Thursday, September 5, 2013

My own cosplay adventures and lessons learned

I've spent a considerable amount of time comparing opinions on Heroes of Cosplay. After watching the most recent episode where Monica (?) slams a fellow cosplayer saying "You're the last person I would ever want to cosplay with" (following that up with further degrading remarks); I realized just what a dark shadow this show casts on the cosplay and costuming community.

Now a bunch of you are going: "Wait a minute, Dave does cosplay?"  Yes, actually, I have. But let me tell you what Heroes of Cosplay taught me.  First, check this out:

That's a pic of my son when he was 2. He won the child's section of the GenCon Costume contest. He won because he was cute as cute could be and went on the stage rolling dice. We did it for fun. After watching Heroes of Cosplay, I realize we didn't even belong there. It has taught me that, if you enter these contests for fun, you are stepping on some elitist's toes. If you win the contest they way my kiddo did, you are slapping everyone else in the face.  You see, we didn't make that costume (and we told the judges that). We found it at a yard sale. Someone made it, but we had no idea who. That means our kiddo won over people who spent laboring  hours on their costumes, possibly just like the people on the show. Don't get me wrong. I'm damn proud of my kiddo's accomplishment with his power of cute and rolling those dice. He rocked. But we didn't make that costume. And again, don't get me wrong, no one mistreated us over it. The point is, the show causes me to reflect and realize that we must have been so out of place, or that's how they would have it look the way they are going.

"But, Dave, that's your kid cosplaying, not you."

Oh fine, here:

Hey, not bad for a firsts time doing it at a con. Later that night I did Zombie Joker and that turned out pretty wild.

 I always tried to make myself pull off a look as completely as possible (before this I did halloween stuff a lot, but can't find any of my old pics). I knew it would entertain. You know that's more the purpose of the full cosplay experience. You're supposed to enjoy yourself, share a talent and interest, and just have a really good time. There are a lot of very important sides of cosplay that the show doesn't bring. It's not about being superficial and shallow. It's not about bashing other peoples looks because you didn't place in a stupid contest where the bag was just a grand (yes I know what title means, but if you do your stuff well, your appearance says it all).

I would rather do the fun things, like charities and special events. No thanks on the contests. And I don't think that everyone who goes to contests is an elitist snob, but that show seems to want you to think so.At least where one or two of them is concerned. And I realize that I'm not trying to make a living at it. But if you are, and you can't handle it when you don't win a contest, maybe you shouldn't be there. Maybe that's not a good living for you. Seriously, if you are going to test minefields, you can't get all mad when you get blown up.

So, no contests for me. I like what you aren't getting to see. I like the heartwarming side with the freedom and acceptance. Oh, but I will say that Ya Ya Han does an awesome job of showing what craftsmanship means.

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