Since I was a wee lad I’ve been going to Comic book shows and Conventions and I’ve always been amazed and left in awe by cosplayers. Good or bad it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to go out in public dressed as a super hero or favorite anime character.
I’m a writer and comic fan and I have an active imagination so cosplaying is something I’ve always wanted to try, however, I’ve never been a fan of having my picture taken. I can’t explain why but I’ve just never liked to be in photos. In fact nearly 90% of the pictures I’m in I assure you I was forced to take them for some sort of family gathering
So this past Saturday, August 1, 2015, my friends and I packed in my buddy Osi’s car and drove the hour long trip to Richmond, Virginia for Wizard World and packed in the trunk was my trusty Thor Costume I had made for last Halloween to go trick-or-treating with my son a.k.a Ironman.
As we parked the car and I exited the vehicle I was a little nervous about walking around in public dressed as a super hero, scratch that, the best super hero. However, my concerns and fears were quickly alleviated when a passerby (a man not even going to the con) stopped me and asked for a picture. I smiled and gladly obliged. I felt I had gotten over the first hump of cosplaying, someone who wasn’t even interested in the con thought my costume looked cool enough to approach a complete stranger and ask for a picture. Now all I had to do was be accepted by my fellow nerds and I was all set.
As my friends and I enter the Richmond Convention Center we were greeted by the welcoming whoosh of arctic air from the very active air conditioning. One of my other huge fears for that day was how hot I would get in the costume. So two worries were almost immediately washed away. Then in line to pick up my ticket for the day I could hear people whisper “hey look at Thor,” “there goes Thor,” I started to smile.
Once our tickets were picked up and we entered the main area I was immediately greeted by my fellow nerds who wanted to have their pictures taken with me. We were barely five steps in and I was getting stopped left and right. A friend had warned me about that but I didn’t think that it would be so sudden or so often. The first couple of photos I took I’ll admit that I was a little stiff, I’m not someone who enjoys having his picture taken and since I was dressing up for the first time for a convention I felt a little more uneasy about it. However, I quickly adjusted and got my barings and I was feeling more and more comfortable with every picture, also it didn’t hurt that two of my favorite comic artists famed Marvel artist Greg Horn and legendary creator of The Crow James O’Barr both complimented my costume.
The more people came up to me the more comfortable I got posing for pictures. And personally I have to say my favorite pictures to take were when little kids came up to me and asked me for a picture, especially this little kid who was also dressed up as Thor.
Overall it was a great experience cosplaying and I can definitely see why so many people do and why a lot of people have turned it into a profession. In fact at one point I felt so at ease at the con I had almost forgotten I was dressed up.
As much fun as I had though, I don’t think cosplaying is something I will do every time I go to a con (at least not every day if I buy a multiple day pass) because when you’re on a mission to find something it makes it difficult when you’re being asked for pictures.
I had a great time and as usual the city of Richmond (my home away from home) greeted me with open arms and made me feel welcome.