My younger brother convinced me to attend my first Comic Con in 2011 and I reluctantly agreed, dreading taking time off work and wondering how I could possibly spend three days at a comic book conference.  He insisted we show up early to pick up our badges and hit the floor before the panels began.   I remember standing in line not particularly paying attention to anyone or anything, and then I found myself looking directly at Sam Winchester.  But not the actor who played Sam Winchester on Supernatural — it was someone who had dressed up (and nailed it!).   My first cosplay experience left me bleary-eyed and reeling.  I was astounded by the creativity, awestruck by the craftsmanship and inspired by the collective experience.

“I could do that.”  — Kristy Podelnyk

After I recovered from the shock and wonderment of my first Comic Con experience, I quickly realized not only did I want to cosplay, but I could cosplay.   I’ve been a casual crafter since my teen years, painting and sewing my favorite fallback.   I’m also an enormous fan of all things pop culture, anime and fantasy.  So, I decided to start small — pick a simple costume and dip my toes in the water of the Rose Cite Comic Con.  Little did I know that cosplay is my romance of choice.  Flash forward five years and I’m more in love with the art of cosplay now than I ever could’ve predicted.

“I like to try to make outfits that look like they could have walked straight out of life, history, or off a movie screen.”  —  Syagria

There have been a lot of cosplayers, crafters and hobbyists who’ve inspired me to try different things and experiment with a multitude of fabrication techniques.  Through diligent research and tons of Google searches I’ve learned how to build EVA foam armor, sculpt polypropylene props, create silicone molds, resin cast props and wire LEDs.  Not that most things work out the way I plan them.  But I believe that is part of the art and the journey of cosplay.  What you can expect to find here is the story of my journey, my portfolio and hopefully some helpful tidbits to help my fellow cosplayers along their road of discovery, creativity, and, lets face it, some hard-core critical thinking.

“Crap, I just scratched the hell out of my armor.  Well, that’s just the way it is now.” Jesse Lagers


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