Today: April 17, 2024

A lot of people suppress or quietly indulge in the urge to don a costume and strike a pose as only the characters of popular media can.

A lot of people suppress or quietly indulge in the urge to
don a costume and strike a pose as only the characters of popular media can. It
takes a gutsy persona to not only embrace a hobby that is commonly misconstrued
as “fancy dress” but walk around in broad daylight proving that you have a
second persona, and that persona is Batman.

Cosplay or Costume play is an expression of art. Filling
expo and convention centres for the best part of 50 years, the Cosplay movement
has shifted boldly from Japan to the West, picking up thousands of human anime
characters, superheroes, sci-fi villains and femme fatales in its wake. Although
commonly dismissed as a past-time for those with perhaps a little too much time
on their hands, this is in fact the only valid excuse you’ll get to dress up
like your fantastical hero and spend time with women in costumes. For female
followers, this is ultimate dress up.

It’s also a foreground for the fanatic collective. People
that take cinema and animation beyond the simple appreciation of viewing can
meet to share their interests and ultimately show off a bit. Cosplay has hit
the UK in a big way, and there’s always events held to bring together those
with a taste for the dramatic.

If you feel you have the confidence to shift from your day
profession to a warrior queen, fighter of crime or sith lord there are so many
events not in a galaxy far, far away to let you indulge in this not-so-weird
activity.

So huge is the following of Cosplay that London has
developed its own branch of Comic Con. As well as the big annual event, London
Comic Con throws events all year round, and this month’s MCM Expo has got a
whole sub convention, the MCM Fringe Festival dedicated to comic and film
culture and those that choose to imitate it. Donned one of the UK’s biggest
Cosplay events, MCM volunteers the event as an event for the community and
encourages new people to join each year. There’s meets, panels and
competitions, but the focus of the weekend is the Cosplay Masquerade, which
runs like a fashion show for participants to showcase their costumes to large
audiences. The rules insist that costumes are homemade and comply with MCM’s
regulations, but otherwise its open everyone. MCM Expo runs from the 28th
to the 30th of October, and full details are available on the
Cosplay section of the event’s site.

Further up from the capital Fushi Con 2011 is tearing up
Northampton from the 18th to the 20th of November. For
those new to the Cosplay game terms like “Zombie Apocalypse,” “Pinkie Pie” and “Hentai
Double Header” will brush over your head, but they certainly don’t sound
boring. Participants and visitors can display their work at parties every night
but there are also movies, a panel quiz and an artist’s market. The site holds a nice summary of events and also details on how you can get involved.

Thought Bubble, as well as boasting a line up of some the
best graphic novel illustrators at work today, is allowing characters to walk
out the page into Leeds as Heroes Alliance UK (a non profit prop/costume making
organisation) host another chance
for you to strut your fantastical stuff at the Thought Bubble Masquerade on
November 19th.

It doesn’t all have to be conventions and parades for the
costume player. HeroPubCrawl.com, with the infamous tagline “Mixing Beer with
Spandex since 2006,” the site is a forum where people can dress up as their
favourite comic heroes and villains and go out on the lash. If you operate
mostly in the Norwich area and want to be involved or simply watch a school of
intoxicated Spidermen, Jokers or Green Lanterns hanging off lampposts, puking
in allies and making a general nuisance of themselves then this might be the
kind of bevy fuelled Cosplay you’re after.

Any event boasting memorabilia, comic markets and at least
one cast member from Doctor Who will ultimately have an outlet for Cosplay.
Birmingham’s Memorabilia is no exception, with an expo dedicated to Anime and
comic characters over the 19th and 20th of November. As
well as comic anime village to display local talent, there is also your usual
competition, and a meaty portion of the Cosplay community in attendance.
Further details will be posted at here.

This just a small sampling of the larger events that the
Cosplay community are holding over the next few months, and there’s any number
of online organisations that you can join up with to share your love of the
art. There are even bigger events early next year, so plenty of time to get
working on your outfit.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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