Tag: Cosplay

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.

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:

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.)