Undead Walking’s Featured Walking Dead Fan: Alyssa

Alyssa as Maggie Greene - Photo by Dreamcoat Photography
Alyssa as Maggie Greene - Photo by Dreamcoat Photography /

The Walking Dead fandom reaches all points of the globe, and this week’s Undead Walking Featured Fan comes to us from Down Under!

Welcome to Undead Walking’s Featured Fan showcase! I’m Tara, and I’m here to speak to fans who create or collect content related to The Walking Dead to shine a spotlight on the talent and dedication this fandom has for this franchise. For our inaugural week, we’re talking with Alyssa, a cosplayer from Queensland, Australia!

So, Alyssa, what TWD character or characters do you or have you cosplayed?

Hi Tara! I have cosplayed only Maggie Greene. I’ve done her season 4, 5 and 7 outfits.

Why did you decide to cosplay Maggie? Is she your favorite, or was there any other reason?

I originally wanted to cosplay Beth because she was blonde like me and I thought it would be easier. But I love Lauren Cohan and I wanted to challenge myself in styling a wig and making her holsters and harness, ect. Maggie is one of my favourite females, but I also love Michonne too.

How difficult were the processes of styling a wig and making those holsters/harnesses, or any other pieces of the costume that required work like that? Tell me about what you had to learn and the steps you took to get it right.

Hmm, well the wig I was pretty good with because I am a hairdresser by trade so I just got a long wavy brown wig and cut it to the same style as Maggie’s. I do recommend putting it on your head first and placing a clip where you want the hair to be cut. Because on the foam head mannequins it is a lot shorter than you might have thought.

Alyssa as Maggie Greene
Alyssa as Maggie Greene /

The harness was a pain to figure out, I just winged it and bought some cheap brown skinny belts and sort of sewed elastics and tried to assemble a similar kind of look to her belts. With her main belt I had to completely punch holes in and thread cord into it from scratch. A massive challenge but it is so rewarding when you finish it and say “hey I made this, lol.”

I completely second the suggestion for that clip method when cutting a wig, because I’ve made that exact mistake!

Haha it’s so bad. Hey! I did it once with a Black Widow wig. Instant regret.

You said you’re a hairdresser – how does styling wigs differ from styling natural hair? Is there anything that’s easier or harder when dealing with them, especially when you’re trying to get a specific style for a costume?

Wigs can be so tricky, especially trying to section the hair. Like you can’t section it like normal hair because the netting gets in the way. I think wigs can be very tricky to get right, and I still struggle with styling, but I am pretty good with cutting them.

I also always chip into my wigs for texture so it doesn’t sit blunt, and use slicing techniques to take some bulk out of heavier sections. I also recommend using lash glue to glue down some pieces of hair onto your face so they don’t move all day (Eg: fringes).

Awesome wig tips for other cosplayers! You mentioned cosplaying Maggie in her seasons 4, 5 and 7 outfits. Why did you choose to cosplay those three specifically?

Season 4 I just really love her outfit, that reddish top with the black jeans and the leg holster. I was hesitant though because I knew it was gonna be hard for me to make that leg holster, but I did it! Season 5 is probably my favorite season, and I love her outfit in that season too.

Alyssa as Maggie Greene – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography
Alyssa as Maggie Greene – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography /

Season 7 was an iconic moment, as we all know that sweet Glenn was brutally murdered by Negan and I wanted to share tribute to Maggie and Maggie and Glenn fans who were affected as much as me by that scene. Seeing the pics of her in the cap sitting by the grave, I wanted to do it myself. I was worried because I don’t think short hair suits me at all but I’m glad I did that cosplay as well.

Out of all of your different outfits for Maggie, do you have a favorite piece you like to wear? What about a least favorite piece? And why?

Oh, the [season 4/5] boots, DEFINITELY the boots.  They are soooo comfy and I love them. They aren’t her actual screen-accurate ones because it’s too expensive for shipping to Australia, but the ones I have are pretty close. I just put some red cord through as laces and painted the top part brown that wraps over the boots.

Least favorite, definitely that harness from season 5, it is so frustrating trying to get it to sit right. I have to twist and tuck bits in, it’s very annoying. I definitely need to remake it at some point.

What are some conventions you’ve attended in your Maggie cosplays? And do you have any sort of favorite cosplay-related convention story to share?

Ooh I’m glad you asked! Steven Yeun was announced for Supanova Sydney in Australia last year, June 2017, and I live in Queensland. I begged my boss if I could please fly down the Saturday and fly back the next day and he said yes! So I quickly booked flights, bought my tokens, and was so excited to be going to meet Steven Yeun dressed as Maggie. He was so, so sweet, he held my hands and told me how I made a beautiful Maggie. He gave me a hug and even wrote “My love” on my auto. He was just so amazing and it meant a lot that he liked my Maggie cosplay. I also wore it to our very first Walker Stalker in Australia in February this year. Tom Payne and Ross Marquand both recognized my cosplay and said it was great.

Do you have any photos of yourself in cosplay with any of the cast?

With Scott Wilson and Steven Yeun.

Alyssa with Scott Wilson and Steven Yeun
Alyssa with Scott Wilson and Steven Yeun /

Trying to recreate a photo with Cudlitz

Alyssa with Michael Cudlitz
Alyssa with Michael Cudlitz /

And, do you have an overall favorite photo of your cosplay you’ve taken?

Because I cried real tears for this. I feel I conveyed the emotion right and I love that I could do that. I wanted to convey the pain that Maggie felt after losing Glenn. Also, it hit me so hard too, so I resonate most with Maggie emotionally too.

Alyssa as Maggie Greene – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography
Alyssa as Maggie Greene – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography /

That’s SUCH a great photo! Not only getting into character physically in a costume, but emotionally when it comes to taking pictures like that and trying to fully embody a character in them.

Aw thank you so much, that’s what I wanted to do. Also here is a fav one of mine with my friend as Beth.

Tell me a bit about what cosplaying is and means to you personally.

Cosplaying to me is getting to show tribute to my fav characters and be them for a day. I am someone who suffers anxiety and panic attacks, so being in a cosplay I am no longer Alyssa, I am Maggie Greene, etc. I feel safe in a cosplay, and I feel more confident, plus I love to cosplay with other people from the same show or game, ect. Growing up I always idolized strong female characters, and getting to be them is a dream come true personally.

Very well said. I get anxious a lot, too, and cosplay just kind of melts that away.

I’m glad it’s relatable. Anxiety is so hard and it’s so common amongst so many people.

On the subject of strong female characters, though… aside from The Walking Dead, have you done any other cosplays?

Alyssa as Yuna – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography
Alyssa as Yuna – Photo by Dreamcoat Photography /

Yes, I do lots of my fav characters, I have done:Buffy Summers (BTVS), Octavia Blake (The 100), Lara Croft, Daenerys Targaryen (GOT), Yuna (Final Fantasy X), L Ryusaki (Death Note) and Black Widow.

Man, that’s a lot! But also, a lot of AWESOME. Do you have any future cosplay plans where The Walking Dead is concerned?

I do! I am hoping so bad that the amazing wonderful Mr. Andrew Lincoln will be at Atlanta this year because I am doing my first ever gender bend cosplay. RICK GRIMES.  Andy is my fav actor too and I got a big fat crush on him. I really hope he will be there so he can see my femme Rick cosplay.

I’m hoping beyond all hope that he goes to Atlanta this year, too! I want to finally meet him. Do you know what outfit/season you want to cosplay as for him yet?

Yes! My fav Rick outfit is season 4/5, the murder coat with the white top underneath and jeans. I’ve already ordered my jacket and long brown wig, so I’m gonna be doing that same outfit but with a female twist.  I’ve always loved that jacket, lol, so I was like I’m even gonna wear it regardless of cosplay too.

I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done! Wrapping up now, tell me about some favorites of yours where The Walking Dead is concerned. Characters, seasons, episodes, quotes, moments.

Oooh my fav characters have always been and still are Glenn, Rick, Maggie and Michonne. My fav scene is when Carol blasts Terminus to pieces and rescues the group. Also when Rick and Michonne finally kissed because I had been waiting since season 4 for that to happen! I ship Richonne and Glaggie so much.

I really love Hershel’s quote about risking your life and what you’re risking it for that every moment you are doing that. Also gotta love when Rick bites out Joe’s throat.

My fav season is probably 5 I’d say.

And heeeeeeere’s one last bonus question! Is there any one TWD outfit in the entire series that you just LOVE more than anything else?

Hmmm, ahhh I don’t know! I’d say Michonne. In her season 3 outfit,  she looks so badass!!! The one she wears when she kills all those walkers at Woodbury.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your fandom and speak with me, Alyssa! If you want to check out more of her cosplay, head on over to her Instagram and Facebook pages!

Next: The fan relationship with The Walking Dead

Are you a cosplayer? An artist or other content creator of some sort? Collector of merchandise? Do you want to be one of our Featured Fans? Send an e-mail to sonnentreppe@gmail.com with your name, location, and what sort of fan thing you do (cosplay, art, photos, videos, etc), and maybe I’ll contact you sometime soon for an interview!