Many of you know that we are working on putting together a new publication through Quarry Books that will be 1000 Incredible Cosplay and Costume Ideas. I wanted to write a post to explain why we wanted to do this book. Dr. Grymm and I aren’t necessarily known for cosplay, so I want to tell you a little about our inspiration.
I have been reading comic books and playing video games avidly as a geek girl since I was in high school and I discovered a band of nerds to hang around with. I used to watch Animes, trade comics and play Magic the Gathering and D & D with these friends. I remember spending time talking with one friend in particular about the clothing designs in games and comics. It always stuck with me that we would talk about how some of particularly the female costumes seem to defy physics and that was part of the appeal. These were designs that could be free from constraints of the real world. That observation always stuck with me.
Fast forward to 15 years later and I started following along at home with two particular friends who really provided the inspiration bed for us to start researching this process. The first is our friend (and one of the artists featured in the 2011-2012 Steampunk Bizarre) Jessica Lilley. Last summer Jessica worked hard to create a terrifically accurate Tali Z’Orah cosplay from Mass Effect 3 for DragonCon. Joey and I played along at home watching progress pictures and chatting with Jessica about various ways to make the costume come to life and be safe to wear (seeing is really overrated), while still being accurate to the source material. I was so fascinated by the process that I started to look at other costumers and realized all the amazing work that was being done.
People were taking those physics defying designs that are so appealing from games and comics and MAKING THEM REAL. Not only making them real but making them well enough that they could be worn all day at a convention and stay in place or hold up. I started to fall in love with the INNOVATION that these people were accomplishing on a daily basis. No one was selling them a pattern and giving instructions on how to do something, they were just making their own way. Not only that, we learned that people were swapping tips and suggestions on how to make the costumes just that much more accurately and creating this incredible community of people doing amazing things.
You can see the appeal of having these incredible photos that really show off the work that is put into a costume and making all the details perfect. Along with that comes the ability to roleplay a bit and have some fun. I find that my favorite images are the ones where the cosplayers are really getting into the spirit of becoming the character. For instance I saw a Yuna cosplay last night where the subject was standing on water and splashing with her staff. It looked straight out the game. More than that though, IT LOOKED FUN.
Those are the things we want to highlight with this project. Innovation, artistry and fun. I am so amazed to see the submissions I am getting from all over the world. I got one from South Africa, which came with a little back story to the work. The cosplayers who submitted couldn't access the same kind of materials we can get here in the US for a reasonable budget. So instead of cintra or craft foam, they made this incredible looking armor out of cardboard, papier mache and joint compound. That's the kind of work that makes me wish we had more space to include information about each project, because you can't tell what materials were used from the photos.
To add even more excitement to the book, we are joined by Internationally known Cosplayer, Yaya Han as a co-author of this book! She has lent her knowledge and point of view about this great community to this publication and we couldn't be more honored to have her onboard.
In a personal statement from Yaya:
"I just would like to re-iterate what a great project this is. Even though there is no monetary compensation, I believe this book is worth being a part of. Why? Because the cosplay scene is growing fast and shifting toward the mainstream. But right now the public media still has huge misconceptions about cosplayers as fetishists, booth babes, and faux geeks.
We need to set the record straight, by giving the mainstream media a collection of incredible costumes that are hand/home made, with passion and creativity. I want to be a part of "1000 Incredible Cosplay and Costume Ideas" because I know it can help non-geeks and mass media understand what WE are all about, and what is means to be a cosplayer. I believe this book can serve as a guideline to Cosplay for many years to come. So please read the guidelines and SUBMIT! Be a part of Cosplay History!"
When this book is actually in my hands next year I am going to be so proud of it. I can't wait to do some traveling to promote the work inside of it. I will be telling the story about the South Africa cosplayer, and the gentleman who submitted a version of Kilik from Soul Caliber IV that was hand painted by his grandmother. These are the inspirational stories that I wanted to celebrate with this book and these are the stories that I want to make sure are told.
Please help spread the word! Time is running out (August 31) and we want the best from around the world. E-Mail us directly at 1000@DrGrymmLaboratories.net.