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The Casual Cosplayer: When an Obsession Becomes a Hobby

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It all started with Phoenix Comicon 2012. I didn’t even know what cosplay was at the time, and I though the people who dressed up for the con were crazy. Who dresses like that in public?

Me, apparently. By the next time I went to a con–Phoenix Comicon 2013–I had made friends with cosplayer Leah Rose and had been bitten by the cosplay bug.

I’ve cosplayed at least one day out of each con the past three years, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. I’ve discovered the freedom of dressing up as a character from a thing you love, or even making up your own characters.

My first cosplay (River Song from Doctor Who) was kind of thrown together from things I bought in stores and a wig I found online. It wasn’t completely screen accurate, but people knew who I was, I made a couple of new friends, and I had a blast. That was it. I was hooked.

In 2014, I decided to make my own character. Originally it was supposed to be a steampunk version of a character in a book series I’d read, The Infernal Devices. Because I am a beginner when it comes to sewing (and because I ran out of time), my steampunk angel became more burlesque, but overall I was happy with what I accomplished.

This past Comicon, I did a couple of cosplays: a “Starfleet Academy Cadet on Shore Leave” (my own character, because I didn’t know how to make a screen accurate Star Trek uniform and because I love putting my own spin on things) and Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. My husband even joined me as Sheldon Cooper. The Amy Farrah Fowler cosplay was pretty much put together from thrift store clothes, so no sewing, but that’s the great thing about cosplay–you don’t have to make everything yourself.

Next year I’m going big. I’m using part of a pattern, part my own design, to make myself a Jedi TARDIS (yep, I’ve moved on to mashups) and to make my husband a Sith Time Lord. These will be my first costumes completely 100% made by me (except for the shoes, and my husband is getting a leatherworker to make part of his costume–oh, and I’m not making the lightsabers), and I can’t wait to debut it at the next con I go to.

It’s so great to take the things I’m obsessed with–Doctor Who, books, TV–and become a part of them.

Is dressing up at a con crazy? I don’t think so anymore.

Unless you want to call me crazy. In which case, I’m proud to be nuts. 🙂

Written by AJ Mullican

AJ enjoys reading, writing, TV/movies, music, art, and cosplay. She has self-published poetry, short stories, and a novel. She is currently penning her second and third novels.

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