Becka Noel and Dhareza Maramis seem cut from the same cloth as your typical working professionals: Noel is an assistant at a private equity firm in Midtown Manhattan, Maramis the creative director at an ad agency. They live together with their cats in a financial district apartment.
But these two New Yorkers lead a double life—of the Peter Parker variety.
Noel and Maramis "cosplay," that is they "costume play," as various superheroes, anime characters and comic book villains throughout the year at conventions and contests across the country. They've been serious about the hobby for about three years now, ever since Maramis took Noel to New York Comic Con. She fell in love with the costuming and he grew tired of "holding her purse" while she cosplayed.
They're serious enough to spend hundreds of dollars on materials for making the armor, dresses, loin cloths and capes. The Batman Thrasher costume in which Maramis competed at New York Comic Con 2014 cost him about $1,500 to make, mainly due to a pricey and highly durable thermoplastic called Worbla.