“So you like to play dress up?” “It’s a little early for Halloween.” Even though cosplay has been around for decades, it has really only grown into a phenomenon over the last decade. I know some of you will point out that cosplayers like Yaya Han (above as Lulu from Final Fantasy X) started in 1999, but back then people in costumes at conventions were only a small part of the convention population. By 2005, cosplay got enough renown to start being mocked. Before this time, unless you dressed like a Klingon at a Star Trek movie, people generally weren’t aware of cosplayers. By 2010, Cosplay became such a large part of conventions that virtually all of the anime/comic/video game conventions were holding contests. If you crawl the web, you might stumble onto articles with certain poser vendors complaining about cosplayers ruining conventions. Their triple-the-internet pricing and bootleg merchandise isn’t the problem—these guys aren’t making money because cosplayers stop near their booth so a fan can take a quick photo.
The SyFy TV series Heroes of Cosplay definitely brought attention to the world of cosplay–both positive and negative. Most of the negativity I’ve read online is from cosplayers though complaining about various things. Either that the reality show was fake *gasp* or that the cosplayers featured didn’t fit into their box of how cosplaying should be. On the plus side, it definitely shined a light for those not already aware of just how big Cosplay has become.
Back in 2013, Marvel actually acknowledged one of my favorite cosplayers, D Piddy. How? In the comics! In both 2013 and 2014. Not only that but I was reading an article on Teach Insider that says D Piddy helped make Deadpool one of the most popular comic characters online. Taking into consideration, the number of video views and the gifs that were created from those videos, it is probably true.
It gets better. Not only have Marvel writers acknowledged D Piddy in the pages of Deadpool, but now Marvel has chosen a number of Cosplayers to appear on the covers of Marvel comics! That’s crazy right? Well to be fair, it wouldn’t be Marvel unless there were variant covers being offered. But of all the schemes to squeeze out an extra couple of bucks, this one is pretty cool. The 20 different cosplay covers are expected to ship in October.
So I think it is safe to say that cosplay has gained legitimacy. Keep on cosplaying everyone and keep on sharing the photos!