Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Women of Cosplay - Katie Cosplays

Katie Cosplays

In the latest in our 'women of strength in cosplay series' we asked Katie to tell us a bit about herself.

"Hello, I'm Katie cosplays, I really love to cosplay numerous different characters from Disney, to DC characters, what I love most about cosplay is the way I can put on a costume like Jessica Rabbit and feel confident and sexy I like the way it feels to put on a costume and become that character, a fun and quirky villain like Harley Quinn, a strong and powerful heroine like Black canary.  Each character I cosplay, I do it because I love that character, I try to create as much likeness to the character as I can, I make some parts of the cosplays myself which makes me feel proud to wear it as I know it’s something that I have created. 

Cosplaying is about having fun, enjoying representing your favourite characters from comics, movies, etc. because when you put on a costume, you can be anyone you want to be."

Katie's cosplay page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Katiecosplays









Friday, 10 June 2016

Women of Cosplay - Sian Wicks Cosplay

Sian Wicks Cosplay

In the latest of our 'Women of Strength in Cosplay' series we caught up with Sian Wicks Cosplay at the MCM London Comic Con.

"My names Sian I'm 18 years old and from Kent. I've only been cosplaying for just over a year but its been an amazing one. Cosplay is a very unique hobby as your body is the canvas and you have the freedom to cosplay whoever and however you want. Everyone in the cosplay community has been so welcoming its like being a part of a huge family ! I have cosplayed a few different characters such as Lady Vader and most recently Jason Voorhees (based on the Kotobukiya figure.) I enjoy these characters as its fun to be the villain plus people like to see the female twist on powerful male characters. I have many cosplay ideas for the future and cannot wait to put them into reality"






Thursday, 2 June 2016

Annual Cosplay Awards

The First Annual Geekzania Cosplay Award


We are delighted to announce our first Annual Cosplay Awards:

Nominations are now open for the following categories:

Adult Cosplayer (over 18)
Youth Cosplayer (under 18) - permission should be gained from a Parent/Guardian to enter.
Cosplay Celebrity (a well known and/or pro cosplayer)
Prop Maker
Costume Maker
Large Con/Event
Small/Medium Con/Event
Fan Group

To nominate someone in any of the categories please send an e-mail to minions@geekzania.com with 'Cosplay Awards' as the subject and say who you are nominating in which category and why you are nominating them.

Nominations will be open until the end of June 2016.

As we don't want this simply to be a contest about who can generate the most votes or who has the most fans, but we also recognise that popularity is a valid measure, we will have both a 'fan' voted award and a 'judged' award so you don't need to have zillions of fans to be in with a chance of winning.

Judging/voting will take place in July with the winners announced at the end of July 2016.

People can be nominated in more than one category, e.g. Adult cosplayer and prop maker but we reserve the right to exclude nominations we don't consider valid or to move a nomination to a more appropriate category. The results, once announced will be final.

Winners will be featured on our website, on our blog and social media and we'll also have some prizes including t-shirts, photo shoots with a large print etc.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Kitti Of Doom

Women of Strength in Cosplay

In the next of our Women of Strength in Cosplay series we feature Kitti Of Doom.

We asked Kitti to tell us about her love of cosplay.

"I started cosplaying when I was about 14, my first cosplay was Shad from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and that was with store bought clothes and a waistcoat that my dad put together last minute. I had heard about a convention and seen cosplay on the internet and I really wanted to try it for myself. Fast forward 8 years and I'm still cosplaying. I love the challenges that come with it; I taught myself to sew, to craft weapons, to make chainmail and embroider. I've learnt so many skills for cosplay and it's half the reason I pick so many difficult costumes to make because I love to challenge myself.

I've always been a fan of Doctor Strange, he's my favourite Marvel Hero and I love the story of Stephen and Clea. Clea is such a strong, powerful woman, even in some verses of Marvel being Sorceress Supreme instead of her husband. She's a character that you don't see very often in Marvel either in the recent comics or in the fandom itself and I chose her both because I love her character and to try and bring a little recognition to this character and I had the added bonus of matching my friend's Doctor Strange cosplay and cosplaying the couple together which is great fun."

Her cosplay page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/KittiofdoomCosplay/?fref=ts







Friday, 22 April 2016

Predators at large

Heaven and Hell Heroes

We recently had a shoot with Heaven and Hell Heroes - here are some of the resulting images









Celery Moon Designs

Cosplay Princess

The next in our 'Women of Strength in Cosplay' series features Lydia otherwise known as Celery Moon Designs

Here is what Lydia had to say about cosplaying and the characters she chose for our shoot.

"I started cosplaying in 2009 although technically I guess I've been doing it a lot longer, I just didn't know what it was called! My first attempt at cosplay was a hastily thrown together Penny costume for a trip to Tokyo Disneyland using my own clothes as guests can dress up during halloween. However, for my first actual convention I didn't actually cosplay. I was completely unaware at the time that cosplay was a thing in the UK.
After that first con, I decided that from now on I would cosplay at events. I wasn't expecting my hobby to spiral so crazily though! I've gone from sewing a waistcoat because I couldn't do sleeves to full blown princess dresses and digitigrade faun legs. Cosplay has allowed me to meet new people and experience amazing things that I wouldn't have before.
The first character I picked to shoot with Geekzania is Navi from Legend of Zelda. This costume originally started as a painted jacket with everything else from ebay. From there I altered an exisiting costume, made by a family member, to finally creating this in it's entirety. This costume represents my journey into cosplay and is my favorite for sentimental reasons. Navi was the first character I embodied and she gave me the confidence to talk to people and even enter masquerades. Anyone who has ever played Legend of Zelda is familar with Navi and it is always incredible fun cosplaying as her. She has this great cheeky spirit and you can get away with lots of things when in character! Navi always gives me such a boost to my confidence.
My second choice was Princess Peach. One of my favourite female characters of all time, I outright refuse to play MarioKart if I can't play as her. I remember Princess Peach being one of the few standout female characters from my childhood and as soon as my skill set increased I knew I had to cosplay her. I wanted to focus on a more realistic version of her rather than the cartoony style so my Peach probably isn't as accurate as she could be, but to me that doesn't matter. Cosplaying Peach is the chance to relive my childhood and although a lot of people write her off as a typical damsel in distress, Peach was a prominent female character in an otherwise male dominated world for me. I was a tomboy as a kid but even I could recognise kicking butt and taking names in a poofy pink ballroom dress was pretty fun.
Rapunzel was my third choice and is probably my favourite modern princess in the Disney family (although Tiana is a close second). I love her feisty and passionate nature and although this version is ballerina themed, her personality still shines through when I am in cosplay. Rapunzel is such a great role model and sends a great message to kids and although she's not the first princess with such a message, her creativity and sense of adventure really resonates with me.
Finally, I chose Elsa as my last cosplay. Frozen is a weird film for me, as I love the music, the characters and the gorgeous design but I'm not a fan of the actual plot! Nevertheless, Elsa is an amazing character and I love her strength and raw power. I love becoming her in cosplay as it's hard not to feel all powerful and bad-ass when dressed as her."


Navi From Legends of Zelda


Princess Peach

Rapunzel



Elsa




Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Future of Cosplay

The Future of Cosplay

We briefly looked at the origins of cosplay over on our 'We Cosplay' blog. Now we look at where cosplay might go in the future.

Although there have always been cosplayers who pay meticulous attention to detail when creating their costumes, modern thermoplastic materials have enabled many more people to create absolutely stunning, movie quality costumes that only a very select few would even have dared to attempt a few years ago. The popularity of materials such as Worbla have encouraged the development of similar and improved materials and there is an increasing choice available to the cosplayer. This is a trend that will continue. 

If you then add in 3D printing to the mix, which is becoming both cheaper, more widely available and better quality in terms of both the complexity and finish of printed objects and cosplayers can more easily create both costumes and props that just wouldn't have been achievable for the average cosplayer in the past.

Laser cutting of cloth is already widely used in industry, it won't be long before this is also a technology available to those at home - this will be expensive at first, but become cheaper and more widely available over time. 

With the improvement of camera technology and games consoles increasingly using highly sophisticated 3d scanning tech it won't be long before a person will be able to create a highly accurate scan of their dimensions and then use an 'app' to select a character, and then an automatic cloth cutter will cut the required cloth ready for assembly (even this will eventually be automated) and a 3d Printer will print both panels to be assembled into a costume and elements to be assembled into props. 

Initially only a very select few will have access to this tech, but eventually we almost all will.

This is likely to increase the participation in and popularity of cosplay, though it will clearly have an impact on cosplay masquerades/contests with the emphasis increasingly moving from accuracy of costume to characterisation and portrayal of the character.

There will always be some who feel that only 'hand made' cosplays are 'valid' just as in the early days of digital photography there were those who felt that only those photographers who used a film camera were 'real' photographers. 

There is though a potentially disruptive technology that will be available within a few years. Both Samsung and Google are developing contact lenses incorporating high resolution displays, cameras and other sensors. With the ongoing increase in processing power available to smart devices, this will rapidly lead to true Augmented Reality where movie quality visuals are perfectly mixed with and overlaid on the 'real' world.  
This leads to the possibility of 'virtual cosplay' - rather than wearing a physical costume, you would have a digital 'tag' on your smart device (or smart clothing) which broadcasts what character you are. Anyone wearing these contact lenses would then not see the 'real you' but instead see and be able to interact with a perfect, real time motion-captured movie quality 'real' version of the character you are 'broadcasting' - Again there will be those who feel this is 'cheating' and that half of the fun of cosplay is making your costume, but change has a habit of happening regardless of how people feel, and not only that but rapidly becoming accepted and used by everyone (again the digital vs film debate can be used as an example, the number of people still commercially using film over digital is vanishingly small)

What is really interesting about this 'true AR' is that it is something that has been predicted by Ray Kurzweil, a futurologist whose predictions have a habit of coming true. Kurzweil originally predicted contact lens vision driven AR by 2020-2025 with a direct brain interface eventually replacing lenses by 2040 (so not just AR but true fully immersive VR) - Incidentally Kurzweil now works for Google.

But don't worry, though the take up of disruptive technology is getting quicker and quicker (smart phones, facebook etc.) we still have a few years left of 'traditional' cosplay, and even with all this magical tech in the future, I expect that there will be 'traditional' competitions for a while longer still.