Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Men and women in costumes; those words can come across as kinky to some. Clothing is just one way we express our selves and yes it can ooze sex appeal. But clothing can also be symbolic, show a profession, or the clothe can stand for something. Regardless clothes label and define the wearer. Besides fashion shows, conventions are where you see the most stunning and creative outfits. Costume play or Cosplay is an act where the participant dresses up as a fictional character or object. They may be men and women in costumes but the difference is that: Cosplayers are artists. They bring life from the fictional world by creating an illusion using mannerisms, thoughts, and habits which mimic their character. The artist stays true to the character and the costume is only a layer. This is very much unlike a costume party or holiday (Halloween / Mardi Gras). Cosplay has also been around as long as the first science fiction convention: 1939’s Worldcon. It can be sexy, strange, and charming. Regardless, Cosplay is ment to be fun.
Every Comic Con that CC2K goes to, we as fans always post pictures of the cosplayers. Every girl and guy we ask, never really mind taking a picture, they let you take your time, and in my experience professionalism goes a long way. That being said, there are people (some reading this) who don’t get what Cosplay is. All they see is a hot guy or girl in a skimpy outfit and/or they judge the Cosplay artist as being a slut or for being over or under weight, or for being a passionate. Cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are hired models, some make a living doing Cosplay (more on that later), and some are normal people just being creative. I know writing this that there are a lot of immature people who just think costumes and sex go hand and hand (and sometimes they do) but Cosplay is more then that. Are some characters well endowed? Yup. Do immature people just stare at a women chest? Yup. But there are people who are so talented that even the immature are impressed with.
Riddle and Yaya are two experience veterans of Cosplay. They are so good at their craft that they do it full time. Both are costuming celebrities and are really great role models. Riddle’s costume work is so realistic and stunning that she was hired as a FX technician on X-Men: First Class. Yaya speaks more than 5 different languages, travels around the globe fully promoting Cosplay and has her own custom costume company. Both of these stunning ladies are models in the industry as well. They are very passionette about Cosplay and succeed in showing off it’s artistic side. Yaya and Riddle are on all the popular social networks (twitter, facebook, deviantart) to talk to their fans, show off their hard work, and to promote their craft. They constantly update, show how their costumes are made, and give helpful tips.
In an article with CNN, Riddle and Yaya talked about the two sides of Cosplay:
“That’s the thing I enjoy about being Snow White. I can wear the sexy costumes and guys will want photos with me but I still get elated when children come up to me and they think I’m the princess and they talk to me and they tell me about their day, they tell me everything that they’re wearing, and I have a fifteen minute conversation with kids! It’s just a really great feeling.”
“It’s not just that we’re artists and we put our artwork out there,” Han said. “We make the outfits, we put it on, we put our bodies out there, we put our faces out there for the world to judge,” she said. “We both wanted to show that it doesn’t always have to be about sexy costumes. you don’t always have to have your cleavage out. you can still have a fun time cosplaying and show something you made yourself.”
With the help of various Cosplayers from around the globe, Riddle and Yaya are also involved with Cosplay-for-a-Cause. This charity is involved with Japan’s Disaster relief aid. 18 different Cosplayers put together a calendar in which the proceeds go towards the Japan Red Cross Society. It’s a great cause and a terrific calendar.
There is a naughty side of Cosplay. Let’s face it, a lot of anime and comic book characters are (to quote Jessica Rabbit) “drawn that way.” They are well endowed, curvy, and to some: perfect. Nonetheless they are characters people have come to love and their sexiness is part of their charm. A website called Cosplay Deviants has a simple goal: showing the viewer the sexy side of fiction. The side the fan doesn’t always get to see. They hire photographers and models of all shapes, genders, and sizes (over the age of 18 of course) the chance to dress as their favorite characters. Then they put together a set of photos that are both erotic and true to the character.
“Our models get into and stay into character the entire set, and while a bulk of their costume may be removed they continue to pose in ways that are true to their character. It’s quite a skill to be able to portray a someone in a way that they usually have not been seen before.”
It’s not porn in the traditional sense. It’s more like breathing life into the make believe. For those with urges and sexual desire, Cosplay Deviants lets the fan view the side left out in the story. It’s also not a XXX parody. The sets are done with class and they are very artistic. This is definitely the kinky side of Cosplay.
There are a lot of Cosplayers who dress up to in order to help (i’m not talking about the people trying to be superheroes). There are groups across the states who dress up as superheroes and donate their time with hospitals, special needs children, and other charities. CostumersWithaCause are just one of many groups who dress up to help promote safety, giving, and helping the community. Though they might not be wearing skimpy outfits, let me tell you there is a lot of sexiness in helping make the world a better place.
On the bottom you’ll find a video that Riddle did for Cartoon Network displaying her craft and why she is so amazing at what she does. You’ll also find a list of websites you should visit to learn more about Cosplay. We hope to see you dolled up in a costume next Comic Con.
Please check out the following sites for more information on Cosplay:
Cosplay.com (a perfect place to start out)
Cosplayforacause (helping the world through Cosplay)
We thank the following websites for being cool and allowing us to use their images *Himearts, Yayahan,Cosplaydeviants, and acparadise*
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.