“Costume Play” = COSPLAY!
Hey, this is Patrick, and hey… what’s with all the spandex and wigs? This must be… COSPLAY USA! Normally, it’s my pleasure to act as editor in chief of Otaku USA magazine, a pulse-pounding Japanese pop culture publication you may have heard of before. Our mag usually comes out bi-monthly, but now—like the very fabric of the universe itself—we are expanding.
Normally, cosplay is but one thing of what we cover in Otaku USA, where it must share pages with the likes of anime reviews and features, manga, games, music, and live-action films. And yet a nagging question has always hovered overhead. WHAT IF… what if we went in whole hog and just handed the keys to cosplayers for a change? What manner of magazine would this monumental decision result in? It is now our pleasure to present the result… and we hope you will enjoy it mightily!
Inside Cosplay USA you will find photo galleries of cosplayers (and photographers) from Japan and the USA, both well established and just getting started, along with a brief introduction by each explaining the thought process and technique behind their costumes. There’s also a handful of features to enjoy, including a look back at the sweeping history of cosplay (which began waaaaay back in 1939, it seems…), a peek behind the scenes at the World Cosplay Summit, and a primer about appropriate behavior at conventions. If you like people who dress up like cartoon and comic book characters (or are one yourself), the odds are you will find something to dig!
But before we go any further, I wanted to take a moment to throw down a major thanks to all the contributors who helped make this issue happen in the first place. Every photo within, along with every word, required a fair amount of coordination, time invested, and people just putting up with my crazy demands and decisions. The cosplayers here, from both Japan and the USA, really came through marvelously, leading me to believe that all the good things you hear about the cosplay community (i.e., it’s filled with great people who have immense passion for their fandom) are absolutely true.
As for my own relationship with the subject matter at hand, aside from doing it once a year as a child for candy (“does Halloween actually count as cosplay” is one of the questions of the age), I reckon I’ve actually done what qualifies as cosplay once: dressing up as Amuro Ray, Gundam pilot extraordinaire, at the Chara Hobby festival in Japan in 2011, with anime voice actress Yuu Asakawa by my side. I found the experience very humbling but also illuminating: I felt more like part of the event in cosplay than I did in my regular duds… like I was participating in something, instead of just merely observing. We hope COSPLAY USA gives you some of that feeling by proxy and inspires you to take your fandom to the next level.
And if you like our special cosplay issue, we’re more than happy to do another one. Please send feedback and even your photo submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading and please enjoy COSPLAY USA! But wait, you might still be wondering just how you can get your hands on it. You should be able to find the magazine in print at your local bookstore, or you can order the digital edition in our online shop.