With Hal-Con fast approaching this weekend, my every free moment will be spent surrounded by piles of fabric, spray-paint bottles, wigs and empty coffee mugs. Why would someone surround themselves with such ludicrous items, you might ask? For cosplay.
What the frack is that? Cosplay is the act of dressing up as specific fictional characters. It's a hobby, an art and incredibly fun. Sometimes cosplayers will even act as their character, or engage in role-playing with other cosplayers.
"That sounds really geeky, who would ever do that?"
It's a question a lot of cosplayers encounter when acquainting others with their hobby. The answer is simple: Anyone can be a cosplayer. In the last eight years I have met cosplayers from amazingly diverse backgrounds, truly a cornucopia of fabulous and open-minded people. The community is constantly growing, with large amounts of newcomers gaining the desire to dress up as their favourite man in tights.
However, since this community is becoming so large, as well as a subject of interest for mainstream media, I have spoken with a lot of people who are a bit intimidated to try cosplay for the first time. Have no fear, cosplay advice is here!
First things first: Choosing the character you want to portray. Choose a character that you connect with or admire, someone you will enjoy representing. The outfit should be something that you will be comfortable wearing for an extended period of time. While they might look great in anime, giant wings that won't fit through doors or heels that will give you blisters are oftentimes not worth the pain. Comfortable footwear is very important, as is finding that fine balance between overheating or freezing in your costume. One of my favourite challenges is finding matching outerwear for my costumes! You will always want to consider your personal comfort as well—there is no harm in adding leggings or a jacket to an outfit. Everyone has different comfort zones. That's OK!
The next part is the hardest: Figuring out how to make your costume real. You can purchase one from a costume shop, have one commissioned (the internet is your best friend) or make one from scratch. All of these are great options! If you are just starting out, keep things simple to avoid getting frustrated with difficult props or details. Thrift stores and Halloween shops can be the best places for finding basic pieces. Get a t-shirt, some paint, blue pants, a red sheet and bampf! Superman costume.
Craft supplies can get you a long way when it comes to getting the right colors or detailling that you need to take your costume to the next level. If you want to challenge yourself with harder pieces there are hundreds of tutorials on the internet for making armour, swords, basic clothing and more.
The last and most important part about cosplay: Having fun. If you are wearing your costume out to an event, wear it proudly! Bring a camera. Don't be shy to talk to fellow cosplayers and bond over your shared fandoms. There is nothing better than that. Though beware, once you try it you might get hooked. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
Originally from Moncton, New Brunswick, Maria Brine (left, as the X-Men’s Domino) has landed in the north end of Halifax to serve you drinks and random geeky knowledge.