Cosplay is more than just dressing up




Comic conventions offer the opportunity to meet celebrities, comic book artists and fellow fans. Even though conventions administrate all of these features, the fans themselves provide an interesting aspect called cosplay.
The word cosplay comes from the blend of costume and roleplay. Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game. Cosplayers can also take on the personality, body language or mannerisms of said character. Engaging in cosplay can mean either making one’s own ensemble to wear or simply buying it from someone else. Professional cosplayer and prop builder Jessica Merizan said cosplaying is more than just dressing up.

“To me cosplay is a kind of performance art and a visual aesthetic where you get to create something, put it on and transform yourself into a different person for a day or a weekend or forever,” Merizan said.

Cosplayers can choose to dress up to show admiration for a character and self-expression while others may just enjoy the process it takes to make the costume.  Costumes can span from a simplistic Batman to a highly detailed elfin king. People usually present their uniforms at comic conventions but can also do so at festivals, competitions and even discover new opportunities because of their hobby. The face characters in Disney’s amusement parks are an example of careers in cosplay.

Merizan was able to start a business with her friend Holly Conrad called Crabcat Industries, which is a costume fabrication shop and cosplay community. Merizan was also able to be in the documentary Comic-Con: Episode IV A Fan’s Hope and have her own YouTube show with Nerdist Industries called Try This At Home. Even though Merizan has had these opportunities, she said meeting others in the business was first and foremost.

“I think the biggest opportunity that I got from cosplay is meeting a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met,” Merizan said.

This expensive hobby can be performed by people of all ages and, according to Merizan, many relatives participate together.

“It’s just a great thing and I definitely think a lot of families are cosplaying together,” Merizan said.

Sophomore Katarina Allison started cosplaying recently.

“I started cosplay last year,” Allison said.  ”I cosplayed as Janice Rand from Star Trek: The Original Series.”

According to Allison she wishes to keep this hobby going.

“I hope to continue cosplaying,” Allison said. “I enjoy it.”

Merizan said anybody curious about cosplay should try it out.

“If anyone is interested in cosplay then just go out and do it. It’s really fun,” Merizan said. “It’s definitely a lot of hard work, and it’s challenging but you get to work with your hands and your imagination.”