/A little like playing dress up
Right to left, “Uncle” and Shelby Gulette posing as Oogie Boogie and a female version of Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in the Lansing Center at Shuto Con 2014. Photo Credit: Jenelle Kalaf

A little like playing dress up

A real look at the life of nerds in costumes

Jenelle Kalaf
Staff Writer

Cosplay3The old idea of geek is someone who spends their lives reading about science fiction, watching Star Trek and over reacting about the latest video game that came out.
While all this may still be true, when it comes to comic book and anime conventions, geeks bloom into artists.
Most people don’t really think art when the term ‘comic book convention’ rears its head, but once someone experiences a convention, most see the art walking through the halls in the form of cosplay.
Cosplay, short for costume play, consists of creating a costume and wearing said costume while staying in character.
These aren’t just Halloween costumes either. Cosplayers spend months planning out a single costume. Weeks of work, days of tweaking and three days to show it off at conventions, just to start all over.
Just like any good super hero, all cosplayers have an origin.
“I went to Youmacon one year and fell in love with all the different costumes,” cosplayer Shelby Gulette, 20, said about her first convention. “They were beautiful and every one of them is different.”
“My love for certain characters drives who I end up picking,” Samantha Garcia, 20, said when asked how she picks her characters. “Like for Shuto Con 2014, I picked America from the anime, ‘Axis Powers: Hetalia’. I love him, and America just screams me.”
“I cosplay characters that I love. Jack Skellington is one of my favorite characters.” Gulette commented. “Another factor for my decision is if I can act in character. It makes the cosplay more entertaining for everyone.”
Such an expansive hobby affects every cosplayer in some way.
“I nearly spent $200 on a single costume. At first my mom was mad, but when she saw it on me she understood why and fell in love with it,” Garcia said with a half laugh.
“Cosplay affected my life in a lot of ways, but the biggest change was that I’ve become more confident,” Gulette said.
“I feel like I’ve become more social at conventions in cosplay,” Garcia said. “You really bond with everyone, almost instantly.”