I am a proud, card-carrying nerd. While I am not a stereotype, I enjoy and appreciate all things geek (I do, after all, work in a library). Over the years, my inner geek has taken a back seat to jobs, school, moves, and financial constraints, however, the geek is and will always be around, waiting to be summoned.
Usually, the inner geek manifests in the months of July and August in anticipation of the largest comic, sci-fi, and horror convention in the Southeast: DragonCon. To the nerd, attending DragonCon is like completing a pilgrimage, graduating from High School, or buying your first car. If you enjoy pop culture (okay, if you are obsessed with pop culture), DragonCon is the “largest multigenre” nerd-fest in the world. I recommend (I insist) that you check it out.
For me, the weeks of July and August dredge on as “the Con” approaches. Note: while my “Con” is DragonCon, there are many other nerdy (anime, sci-fi, comic) conventions to choose from. While I wait for the last Thursday of August, the official kick-off day of DragonCon, I, like many other nerds during the dredge months, am also scrambling to get my costume together. That’s right, I cosplay, (this is a noun and verb).
Normally, at this point, when I speak to other, normal persons about this, they either become intrigued or their eyes glaze over. Since you’re still reading, let me explain. Cosplay is exactly what it sounds like: costume-play. Adults, children, and, occasionally, pets engage in this activity. In my experience, there are two types of cosplayers: those that create their own costumes and wear them and those that buy costumes, usually professionally constructed, and wear them. No judgment here for the latter, however, I, like most 90s kids, fit in to the “those that create their own costumes” faction.
There is something extraordinary about a group of adults getting together and cosplaying. Everyone finds comfort in the fact that everyone else at “the Con” is there out of respect and admiration for whatever genre their fellow nerd is in to; “the Con”, by far, is the biggest geek party of the year. Not only do adults get to dress up and escape from their daily lives for a weekend, there’s the buildup and creative outlet of “the making of the costume” during the dredge months.
Here, at the Macon County Public Library, we are starting a “Cosplay” club for everyone interested in a healthy amount of creative, geeky escapism. We’d like to get costumers together to learn from one another and we’d like to harness that creativity with each other. The Fontana Regional Library system has some makerspace (and more soon to come!) and we hope other “healthy escapes” will be included in the future.
While you may not have heard of “cosplay”, the Fontana Regional Library system has several books describing costuming techniques. Some books are “The Hero’s Closet”, “Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers”, and “1000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas…” among others. So, if you’re creative, quirky, and ready to express your inner geek, join us and create your cosplay for your “Con”.