Cosplay

  • OTW Fannews: Wearing the Mask

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Domenica, 14 September 2014 - 4:02pm
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    Vintage photograph of people, primarily children, in costume
    • A feature on LonCon in The Guardian discussed various fanworks including filk and cosplay. "While most attendees save dressing up until Saturday night's masquerade, Jonathan Hall, 21, who studies physics at Oxford, spent Friday of the convention fully clad in a homemade Thor costume. For him, while comics breaking out in the mainstream was 'only a good thing,' he said the big comic book and fantasy films made by Hollywood had a lot of catching up to do in terms of representing minority groups in the way the fiction and fan fiction did. 'I'm quite into queer fandom,' Hall added. 'I watched Doctor Who and Torchwood when it came back on television and being 14 at the time and starting to realise I was bisexual, having Captain Jack as a figure on television who become a role model in many ways was a huge help to me. So I think representation is really important and in many ways these big budget movies don't do it as well as books have been doing for a while.'"
    • SyFy interviewed designers who took part in San Diego Comic Con's Her Universe Fashion Show. Asked about whether geek couture is becoming a movement in fashion, one designer replied "Geek culture right now is coming into a really strong time because people are being themselves, they are embracing what they like and embracing who they are...and saying if you don't like it, that's ok because I like myself." (No transcript available).
    • While some fans are creating cosplay for animals, The Inlander profiled cosplay as animals in a piece on Spokane’s First Night. "Escapism is nothing new to the human experience. Ask the guy who drops his paycheck on Zags season tickets, or the people waiting in line for a movie on a Friday night. Ask comic book fans, artists, musicians, gamers, woodworkers, distance runners, Civil War re-enactors, avid fans of Game of Thrones. Odds are they'll all tell you they're just looking for a vacation from the norm, a few minutes when they can forget the bills to pay, the obligations to meet, the 9-to-5, the problems they don't want to address. 'When we fantasize, we experience the same emotions we would feel if we were in reality. Think of the fear you feel with a nightmare. Happy fantasies make us feel good,' says Norman Holland, author of Literature and the Brain and a researcher of psychoanalytic psychology...'Fantasies — escapism — give our emotions a workout. That's why the imaginative arts are good for you.'"

    Have you taken part in cosplay or attended cosplay events? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Joins Project Secret Identity

    By Kiri Van Santen on Giovedì, 28 August 2014 - 4:30pm
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    image of three super hero-style eye masks

    The OTW is partnering with the EFF, io9, Wattpad, The Baker Street Babes, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Southeastern Browncoats to sponsor Project Secret Identity, a cosplay photo campaign to raise awareness of how anonymity and privacy are key to free expression.

    Fans have long embraced pseudonyms. They allow us to participate in fandom without fear of harassment or discrimination in our offline lives. Project Secret Identity is an opportunity for us to advocate for ourselves and protect our right to anonymity.

    During Dragon Con in Atlanta, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, you can either submit your cosplay photo with an Internet freedom slogan, or take a photo at one of the Secret Identity photo stations at the convention: EFF (Table 7 at the Hilton) or Southeastern Browncoats (Table #1000 at AmericasMart).

    You can also join the campaign from anywhere in the world by uploading your photo at the Project's website. We hope you'll take part!

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom challenges

    By Claudia Rebaza on Mercoledì, 5 February 2014 - 7:00pm
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    • NPR's Code Switch asked Who Gets To Be A Superhero?. "But an artist named Orion Martin noted that the X-Men comics have on the receiving end of much real-life discrimination: the main lineup in the X-Men team has been mostly straight, white dudes...So Martin decided to reimagine them, recoloring some famous panels so that the main characters are brown — a gimmick that changes the subtext and stakes for the X-people."
    • A post on Flayrah discussed what makes furries a fandom. "Fandoms revolve around a common interest, not a canon. At times the common interest will also serve as the canon, in such things as the Doctor Who fandom or the Pokémon fandom, but at other times the common interest will be more vague, such as the anime fandom, the sci-fi fandom and the furry fandom. In those cases the fans are fans of a concept that can encompass many different fandoms due to a common element. Furry certainly has what we can term a canon. Fred Patten has compiled a long, but incomplete, list of works that influenced and led to the formation of the furry fandom between 1966-1996."
    • Gamer Zarnyx discussed early prejudices and missing past experiences. "I am aware that had A Link Between Worlds been my first game in the series, I would have been voicing an entirely different opinion. I am aware that it is a little bit selfish to dismiss the game as 'just another Zelda game', just as I am aware it would be ridiculous of me (again) to dismiss Nintendo and tell you my faith is wavering. That's not my intent for a company who has given me more amazing memories than forgettable ones and continues to do so even now...But as I listened to my sister's gleeful squeals sprinkled in with the 'oh no' moments of hearing death approaching...I wanted that excitement too instead of the occasional jaded groan I mustered when encountering some of the same things I encountered on so many adventures before this one."

    What fandom challenges have you experienced? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanworks around the world

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 16 January 2014 - 8:31pm
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    Banner by Lisa of an aerial view of a network of city lights

    • Awesome Robo! explored Pacific Rim fanart. "I'd always been pretty curious about how Japan, especially their creative community would react to Pacific Rim, a movie that was a whole-hearted ode to various pop culture genres like Kaiju films and various 'Tokusatsu' (Special effects) genres that their cinema scene popularized...What we found was a plethora of amazing tribute pieces executed in a variety of styles and interpretations of both the Kaiju and Jaegers alike, showing that the movie had definitely found it's place with artists abroad."
    • The Mary Sue posted images of Batman graffiti discovered in an abandoned building. "Graffiti artist Pete One has been known to dabble with the Dark Knight in the past, this time he used an abandoned building in Ronse, Belgium for his canvas and took inspiration from the animated Batman TV show, comic artist Jock, and more!"
    • The Daily Dot wrote about an Attack on Titan cosplay film. "[W]e’re pretty sure 夜透 has taken the 'cosplay film' to a whole new level. The film features the J-rock song 'Neverever Land' by Nano, and a cover of the 3rd ending theme to Attack on Titan, 'The Reluctant Heroes,' as covered by a YouTube artist named Mica Caldito whose performances of two songs from the series recently went viral. The video was uploaded a few weeks ago but only recently crossed over into English-language SnK fandom."
    • A theater company in Asheville, South Carolina decided to put on an evening of Shakespeare fanfic. "[T]he Bard's work remains in high demand, with modern and star-studded adaptations of plays like Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing filling movie theaters every few years. But it's not these reinventions that have captured the imagination of The Montford Park Players. Instead, the theater company's 'Evening of Shakespeare Fan Fiction,'...features G.B. Shaw's Dark Lady of the Sonnets and Vincent Dowling's The Upstart Crow."

    Write about the fanworks of your country on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Legal challenges

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sabato, 19 October 2013 - 6:01pm
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    Banner by Diane of scales set over an antique desk and bookcase in candlelight

    • Public Knowledge announced its inaugural artist-in-residence, Elisa Kreisinger. She is currently soliciting contributors to her project Fair User(s) which asks "If you know of someone who has experienced any removal or disabling of content due to copyright please direct them to this survey."
    • Copyright attorney Timothy B. McCormack wrote about a recent lawsuit against the show Heroes of Cos-Play. "Cos-play costumes are derivative works because they are recasting the work their costume is based on into a new medium while still representing the original work of authorship. In some cases they might also be 'exact copies' 'strikingly similar' copies or 'substantially similar' copies. This means anyone who makes a costume based on an original work is required to obtain a copyright license from the owner if they do not want to commit copyright infringement. As a practical matter, however, it is unlikely cos-players will be sued unless they are trying to use their infringing costume to make a profit. The recent lawsuits involving NBC and the show 'Heroes of "Cos-Play,"' however, might beg to differ."
    • While most people think of rights holders as those who control creative works, one set of cosplayers ran into legal problems with a commercial carpet company. "Apparently the carpet costumes were so popular that one of the original cosplayers offered a version of the Marriott carpet pattern for the presumably vast number of people who also wanted to dress up in carpet-themed camo gear. Seeing this, carpet designers Couristan Inc. sent cosplay suppliers Volpin Props a Cease & Desist letter."
    • The proposed efforts in the U.K. to restrict online access to porn received worldwide attention, but less of it was paid to protests raised by users. At least one of them expressed fandom concerns about the legislation. "Another activist, Jess Palmer, was cheered by members after saying a pornography filter would have prevented her from discovering fan fiction with some adult themes and finding out about asexuality. Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, successfully asked for the motion to be 'referred back' to the party's policy committee for a rethink. He said there are some problems with children accessing internet pornography but this is not the solution."
    • Author Misha Burnett talked about aspects of fanfiction and their legal implications. "Genres are largely influenced by a particular work. One could make the case that Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer was Phillip Marlowe fan fiction. As Charles points out, J R R Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings series has inspired the entire genre of Epic Fantasy." He also cites the many fiction and non-fiction works he has drawn on for his stories. "I don’t think that any author can be entirely free of the influence of other authors–what we read becomes a part of the experience that we draw upon to create our own work. The extent to which we are influenced by any one particular work is a matter of personal taste, however."

    What legal discussions have you seen pertaining to fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Doing Fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Mercoledì, 16 October 2013 - 5:57pm
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    Banner by Bremo of wheel and spoke diagram with Fandom at the center and fanworks and sites in the spoke bubbles

    • Writing for the Gadsden Times, David Murdock shared a discovery most fans make at some point - that there are many ways of being a fan. "Just like there are many different kinds of speculative fictions, there are many different types of fanboys and fangirls. My fanboy experience consists solely of reading books and watching movies. However, one important part of modern fanboy- and fangirl-ism is entirely out of my experience. I don’t do costumes. I have never dressed in a science fiction or fantasy-based costume for any reason whatsoever, not even Halloween. Just like I had a moment when I realized I liked hard science fiction, I had a moment when I realized that my fanboy experience does not include costumes."
    • Part of the reason for this difficulty is that fannish activities are always changing. The London Evening Standard noticed that Sherlock fans were "reviewing" the new season before it aired. "But there’s a new fanfic genre now, one that has emerged by accident...On Amazon, shoppers can already pre-order the complete third season on DVD...The site is also allowing customer reviews, so fans have piled in to give their fictitious accounts. So, er, fake spoiler alert!"
    • Australia's News.com was instead alarmed by frequent character death in pop music RPF. "'It's a good outlet for their angst,' says Kimberley O'Brien, adolescent psychologist at Sydney's Quirky Kid Clinic. 'At an age when emotions and hormones are fluctuating so much, it's nice they can cry openly. It's much better than being isolated and not expressing yourself.'...Fantasising about teen crushes meeting an early death is nothing new. In the 1960s, teen tragedy songs such as The Shangri-Las' Leader of the Pack and Mark Dinning's Teen Angel featured sweethearts perishing in motorcycle crashes or train wrecks. More recently, emo culture touched upon premature death, with My Chemical Romance theming a whole album around cancer (2006's The Black Parade)."
    • Then there are the unexpected places where fanworks appears -- such as craigslist. Various media outlets were in a tizzy over a Girls fanfic, with some strangely citing it as "the first entry into the canon". Either the media might want to use their search engine just a few minutes longer, or fanfiction writers might want to start posting their work in the classifieds to get more reviews.

    What ways of "doing fandom" do you know about? Share it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Documenting Fandom

    By Julia Allis on Sabato, 28 September 2013 - 6:58pm
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    Banner displaying folder files edge-on.  Image text reads: OTW Fannews: Documenting fandom

    • The Hollywood Reporter wrote about Japan smashing the tweets per second world record. The reason? The word "balus" was tweeted "during a television broadcast of Hayao Miyazaki's anime classic Castle in the Sky (Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta)."
    • Retired English teacher Bill Kraft published a book about his 13-year campaign to honor Star Trek on a U.S. postage stamp. "The 72-year-old became a Trekkie in 1979 as he watched the last 10 minutes of 'Trek: The Motion Picture,' which ended with the creation — instead of the destruction — of a new life form..." His book contains "more than 140 letters endorsing the idea, including supporting words from Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, NASA, Arthur C. Clarke and then- U.S. Sen. John Kerry. 'I had these beautiful, eloquent letters in my crawlspace for 15, 20 years, and I thought, "What a terrible shame. This should be part of the public record in some way,"' Kraft said."
    • The Central Florida Future wrote about in-person fandom clubs on college campuses. The Harry Potter club, "[I]n addition to visiting Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the group would love to attend LeakyCon, a Harry Potter convention that is coming to Orlando in 2014. Already boasting a group of about 90, the club expects a spike in enrollment following the opening of Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando." Also mentioning the Doctor Who and My Little Pony groups, the article concludes that college life "might just be the perfect place to cultivate friendships and a fandom."
    • Meanwhile professors are studying fandom at Dragon Con. "Dunn and Herrmann's quantitative survey will look mostly at cosplay but will also encompass fandom in general and what specifically draws these people to Dragon Con." Students of cosplay courses might also be a good group to talk with. "ETSU offers a unique thespian course over the summer semester that teaches cosplay with a focus on 'acting for the convention goer.'"

    What fandom documentation have you seen in the mass media? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fan conventions

    By Claudia Rebaza on Venerdì, 16 August 2013 - 8:47pm
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    Image by Robyn of gathered people with text reading Meetups Large and Small

    • SB Nation published a somewhat bemused summary of a day at MLB Fanfest but concluded that "The Real Baseball Thing has something to do with the act of playing baseball and something to do with the cumulative experience of watching it over a lifetime, and it's easy to sense its presence and see its effect. It manifests as a slow, blissed-out trancefulness, and it -- and not the sepia tones or the synergy -- is what still fills stadiums and domes. The chance to commune with it is what led volunteers to spend day-long shifts feeding pitching machines and encouraging strangers. It was the only reason anyone was at the Javits Center in the first place, and why the game -- alternately shrunken and puffed-up as it can seem -- can still fill six blocks with excited people."
    • Henshin Justice wrote about the growth of Tokusatsu fandom as seen at Anime Expo. "Power Morphicon is still in its infancy and focused on tokusatsu’s American counterpart; and G-Fest, the largest Godzilla / Japanese monster convention, is far away in the Midwest. Therefore, as the largest North American convention geared specifically toward Japanese animation and entertainment, Anime Expo becomes the big summer convention for most West Coast-based toku fans to meet and geek." This can be a mixed experience since no fandom is completely harmonious. "[T]okusatsu cosplayers aren’t exempt from harsh, unnecessary criticisms. John noted other toku fans who approached him and questioned his cosplay and criticized him for even liking anything related to the Kamen Rider Hibiki series."
    • Fan conventions are also the subject of documentaries, such as Fantasm, a horror convention documentary that "explores the bonds formed by the close-knit community of fans who attend horror conventions."
    • Get-togethers don't always have to be on such a large scale though, and animator Leigh Lahav created the short video "Fangirls" as a gentle poke at the trials and tribulations of female fandoms.

    What fan convention stories do you have? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Claiming ownership

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sabato, 6 July 2013 - 5:16pm
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    • Gamespot reported that "Nintendo is now claiming advertising revenue from user-created YouTube videos that feature the company's games", something that some fans claim make little sense given the nature of game play. "'Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience,' Scott said. 'When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don't need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?'"
    • Discussing a case in the Federal Court of Australia, DC Comics v Cheqout Pty Ltd., an article in The Conversation said "Intellectual property and superheroes is complicated. Superman has spawned a host of imitations and emulations in comic books, graphic novels, and films – everything from Dr Manhattan in The Watchmen to Mr Incredible in Pixar’s The Incredibles. Over-protection of Superman under intellectual property could repress and suppress such creativity and innovation." Noting that the OTW was formed to combat intellectual property claims against fanworks, Professor Matthew Rimmer stated "There has been a concern that the excessive protection of intellectual property rights of superheroes could have an adverse impact upon creativity, remix culture, and fan fiction."
    • Less common is discussion of merchandisers exploiting fans. A particularly egregious case involved cosplayers having their photos used on body pillows being sold at cons. After outraged fans complained to the merchandiser and con organizers, their sale was halted. "It's difficult to see how screening a cosplayer onto a $12 pillow could inspire anyone, or why models who went uncompensated for their work would be "flattered" to be exploited to turn a quick buck for the photographer. But while condemnation continued to be swift, several people did thank Pearce for his relatively quick action in removing the pillows."

    What legal actions have caught your attention? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Separate by intention?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 14 May 2013 - 4:55pm
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    • Given media representations apparently a lot of people continue to think that female fandom projects are rare, although this may have to do with how gender segregated fandom projects often are. In a feature on the "Hello Sweetie" podcast, its founder discusses why it came into being. "She and others were listening...to 'Geek Show Podcast,' the popular online show started by X96’s 'Radio From Hell' host Kerry Jackson, local movie critics Jeff Vice and Jimmy Martin, and Tribune TV critic Scott D. Pierce. "'They never have any female panelists, rarely had female guests, and a lot of people were complaining about that,'"...On one episode of 'Geek Show Podcast,' one of the hosts said, 'If you [women] want to have a podcast, you should start one.'"
    • One reason for the separation may have to do with how female characters in fandoms are frequently depicted. One of the latest fans to address that issue uses cosplaying girls to create artwork depicting superheroes as they might really be. "It's not only combatting the myth that girls don't read or care about comics, but it’s showing that girls, too, can play the male superheroes that so often overshadow their female counterparts. And it's also proving just how easy it is to upend the sexist conventions that keep the women of comics in scantily clad, unrealistic uniforms for the purpose of sexually objectifying them."
    • The site Machinima.com pitches itself as equivalent with the fanwork in the tagline "a programming movement that captures the hard-to-reach 18 to 34-year-old male demographic." They have decided to try crowdsourcing video production on its Happy Hour Tales series. “Fans are invited to submit ideas for what happens in the second part of Trial of the Songbird…I wonder if there’s some branded intentions here; after all, inviting viewers to write about a brand new video game is a good way to get them to play that game. Happy Hour Tales is the overarching name of the series, which suggests that we will get crowdsourced stories set in other video game worlds before long.” Since fans have little need for an invitation to create new fannish content, the plan seems more in line with further commercializing fannish creativity rather than encouraging its independent development.
    • Another fannish site that's looking for fannish contributions has a long history of female participation, though Aja Romano wonders if the creative team is taking that into account. For one thing the fandom already has major fandom wiki projects, although they don't "emphasize fan creations and fanworks the way that Roddenberry's Trek Initiative does." But "it seems odd that Roddenberry has gone the traditional route of archives, wikis, and fan forums, rather than the more web 2.0 route emphasizing social media, media sharing, and interactive media. It's possible he hasn't registered just how big Star Trek is on Tumblr, where the new reboot reigns supreme among millions of fans, mostly women."

    Do the fandom sites you visit seem to target one gender over another? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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