Strip Talk #15: I’ve learned a few lessons from cosplaying

Lyndsey-101612-cutoutI had a rea­son to cos­play once again. I usu­ally only have the urge to dress up and take on dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters once a year, and that’s because I’m going to NashiCon. My first and only anime con­ven­tion to date, I popped my NashiCon cherry in 2009 with an attempt to dress up as Akuma. The next year, I went as Afro from Afro Samu­rai. I man­aged to miss 2011 and 2012 for var­i­ous rea­sons, but I made a spe­cial trip to the con­ven­tion this year. NashiCon is held every year in my home­town of Colum­bia, S.C., so I have every rea­son to go and cel­e­brate anime.

For rea­sons known only to myself, I decided that I would attempt to cover NashiCon 2013 for GI. You may have even seen our cov­er­age on the front page of GI.com. Next year will be dif­fer­ent, I promise, because I’ve got a mis­sion to uphold. Next year involves a new char­ac­ter to cos­play from any of the var­i­ous anime that I’ve fin­ished and all-day pho­tog­ra­phy from the minute the doors open on both days.

This year, as I wan­dered through the halls of the con­ven­tion and escaped out­side for a lit­tle while, I took note of the elab­o­rate work needed to pull off some char­ac­ters. Cos­play­ing is hard work, some­thing to put ded­i­ca­tion and effi­ciency into to make com­plete. And to my sur­prise, there were so many dif­fer­ent series rep­re­sented that I knew. I have never regarded myself as par­tic­u­larly knowl­edge­able about anime, but this year I rec­og­nized so many char­ac­ters from series new and old that I finally felt anime smart. That has always been step No. 1 in improv­ing my cos­play tech­nique and efficiency.

Step No. 2 will come in the form of prepa­ra­tion. This year taught me a good les­son: Hav­ing a plan in place if you’re going to cos­play is a good idea. Also, it’s fine to cos­play by your­self. You don’t have to cos­play in a group and try­ing to coor­di­nate cos­tumes is all fine and well, but it’s not always fea­si­ble. One of the pit­falls of the week­end was the fact that I couldn’t attend both days with fel­low GI mem­ber Bran­don. Add to that the prob­lem that when we did make it there the sec­ond day, it was near the end. I also ran into the prob­lem of not being able to visit more of the pan­els that I had planned to see. If I’d stuck to my orig­i­nal plan, things might have turned out bet­ter. Plan­ning is everyone’s friend.

The final step is ded­i­ca­tion. I have real­ized that in recre­at­ing a char­ac­ter there has to be a high level of ded­i­ca­tion to see­ing it through until the end, the end being when I walk out of the con­ven­tion hall for the final time. There were peo­ple who were com­pletely in char­ac­ter, per­fect down to the strands of hair placed cor­rectly. That takes work folks. A lot of work. But if you’re going to do some­thing such as dress as a com­pletely ridicu­lous char­ac­ter, be pre­pared to go all the way or go home.

So, with my steps in mind, next year’s issue will be ready well ahead of time, and I’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy dress­ing up as some inane comic book or anime char­ac­ter I’ve only dreamed of being.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks is the editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. She can be reached at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com

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