When I started going to science fiction conventions a few years ago, one of the things that struck me was the wonder of cosplay. Partially, I was awed by the fact that anybody could create a fictional world that engaged the imagination of other people so much that they would want to dress up as characters from that world. Cosplay has really brought home to me the power of fiction. Partially, I am delighted by the creativity cosplayers bring to their costumes, many of which are hand-crafted and unique.
Almost from the beginning, I have been taking photographs of cosplayers at the cons I have attended (because: anal); eventually, I realized that I could post them on Flickr for others to enjoy.Here, I would like to share some of my personal favourites from the Fan Expo held at the end of August in Toronto.
To see all of the photos that I took at Fan Expo, go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/72833254@N08/albums/72157685162475132.
To see albums of photos from events I have attended since 2011, go to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/72833254@N08/albums.
The master of anime may not be as popular for cosplay in North America as Marvel or DC, but you can always see some representations of his works. Yay, I say! Yay!
One of the ghostly characters from Spirited Away. To my surprise, there were three or four versions of this costume at the con. I especially liked the one that was giving away chocolate coins – you can probably guess why!
The incomparable Totoro from the film My Neighbour Totoro. If you don’t want to walk up to this cuddly life-sized character and give him a big hug, you have no heart. Next year, cat bus?
2. The Creativity!
There are always characters I wasn’t expecting at the larger cons, or people who reimagine characters, or costumes that are just fun.
Look, it’s…umm…wait, don’t tell me…that kid! You know the one. That…that kid…from the movie Up! Russell! That’s his name. Russell from the movie Up. I knew it would come to me if I just thought about it for a moment. Not a character I would think to cosplay, but very well done.
Kids in costumes are totally adorable. The fact that the adult with them is also in costume is totally charming.
A basket. Handlebars. A blanket. A small alien. A wonderful evocation of ET: The Extraterrestrial.
You want Batman, you got Batman. You want the Joker – there were a dozen to choose from, including a couple in a nurse’s uniform. But, me. I go for the more obscure DC character cosplay. Oddly enough, both of the examples here were created by the unique – and possibly uniquely deranged – Steve Ditko.
I was totally not expecting Shade, the Changing Girl. This is the third DC incarnation of the character, which, in its first two incarnations, was Rac Shade, the Changing Man. Great madness coat that perfectly captures the costume.
It’s so good, in fact, that I had to take this picture of the back of it to show its full awesomeness.
The Question started as an indie original before DC bought Charlton. He hasn’t had his own title for a while, but some of us remember the oddness of the concept (when he’s superheroing, he is anonymous in a plain suit and no face) and all of the philosophical baggage that came with him with fondness.
4. Cross-gender cosplay
Just because you were born in the body of a woman doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cosplay as a male character (or vice versa) if that’s where your passion lies. After all, cosplay is all about unleashing your imagination, right? If you can dream it, be it!
A female Dr. Strange? Why not? Surely, the mystic arts are not gender-specific.
By the same token, if a man is dedicated to the character of the girl who waited (Dr. Who’s Amy Pond), who is to say that he shouldn’t come to a con in her costume?
Harley Quinns have been prevalent at cons for the last couple of years. But, a female Joker? That complicates their relationship in some very interesting ways…
5. Dr. Who Irregulars
Whenever I see a Matt Smith Doctor, I try to ask, “Now that another actor has taken over the role, are bowties still cool?” The most common answer is, “Bowties will always be cool!” Fair enough. But, can we add some variety to the many Smiths and David Tennants who show up at cons? Why, yes. Yes, we can.
Here we have a brilliant rendition of the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell. His portrayal was given new currency when the character showed up in the final moments of the last regular season episode of Peter Capaldi’s tenure.
This may be the first time I have ever seen somebody cosplay the second Doctor, Patrick Traughton. I know that a lot of his series have been lost in time, but still…
I must admit that I didn’t recognize the man carrying the cyberman head. I had to be told it was the Victorian Doctor (played magnificently by David Morrissey). Another great costume that I wouldn’t have thought of.
Playing dressup is an opportunity to be silly, or wildly creative, or both. I end with some of the costumes that awed me or gave me a giggle.
It’s a droogie from A Clockwork Orange! Totally in appropriate for a family event…but I loved it!
Okay, this will take a bit of explaining. Once upon a time, Canada had a sketch comedy troupe called The Frantics. One of the characters they built sketches around was Mr. Canoehead. This costume was a tribute to the team to celebrate the fact that the Frantics reformed to give a show at Fan Expo. If you don’t get the costume, it’s okay – it’s a Canadian thing…
I know we’re told when we are young that hitchhiking is bad, but when you have the whole galaxy to roam in, who wants to be good?
Star Wars/Batman mashup!
If you didn’t read Mag Magazine, you missed out on a lot of great comedy culture. If you did, I don’t have to tell you how awesome these costumes are.