(Video taken off Youtube obviously.)
This one might need a little more explanation and I’m only slightly aware of how to do that. Mostly because I have no costume making skills and my one attempt was so bad that nobody knew I was in costume. To be fair, I didn’t want to dress up due to having glasses and being self-conscious. Also being short and chubby doesn’t help. Enough about me here.
Cosplay is when someone makes a costume of an existing character or based on an existing character. They wear it at a convention or for some other reason. I’m not talking about Trick-or-Treating, which I’m sure one or two people are already thinking of. This is on another scale and it’s simply amazing to see. From what I can tell from talking to others, people pick characters that they have an interest in. Maybe it’s the challenge of the costume or they connect to the character. Either way, it does feel like it’d be an honor to be chosen for such an activity.
Why would it be an honor? Imagine the time, patience, and creativity that goes into the costumes that you saw in the video. Most, if not all, of those are handmade and carefully crafted. I follow a cosplayers on Facebook and they show their process, which reminds me of how much work I put into my stories. There’s planning, outlining, piece-by-piece creation, and even a little ‘editing’. One can only imagine the anguish that an author goes through when having to rewrite a book. Imagine if you’re working on a costume and have to go back. There’s no reset button when cutting and molding materials. Yes, I’m in awe of those that can do stuff like this.
This isn’t even mentioning when a cosplayer alters an idea for an interesting twist. For example, I’ve seen a lot of ‘gender bending’ pictures. This is where somebody makes a costume of a character and changes the gender. There are times this is done for comedy and other times it’s done in all seriousness. I see a lot of female cosplayers do this because there are more male than female characters and I guess you can only do Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman so often. Seriously though, these are interesting to see because it shows a great amount of creativity and, most times, respect for the original character. I can hear a few authors grumbling about messing up their babies. Yet, I still see this as entertaining and something to be proud of. The cosplayer put thought into how to do this and they probably wouldn’t if you designed a boring or lackluster character.
Just like Fan Art and Fan Letters, this requires taking time and putting yourself out there, which any artist can understand. Again, this is an area that I only have a brief idea about from talking to friends and reading stuff. Also checking out a bunch of Youtube videos from the San Diego Comic Con. Anybody out there a cosplayer or have a bunch of knowledge to drop on us? What would you think if you saw someone dressed as one of your characters?