Just think – until recently, not many people knew about the super-creative, fun, loveably barmy world of cosplay! Ten years ago, outside of hardcore fans, few in the UK’s wider community had even heard of cosplay.
Ah, how times change. In 2018, London’s MCM Comic Con was covered by national newspapers, includng The Express, Daily Mail, The Mirror. They all ran long photo-articles, featuring legions of cosplayers proudly decked out in their costumes.
Suddenly, from Facebook to local newspapers, from Instagram to The Guardian, cosplay is everywhere.
So, the question is, how did cosplay suddenly get so big?
One reason cosplay has grown is that in recent years, it’s become far more inclusive.
Take our own Wyntercon event. As organisers, we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and our cosplayers are an amazingly diverse bunch. Great cosplay events attract all ages, genders (did you know two-thirds of cosplayers are female?), body shapes and backgrounds. Increasingly, whole families are visiting cosplay events together.
As we say in our motto, ‘it doesn’t matter what world you come from, you’re welcome in ours!’
And the reasons for taking part are just as varied. For many, cosplay is all about the fun of being another character and escaping from everyday life. Others are more interested in the creativity of producing their characters and costumes. There’s also feeling part of a community, meeting new people, perhaps even competing.
The simple fact is that there are as many reasons for getting into cosplay as there are types of costume. Happily, that’s drawing in all sorts of new people from the wider community.
Another reason cosplay has escaped into the mainstream is the rise of social media.
Cosplayers have always loved sharing their costumes, activities and experiences. But a few years back, no one outside of the cosplay community got to see them. Social media has changed all that, allowing a mainstream audience to see what cosplay is all about.
Youtube, for example, has really helped spread the cosplay word. Thanks to those wacky algorithms, cosplay costumes started popping up in users’ sidebars. Videos made by cosplayers were clicked, watched, liked and — most importantly — shared.
Now the public could see first-hand the pleasure in making a costume or character. They got a glimpse into the terrific cosplay community. They could feel the buzz of live events.
The secret was out: cosplay is fun.
Our final reason cosplay has reached the wider community is the recent love affair with superhero movies.
Films like Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther are breaking box office records right, left and centre. Even a new superhero film trailer gets covered in mainstream media. Back in the day, only a comic-book nerd knew his Loki from his Dr Strange. Now, they’re household names.
Blockbuster superhero films have definitely given a boost to cosplay. Millions of new fans want to express their enthusiasm and immerse themselves in those colourful worlds. And what better way than actually becoming their favourite super-powered character?
There’s no doubt about it, cosplay has come a long way. In events up and down the UK, it’s now enjoyed by tens of thousands of people. As we’ve seen, it’s great for superhero and fantasy fans, creative people, families, people who want to express a different side of their personality…and just anyone who wants to have a great time.
So, we know that ‘something for everyone’ is a bit of a cliché…but for cosplay it’s true! Ultimately, that’s what has allowed cosplay to break out and wow the wider community.
Cosplay curious? Cosplay committed? Cosplay competitive? Come along to Wyntercon, 28th -29th September 2019, one of the South Coasts biggest and most inclusive cosplay events.
OpenDyslexicI believe that the format of a book should not prevent you reading it. While I’m not clever enough to
provide my work in languages other than English, I thought I should be able to do something about
my lack of dyslexia support.
After spending a while investigating dyslexia in relation to assisted reading, I came to the conclusion
that specialised ‘dyslexia-friendly’ fonts were what I was looking for. However, the costs involved in
producing a dedicated edition weren’t something I could afford, before considering the costs of some
of the fonts themselves.
Then I come across Abelardo ‘Abbie’ Gonzalez and his pioneering work on a completely free-to-
use, open source font project called OpenDyslexic. Of all the offerings out there, it struck me as the
best, in content and project aims.
Two years later, I found that CreateSpace (Amazon’s pre-KDP merger paperback publishing arm)
book quality had risen to a point where I was prepared to use them. With publication options available
that involved no up-front costs on my part, it seemed a superb opportunity. When they finally started
accepting print-ready PDF versions of books for publication, producing OpenDyslexic font editions of
my books was only a matter of the time it took me to prepare them (as I handle all design work and
cover preparation myself). Getting an acceptable format took several months, but in December 2015 I
released OpenDyslexic font editions of all my Amazon paperbacks at that time.
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We deliver activites and educational workshops designed to help disadvantaged individuals have fun while developing essential personal, organisational and creative skills.
We embrace creativity in all forms and encourage our learners to take part in their local community.
1 The Labyrinth
7 Mark lane