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    Posted August 3, 2014 by
    San Diego, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Who wore it best?

    More from CFringe

    Cosplay at Comic-Con

    I want to talk about the full collection of photos I’ve posted of cosplayers (and a few non-cosplayers) on my site. http://ow.ly/zMkcB In the months leading up to the San Diego Comic-Con, there was a lively debate about cosplayers because of two events. One happened because of the SyFy channel show Heroes of Cosplay. The show put a spotlight on cosplayers and like any reality show, because of the cast of characters and the nature of reality shows, a small but vocal group of people felt the show did a disservice to real cosplayers. It reminded me of the conflict at Comic-Con a few years back between the vampire fans of Twilight and the traditional gothic vampire fans. I think cosplayers had a love / hate relationship with the Heroes of Cosplay. Yes outside people got a look at cosplayers but some didn’t feel the folks on the show represented true cosplayers.

    The other event had to do with a growing problem of harassment of cosplayers by convention attendees, either emotionally, verbally of physically. From openly mocking cosplayers to physical abuse, some attendees felt that a sexy costume was an invitation to touch and feel cosplayers. The situation got so bad that some conventions, including the San Diego Comic-Con, have taken varying steps in posting and enforcing anti-harassment policies. There are a number of organizations devoted to the motto Cosplay is Not Consent.

    What I noticed personally about the popularity of cosplay, and conventions in general in the last few years, is a lot of newcomers to the scene don’t have a history of cosplay or conventions. If I may be a bit bold, I would say with the influx of new fans, who are more fratboy than fanboy, they bring a fratboy, party town mentality to conventions. Another and more telling issue has to do with the presentation of cosplayers by the people that promote cosplay. I’m mainly focusing on photographers who aren’t necessarily long time convention goers. If you look at many online blogs or newspapers covering a convention and especially cosplay events, look at the photos posted. A vast majority of those photos will be of scantily clad beautiful women. You might get a few men, if the costumes are good, maybe a few zombies (well if it is a sexy zombie of course) and considering the thousands of people who come in costume at any given convention, and the amount of photographers covering those conventions, it is remarkable how many repeats of the same cosplayers, normally attractive women, are in the portfolio of different photographer’s posting.

    I tried doing something different in this batch of photos and I hope to continue this in the future. I want to show the full spectrum of cosplayers and use the same techniques for all of them. What I mean is I would photograph all of them with the same skill and care. If the costume is elaborate, plain, well known or your own inspired creation I wanted to show the joy of cosplay to an audience. I didn’t want all scantily clad women or all super elaborate. I wanted an arrangement of cosplayers that illustrated the variety of inspiration someone could get from cosplay.
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