A Brief History of Cosplay, Explained in 5 Historical Conventions

Andrew Liptack is a geek culture columnist, and all around good guy. In addition to his usual Transfer orbit newsletter – one of my favorite review resources for all things sci-fi/fantasy publishing and film news – he’s also written a new fantasy book called Cosplay: A Story: The Builders, Fans, and Creators Who Bring Your Favorite Stories to Life:

In recent years, cosplay – the practice of dressing up as a character – has exploded, becoming a mainstream cultural phenomenon. But what are the circumstances that made its rise possible?

Andrew Liptak, a member of the legendary 501st Legion, an international fan organization dedicated to the dark side of star wars— dives into the origins and culture of cosplay to answer that question. Cosplay: a story delves into the practice’s ever-growing fandom and conventions, its roots in 15th-century costumes, the relationship between franchises and the cosplayers they inspire, and the technology that brings the most intricate details of these to life. suits.

Cosplay veterans and newcomers alike will find much to savor in this rich and comprehensive story.

I’m still working on my pre-release copy of the book (I’ve had a weird few months), but it’s a beautiful collection full of photographs and a wide range of detailed interviews – really, the most comprehensive history of the craft than I could imagine.

Prior to the book’s release, Liptak made the short video above (and this one companion article) detailing a very abbreviated history of the most important fan conventions that helped establish cosplay culture. It’s a pretty cool look at the roots and development of a fascinating subculture.

6 Essential Conventions for Understanding the History of Cosplay [Andrew Liptak / Transfer Orbit]

Cosplay: A Story: The Builders, Fans, and Creators Who Bring Your Favorite Stories to Life [Andrew Liptak]

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