Clementine feels like family. Over the course of The Walking Dead games we've played her substitute father Lee, her substitute uncle Javi, and we've played her while she acted as a substitute mother for AJ, bringing it full circle. After getting to know Clementine so well it's been hard to say goodbye to her and the rest of the cast in The Walking Dead: The Final Season, made even harder by the fact we were saying goodbye to Telltale Games at the same time.
Czech cosplayers Mary and Feinobi have been with these characters for the long haul as well. One of Mary's first cosplays was Lilly—the survivor who loses her father and turns on the group in the first season—back in 2012. "Telltale games even shared it on their Facebook profile," she recalls. "It was the first time somebody noticed me and I remember how happy I was."
With her partner Feinobi she's been doing more ambitious cel-shaded costumes for the last five years or so, the latest of which sees them cosplaying as Clementine and a walker from the Final Season. Feinobi describes the difficulty of getting that comic-book art style onto skin and clothes as involving "a lot of trial and error".
They use fabric paint on the clothes and a combination of bodypaint and makeup on the skin, trying to match them for a uniform look that makes them resemble screenshots from the games. For Feinobi's zombie face they had to get particularly creative. "It’s actually sculpted mask made out of latex and foam, with a movable jaw and two small holes next to fake eyes for me to see."
"Both costumes took about two months to make," says Mary. "The biggest challenge was making the wounds on the walker. Feinobi made them to look like deep wounds by sculpting and painting, which created a better illusion of decay. There wasn’t really a challenge on Clementine, just a lot of painting."
The most fun part, she adds, was making the Disco Broccoli toy Clementine carries to keep AJ amused.
Mary and Feinobi were joined by Mary's mother, who cosplayed as Lilly when they went to PragoFFest earlier this year. "She has started to cosplay with us and really wanted to try competing," Mary says. "The audience enjoyed our skit and we even won a special prize from one of the judges for costume accuracy."
Though it's sad for them to say goodbye to these characters, this videogame family has drawn a real family closer. Mary and Feinobi initially met through cosplay and have been together for six years. "It’s our hobby," Mary says, "we help each other out and enjoy cosplaying together. We even plan a Legacy of Kain-themed wedding."