a means to an end, to just have some product that can be marketed to the geek genre because it’s popular. I can’t fault someone for that, but it is what it is.
- Which character would you like to star as in a XXX comic book parody?
I would have loved to do Emma Frost. But at this point, I think there have been a few parodies to use Emma by a few different actresses. If I were going to do it I’d want it to be awesome and stand out, not be the latest girl to play the part. So, you probably will only be seeing me getting naughty in an Emma costume on my SFW website. (It will be on my NSFW site too)
- What do you think makes a super-heroine or villain sexy/attractive?
The element of danger. It works for Emma, Catwoman, even Hulk. Wonder Woman too, she may be ‘good’ but you know she is a bad ass. Definitely a hair puller.
- Do you see yourself more as a villain or hero? And what kind of superpower would you want?
I think I would see myself more as an Emma Frost or Catwoman type. A bad girl gone good. As for superpower, I like Emma’s powers. I’d like to see into other people’s minds, see what they are thinking, but then be able to manipulate what they where thinking. That could be a lot of fun.
- When DC relaunched their new #52 a lot of people were put off on how they portrayed the Character Starfire. Saying she’s too sexy and too promiscuous. Do you feel that kind of portrayal of a female character takes away from the fact that the character is a strong and intelligent character?
Not at all. I think a character can be sexual as well as strong and intelligent. James Bond is a perfect example of this. However, I actually did read the comic in question and I don’t think she was portrayed as strong and intelligent, just kinda there. And I think that is what people took issue with. Starfire was a powerful, sexy woman. But she was turned into a plot device, the girl both of the guys banged so the story would have some awkwardness. That took a a lot away from her, in my opinion.
- As a female adult film actress do you feel that it’s the same way for you? And do you feel you have you been able to overcome that?
Sometimes. On one hand, yes I do what I do, I’m seen in an openly sexual way and I’m cool with that. However, it’s pretty ridiculous and closed minded for one to think that’s all there is to me. Usually I have found people will give me the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I’m a ‘porn star’ but because I am upfront about who I am, my geeky likes, my Disney obsession, it ‘humanizes’ me, so to speak. I’m not just body parts to have a wank over.
- Do you see yourself not cosplaying anytime soon?
LOL, as long as I look the part, I’ll be in costume.
See more of Tanya Tate’s cosplay adventures at: JUSTALOTTATANYA.com