by Camela Thompson
A couple of weekends ago, my friend and I attended Geek Girl Con in Seattle. It was awesome. They had some really great panels, but a lot of our time was spent perusing the booths of artwork, t-shirts, jewelry, games, and oggling a number of people in full costume. My favorites were Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, and some really awesome costumes of fae. One woman had gorgeous long blue hair with intricate ebony antlers climbing from her skull above pointed ears. For every unique creature, there were several that were very recognizable. Copyright infringement abounded. As I was purchasing some beautiful artwork, I found myself biting my tongue. I wanted to ask if they had contacted all of the copyright holders for the pieces they were reproducing, but I was pretty certain I already knew the answer.
Geek Girl Con really knows their audience
With Halloween fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot about costumes and cosplay (for more on what cosplay is, go here). It's rare to see authors rant about cosplay, but I've seen it happen. While the author of the particular rant I have in mind had valid points about copyright infringement and misrepresentation, I couldn't understand why she was focused on cosplay. I've seen work that was very close to her own in really bad, low budget movies that are available through common movie providers. Other works get spun off in fan fiction, possibly robbing the author of an opportunity to explore a character's story on their own. Artists sell paintings, prints, and t-shirts with images and creatures torn off the big screen. Artwork, fan fiction, and movies all stand a chance to take a share of the author's profit.
My vision of Olivia's party dress from Book 1.
So much bead work...This is why I don't cosplay.
Cosplayers don't manufacture their costumes for profit, although there are some lucrative prizes in contests. I still doubt it makes up for the cost poured into years of costumes. Cosplayers also don't tend to make costumes in bulk to sell to other fans. It's too expensive, and the whole point of the exercise is to express their love for a character. While a lot of money can go into manufacturing a costume, generally cosplayers make their own from scavenged materials and it's used as an expression of self.
The material shouldn't be sheer, but
working with templates is interesting
I would be honored if someone loved my work enough to bring it to cosplay. Honestly, it's on my bucket list. All I ask is that I get a picture so I can share it. It's not done for profit, it gets the word out about my books, and it's very flattering. The motive behind the act has everything to do with my reaction. Fan fiction or movies without my permission prior to production will not get the same response, and I'm not shy about involving a lawyer.
What do you think about cosplay? Are there forms of media you would love to see your work in? Are there others that would bother you?
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.