Monday, December 5, 2011

An Alternate Universe

In an attempt to avoid repetition amongst my blog posts, I searched for a topic that has not yet been discussed. I kept running into blogs and articles recycling the same issues that we’ve already touched upon. However, I then rememberd one aspect of the comic world we have not yet discussed – the art of cosplay.

Cosplay has been around for decades within the comic, anime, and sci-fi fandoms, centering around communities of fans who make homemade costumes of their favorite characters. While I have heard of some cosplay conventions that go on in America, I really only found out about this seemingly alternate universe through my cousin living in the Philippines, where it seemed to me that the comic book culture was much more prevalent. She underwent a period of her teenage years characterized by goth and all things black, a time we now jokingly call the “dark ages.” Upon visiting her in Manila, I lived through an out-of-this-world experience, finding myself surrounded by living and breathing characters. To my right was Captain Jack Sparrow, to my left Sailor Moon, and in front of me was a group of individuals I was most impressed by – the cast of Sandman. I had attended my first cosplay convention.

This is an image of my cousin retrieved from the Dark Ages. (I'm pretty sure you get how appropriate that name is now...I hope she doesn't kill me for posting this...)

Cornell applications might as well require that an applicant check off a part nerdy box, for we all essentially had to be to find ourselves studying here (apart from the Hotelies, of course.) But all jokes aside, being different is something I now take pride in. The story was much different as I was growing up, however, for I did all but defy societal norms. Nickelodeon romances made me giddy and barbie houses excited. Ballet and art defined my after school activities, and pink was my favorite color. Needless to say, cosplay was out of my element. However upon being immersed in this culture for the first time, I found myself genuinely impressed. Some of these costumes appeared as though they were taken straight from their comic or movie origins, but yet they were the product of dedicated fans. I was impressed.

I've posted a few impressive costumes I found online, but if this is your first time hearing about the world of cosplay, I highly suggest investigating further for yourself. If this post wasn't incentive enough, I'd advise you to think of cosplay as Halloween on random days of the year - now who could object to that?!

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