Cosplay World by Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunkett (book review).

I bought this book, ‘Cosplay World’ by Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunkett, last year while looking around to see what other books on cosplay was out there. A photo of the Silk Spectre II on the cover was a cert to buy it. Saying that, there is a predominance of anime designs being used.

Hardly surprising at they go over the history of cosplay and how it grew in Japan. There were a few samples in the earliest American SF conventions and periodically into comicbook conventions before taking off in a big way. From there, the writers interview various people as they show their costumes and those who photographed them.

Oh, this Silk Spectre II is Jay Tablante and under her individual entry has photographs of her posing as several super-heroines.

It’s rather interesting seeing how many of them gave up their regular jobs and go into cosplay manufacture as a way of life. I suspect those of you who buy this book will check the website list at the back of the book. Meagan Marie goes into detail of how she designed her Wonder Woman costume and how to weather her weapons and clothes.

Rather unusually, there are some interviews with the photographers who snap the cosplayers, although I wish there had been more detail about how much photoshop was being used to manipulate the photographs. I can understand perhaps with the backgrounds but examples should have been done as to what else.

Although this book is 6 years old, photographs don’t really age and it is an opportunity to see what has been done. I’m still amazed that there haven’t been more books on the subject and this is only the third I’ve read. Although with comicons and such on suspension because of the coronavirus, I suspect the cosplayers will be using their time to come up with new costumes and if you’ve considered doing it, looking at these books might inspire you.

GF Willmetts

April 2020

(pub: Prestel, 2014. 207 page illustrated medium softcover. Price: I pulled a copy for £ 6.49 (UK). ISBN: 978-3-7913-4925-1)

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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