Cosplay Catalogue

Well I promised a writeup of the buttonneering experience, but a series of trips in rapid succession using the same luggage means… I’ve misplaced my button haul. So until I uncover it in the process of cleaning, you get a quick contemplation of another aspect of conventions (though not PAX, for me, specifically, so far.) (That was a lot of conditionals.)

Ahem. Anyway: Cosplay.

Cosplay has kind of a weird place in my heart. It’s the one part of conventioneering where the traditional social values (hotness of girls) overwhelm the geeky ones (game knowledge, pop culturability.) That said, there’s nothing like dressing up like your favorite character to say “I’m here, I’m totally dedicated to this cause, and I’m throwing away any pretense of camouflage.”

Five years and twenty pounds ago I used to cosplay a lot. Esteemed translator and anime celebrity Richard “pocky” Kim once stopped me in the hallway to take a photo of me in a Shion Uzuki costume, exclaiming that there weren’t enough cute girls with glasses in video games. (This was before the tragedy of Xenosaga II where they gave her contacts… something I have obviously still not forgiven.) I cosplayed Tohru Honda before Fruits Basket was cool. I did a double act with a friend as Flonne and Etna. And, of course, my first real costume was All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. Oh no! My secret origin has been revealed.

A few days ago I was cleaning out the giant uninsulated attic-closet at my parents house and I found a bag with pretty much all my old cosplay costumes in it. I’m not going to lie, I tried a few of them on. They mostly fit, but the tunic I made for Flonne was constructed to try to hide my chest; it works, but it also makes me look like a baked potato. The Nuku Nuku skirt still fits, which may be an omen.

Anyway, in recent years I’ve started a lot of costumes but I haven’t finished any of them. A significant reason for that is the consistent divide between how I think I’ll look in a costume and how I actually look. Still, Finding all those old costumes made me remember how much I enjoyed it. I’ve had a few ideas brewing for future conventions, PAX in particular. Maybe it’s time to start that project. Get excited and make things, as the kids say. It would be a good source for updates, illustrated with mediocre Droid photos, at least until I find my digital camera. Have you noticed that losing things is a theme with me? I moved a few months ago and I’m currently working on reorganizing my parent’s house, so the theme is likely to consider. I guess it just makes things more of an adventure.

Adventures are also a theme.

3 Responses to “Cosplay Catalogue”

  • SuperKawaiiNeko:

    On the other hand the original, unsullied purpose of cosplay was to express love for the character. Theoretically, it doesn’t actually matter what you look like as long as you love cosplaying and love the character you’re cosplaying as. This is why you see so many guys cosplaying as females (especially in japan)

    Any chance to see some pictures of you in your old cosplay? And should I start referring to you as All Purpose Cultural Geek Girl? 8D

  • Leah:

    That is the original purpose of cosplay if you’re being entirely theoretical or traditional about it, but most people at conventions don’t think that way. Let’s just say I’m trying to embrace compromise.

    Sort of related: on comics alliance Chris Sims asks cosplayers trivia about the characters they cosplay. It sort of shows that convincing cosplay does not always equal comprehensive knowledge… then again I’m not certain I could pass this kind of test when it comes to some of my characters.

  • I’m esteemed? Wow.

    I remember that day. I wonder where the picture went, it’s been a while and I’ve moved a few times.

    Five (now six) years ago, how time flies.

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