See that picture up there? The girl in the purple cheongsam wielding the double-bladed lightsaber? That’s me as Darth Shampoo—an irreverent take on a character from the Ranma 1/2 franchise—the first cosplay costume I would ever do. That picture was taken during the second Anime Expo I ever attended back in 2000; since then, while I’ve worn outlandish outfits to conventions, I’ve only cosplayed one other time at an anime or other genre convention.
However, I’ve always appreciated the art and artistry of people who do choose to go to conventions and dress up as their favorite characters for an entire weekend. In the several years since I started going to genre conventions, I’ve watched the fandom cosplay community grow and change in part due to the Internet and rise of dedicated forums and social media as well as the change in conventions themselves.
Nowadays, instead of waking up and hoping to see your picture in the galleries of the now defunct A Fan’s View website run by Kevin Lillard, a cosplayer attending a convention can hope that their picture made it into cosplay galleries of national media outlets like Business Insider, websites for internationally funded cable channels like BBC America, or even your local Fox affiliate station such as this one in Salt Lake City, Utah.
And then, of course, there’s the reality TV series called “Heroes of Cosplay.” Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: Four ways I would fix the second season of “Heroes of Cosplay””