Only 169 Days Until Dragon*Con 2012…
That is 13 squared. Sorry, I enjoy perfect squares.
So today should be double lucky, right? Two thirteens…
I should be up front about the title of today’s post: I am not giving lessons on how to cosplay. Rather, I am looking for some tips. As in, I am a potential student in the Cosplay 101 class, which is probably taught by some incompetent T.A.. But since I haven’t passed 101 yet, I can’t gain access to the badass professors who teach classes like COS400: Advanced Cosplaying. Or even COS303: How a Male Can Convince Himself to Cosplay as Sailor Moon.
Do not worry, friend: this fat shit is not going to dress up as anything with the word “sailor” in it.
Basically, I need tips. And I think it is funny that this blog is basically myself begging the general populace for help all the time. “Teach Me How to Fitness”, “Teach Me How to Cosplay”, etc.
General populace, I need your help again: Cosplay 101.
I don’t know the history of cosplay. I freely admit that. I also will freely admit that I have never “cosplayed” in my life. I’ve dressed up for Halloween, and worn costumes to various events over the years, but I’m not exactly sure how “cosplay” is any different than “wearing a costume” or “dressing up”. My guess is that it means you roleplay your character, at least a little bit.
Let me tell you right now, if that is what “cosplaying” is, then I think I’ll just be “wearing a costume” to Dragon*Con this year. I am about the worst roleplayer/actor of all frackin times. I really don’t see how I passed my theatre classes in college. It clearly was not based on any sort of nascent thesbianism. I don’t think that is a word.
To be honest, up until a few years ago, I thought cosplay was synonymous with weirdos. Not weirdos like I’m a weirdo, or you are a weirdo, but weirdos like people who get married to body pillows with manga characters printed on them. And don’t give me any crap about accepting people for who they are, either… because I’m all about that, but there is no denying that the O.G. otakus were some weird folks.
I still think that cosplay has its roots in otaku culture, but I could always be wrong.
Also, I want to emphasize that when I mean “otaku” culture, I don’t mean an American who recently got into manga and anime and now really wishes he/she was Japanese. I mean the Japanese guys who, 30 years ago, were jerking it to anime films of schoolgirls getting tentacle-raped.
It’s like “geek” culture: it’s been diluted over the years, but there are still the, what I call, “distilled geeks”. The ones who still live in the basement and still obsess over MS-DOS.
Regardless of what the definition of cosplay means in today’s pop culture, I need some help.
I have Step 1 down: decide what you want to dress up as. I will be sporting two different costumes at Dragon*Con this year: Random BSG Officer and MK1 Raiden. I have already started procuring the items for my Raiden costume. Like most guys, I will be purchasing the items for my costumes, as it once took me a month to sew a patch on a coat I have.
Really, this should be Step 1.5. Or even 2.
The first step should really be: Deciding if you want to “Dress Up” Or Not. This is a big decision. Bigger than you may realize if you are one of those people for whom “Going to Con” also means “Dressing Up” and the thought of not cosplaying at Dragon*Con is completely unfathomable. For you, skip step 1 and move to step 1.5, mentioned above. But for the rest of us, and by “rest of us” I mean grown-ass men whose fathers would drink themselves into oblivion if they knew their sons even suspected what the word “cosplaying” meant.
This is a HUGE step, let’s not kid ourselves. Sure, all that talk about “Do What Feels Good and Makes You Happy” is fine and dandy, and great for everyone else, but for me, the only thing that finally convinced me to dress up in costume for Dragon*Con was the memory of all the Halloween parties I went to in college without dressing up… and wished I had.
So there it is: Steps 1 and 1.5 completed. Can I move on to the COS400 class yet?
No. In fact, I think that steps 1 and 1.5 are probably covered on the first day of class in COS101. Possibly even on the syllabus, with no “in-class” mention of them.
It is Step 2 that I am stuck on. In fact, I’m so stuck on Step 2, that I can’t see past it to what Step 3 could even possibly be.
Step 2 is this…
How do I go from this:
Questions for you, dear reader:
1. Enlighten me on the history of “cosplay”, and how it is different from just “wearing a costume”. I am currently under the impression that “cosplay” is just a fancy word so that geeks can feel a little cooler about strutting around in public in a Naruto costume. Convince me otherwise, in other words. Please.
2. Tips on how to procure a sweet costume without making it yourself or spending truckloads of the green stuff.
And before I forget, I hope you have a great Saint Patrick’s Day!
Here is a video you should watch: