Cosplay comes to campus

Cosplay comes to SU campus

Published: December 11, 2017
Cosplayers

Toadette’s pink mushroom hat bobbed above the group’s heads, while the Night King from Game of Thrones chatted with Jack from Mass Effect. Captain Blade stood to their right, admiring his duct tape shield. The cosplay characters were huddled in the Shaffer Art Building, waiting for the contest to begin.

In its second iteration, the cosplay costume contest on Dec. 10 saw costumes representing all cosplay genres, from superheroes to anime and video games. Most of the contestants were students of AIC 221: Cosplay, a class that focuses on making costumes and studying cosplay culture, but the event was open to all members of the public.

Chris Wildrick, the professor who hosted the contest, was dressed as Mirth, a wizard from the 80’s Mage comic, with a flowing blue cloak and white pointy wig. “Most class projects you make and put up on the wall or wherever, but for this one you wear it and it transforms you,” Wildrick said.

The judge panel included Jeff Watkins, owner of Cloud City Comics & Toys in downtown Syracuse, and avid cosplayer David Ramsay who has over 37 years and 90 costumes under his belt.

Each contestant gave a short performance in Shemin Auditorium, after which the judges asked them questions on the inspiration behind their costumes. “I am a super soldier slash vampire slayer,” Delvon Waller, an InclusiveU student, said on his Captain Blade costume, a mashup of Blade and Captain America. He was inspired to make it after watching the two movies.

 

The cosplayers described sewing fabric and securing layers of duct tape, showing the ingenuity that went into their costumes. The White Witch of Narnia melted glue sticks for her crown and Mint-Berry Crunch, the superhero alter ego of Bradley Biggle, a character from South Park, molded his mask out of Worbla, a thermoplastic.

“My hair’s already pink and my siblings and I used to play a lot of Mario games,” said Anna Moon, an art education part-time student at SU, on her Toadette costume. It took her several weeks to sew the dress and assemble her hat out of a Styrofoam dome and doll stuffing.

“Is it comfortable?” Watkins asked a student in costume as Ashe from League of Legends, about her plated armor.

“No.” The frost archer responded. The participants laughed, understanding her discomfort. Most were unable to take a seat without a struggle.

Prizes were awarded in three categories: skill/accuracy, creativity/vision, and performance/presentation. A tough decision on the part of the judges, they announced the three winners, the White Witch of Narnia for presentation; Palutena, a goddess from Kid Icarus for skill; and Blackbird for creativity.

“Cosplaying is an obsession and a compulsion. There are worse habits to have, but it’s equally as expensive!” said Ramsay, one of the judges, dressed as Matt the Radar Technician from a Saturday Night Live skit. He says his costumes can take up to months or even years to complete.

“It’s a culture, not a hobby,” Watkins agreed.

The cosplay winners received a $50 gift card for CosplaySupplies.com, and runners-up a $20 gift card to spend at Cloud City Comics & Toys.

Avatar for Kirsty Fraser

is a senior magazine journalism major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. Kirsty is currently a senior content publisher at Spiders, a student group working within SU’s Office of Marketing and Communications.