NYCC 2016 was my first time at the legendary New York Comic Con. It was a packed house at the Javits Center this year. Among the bright lights, thousands of squished nerds, and endless aisles of merch, I was able to spot some rad cosplayers, doing their thing, geeking out hard and proud at one of the biggest North American conventions. I went around asking, “What does cosplay mean to you?” Check out the answers!

Mutant and Proud: Storm Taking the stage!

“Cosplay is a chance to live out all your fantasies. Cosplay is like being a little kid.”

Check out this Cosplayer on Instagram: Golden Kitsune

“Cosplay is just a great way for you to express yourself. It’s a way to vibe….and find yourself in another medium.”

Static Shock is on Instagram as chailey27

“Bringing back childhood memories and seeing how life is in their shoes.”

Team Rocket from Pokemon by SailorXtasy

“What Cosplay means to me is a chance to act out a character that I enjoy watching and pretending to be someone else for the day. Cosplay means to me a chance to forget the real world for a while and escape to what makes me happy. Lastly, cosplay means to me a chance to bring happiness to people who recognize who I am and it brings them joy or to give them the opportunity to find the courage to cosplay for themselves.”

teamrocketnycc

Athena from Saint Seiya by Shockolate Energy Cosplay

“What cosplay means to me is that I can be whoever I want whenever I want….
I don’t have any limitations. The only thing that holds me back is my wallet.
The main reason why it means a lot is to show the younger generation that you can be anyone… If kids see us cosplays and portraying the character they see on TV. I really feel like it will inspire them more. It shows that anyone, especially us POC, can and will continue cosplay for generations to come.”

athenacosplaynycc
Photo credit to Errant Knight Photography

Harley Quinn

“To me, Cosplay means becoming a character that you can see yourself as. To have a whole new identity and still be yourself. I cosplayed for the first time ever at NYCC 2016 and I felt liberated, I felt powerful while having fun and still being myself. It’s a great way to make your favorite characters come to life. Confidence is what Cosplay means to me.”
harleyquinncosplaynycc

Unknown — If you know this cosplayer, please let us know!

“It means escape. I struggle with chronic depression and anxiety. I have all my life. When I started cosplaying about a year ago it really helped me. I was able to channel that into this hobby and even if for a little bit, I was able to think and stress about something else. It also means community. I was able to meet new people and make friends I wouldn’t have otherwise have I not joined cosplay groups and make plans with people to cosplay from the same show. It’s a great way to just get the load off and channel it into something different, something positive. Another thing is confidence. I’m a plus size women of color and I worry sometimes my weight will affect the way people look at my cosplay. But at the con no one (at least in person) is looking at me as a fat girl. They see me as the character I’m trying to portray. And we can all use some positive feed-back in this day and age.”

unknowncosplay-nycc

Raven from Teen Titans by Harajukuchic

“Cosplay means the world to me. It’s my escape from the reality of adult life. Cosplay helps me get in contact with people who have the same interest that I do. I’ve met some of my best friends through cosplay.”

ravencosplaynycc

Look for these and other cosplayers on our Instagram page.

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  • Oona Sura is a cosplay enthusiast with an appreciation for Framboise Lambic, Haruki Murakami, and cats. Catch her at the next anime convention on the East Coast!

  • Show Comments

  • Blaquestarr

    The cosplayer appears to be Mami Tomoe from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    Don’t know who the actual person is, unfortunately.

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