Journey Notes

SDCC 2018! & Why I Cosplay

What a wild four days!

If you’ve been following this blog since last year, you’ll know that this is my third year going to San Diego Comic Con, and each year seems be to a wildly different experience! If you want to read on my shenanigans from last year, check out my SDCC 2017 post!

In conjunction with talking about SDCC, I also wanted to make this a post on Why I Cosplay. My dear friend, Brooke (@thecosplayingbrooke on Instagram) is writing an article on cosplay and has challenged all cosplayers to talk about why they cosplay.

On with the post!

At last year’s SDCC, I focused a lot on getting myself reacquainted with SDCC: attending as many panels as I could, walking the convention floor, and seeing what amazing cosplays people had created. This year turned out to be very cosplay focused, and I was excited to show off all the work I had done in the past few months!

This was most certainly not my first cosplay rodeo, but I do believe this was my first year cosplaying as someone who was instantaneously recognizable. If you follow my social media, you’ll know that I cosplayed as Haru Okumura from Persona 5 in her Phantom Thief outfit. While I’m quick to say that I love all the main characters of Persona 5, I tend to gravitate more towards Haru due to my fondness of the trope “sweet and nice character is actually a tank in battle.” (One of many other reasons.) Given the broad genres SDCC covers, I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of other Persona cosplayers, but that just made it so much more exciting to find other cosplayers or people who enjoy the games.

A little on my cosplay history:

My first cosplay was at my first SDCC back in 2011. My friend Sabrina (shown below, first photo) had recently introduced me to the concept of cosplay, and since we both were very into the Fables comics at the time (highly recommended), we decided to go as Snow White and Cinderella! Given that it was my first convention ever, I was completely awestruck at all of the amazing cosplay work people did. We didn’t see any other Fables cosplayers until we went to the official panel, and coincidentally, that was the same year they announced The Wolf Among Us at their panel! (So if I don’t look like Snow according to Telltale’s design, that’s why.)

I didn’t get a chance to go to a con and cosplay again until a few years later, at a couple of small conventions in North Carolina. I first went as Irene Adler from the BBC Sherlock series, which was a lot of fun to wear! The second wasn’t a character in particular, but the amount of steampunk I had seen at SDCC all those years ago inspired me to try my own hand at it. That skirt was my first real attempt at sewing something challenging, and I’m still immensely proud of it. (I should wear it again to a con one of these days….)

Last year’s Makoto Niijima (Persona 5) and Cruiser skin!D.Va (Overwatch) were both very “regular clothes” heavy, so Haru was my first jab at sewing again. Originally, I wasn’t even planning on going through with the attempt and leaving it on a list of “cosplays I wish I could do,” but a number of my friends expressed interest in cosplaying the Persona 5 Phantom Thieves at SDCC so I had to commit at that point. And I’m so glad I did!

I was able to meet so many wonderful people, exchange Instagrams, and talk about why we love the game so much! It was also my first time at being invited to do a photoshoot, so the group of us got to spend a lot of time recreating scenes from the game and laughing at how silly our photos were. Which is a perfect segway into the questions Brooke posed:

What inspires you to cosplay?

Seeing other people’s cosplays and now being confident enough in own my abilities to want to tackle the cosplays I’ve always wanted to work on. Now that I’ve done a cosplay that I thought was going to be hard, I start looking at other potential cosplays and saying to myself “yeah, I think I can attempt that!” or “I want to try making that!” I may have some episodes of Cosplay Melee queued up so I can learn more about how to make cosplays.

How or what got you started and interested in cosplay?

As I mentioned before, I didn’t even know cosplay was a thing until my friend had told me about it. I think what got me super invested in it was actively going to different cons and seeing all the ideas people come up with! Having a group of friends who are incredibly talented also makes for great encouragement!

Look at this Group!

What does cosplay mean to you and what does it bring to your life?

Cosplay is an incredible blend of appreciation, creativity, and community. Appreciation and love for whatever geeky thing you’re into, creativity to take something you’ve seen and turning it into a reality, and the community that is brought together by the mutual love of the geeky thing. It has led me to meet some incredible friends and people, and it’s unlocked a creative interest into sewing and crafting that I never thought I had.

Who do you cosplay for?

Myself, my friends, and the fandom community. I love discovering confidence and creativity in a craft I had never considered before, talking with my friends about our shared cosplay struggles, and meeting all the wonderful people at conventions that makes it all worth the effort.

Is cosplay freeing for you, either to be more of your true self or explore different parts of yourself?

The first one, I believe. I don’t know if it’s also the fact that I’m with a group of friends and we’re doing something we all enjoy, but I definitely feel confident when I’m in cosplay. There’s something very fun about the chance to be your favorite characters for a day (or a few) and feel like you’re just as cool as they are. It’s the same feeling you get when you know you look really good in your favorite outfit…except you’re in someone else’s outfit. And also, you get to show off all the work you’ve been working so hard on all these months!

There is one other really cool thing that happened while at SDCC! Brooke and I ran into a high school friend of ours who was working one of the booths on the main floor! We hadn’t seen each other in some years, so we all spent some time catching up on our lives and seeing in what directions they had gone since we last saw each other. (I should mention that running into friends you haven’t seen in years while donning full cosplay leads to a fair bit of hilarity.) Erin Keepers is a wonderful comic book writer, and she is about to open up a Kickstarter for her upcoming series, Nasty Girls! If you want to learn more, you can find more information at her website.

Reunion!

Before I sign off, I want to give two huge shoutouts:

Thank you to @sonthebun for making my beautiful axe! Your props always rock, and it was a joy to show off Haru’s axe!

A HUGE thank you to my wonderful mother and grandmother, who helped teach me about sewing and helped me with all the tricky parts. Mom, did you ever think while you were making all those Halloween costumes for my sister and me as kids that you’d still be helping me make costumes? Love you both so much!

And that’s all for SDCC 2018! As soon as I get all the photos I’m waiting on, I’ll start posting them on my Instagram! I have a few up already, so go check them out!

We’re back with video games next week, so until then, happy gaming!

~ M

8 thoughts on “SDCC 2018! & Why I Cosplay”

  1. Love it! You capture a lot of my feelings about cosplay as well. I feel very welcome in the cosplay community in general, and it is dear to my heart <3 I'm going to do my own Why I Cosplay post now! Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you! I still feel very new to the cosplay world, but everyone I’ve met has been wonderful! I look forward to your post! 🙂

  2. It still feels like I’m new in the Cosplay world too, my first cosplay was in 2015… I wonder when (if ever) I will feel more confident to say ‘yeah, I’m a cosplayer!’ without adding some sort of caveat about my inexperience haha

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun to go through the questions and put to words why I enjoy cosplaying so much!

    1. Thank you! And I definitely agree! Trying new cosplays from different shows/games/etc is always exciting for who you’re going to meet!

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