Comics convention fun in Seattle part II: The Rise of Cosplay

photo by Orion Tippens

In continuation of yesterday’s posting, the rest of my 2013 Emerald City Comic Con pictures are now posted on my friend’s blog, All Day Comics!

For this second half, it’s all for the love of cosplay, or the act of dressing up in some costume, usually based on a fictional property. Often at these conventions, many attendees will dress up as their favorite characters from books, comics, movies, games, etc. They usually do this for fun, and to express their current or nostalgic “geek” obsessions. Here are a few extra notes and observations on the nature of this wonderful culture:

  • Often, the costumes are hand-made. Some are sewn together, and/or made from gathered materials. The more work and details that go into a costume, the more appreciation is given. Also, using body or face paint accentuates a certain boldness in presentation of character choice.
  • Crossplay is a rising trend in cosplay convention visibility. This is the style of taking a familiar character and flipping the gender. This is usually done by females, in using their natural body shape and costume alteration to make that provacative switch. 
  • Often, a measure of popularity can be attributed to the frequency of cosplay choice. For example, Doctor Who exploded in popularity since its revival eight years ago, so expect to find many Doctors running around, wielding their Sonic Screwdrivers.(an easy costume). Star Wars is still very strong, so expect to find many Jedis, Stormtroopers at these gatherings. The recent Avengers movie (and related individual character movies) raised the presence of Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury at recent conventions. Rising the fastest are characters from the popular animated Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time.
  • The best-loved and most memorable costumes (for me, at least) are those of obscurity and lesser known. Sure, we all know our Batmans, Jokers, Spideys, Vaders, Spartans, Mario Brothers, etc. But who among us can spot the Ambush Bug, Castle Crasher, Trap Jaw, Radia, Duffman, and others not well-known? To identify, often puts a smile on the face of those making the obscure effort. And if not, ask who is that character. This could be your next obsession, or perhaps opening the mind to something new and exciting. For example, a conversation I had with a lady dressed up as a character exclusive to an obscure Tron video game. She had me far more curious about the expanded Tron world, beyond the otherwise limited movies. My later online searches also stretched my love for hardcore science fiction, just a little more.
  • Some costumes are recognizable by their style. Some are adorned in steampunk fashion, others in medieval garb, a few in heavy military gear. Often, the participants are part of a club or a scheduled gathering of similar attire. Many are also into live action role-playing or LARPing.

I could go on with these notes, but another day or perhaps the next convention to share on. For now, I leave behind a couple more enticing samples of my larger picture set for the All Day Comics blog. For the rest of my wonderful ECCC pics (and footnotes), please click here..

photo by Orion Tippens

Photo by Orion Tippens

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