In this day and age, most people have access to some form of technology and have, at some point in their life, encountered the popular superhero genre. The current trending Marvel series, Avengers, has stolen the spotlight with its individual movies, such as Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the upcoming movie Thor: Ragnarok. However, hype is also building for the upcoming Justice League movie from DC. What do these things have to do with cosplay and conventions though?
In the past few years conventions, comic books, and cosplay have attained their place in the limelight for people of all ages. People of all ages, races, and gender flood to conventions annually, and as a result more conventions are springing up in places which have never housed them before.
Comic conventions, such as San Diego Comic-Con or DragonCon in Atlanta are some of the biggest names in regards to conventions. Fans attending these events often choose to dress up as characters from their favorite fandoms, bringing us to cosplay.
Cosplay, whether made or bought is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. Often people make their own cosplay outfits, whether they modify things they have or stitch each individual piece, and they sometimes complete the ensemble with up to several hours of makeup.
I have personally been involved in cosplay for two years, and am well known in certain North Carolina conventions for my Assault on Arkham Harley Quinn cosplay. From my own experience, cosplay is a form of expression and a means of meeting people. However, you needn’t take my word for it. The founder of Devil May Care Cosplay and Productions and the official Green Arrow of CW’s Charlotte branch, Jonathan Thompson, agreed to a brief interview with LRM. He had the following to say:
Dayna: How did you get your start in cosplay?
Jonathan Thompson: I started when I was around 15 when I built a batman costume out of cardboard and trash can liners. It was such a big hit that I decided to dress up more frequently and in 2015, I became a professional cosplayer.
Dayna: How expensive would you say it is to put together such high quality cosplays?
Jonathan Thompson: Mine usually run me anything from 200-1000 dollars, but they are all custom fitted and hand made.
Dayna: What is your favorite part of cosplaying for the CW?
Jonathan Thompson: My favorite part would have to be interacting with Arrow fans. I don’t look like Stephen Amell, but I work with the CW and so fans forget about that because they see the CW there and they see that I am a part of it.
Dayna: What do you think is the hardest part of cosplay?
Jonathan Thompson: Many people forget the “play” part of it. For me, cosplay is about representing the character, not just being a person in a costume. It’s become so mainstream and so many people just put on the costume. It’s about differentiating yourself, being the character, and being willing to play.
Dayna: What advice would you offer to beginner cosplayers?
Jonathan Thompson: Make a costume, make it badly, and screw up gloriously, then do it again. Get out there, have fun. It doesn’t matter what anyone says.
Have questions or want to know more about cosplay or conventions? Let us know and we can address some of those questions in future articles!