Shannon Cottrell Bender spotting at San Diego Comic-Con 2012
Dressing up as famed characters from across the pop culture landscape for events other than Halloween is nothing new. Certainly, people were doing it well before the term cosplay came into being. But, with every passing year, the image of the superfan dressed in detailed, often complicated costumes becomes more prevalent.
Right now, it's safe to say that the cosplayer is the face of the fan convention, even if there are plenty of people at these events who don't dress up at all (myself included). Over the past few years, I've covered a lot of cosplay for L.A. Weekly, from a samurai rendition of Darth Vader to a gender-bent version of the Justice League, from professional cosplayers like Yaya Han to a Firefly fan who chose Jayne's hat as her first costume.
Still some questions remain unanswered. How exactly do people get into cosplay? What do cosplayers see as their biggest successes and failures? More importantly, why cosplay? Since this Saturday is International Cosplay Day, I posed some of these questions on Twitter and Facebook. The responses vary, but the passion for dressing up as someone else is always the same.More »