Friday, September 13, 2013


Regular readers of this bloggy thing of mine know I am addicted to
Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay.  The six-episode “reality show” follows
a group of professional cosplayers as they compete for fame, cash
prizes and career opportunities at conventions across the nation.
I’m fascinated by what goes into making these costumes and how the
cosplayers “perform” the characters their costumes represent.  I’m
far less enamored by the cheesy and sleazy “reality show” gimmicks.

The penultimate episode of Heroes of Cosplay is a two-part episode
set at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, a wonderful event I attended
when it was much smaller.  It was great fun then and I’m sure it’s
great fun now.

Planet Comicon is a two-day show with two costume competitions.  On
the first day, there is a solo cosplayer competition.  The second
day has a group competition wherein the cosplaying teams must put
on skits of one kind or another.  In this first of two episodes, we
see the solo cosplayer competition and some of the preparation for
the group competition.

Disclaimer.  I don’t know any of these cosplayers personally, so my
comments are based on how they appear on the show.  A few of these
cosplayers strike me as extremely unpleasant individuals, but, for
all I know, that’s at the direction of the people making the show.
“Reality” shows don’t actually reflect reality, no matter how much
hype the producers of these shows put on the screen.

Jessica, Holly and Becky continue to be my favorite cosplayers on
this show.  At the front of the episode, Jessica and Holly throw a
cosplaying party.  They will be teaming with Becky for the Planet
Comicon group competition.  More than any other cosplayers on the
show, though the delightful Chloe comes close, these three ladies
bring the fun of cosplaying to the series.  They have fun with the
costumes and enjoy teaching and working with others.  They support
one another.  Despite YaYa Han’s yammering about her “brand,” Holly
and Jessica have the only truly impressive credit on their resumes.
They created a monster for the movie Pacific Rim.

For this episode, the producers have given us heroes and villains.
The villains are YaYa, Riki and Monika.  YaYa comes off as so full
of herself that, were there a Heroes of Cosplay drinking game with
every mention of her brand or her reputation calling for a drink,
we’d all be blind drunk by the first commercial break.  YaYa does
not bring fun to the show and neither do Riki and Monika.  Even
the sometimes extraordinary craftsmanship they bring to their
costume creations seems only to be important to them as a
stepping stone to their imagined fame and fortune.

Monika, the youngest of the cosplayers, is the “mean girl” found so
often in bad movies and soap operas.  She’s almost as arrogant as
YaYa, which is quite an accomplishment given her relatively tender

Riki is more accomplished, but exhibits no joy as she works on her
costume and performance.  Maybe its producer manipulation, but I’m
repelled by these three cosplayers.

Jesse, the only male cosplayer is easy to root for, but he’s also
rocking the drama queen tune.  He acts as if his whole future will
depend on every costume, every competition.  It’s a shame because
his craftsmanship and hard work are marvelous to behold.  How can
I not root for a guy who swims in a cold ocean wearing his pirate
costume so it will look properly worn for the competition?  I was
thrilled to see him place in the solo competition.

Chloe also entered the solo competition as a character from a video
game and accompanied by her robot.  The robot was made by her dad,
who did special effects for Star Wars.  That seems a little unfair
to me.  However,  since she’s such a proponent of the fun of cosplaying,
I couldn’t get too upset over her winning an award.

Becky also entered the solo competition.  Her costume was lovely,
her performance good and the special effect created by her roommate
Lance was nicely made.  I wouldn’t call it an award-winner, but it
was both fun and professional.

This episode didn’t show too much of the heroic trio of Jessica and
Holly and Becky, but there was a fine scene where the girls called
on some friends to help them with a prop.  The friends didn’t have
any experience.  I love the idea of the ladies enjoying teaching new
skills to their friends and sharing this experience with them.  This
might be producer manipulation, but I really really want to see the
nice girls beat the mean girls in the group competition.

I saved Victoria and Jinyo for last because finally, at long last,
this is the Victoria I’ve wanted to see in this show.  She came up
with a really clever idea - a comic book hero whose paper costume
was made of colorful strips cut from comic books - and clearly had
fun with it.  When asked what her powers were, she got a big laugh
with “Paper cuts.”  Okay, sure, her and Jinyo were still working on
the costume at the hotel and had to make a last-minute change from
the original design, but they handled it with only a small bit of
drama.  That’s progress.

If Heroes of Cosplay gets a second season, the scene I most want to
see is Victoria and Jinyo having fun the night before the costume
competition because they finished her costume days before traveling
to the convention.  That last-minute stuff gets less dramatic with
each new crisis.

Heroes of Cosplay concludes its initial six-episode run on Tuesday.
I’ll write about the finale next week.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.  
© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. I posted a tweet about Victoria being a jerk to Jinyo, & he sent me a very warm & polite reply, about the stress she's under, & that the show is not a fair representation of her, as a girlfriend. Jinyo is now, officially, my favorite person on the show.

  2. Replies
    1. Because most stories have more than one side to them:

    2. For various reasons, not all of which were due to the production schedule, we had only three days to make Victoria's Comic Book Hero outfit, which was a fusion of cosplay and Victoria's other passion, "geek girl" fashion. (She has a blog devoted solely to this subject: ). In addition to gluing comic book pages to an assortment of items, Victoria made a steel-boned corset from scratch.

      Given the time constraints, she knew she had no realistic shot at winning the contest, which I think allowed her to approach it less stressfully. We were pleased that they chose to depict her with a bit of the fun-oriented attitude with which she typically approaches convention-going.

  3. I found it interesting in the worst possible way, but I'll save my further comments about this rude woman for my blog on the final episode of the series.