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Cosplay – More Than Meets The Eye

By Mordred Carver

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EGX is well known for its gaming, but what some might not know is they also have an amazing team with a dedicated cosplay stage. Not only did we get to see one cosplay masquerade, we got to see five masquerades and a whole host of panels and talks, each dedicated to a different element of cosplay.

If you are a beginner to cosplay I cannot recommend enough that you attend future EGX event, if not for the gaming, for the cosplay and advice you can get across the whole of the event.

As a beginner, you got to learn about recycling, how to adapt standard clothing and store-bought cosplays, how to cosplay on a budget, planning a cosplay from initial ideas through to the final piece, using 3d printers for accessories, leatherworking, fabric dying and painting, corsetry, wigs, puppetry, electronics, prop building and so much more. They even had talks on health and safety, risk assessments of your cosplay (and equipment used in the creative process)

All of these talks and panels quickly start to make you think about previous cosplays (including that Halloween outfit from when you were 7) and how you can now resurrect them and modify them to be even better. They make you contemplate newer, bigger, more spectacular cosplays from a Destiny Guardian with lighting to Optimus Prime with a built-in bagel warmer, as well as simpler, less complicated cosplays like Super Mario or Mr J from Suicide Squad.

On that note, I had the opportunity to speak with Mr J at EGX and find out his technique for getting into character. To truly get the level of insanity required for the role, he spent quite a lot of time watching and mimicking the mannerisms of Jared Leto’s interpretation of The Joker, followed by several intensive days just staring at a snowy television screen. This helped him reach the impressive level of performance he needed to remain in character for the weekend and he admitted that it had changed him. Such dedication to performance is often seen from many cosplayers and is certainly a goal of mine.

The competition side of things is entirely optional, often with many options available and many factors to consider, do you use props? Are they portable and light? Do they have lighting elements or moving parts? Are they safe for use around people? Do you have a skit to do? Do you require music or audio samples? These are questions you need to ask if you are entering the competition and all were answered by different cosplayers across the whole of the EGX event.

Each entry was clearly thought out and each entry clearly spent a great deal of time on their cosplay, with an amazing array of Assassins Creed characters to Anime/Manga, even a Sith vs Jedi team up was featured… with a different ending each time they battled! Some characters struck poses and owned the stage like a catwalk model, others had a little performance, we even had a Destiny character waving and dancing, just like in the game!

Of course, the main cosplay event we were all waiting for had the best prize any cosplayer could want, a team or solo entry to represent your country at the European Cosplay Gathering in Paris. Of course, this meant a lot of performances, a lot of setting up props and basic set pieces, but all most definitely worth the wait. Each entry just blowing it out of the water, making the judges task of picking the winners even harder, I would not have liked to be in their position at all!

All in all, it was an amazing area, with seemingly only a small group of people working their socks off to make the event the success it was.

If you’re interested in cosplay using 3d printing for accessories/parts, be sure to check out Quill Cosplay on Facebook, he’s only too happy to help you make the most of your printer and

recommend places for templates and filament. If you need more tips on starting out cosplay, check out the work of No-Limit-Cosplay, she’ll give you professional tips that will ramp up your cosplay in half the time.

Finally, remember if you use props, always check the convention rules before you attend, you don’t want the props confiscated by security at the start of the convention, especially if it brings the cosplay together.

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