00:00 – The ultimate mashup of Dr. Who, Rainbow Dash, Team Fortress explains why My Little Pony is such a hit. He says it’s a slice of life but can’t seem to describe it.
02:01 – Sonic the Hedgehog loves how much fun and active he is. He’s a gamer and also a grad student. He tells us why he felt a connection with the X-Men
03:52 – two friends cosplay characters from Dynasty Warriors. One’s known for being intelligent and the other is known for being quiet
06:39 – Lucca (Chrono Trigger) doesn’t like making eye contact. She’s behind on comics because her computer is dead. She confesses she got tackled a few times.
08:22 – Catwoman discusses her thoughts on Anne Hatheway portraying her in the latest Batman movie. Harley Quinn is very passionate about her version even though there are many other ones out there.
11:51 – I get severely tongue tied while talking to this Poison Ivy. Try not to laugh
13:39 – Kitty Pryde (X-Men) tells us how she got into comic books because of her dad and talks about being next to Stan Lee
15:41 – Super hero Ariel and Aurora are both big gamers and showing us an interesting take on Disney characters
17:58 – Flame Princess (Adventure Time) is known for her hot temper and shares her secret for a rigid hair look
20:16 – Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) picked this one of the four because he’s smart. Temari (Naruto) is from a sand village and is bad ass. She explains how her fan works and at what point you should be worried for your life. Leonardo is working on some other costumes
23:41 – Stan Lee talks about his latest projects and does some Q&A with the true believers
We didn’t capture as much footage of last weekend as we had hoped. Sorry guys. There’s no costume contest video 🙁
Check out some interviews with cosplay fans below.
00:00 – Steampunk fans tell us why they love the culture. It’s very accepting but remember to bring some katanas for self-defense
02:03 – Marvel Girl and a gender bender Catwoman. He loves her because she has good taste. Marvel Girl wanted to take a picture with Stan Lee. She wants another X-Men movie done right and Catwoman agrees. Her favorite moment is watching other fans loose their cool while meeting Stan Lee
04:20 – Henchman of the Mighty Monarch (Venture Brothers) are a little older than most of the kids out at Comikaze but they just as much spirit and enthusiasm. They would love to see a movie made or a Dr. Strange.
07:10 – Tifa Lockheart is a standard cosplay character at conventions and this one picked Tifa Lockheart because of peer pressure. She games a lot and hopes to one day work for Disney.
10:02 – This New California Republic Soldier (Fallout) is somewhat obscure but still gets recognized by gamers. He wanted to cosplay a character that was less known and he really pulled it off. He’s studying history but doesn’t know what he’ll do with the degree. His flag doubles up as a signature canvas.
13:10 – The R2D2 couple caught the attention of many people and cameras. All you could hear is “Awwwww”
14:28 – Walter White (Breaking Bad) is a fan of the show and shares with us the secrets to making the meth used in the show (raspberry rock candy)
16:09 – I ran into a lot of memory card issues while recording this interview. What a shame. Suki (Avatar: The Last Airbender) wanted to show her face entirely. She made the costume herself and worked on her costume for months. She liked the costumes of the movie but doesn’t offer any praise for the movie.
18:25 – Steampunk Storm (X-Men) is part of a group of cosplay friends who really turned heads with their rendition of a steampunk X-Men. It’s hard to tell, but she’s a bit older than she looks (came to this country in the 60’s).
Yup. We did it again. Another intimate look at cosplay fans. Check out the clips below and discover who showed up at the 2011 Comikaze.
Nerfpunk (Nerf + Steampunk mashup) talks about supporting Comikaze because it’s for the geeks, by the geeks. Check her out on the web and on twitter: @MakeUpBySiryn
A psychology student cosplays Link (Legend of Zelda)
A sheriff cosplays Pyramid head and explains he loves the character’s darkness.
A 6th grade student teacher cosplays a deku from Legend of Zelda (Ocarina of Time) and says “no comment” when asked how to solve the education system’s problems
Ariel (Little Mermaid), cosplayed by a visual effects artist that worked on Arthur Christmas, talks about the use of 3D in movies giving her a headache. Check her out on Facebook
A TSA agent cosplays Joel Robinson (Mystery Science Theater 3000) says she likes Comikaze because it goes back to the roots of comics. If you’re a friend, add her on Facebook
Amazing Spider-Man talks reboots, the moral values of Peter Parker, the spark on kids’ face. He’ll be joining the military in a couple of years.
We weren’t able to get inside the Mark Hamill panel for Sushi Girl, but did talk to some people waiting in line. The first talks about his thoughts on Comikaze as the first convention he’s ever been to. He mentions seeing Stan Lee in person being quite a treat. I ask his buddy about Star Wars who tells me which episode is his favorite and shares thoughts about George Lucas’ revisions.
This guy was one of my favorites of this convention. I’m so glad I stumbled across this fellow. This Snow Trooper (Episode V) also talks about George Lucas’ changes, using the help of 501st.com to make his costume, and his German origins. I became instantly fascinated with his background and learned he was a marketing student who loves how friendly people are in Califorina but hates the speed limits on freeways.
A fan briefly explains why he loves the Joker. We weren’t able to talk with him more due to the line moving into the hall
A fan does a mashup of Simpsons and Dragon Ball Z to create: Hegeta (Homer + Vegeta). He offers a suggestion of how the Simpsons should end the show and talks about why the Dragon Ball Z movie was a flop and how they could make a reboot better.
We knew there would be plenty of Elvira fans since this was her last convention appearance. I caught up with one fan who explains why she loves Elvira, meeting Elvira, and if anyone else can fill Elvira’s shoes. I asked about her personal life and she explained she’s an assistant editor for a film trailer house, Ignition Creative. Check out her deviantart profile here
A fan cosplays Rainbow Dash, the fastest pony in all of Equestria, talks about putting her blood and sweat into making her costume. Follow her on twitter: @mkpresson. When I ask her about the craziest thing she’s seen, she points to a guy just to her left who turns out to be playing a character from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride.
A very chatty, original costume, cosplay fan talks about his custom work, making moccasins, and being a Hawaiian cowboy. Check out his pizza businss on Facebook
The green man we chatted with earlier ends up in a battle/dance with another full body suit guy. Hilarity ensues.
Guy Gardner (Green Lantern) loves being a total douche and says he’d reboot the Star Wars movies.
Steampunk peacock. Check out her steampunk group here and follow her on twitter: @saintchimo
Girls and Corpses representative has trouble convincing me why people have a corpse fetish
A pool boy cosplays a Tusken Raider
Phantom of the Opera talks about being dragged into conventions by her daughter
Another fan takes method acting very seriously and doesn’t get out of character as Rorschach (Watchmen)
A college student cosplays Allen Walker. She wants to be a costume designer and we think she’s onto a good start
The Red Shirt Army from Star Trek. Check out their youtube channel here and follow them on twitter: @inprovence
A steampunk couple does it right. It’s always nice to see couples get into the spirit of things together and really invest some considerable time and effort into their costumes
A fan cosplays Speed Racer and talks about his first car. Follow him on twitter: @jaysethan and check out his site
This fan cosplays Gem (Tron Legacy) and really pulls it off. She works for the Disney Channel as a satellite operator. Follow her on twitter: @annisse
This guy helps demonstrate why its fun to ask what people do for a living. He’s an optician that cosplays Cyclops.
I really love watching childhood favorites come to life. This guy obviously put serious money and time into his Predator costume. He does IT work for an elementary school.
A young industrial design student traveled all the way from Atlanta and cosplays Rydia (Final Fantasy IV). I love that the cute Anya photobombs in the beginning of the video. Follow her on twitter: @mnikalee
Costume contest: includes Spy Versus Spy, Anya (Gears of War), Rydia (Final Fantasy IV), Mandalorians (Star Wars), Predator, Deadpool, Jurassic Park, Squirrel Girl, Jedi Bob’s Big Boy, Henchman (Venture Brothers), Black Widow, Cloud (Final Fantasy VII), Dr. Doom, Cobra Commander, Joker, Belle (Beauty and the Beast), the same Poison Ivy from the Anime Expo (@megturney), Wonder Woman, Gem, Putty (Power Rangers), Master Chief (Halo), Lloyd Dobler, Pyramid Head, Rainbow Dash, Catwoman, Rogue (X-Men), Cyberman
Anya (Gears of War) talks about why she loves the game and Comikaze and says what she’ll buy if she wins the $500
Putty (Power Rangers)
Squirrel Girl turns out to be a real character in the Marvel World! I also love how animated she is! Add her on Facebook if you’re a friend and follow her on tumblr
Winners of the costume contest are announced
Jurassic Park couple
A gender bender cosplay fan talks about his character being known for being a slut. I can’t make out the name of the character. If you recognize the character, comment below!
This year, I attended my first Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I had a brief love affair with anime during high school but I have since been a bit out of touch with the latest franchises and hottest series. The wonderful thing about expos is that there really are no qualifications into getting in besides your ticket and an open mind. One can visit to see characters they love have developed or discover and fall in love with new ones. The Los Angeles Anime Expo is North America’s biggest convention that caters to hardcore fans and recent converts alike. One of the distinct features of an anime expo is that the show isn’t just made up of vendors, publishers, and creators. The fans play a huge role in creating a world that attendees are transported to once they enter the building and sky’s the limit when it comes to how far some fans will go to express how much much they love the genre.
Here are some things I discovered while at the Anime Expo, watching and talking to cosplay fans
Disconnect from reality
Anime has a huge following but relative to live action, it’s fan base is still considered minor. When you think about it, anime isn’t very different. It’s all about story telling. Unlike western cartoons and animation, there’s an anime series for every genre one could ask for: sci-fi, love, action, adventure, comedy, and that other category (the one with tentacles and other interesting visuals). The great part about a scene that’s so big is that outsiders like myself can’t even tell the difference. Once you take the red pill, even security guards, janitors, and information booth attendants look like they are cosplaying!
Come as you are
Anime comes in all different forms. Artists embrace liberties to alter your notion of realism with elements like gravity defying hair, disproportionate female measurements, vibrant eye colors, vampire fangs, giant impractical weapons… just search youtube for clips and you’ll get the point. Humans, in contrast, are pretty boring. We come in a few sizes and colors and that’s it. The key part of making a great cosplay outfit is really ignoring any of your limitations. Disregard differences in height, weight, skin tone, age, sex, cup size (In fact, NEVER get implants for any reason. It will just look even more silly if you are cosplaying), ethnicity, and MOST of all, don’t be discouraged to cosplay if you have braces. Regarding age, it actually seems the younger you are, the more drive you have at making an awesome costume. I was totally blown away discovering that high school students were making such detailed, professional looking costumes. Maybe there’s a connection between growing up and losing a connection with dreaming.
You don’t need THAT much time to make your costume
Some of THE best costumes/makeup I saw were done by fans that claimed the time they spent was only days. Don’t listen to what Hollywood tells you. All the required materials can be found at your local Michaels/Home Depot! The most important ingredient in your costume is sheer determination. If that means calling sick from your H&M part time job or missing a day of class to complete your costume, it will be worth it. Honestly though, some costumes obviously require more time than others. I met one fellow who cosplayed a Space Marine Scout who spent two months making his awesome costume. It definitely turned heads. On the flip side, the most affordable costumes I saw included a simple inkjet print and some tape to cover your face (I’m looking at you Mr. Trollface)
Mashups = fun!
My biggest takeway from the Anime Expo was discovering the Pokemen. That’s not a typo! I’m talking about the fit Asian guys who wear bright colors, suspenders, and wafer sunglasses. Who says you can’t add your own twist on a series.
Mobility is inversely related to costume appeal
Let’s face it: there are a lot of guys into photography, and what do guys LOVE? Duh! Girls cosplaying. This is Los Angeles. Fashion is always evolving. We’ve seen attractive people in those same outfits our favorite celebrities rock. But the Anime Expo is like an alternate fashion show for outfits that will never make it to retailers. So if we see fantasy become reality, we are most certainly obligated to document it. If you’ve invested enough time and resources into your costume, chances are people will stop you to take pictures and this is how that goes:
Me: “Awesome work! Mind if I take a picture?”
Me: “Great… 1 sec”
(30 seconds to pull out phone from pocket and switch to camera mode or 1 minutes to put down backpack and take out camera out)
Me: “Cool! 1 sec”
(5 shots quickly taken that all look identical)
Me: “Oh shoot! I had it on the wrong setting. Can I redo those shots?”
Just remember: that exact scene will happen with multiple people all starting at different times. Looking for the most popular person on the floor? Just stand still and look for the person with the biggest crowd around him/her looking around in all angles in confusion trying to figure out which camera to pose for.
Sorry ladies. The ratio of topless guys with 6-packs to pretty girls in costume is roughly 0:(pretty girls in costume)
Trolling is not allowed! If you think there’s any costume that you can’t do, you’re doing it wrong! One of my favorites was a mid twenties red-head guy who cosplayed Misty from Pokemon. Check out the video after the break for some Q & A with cosplay fans.