When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading about the extraordinary circumstances that makes one into a superhero, whether they were born from another planet or bitten by radioactive insects. Nowadays, I’m fascinated with why people from a variety of backgrounds become involved in the art of cosplay. There are different perceptions in society as to why people partake in cosplaying. Some can’t separate the definitions of cosplay from costuming. To cosplayers, it is an art-form. Many anime conventions take cosplay craftsmanship seriously and there are world competitions based on it.
In this article, we look into the life of Jessica Jackson. Jessica Jackson grew up in Stoneham, Massachusetts and has lived there for all her life. Jessica Jackson majored in English and Literature in Gordon College and currently is a Sales Assistant for a publishing company. But Jessica has a secret identity. When convention season comes around, she goes to her sewing room and creates the latest costume for Mercy Roulette, her alter ego.
Mercy Roulette is a popular New England cosplayer that has attended many science fiction, steampunk and comic book conventions in the Northeast. During her nine years, she has become some of her favorite characters, from Ms. Marvel to Jessica Rabbit to Mina from Dracula (her hardest costume to put together). She has made hundreds of costumes. She has won Best Costume at TempleCon and the Steampunk Industrial Revolution convention.
“The cosplay community” Mercy shares, “is a great community to get involved with. If you never cosplayed, it’s never too late to try. Some of my best friends I met through cosplay and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world.”
Below is a video interview with Mercy Roulette. We talk about where her passion for cosplay comes from, how she became involved with the cosplay community and her best and worst experiences at conventions. Below the video, check out some of the great photography we took of Mercy Roulette, including her Ms. Marvel and award-winning steampunk outfits.
Pictures taken by Vilma Rodriguez and John Riley.