by Kit Cosplay
What is cosplay? Formally, it’s the act of donning a costume to depict a character typically from an anime, comic book, film, or show. Cosplay is an abbreviated word, made from the words “Costume play”, and in addition to the costume part of it, generally involves a bit of role play. To some, it’s a fun way to show fandom and put smiles on people’s faces. To others, it’s an expression of skill and creativity. To others still, it’s a way of connecting with other people who enjoy becoming the characters they love. To most, it’s a combination of all these.
|Kit Cosplay and Dragon Slipper Tailoring|
Aside from some out of the box costumes as a kid, my first cosplay was Usagi from the popular anime Sailor Moon. I didn’t know how to sew at the time, so I spent hours combing thrift stores, trying to find a tennis skirt, blouse, and scarf that could pass for a Japanese school uniform. Returning unsuccessful, I carefully picked out an outfit that combined her favorite colors, and was similar to casual outfits I had seen her depicted in different art. I meticulously learned how to tie my (very) long hair into two knots at the top of my head, with the signature pigtails included. Satisfied with my casual costume, I attended my first convention in it in 1999 – Sakura Con in Seattle; known at the time as Baka-Con. Back then, there weren’t a whole lot of other cosplayers around, but the few I did see ignited a spark in me.
Today, I definitely don’t consider myself “good” at the hobby, but… I’m OK. I’m learning. I know how to sew, make my own props and armor from foam and thermoplastic, and I know where to find a decent wig. With some friends, I founded a cosplay-based charity that raises funds and volunteers time for kids in need – ComicBook Characters for Causes. With every convention I attend, I make new friends, connect with some amazing people, and learn how to better my craft.
Whether you are interested in cosplay as a spectator, just starting out, or have been doing it for years, I hope that my monthly column entertains or inspires you. Reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter, or shoot me an email – I’d love to chat with you!