“I never grew out of dressing up,” says Samantha Scharlach, 21, of San Ramon, CA. She dressed as Batman villainess Poison Ivy.
The fantasy that comes with cosplay is an expression of appreciation for the character, or how the player relates to the ideas of what that character expresses.
“I wanted to make costumes and such,” says Jacquelyn Crinnion, 21, a USC student and costume designer donning the garb of Harley Quinn, the Joker’s love interest.
Wayne Carter, 28, Mission Viejo, CA, has been dressing up at convention since 1999. This year he sports the uniform of Super Mario.
“I first dressed up as Chuji-Wu from Tobal No. 1, he is an obscure character who was created by the Dragon Ball Z guys,” said Cater as he adjusts his mustache.
Cosplay is not just relegated to those outside the entertainment industry. Jennifer Wenger, 25, Hollywood, CA, is one of the stars of Confessions of a Superhero, and has recently been featured on an episode of My Name is Earl. She also played Lindsey on the HBO hit True Blood.
“When I was five years old, Linda Carter did a contact lenses commercial and I asked my mom who she was. I wanted to be her ever since,” says Wenger, who is forming stand-up comedy at the Hollywood Improv as part of the rock comedy duo Fing Witty (pronounced F’ing) with Michelle Prenez.
The cosplay society has their own form of hierarchy, as those who make the own costumes are held in a higher esteem. One cosplayer who did not want to be named sneers, “There’s another Harley (Quinn) costume, and I know where she bought it from.”
Whether you made your own costume or have a store-bought one, everyone is welcome to the festivities.
“Don’t worry about how you look or what the character is as long as you’re having fun doing it,” says Carter as he heads off to the Nintendo Wii attraction.