For those of you who don't know what cosplay is (you're a majority, I'm sure), the term "cosplay" is a Japanese combination of the words "costume" and "play". At its essence, cosplay involves dressing up as a fictional character and adopting their mannerisms, body language, and ways of speaking (though cosplayers go out-of-character from time to time). People who cosplay are called "cosplayers", and they can be frequently found at comic, anime, sci-fi, and other conventions.
Many cosplays are incredibly elaborate and include careful costume and prop construction, fanciful wigs, and full make-up (feel free to browse cosplay.com for some stunning examples). However, I tend to prefer a simpler type of cosplay known as "casual cosplay". A casual cosplay is made up of everyday items and things you might wear anyway; there's something fun about dressing up in a non-dressed up way.
Now that you have a little bit of background, it's time for me to introduce the challenge (entry form located here):
Dress up as a book character! This can be a character from something you are reading today or just an old favorite, and graphic novels totally count, too! You can see some examples of mine at the end of this post. All you have to do is keep in mind the three C's (I sure like alliteration):
- Casual. Wear something your character would wear on a normal day. Don't wear fancy uniforms or armor, even if you already own them. Printed t-shirts or other items with logos, however, will be permitted.
- Closet. A closet cosplay is where a cosplayer creates a costume using items found in their closets (or thereabout). So for this challenge, all items used must already be in your possession. No sneaking out to buy supplies! Borrowing from a friend or family member is allowed, though.
- Cosplay. The point of cosplay is that it is something you can wear. If you personally don't want to dress up, see if you can coax a family member or roommate into doing it for you. If you absolutely can't find anyone, laying out the outfit will work, as well, but it must be a full outfit (no skipping the pants or shoes or anything). In addition, do your best to adopt the mannerisms and expressions of your character! If she's a tough military girl, wear your best tough face. If he's a snobby student, wear a sneer. It's all part of the costume, after all. Crossdressing and genderbending are totally allowed!
Once you have your costume assembled (and hopefully pulled on), take a picture and post it on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, or whatnot! Include the character's name, the book they are from, and a short description of the character and/or why you chose what you did. Then come fill out this form to be eligible for prizes! (The form will close in three hours, at the beginning of Hour 16.)
I will be choosing and contacting three winners. One will be randomly chosen from all the entries and will get to select a prize from the Read-A-Thon prize page. The other two will be chosen by me based on their costumes: the Most Accurate Award and the Most Creative Award. Since "cosplay" is a Japanese term and many cosplays are inspired by manga/graphic novels, I will be sending these two winners a manga volume, chosen based on what I perceive their preferences to be according to their read-a-thon or other posts. I will contact the winners through the e-mail addresses they give me and will also make a post about the winners and with MY casual cosplay at the conclusion of this challenge.
Phew! That was a lot of info. Thanks for sticking with me! If you have any questions, leave a comment and a way to contact you, and I'll get back to you ASAP! To inspire you, here are a couple of my favorite casual cosplays (L from Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Piper McLean from Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, and Kiyoko Shimizu from Haikyuu!! by Haruichi Furudate):