Bundy cosplayers ready to take on Brisbane
NESTLED between Spider-Man and Captain America, Jess Staardust is full of confidence as she strides through Bundaberg's Botanic Gardens.
Anyone who happened to be near the gardens on Thursday would have done a double-take as they watched Jess and her cosplay friends strike a pose for our NewsMail photographer.
Needing a creative outlet, Jess, 21, found solace in the small, but growing Bundaberg cosplay community.
"At the start of the year, I had one cosplay friend and I've discovered these other guys who enjoy it as much as we do,” she said.
"It gives me a sense of confidence.
"There's no discrimination and it's open to anyone.”
For this photo shoot, Jess is dressed up as Maya - a character from the popular video game Borderlands 2.
The group is preparing for a trip to Brisbane for Oz Comic-Con, Australia's largest pop culture expo, with overseas guests including Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa.
This is Jess's first comic-con adventure.
"I don't go for the stars. I just love meeting other cosplayers and getting tips,” she said.
"To meet those people and be part of that community where nothing is too weird.”
The local cosplayers bring a lot of joy to children in hospital wards and community events.
Jess let slip that plans were already afoot for a pop culture convention in Bundaberg next year.
To join the group and get more info about any upcoming events, visit the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Cosplay Facebook page @Bundabergcosplay.