So, what is Cosplay to me? How does one go around a convention with sometimes THOUSANDS of other people dressed up in floor mats and hot glue come to be?
Well, I have to say that it took time. I was one of those people who at first scoffed at other Cosplayers, My younger sister for a long time had been going to conventions in Toronto well before I ever got the bug myself. And being the big brother that I am, of course I would make fun of her for dressing up. It wasn’t until 2011 after I had moved out on my own that I realized that Cosplay was more than just dressing up. Cosplay in and of itself as a community. A near unbreakable bond of friends and like minded individuals all getting together under one roof for the sake of genre, things other people made inspired so many that they all got together and started these massive conventions drawing in thousands of people.
I like many others spent my first con (HAL-CON 2011) in ‘plain clothes’ wandering around in awe of all the skill and workmanship that goes into these elaborate costumes to the point that I didn’t really seem to care about the convention stuff I just wanted to see more cosplay! However it wouldn’t be for another three years before I would wear my first one myself.
Reiner Braun - Attack on Titan - Anime North 2014
My first Cosplay I didn’t even really make myself, my younger sister did most of the heavy lifting sewing this amazing costume together, and where was I? Making boxes out of Worbla and swords out of foam board. My props weren’t perfect, they were; heavy, uncomfortable, and they made me bleed my own blood! But the people didn’t care, they loved it all the same! and In that moment as we walked in the Sweltering heat of Toronto, I was hooked.
I am pretty sure after that I watched near a thousand video’s and how too’s on YouTube, though my financial situation still held me back from Cosplay I still attended local events through out the next year. until finally in 2016, I said that I was finally going to give it a go for myself, Using a Pattern I found on YouTube I created an ODST costume for the 2016 Hal-con event. for me, my sister, and her girlfriend! we all went together as a squad and once more I had a blast, met some really cool friends and became part of the community! (I even was dragged into some wedding photos)
REACH ODST - Halo Reach - HAL-CON 2016
From then, I literally jumped in feet first, walked in Parades, and did Charity events all over Halifax. I wanted to be integrated into the community and it was a community that was completely open to want me as a part of it too. So, from there, I knew that I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted to compete in a competition (Knowing me) I set my sights high.
In 2017 I decided that I wanted to compete in New York Comic Con’s contest, under the armor category, and with it, I decided that I wanted to do Garrus Vakarian from my favorite video game series. I worked on that costume for a LONG time, so many hours of dedication, burnt fingers, and late nights. Only to find out in September that my costume had been rejected, it wasn’t ‘good enough’ for their stage. I felt very defeated and that maybe it wasn’t as good as I thought it was.
Hal-con 2017 rolls around 2 weeks prior to New York, and was supposed to be my ‘trial run’ so that I could fix anything that was wrong. Took a look at their contest and it only had ‘masters’ as their only category to enter. With low prospect of winning based on what I had just been told I entered anyway in a ‘what the heck’ thought! Garrus that year was VERY popular stopped for so many pictures, and at the end of it, to my surprise not only did he do well, Garrus won. (Boost to my pride
) anyways. I learned a lot about myself, and about this hobby as a result. and went on to have an amazing time at New York, regardless of what they thought of me.
Garrus Vakarian - Mass Effect 3 - Ottawa Comic Con (Christmas Edition) 2018
Now, living in Ottawa I still find myself loving this hobby, and with so many bright plans to my future want anyone that reads this to come to the same conclusion. Cosplay shouldn’t be about what other people think of you. It’s all about doing what you want! No cosplay is better than another, as that isn’t the goal here. We are all just a bunch of people sharing in our great hobby together! So, if you see me on the Con floor come up and say Hi! We can talk about how you made your amazing prop or costume for hours!