Won’t You Come Cosplay with Me at GenCon?

An article in the New York Post that was recently written by Linda Stasi has the cosplay community in an uproar. (Cosplay, if you’re not familiar, is a portmanteau of “costume” and “play.”) Linda’s article ostensibly reviews the upcoming SyFy reality show, Heroes of Cosplay. However, several of her word choices have gone over with the cosplay community about as well as a Star Trek joke directed at a guy in a Jedi costume.

As you can imagine, cosplayers are calling her out (some of them harshly). Many have written and posted responses either to criticize her for the article and/or to attempt to explain the wonders of cosplay to her.

I wish I could be the bigger person and generously invite Linda to further her understanding of the cosplay community. She could discover so many great things about cosplayers, such as the camaraderie and the collective creative spirit. But, to be honest, I’m not interested in evangelizing Linda. I don’t want to make her see the light and understand how wonderful the cosplay community is, how fun my fellows are, or the delight of a completed costume. I’d rather just, well, ignore her. I have bigger and better things to focus on....

...such as GENCON! Oh my gosh, it’s tomorrow, and I’m not ready yet, and I have costumes for Friday and Saturday that I need to finish up! And if you can’t tell, I’m a little excited.

On Thursday, August 15th, tens of thousands of my fellow geeks will descend upon Indianapolis, IN. These geeks will experience the “Best Four Days in Gaming”™ as they play board games, discover new game releases, shop through an enormous Exhibit Hall, watch anime, attend special panel events, and on and on.

Here's a great view of attendees waiting for the Exhibit Hall to open:

Hundreds of gamers waiting for the GenCon Exhibit Hall to open.

Admittedly, GenCon is not a cosplay-focused convention, though it is very cosplay friendly. When I’ve gone in the past (it’s been a few years), the unofficial uniform for the majority of attendees is a T-shirt with a logo or a hilarious joke, but there’s still plenty of great cosplay to be found. I’ve seen every sort of costume from Final Fantasy to Ghostbusters, from Stormtoopers to Full Metal Alchemist.

Part of the fun of cosplay is playing “Spot the character!” I’m looking forward to seeing which familiar characters I can find and taking as many pictures as possible.

As for my own cosplay efforts, I have two costumes this year, both of them steampunk. Steampunk, if you aren’t familiar, is a special genre of its own, more of an aesthetic cooperative than a fandom of anything in particular. Imagine a neo-futuristic Victorian Era world and the people who would inhabit such a world. Throw in lots of brass buckles and gears, goggles, maybe an octopus, and you’re on the right track.

One of my efforts is a standard steampunk costume, in brown and brass, and the other is my more experimental attempt, done in black and white. I know I won’t have enough time to get them as finalized as I would like. Still, I’m doing my best.

I sincerely hope to run into fellow steampunkers and get pictures with them.

In terms of cosplay skills, I’m low on the creative rung. I assemble more than I create. I hunt for pieces and put them together to build my costumes, and I do my best to create simple accent pieces or add basic modifications to what I collect. I’d like to learn to do a lot more, from sewing to jewelry making.

I can’t wait for the convention to start so I can see how people react to my costume efforts and so I can play games and watch anime and have a blast. I feel like I’m a little kid again, and it’s Christmas Eve.

So, as I was saying...Linda who? Never mind, I have some last-minute costume details to finish.

And yes, I promise to post pictures of my completed costumes. Meanwhile, here's a preview, a fan I've made by using nothing but feathers, cord, a silver butterfly, and a little bit of thread:

My handmade feather fan!

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Virginia blogs at Kiss Chronicles, and her ebook of the same name can be found at Smashwords and other online retailers. The ebook is free with a suggested donation to cancer charity.

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