What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay can be a lot of things. So many people, across so many different fandoms, have been brought together through the art of cosplay. But why do people cosplay? Why do cosplayers spend night after night, week after week, month after month, perfecting their cosplay? Why spend all these sleepless nights meticulously stitching, gluing, sanding; pouring blood, sweat and tears into a costume? A costume you can only wear to a few conventions before the regulars start to notice. What does all this hard work mean? Well, I asked around a little and here are some of the responses I got.
I found Ewok at Anime North two years ago, at Anime North, cosplaying Aang. Not only is he a cosplayer, but he also attends a huge variety of Canadian conventions with a weapons dealer, Kutting Edge. Cosplay is a huge part of his life. Ewok says that his definition of cosplay is, “bringing a character from another realm to life in our reality, with a little bit of the costumer’s flavour.”
A local convention enthusiast and casual cosplayer, Adam Guzzo, says, “What I get most out of cosplaying comes from gender bending characters, or applying a major twist on a character. It lets you be a bit more creative or project yourself into the character. When you wear it out, the response is always really amazing and supportive. Everyone who asks for a photo or comments on your unique take of this character validates that you brought something more to this character. If it’s really wacky or obscure then they are in on the joke and having fun is what this is all about!” I remember meeting Adam at Ottawa Comic Con cosplaying a sexy Spartan. I couldn’t help but smile.
Another convention attendee, Zac Emery, says, “It’s like having Halloween come more than once a year. But these extra Halloweens are more communal. People take the time to craft some amazing costumes, and trade ideas and tips and techniques and do all kinds of elaborate things. I think if you’re a positive person and you’re in touch with your inner child it can be amazing fun.”
Founder of www.splatterpictures.net, Wes Kipe thinks, “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery than cosplay is the sincerest form of fandom.”
Retro Joad of Critical Miss and Retro Joad’s Cosplay and Cabaret says, “It means more time to dress up, play, and above all, HAVE FUN!”
Chris Reddie of the Loudest Geeks in the Room podcast thinks that, “Cosplay is an excellent example of what creative people can accomplish when driven by enthusiasm and the love of a character. It’s an art form that gives shape to the passion that we all feel.”
“Cosplaying is a solid tool and creative outlet for those that want to be someone or something FANTASTICAL and helps for the personal confidence to go out and do it!” says Charles Neiderhauser-Pryor, local self-professed nerd.
Professional cosplayer and child birthday party favourite, Ali Mahou, says, “The most rewarding part of cosplay is just being at the convention and having fun in costume. I’ve made so many incredible friendships through cosplay that I’m so thankful. I managed to find an art form that I enjoy so dearly and gain beautiful experiences through. The community is amazing, we love what we do, we love each other, and we love our fandoms. We support each other and share knowledge and just generally exist together beautifully. It’s craftsmanship and friendship all in one.”
A resounding positive message is heard from everyone around and involved with cosplay. “Enthusiastic.” “Passionate.” “Community.” “Knowledge.” “Support.” “Art.” “Friendship.” “Love.” “Fun.”
Cosplay gives a little bit of light to the lives of those of us who dream of going to Gallifrey or Middle Earth. It brings Storm Troopers, Princess Peach, Deadpool, and Hello Kitty together in the same room to enjoy all these wonderful and fantastic things that we couldn’t enjoy out in the boring grey world of everyday life. Cosplay gives us a chance to step out of our comfort zones, express ourselves creatively, and meet new people who can relate to our weird costumed quirks. It is a world full of people who love, accept, share, create, and learn. I am so happy to be a part of it.
These are the things that cosplay means to us. What does it mean to you?
Happy Canadian, as well as a hardcore video game addict. Spends all day and night trying to come up with new ideas for Share My Cosplay. Need help with something feel free to contact me.