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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