Tag: Cosplay

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Anachronistic Costumed Nerds – RenFaire in the Time of Plague

 
A RenFair captured in a single photo

I majored in History and Secondary ed, with an English minor… and I carefully tuck all that away when I go to Renaissance fairs. It is a lot easier, that way, to just roll with the anachronisms and have fun. One of the regular acts that comes through Ohio, The KamiKaze FireFlies, sells t-shirts that say “Just a bunch of nerds, playing dress up in the woods,” and I cannot add to that. This fair (faire?), whose grounds are permanently set up just south of Wilmington, Ohio, is nominally supposed to be set in 1590-ish. So they have a Queen Bess and royal attendants, and of course (during a normal year at least, which this is not) they have jousts and sorta-period-correct games, but any actual adherence to historical accuracy is no more than lip-service and happy accident. In any other year this would have been a massive affair, with long lines just to get into the parking field, long lines of people donning and fixing costumes while queuing up to scan their tickets under the portcullis, long lines for food and drink, and dusty hot crowds cheering on the stage acts and jousts.

This year it was like a ghost town. Tickets were strictly limited and purchased in advance. Half the grounds were roped off and closed, and among what was open there were numerous vacant stalls under the mock towers. But it all felt like a family reunion anyway; I recognized nobody in particular but they were all familiar anyway. The festival had been canceled back at the beginning of August. Then abruptly, near the end of August, they quietly posted on Facebook and elsewhere a partial reversal: for three Saturdays only, on a presale basis, they would open. The tickets sold out in days and the owners added a fourth Saturday. That sold out in 48 hours. We were among the lucky ones, doubly so since the day we got fell the day after our release from our family’s month-long quarantine stemming my Daughter #2’s COVID infection. For us, it was a celebration.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Day of Geekery

 

Well, it’s Planet Comicon time again, Kansas City’s largest entertainment convention. Long time Ricochetti may remember my adventure as a Villain of Cosplay back in 2013; luckily, this one was far more fun and less fraught with reality TV crews.

The headliners were George Takei and Stan Lee, and at $60 and $120 a pop for an autograph, I decided I could live without meeting them. I did run into George on the con floor, when I realized that I couldn’t cross the aisle because I was about to run into a small Japanese man being interviewed about transgender bathrooms. As for Stan, well, there’s a group known as the Iron Brothers of Topeka (IBOT) who have the most scarily realistic Stan Lee cosplayer ever. The universe should have exploded at this moment:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Rise of Cosplay and Escapism from America’s New Normal Economy

 

My recent The Week column, “Why the rise of cosplay is a bad sign for the U.S. economy,” may be the most read piece I’ve written strictly for the Internet.

It may also be the most misunderstood. Based on the comments and tweets I’ve received, the most common misunderstanding is that I was arguing that the increase in “costume playing” — primarily based on Japanese anime and manga, as well as similar American media — is somehow responsible for the anemic economic recovery. (Lots of comments by cosplayers about how the money they spend on costumes actually helps the economy or how some even turn their hobby into a small business.)