Cosplay is an art form that has become very popular in the recent years. It is a trend that sees people dress up as their favorite characters in a costume made by them. However, if you think the cosplay concept is recent, you could not have been more wrong.
The word cosplay was coined in the year 1984 when Japanese reporter Takahasi Nobuyuki visited the Worldcon (sci-fi conventions before the era of comic cons) and decided to give a name to the fad he noticed of people wearing costumes. He joined two words – costumes and role-play and created cosplay, which is now adapted worldwide. Before 1984, this fad that started in US was called 'costuming' and the conventions were called masquerades where people would don their costumes and compete with each other for the best ones.
In the year 1939, a super-fan named Forrest J. Ackerman visited the Worldcon donning a futuristic-looking costume and started the trend that has evolved over the years. The girl who designed the costume Myrtle Doughlas was unfortunately not allowed to enter because women then weren’t allowed to attend conventions. Back then, it wasn’t necessary to mimic a character. People just had to dress up in a costume that would match the genre.
Once this trend caught on, the manga fandoms got an opportunity to take their love for the comics a step further with opening cosplay cafes and organizing conventions just for cosplayers. Many of them even went ahead made cosplaying their profession where they would dress up and attend conventions and get paid for photographs. Some of the most popular names are Lindsay Elyse and Amie Lynn who earn their living from cosplaying.
Comic con wasn’t always synonymous with cosplaying. It wasn’t until the fourth year of San Diego Comic Con (1974) that hosted the first masquerade (cosplay contest) and by the year 1984 San Diego had its own Costume con, a convention dedicated to cosplay. In the year of 1986, LA Times commented that the costumes were so well-made that they could be used in mega-budget movies. Cosplayers also got their own TV show in the year 2013 called Heroes of Cosplay and its premiere got about three-quarters of a million views.
Last month, we witnessed yet another round of the Comic con and there were cosplayers galore who chose to spread their love with months of hard work devoted to their costumes, which they showed off with pride. We have compiled a list of some of the best costumes which might inspire you to do something for your next visit to the con.
A 75-year-old trend just keeps getting even more popular with no end in sight. Tell us about your cosplay experience in the comments below and don’t forget to share.