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By Smaktakula

This Is Either Adorable Or Degrading Depending On How You Look At It.

Among the time-honored rites of childhood is playing make-believe.  As murderous outlaw cowboys, fairy princesses, dauntless firefighters or myriad other fantastical and heroic roles, children push the boundaries of the possible before the realities of adulthood grind their little spirits to dust.  Nine-year old Billy may be destined for a life of junior management at the Lodi Rite-Aid, but for this brief and priceless time he can be a gridiron hero, space cowboy or one of those annoying blue critters from Avatar.

The Glasses And Cleavage Are Nice, But The Lollipop Is The Pièce De Résistance.

Fortunately for the emotionally-stunted and other sexless adults, in 2011, dress-up is not limited to children or the mentally challenged; more and more, people over the age of eleven are embracing the magical world of make-believe.  They call it cosplay.

Cosplay, which Wikipedia charitably calls ‘performance art,’ isn’t going away any time soon.  Thanks to the proliferation of various fandom conventions–comic books, Star Trek, Dr. Who and their ilk–cosplayers have become emboldened through interaction like-minded individuals, where in ages past they would have been limited to practicing their hobby in dim and lonely basement, their sole audience a badly cracked full-length mirror.

Cosplay Pioneers Such As This One Had To Practice Their Art Behind Closed Doors.

Having crawled out into the sun, it is foolish to believe that these merry masters of make-believe will just as quickly slink back into the faerie forest.  In this way cosplay is like illegal drugs or preggo porn, enough people want to do it regardless of the very serious harm which may result, and so the war must turn to one of management rather than eradication.

It is imperative then that we educate the public–and not merely the cosplaying fringe–about engaging in safe make-believe practices, and also about the very real dangers of improper cosplay.  The following illustrations should suffice to impart upon even the most casual observer a basic knowledge of the DOs & DON’Ts of this bizarre hobby.

Cosplay:  There’s a right way, and so very many wrong ways.

Sadly, Wolverine's Uncanny Powers Of Regeneration Do Not Extend To His Hairline.

Now They Call Her 'Fridge Raider.'

Cody Bunning IS Hellboy--Thanks To Makeup And Mom's Credit Card.

Even If Your Goal Was To Not Look Like A Complete Tool From The Waist Up, We'd Say It's At Best A Partial Success.

You're Doing It Right.

You're Doing It Wrong.

Poor Hygiene Means You Sit Alone.

This Sailor Moon Comes With Her Own Gravitational Field.

"It's The Role I Was Born To Play!"

Clothes Do Nothing For Ron Jeremy.

No, You're Right--She's A Perfectly Lovely Young Lady. We Just Can't Help Being A Little . . . Underwhelmed.

If Someone Hasn't Told You By Now, Profile Is Not Your Best Angle.

She Gets It.

He Doesn't.

Historically We Have Been Opposed To Forced Sterilization. However, We Make Exceptions.

Faisal And His Four Brides Were A Hit At The Islamabad Convention.

Many Lamps Were Rubbed That Day.

You Wouldn't Think Robin The Boy Wonder Could Be Made Any Lamer, But There You Go.

Yeah, The Ladies Have Let Themselves Go. But Copious Quantities Of Alcohol Will Transform The Chick On The Left Into The Supergirl We Met A Few Panels Ago.

We're Reasonably Sure That Jabba The Hutt Didn't Deck Himself Out In An Orange Prison Jumpsuit.

We'd Give You A Lot More To Have Never Put That Awful Image In Our Heads.

Jody Isn't Just A Rabid Sailor Moon Fan--She's Actually Got Rabies.

Cosplay Isn't Just For Normals. Special Kids Like To Dress Up, Too.

Your Mothers Must Be Very Proud.

KILL IT! DO IT NOW! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, KILL THAT UNHOLY THING!

It Takes Creativity, Design Skill And A Sense Of Fun. Dignity Not Necessary.

Marry Us.

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