I understand how others outside the circle may see Cosplay. Bit of a ‘dress-up’. Hen and bachelor shin-digs, “let’s all go out as someone else”. “I’ll dress up in something masculine / something absolutely gender-bendingly hilarious while your girlfriend puts on a slutty-Nemo costume”. Sorry kids, that last costume actually exists. Google it. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
But Cosplay is more than some schmucky Halloween or carnivalesque expression. It is in one of the few, safe and open ways for fans to pay homage and tribute to the creative narratives that have shaped our viewpoints, passions and yearnings. These are heroes we grew up with and idolised, the anti-hero that we sympathised with and shared their disposition and angst. The ‘bad guy’ that thought rules as idiotic constructs that stifles the wild spirit of man. It was these characters, constructed from the minds of creatives, congenital and anchored to the human condition and experience, that raised us.
So when fans of these bearers of phantasms come dressed as their favourite characters, details are key. They are not just coming as ‘The Joker’, they have modelled their look to a ‘T’ to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke Joker. Or Cosplayers that know the difference between the 60’s ‘POW’ Batman and Frank Miller’s “I’ll-punch-your-teeth-down-your-throat” Batman. Or Matoi’s celebrated sexy, rape-y uniform. With every stitch, soiled fabric, splotched fake blood and body paint, cosplayers pay homage to a specific version of these celebrated characters.
And what makes some really special is they are not bought from some convenient store. They are hand crafted, models, people in arts, textiles put their hands to crafting the perfect outfit, bringing a new lease of life to cherished characters. Some are detailed to the point they command respect and you can see the level of work that went into making them. Others lovingly poke fun at themselves, but intrinsically point to the cosplayer’s detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. Like this guy that dressed up as every Johnny Depp character… ever:
Whether it be gaming, graphic novels or animation. As you can tell, these are the 3 things The Action Pixel love as well.
It has only been a few days after journeying through the epicenter of what was MCM London Comic Con and we have been looking all the cool Cosplay images we snapped. And we thought, “hey, why be so selfish, let’s share this ultimate shrine to popular gaming, comic and animation culture.” Enjoy: