Cosplay: A History: The Builders, Fans, and Makers Who Bring Your Favorite Stories to Life by Andrew Liptak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a fairly exhaustive history of the phenomenon known as "cosplay," short for "costume play." This is where fans of a certain franchise--Marvel, Star Trek, or in the case of the author, Star Wars--replicate the onscreen costumes of their favorite characters and show them off. In many cases this takes place at conventions, most famously San Diego Comic Con. The author also belongs to the 501st Legion, and organized group of fans who build their own Stormtrooper costumes and do charity work.
Physically, the book is hefty and gorgeous, printed on heavy stock paper because of the many photographs, most from the author's own collection. The writing is....well, let's just say it lives up to its title. This is first and foremost a history, with the dry and sometimes bland and plodding writing style that would follow. Which is kind of sad, because it seems like there would be a lot of fun to be had with this, if the subject was approached with a little more irreverence. Also, there are extensive footnotes, but what kind of non-fiction book doesn't have an index? That seems a pretty glaring omission.
Anyway, this book took me quite a while to get through, which didn't happen with the last non-fiction book I read. The topic is worth a book-length treatise. I just wish the narrative was a little more lively.
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