[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Cosplay is an art practiced by enthusiasts of each sublet of nerd culture. Be they video games, anime, manga, comics, or TV/movies, these fans pour their heart and soul into their craft, making elaborate, ornate costumes to do their very best to imitate their favorite characters. The main draw of these costumes, however, are the actual costumes themselves.
To help educate the masses we chatted with former cosplayer-turned-author and founder of Cosplay Deviants’ Troy Doerner about collecting and cataloging this fast-growing obsession in his company’s new book titled (what else?) Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up: Cosplay Deviants.
Warning! Links below may lead to titillating NSFW imagery and other cosplay-related debauchery. Proceed with caution.
How did the Cosplay Deviants brand get started?
Cosplay Deviants was started as a joke while I was in college to spite one of my professors. Once memberships continued to grow I turned my focus to making it a full-fledged website and community. In 2012 I quit my full time job to work on Cosplay Deviants exclusively.
Why was the decision made to cut or omit entirely the accompanying interviews with each cosplayer? It would have made the book stand out among other coffee table books – especially given the fact that you tout that each model is invested in their respective hobbies.
The publisher wanted to cut the interviews due to page size. The interviews added a lot to the book in terms of volume and price, and for an initial release we decided that a more reasonable price point is the better way to go. You can still learn a lot about our models on their public blogs found on CosplayDeviants.com.
Did you not include the names of each character the models are cosplaying as well as the series on purpose to avoid copyright issues? It’s difficult to identify some if you’re not a fan of specific genres, and given that many of these costumes are really lingerie in some ways, you can’t tell exactly who it is. I’ve read in several places that the publisher made some decisions about what the book should contain, but I’d like your thoughts on the matter.
We do not use character names on the site, so we decided against using them in the book as well.
Obviously, female cosplayers come in all shapes and sizes. Why did you choose to omit curvy women with different body types or plus size cosplayers? Do you feel they weren’t worthy of inclusion or fail to titillate when it comes to these types of publications? By the same token, if “celebrating the nude form” is the point of the book, why are there no male cosplayers included to appease those who might decide to purchase the publication?
I don’t know if you actually looked through the book but we are proud to feature models of various body types on CosplayDeviants.com, all of whom look fantastic and feel confident in their own skin.
The quality of each set of photos differs greatly throughout the book. On one hand, you have striking professional quality images that complement the characters chosen by the models, and on the other we have sets where the cosplayers look a bit uncomfortable or like their sets were shot via smartphone. I understand how the models submit their own photos, but if the goal was to create a book inclusive of the cream of the crop, why not take care to include only the best photos you could compile?
Because we do not play favorites. Some of our models have access to professional photographers that they are comfortable with, others are comfortable being shot by a friend. Either way images in the book are but a sampling of the over 40,000 images found on CosplayDeviants.com
What is your vision for Cosplay Deviants in the future?
CosplayDeviants.com continues to grow as the community it was initially started as, and that is what we like to see. We have slowly been rolling out more interactive features on the website such as a new webcam chat system and an online version of our popular TCG that allows models and members to interact beyond just a typical forum environment.
Would you ever consider doing a male-only version of the publication to expand your print audience?
Doubtful, while we do feature males on the website we simply do not receive enough content for such a publication.
Do your models ever work with game companies/PR firms to promote the products they enjoy, or express interest in doing so?
Yes, many of our models work with conventions and various companies on promotion.
Do you have any other projects coming down the pipeline?
We did just launch the third series of our popular TCG and have begin initial photography on our 6th annual calendar. We are also heading up the Cosplay is NOT Consent movement, helping to make sure convention attendees once again feel safe by promotion stricter punishments for offenders at conventions and fan events.
What are your personal favorites when it comes to anime, video game, and general geekery?
I am a huge Spider-Man fan and have been a long time fan of Evangelion. My geeky pleasure is collection statues and well-sculpted figures.