Cosplay continues to gain in popularity with international audiences, thanks to social media tools like Instagram and Twitter or forums like Cure (WorldCosplay). Female cosplayers, in particular, have developed legions of devoted fans who eagerly take in their latest looks and find inspiration in their upwardly mobile careers. Phenomenal women like Yaya Han and Holly Wolfe have honed their cosplay skills into profitable ventures that include personalized costume design.
Many of the characters in the superhero genre have been around for almost half a century, if not more. This is what gives them that sense of almost being legendary, but one particular character has become the fastest legendary character in recent memory of comic books. Harley Quinn. For many it comes as a massive surprise when you mention that Harley Quinn was only invented in 1993. Although originally only meant to be a henchman of The Joker, Harley Quinn has proved to be a powerful feminist icon in more of her later incarnations, and with any popular character you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a lot of cosplay, and Harley Quinn is no exception. Here are some of our favorite Harley Quinn cosplay costumes from the different incarnations of the character.
Holly Wolf is a Canadian model who juggles her career as a playmate with her passion for geek pop culture and cosplay. The Toronto native is a self-proclaimed Zelda who provides breakdowns of her costumes on her website alongside details of her armor-making skills. She was the first-ever cover model of Geek Fantasy, a men’s magazine, where she cosplayed Captain America. Wolf is an internationally-recognized model who has graced the pages of FHM while appearing on the cover of Playboy Slovakia. Her honors include 2014 Playmate of the Year for the Czech edition of the venerated publication. Cosplayer Holly Wolf symbolizes a new wave of pop culture—it is possible to be a smart, beautiful geek girl.
It’s a rare sight to see someone be a professional cosplayer. Many who attend conventions do it for fun and generally are fairly low budget. This isn’t to disparage what they’ve done, but when observing a cosplayer such as Crystal Graziano it’s fair to say that she deserves the title ‘professional cosplayer’. A google search of her name will bring up countless results of high quality cosplays ranging from Bioware RPG’s like ‘Mass Effect’ to Japanese Anime. But what does being a professional cosplayer even mean? How do you become a professional cosplayer, and is it simply looking pretty? Not in the slightest.For professional cosplayers it seems fitting to point out that, yes, cosplaying is usually their only source of income. There are very few in the world as of this moment, but more and more are coming into the fold as years go by.
Anti-heroes have become increasingly popular and Suicide Squad is following the momentum of Deadpool and Kick Ass. The blockbuster transforms iconic DC characters like the Joker into skewed criminal masterminds who are manipulated into deadly black ops missions (like breaking into Arkham Asylum, with the ruthless government patsy Amanda Waller serving as their gatekeeper). “I want to build a team of some bad people who I think are capable of doing some good,” says Waller, in the third trailer for the movie.
Cosplay is one of the most awesome things about anime and comic cons but the practice that is readily associated as a Japanese phenomenon, originated in America. Once referred to as costuming, the first documented instance of cosplay occurred in 1908 when Mr. and Mrs. William Fell, a Cincinnati, Ohio couple, attended a masquerade ball in costumes depicting Mr. Skygack and Miss Pickles, martians from a newspaper comic that first ran in the Chicago Day Book.
Let me just say now that I’m biased in that I have a horse in this race. I’m a straight guy, and I enjoy wearing skirts. It’s not a fetish thing for me, but I must say I look good in a mid-length skirt. It’s a comfort thing. Anyone who hasn’t worn a skirt before, take a few minutes and go try one on the next time you’re in a store. Tell me it’s not so much less miserable than wearing shorts, especially in the summer. The reason I bring this up is because while women breached the cultural taboo against wearing pants almost a century ago, men are still straggling along coddling their delicate sense of masculinity that some people seem to think can’t survive wearing a hoop of fabric. That is slowly changing, and I cannot help but think this isn’t a good thing, especially in geek culture.
Cosplay isn’t something that everyone in geek culture partakes in, but geek culture loves admiring good cosplay. In fact, over the past several years fandoms have arisen among certain cosplayers due to their popular images. Few cosplayers have been quite as prolific as Jessica Nigri. You’ve almost certainly seen her around, even if you don’t know you have, and a quick cursory Google search will return hordes of images that tow the line of "not safe for work." But how did Jessica Nigri become so prolific? How does one even become a professional cosplayer? And how has she managed to stay relevant against the odds of an increasingly vapid internet community?
The DC Cinematic Universe is properly kicking off with the launch of Batman V Superman, but in the gap between the release of Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, DC have been slowly taking over the TV world. Shows such as Arrow, Flash and Supergirl frequently crop up all over the internet. However, perhaps the most underrated of all is Gotham.
Female cosplayers are often the main attraction at anime and comic conventions, drawing novice and professional photographers with their intricate costumes and ability to maintain difficult poses. While the eye-catching sexiness of many characters is what initially draws onlookers, many women are motivated to cosplay because of a sense of empowerment. Female cosplayers have flourished through their ability to create their own costumes while building successful personal businesses.
The buzz and excitement of a Con is unrivaled by any other geek/nerd/otaku gathering in existence. The single release of even the most popular video game or comic book is only a fraction of the atmosphere of a convention. Before you even get to the convention however, you may notice people around you that are headed to the same event. How do you know that they’re fellow convention-goers? Cosplay of course. At the 2015 New York Comic Con, a large sign stating “Cosplay is NOT Consent” greeted some hundreds of thousands of visitors upon entering the Javits Convention Center. The slogan is a part of a recent movement to end sexual harassment and tasteless treatment of cosplayers (mostly female) that may or may not be sporting revealing costumes of their favorite characters. The harassment ranges from the creepy but somewhat harmless photos without permission, to the full blown stalking, and even sometimes, sexual assault.