REGINA – Adult life isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Day jobs can be repetitive, and keeping up with bills can be depressing.
But at Regina’s Fan Expo, you can transform into someone else.
Evraz place was full of insurance brokers, construction workers and even lawyers, but you would never know it.
Cosplay is the art of costume play where in depth and detailed costumes are worn. Some costing up to $1,500 or more.
Days and even months are spent hand making these character costumes.
“I think the making of the costume more so than wearing it is [ what I enjoy],” Yeliana May Cosplay said.
She is a serious cosplayer, dressed up as Nightingale, an anime character. She’s also had her own booth at this year’s Fan Expo.
The more elaborate the costume, the more strangers will ask for photos.
It’s something Cosplayers said they love because it’s a compliment to their work. But when hands slip, accidental or not it, cosplayers aren’t smiling.
The Cosplay community all across North America has a new slogan,
“Cosplay is not Consent.”
Many Cosplayers tend to wear tight or revealing clothing because often that’s how the characters are drawn in the comic books.
Andrew Moyes is the Show Director for Fan Expo head quarters and is very aware of the problem.
“We haven’t fielded any complaints at this specific show, I know it is something that does come up on the convention circuit and we have started providing signing, you know just talking about the fact that this is a safe environment for everyone,” Moyes said.
There may not have been any formal complaints but according to cosplayers it’s because Regina and Saskatoon tend to have smaller venues.
They say there is a smaller community of cosplayers who look out for each other and don’t allow sexual harassment.
However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“I find for me, it depends on what I’m wearing, yesterday I had quite a few but I was in a corset so, a lot of them are just like ‘oh, pretty’ but today not so bad,” one scantily dressed cosplayer said.
A few mentioned that if they are taking photos with strangers, they purposely try to leave room between them and not get too close, just in case.
One male cosplayer, dressed as the Punisher, said he has had women touch his lower back side a number of times, especially when he is wearing his Obi-Wan Kenobi costume.
One example of the caring cosplay community here in Regina, is Michael Pete who was running a free costume repair booth.
This pay-it-forward type of attitude is growing and cosplayers are not backing down from specific costumes, rather standing up against harassment.
After all, Fan Expo is all about having fun fantasies not fulfilling sexual ones.