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December 2012

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ARTICLE: Cosplay and Competitions

Originally published at Cosplex. Please leave any comments there.

Cosplay competitions have changed radically since I started cosplaying almost 10 years ago. They have evolved from simple catwalk shows to full-on theatrical style performances, with the level of skill and craftsmanship rocketing as the community has grown.  Pre-judging, a.k.a five minute conversations with the judges, along with detailed progress books, have also become common place in the UK’s competition scene.

Along with the competitions found at many of our well known conventions, UK cosplayers now have the opportunity to enter the preliminaries for three international cosplay events:

Understandably, for some people heavy competition isn’t their scene. Don’t worry; there are plenty of opportunities to showcase your work on stage without the pressure. I recommend the costume parades at either London Comic con (formerly known as MCM expo) or Hyper Japan; these are also great events for people who have recently started out in the cosplay scene.

After many years of competing in, helping out at, and more recently judging cosplay competitions,  I’ve come up with some tips for this new age of international cosplay competition. Please note that most of these are drawn from my experiences and are meant as advice; this isn’t a full proof guide for winning competitions!

Since I got a little carried away with writing, i’ve split it down into two main sections. Please click on the links below:

What are the judges looking for? (includes tips for pre-judging)

3 Top tips for Performances

Remember It’s not the end of the world if you don’t win!

It’s almost impossible to predict the outcome of a competition, so there will be a chance that you won’t win even after all of the hard work and effort. Remember that cosplaying is a hobby! It’s for enjoyment and for making friends.

Please respect the judge’s opinions; it’s not an easy job to pick a winner as entrants often score so close. Don’t be afraid to ask the judges for constructive criticism, they’ll often be happy to give you some advice on how to improve your costume and performance skills for your next entry.

At the end of the day, remember you have a brand new costume to add to your collection. Plan a photo shoot and get some pictures to show off your hard work on Cosplay Island and Facebook.

I hope these short articles have offered you some useful advice. If you have any questions you can contact me through my website (www.cosplex.co.uk) or my FB page (www.facebook.com\cosplex)

I’d also like to thank Annette, for helping me edit my first article.