If you’re a comic con attendee, or an avid fan, you most likely have seen the massive crowds of fans funnel into the entrances in larger than life costumes. The word “cosplay” is now a household term, especially if your household is awesome, and has been increasingly more popular as “nerd” life has become mainstream. With comics and anime titles popping up in theaters, tv, and streaming services like Netflix, the desire to join the cosplay community has skyrocketed!
For some, the world of cosplay is a fun part time hobby, but to many, the construction of costumes is an art. It is a forever evolving age-friendly community and there are no shortage of characters you can become – even if they are from your own imagination! When setting out to learn more about this intriguing world, you can find the best information, inspiration, and photography in Cos Culture Magazine!
Cos Culture Magazine was started by cosplayer Nikko Marie, and contains tutorials, interviews, photography spreads, and more. It’s available digitally and in print currently on their website, as well as contains tons of extras to get to know the team and history of the magazine! There is currently a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this magazine further, and it only has a few days left! I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask Nikko some questions about her background and inspiration to create this amazing magazine! Check out what she said below:
CC: What initially interested you in the world of Cosplay?
Nikko: I never really knew much about cosplay until visiting Fan Expo in Vancouver a number of years ago. I went to the event to practice my photography skills, and I left with a complete obsession with cosplay. I’ve always loved dressing up for events (Halloweens, parties, etc), so when I learned that there is an entire community of people who do this as a hobby, and even professionally, I was completely hooked! The thing that has KEPT me interested in the hobby, apart from my love of crafting and creating things, is the amazing community of people who participate in this hobby.
CC: What can you tell me about your experience on the outside looking into the work of cosplay vs being in it?
Nikko: This is a hard question to answer, because as soon as I found out about the cosplay world I became completely immersed. So as an outsider I was never really involved. I can say that as an insider (I’ve been cosplaying for a few years now) it gives me a better understanding of what the world is all about. Actually being a cosplayer and being part of the cosplay community really allows me to ensure the magazine addresses the needs of the community.
CC: What’s the best advice you can give someone that is interested in starting to cosplay?
Nikko: The best advice I can give someone would be to ALWAYS just cosplay for yourself. The community is amazing, and there are so many opportunities to make new friends and gain new experiences, but it can all be a bit overwhelming if you’re not truly in it for yourself. Also, don’t let anyone else ever bring you down about your cosplays. Whether you made it yourself or bought it at a store, so long as you’re having fun and are loving what you’re doing, then you’re doing it right. While the community for the most part is largely supportive, you’ll always find the occasional downer. Never let these people bring you down, because the whole point is to have fun! Cosplay brings people together and allows you to express your love for a certain fandom (or in my case simply a love of creating!), so be proud of what you’re doing and know that there are so many people out there rooting for you!
CC: Congrats on such an awesome publication! What was your inspiration behind creating Cos Culture Magazine?
Nikko: Thank you so much! When I first created the magazine, there really wasn’t anything like it out there. I wanted to create something that not only benefited the cosplay community, but also shared this amazing world with people on the outside. As I mentioned earlier, I never really knew this whole community existed until visiting a convention myself. The magazine is distributed to bookstores across Canada, so I’m hoping that it will put cosplay in front of the faces of people who otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to it. I also wanted to create a means in which people can share and promote their own work. We feature the work of professionals and beginners alike, and our whole mission is to truly celebrate this amazing community. The magazine is completely self-funded and independently published, so we can guarantee the magazine will never be shrouded in any sort of corporate greed or message. I run this publication as a hobby, so any money that it might bring in in the future will be put directly back into the magazine, either through contests, supporting cosplayers, etc.
CC: What has been the best experience you’ve had cosplaying?
Nikko: The best moment so far has been at the Ottawa Geek Market when I was cosplaying as Wonder Woman last year. I had a young girl come up to me, give me a massive hug, and whisper to me “thank you for being my hero”. These moments make it all worth it!
CC: What age do you think people should get into the world of cosplay?
Nikko: Absolutely any age they wish! I’ve met people in their 80’s who are just getting into it, and I’ve also seen toddlers in cosplay. I believe that anyone, at any time, can get into cosplay. There really is no right time – just do it! haha
CC: Where would you like to see Cos Culture Magazine in the future?
Nikko: I would absolutely love to see the magazine gain distribution in other parts of the world, apart from North America. We’ve features the work of SO many amazing international cosplayers and artists, it would be amazing gain a presence overseas. We’ve just re-launched our digital subscriptions as completely free, so I’m hoping this will attract more people.
CC: What are some characters you’d like to channel in your cosplay future?
Nikko: I have a list of about 1,000 cosplays I would love to do! I absolutely love creating new characters, and I designed a dragon hunter set of armor that I will be starting this year. I’m also half way through writing a book, and would love to make a cosplay of the main Character, Ash! In terms of characters that people already know, I would really love to do more superhero cosplays. It’s fun being recognized by kids as characters they look up to. Plus, it’s just super cool pretending to have super powers!
CC: What will you hope to achieve if you reach your Kickstarter goal, and what will that mean for the future of Cos Culture Magazine?
Nikko: The whole purpose of the magazine was to gain enough print subscribers to make the magazine self-sustaining. We’re increasing our print circulation to 6-times per year, and we’re hoping to get enough subscribers to make that a reality. So far everything has been paid out of my own pocket, and if the Kickstarter passes it will simply allow me to continue with the magazine. I’m also a full-time Master’s student, so managing both time and finances for this project has been difficult. The magazine has been met with such tremendously positive feedback, though, and I’m confident we’ll reach a point where the magazine will be able to pay for itself through subscriptions. We just need help getting the word out!
At the moment we’re just a little over halfway to our goal, with only a few days left. We could use all of your support to help us reach our goal!
Cos Culture Magazine’s Kickstarter has a few days left, and any share or pledge will help! Let’s help out our fellow cosplay community members and pass the word along! Below you will find the links to all of the Cos Culture Magazine’s social media outlets and Kickstarter Campaign. Thanks for reading and feel free to share pics and stories in the comments of your best cosplay memories!
Cos Culture Magazine Website: http://www.cosculturemagazine.com/
Cos Culture Magazine Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cosculturemagazine
Cos Culture Magazine Twitter: https://twitter.com/cosculturemag
Cos Culture Magazine KICKSTARTER!!!!: