Cosplay is coming to town at the Oz Comic-Con competition in Melbourne

Fung realized that she loved developing the range of skills necessary for cosplay.

“I was listing the amount of skills I needed just to make this prop…it took me about eight to 10 skills that I needed to learn,” she said.

Fung’s handmade foam and resin headdress took over 20 hours to makeCredit:Jason South

Fung told her partner that she couldn’t wait for her body to recover so she could return to cosplay.

Once she did, she reconnected with her college friends and began to prepare for competitions, reentering her double life.

“By day I’m managing properties and by night I’m working on my costumes and props and planning my sketch,” Fung said.

Besides cosplay contests, other activities at Oz Comic-Con include artist and game booths, industry panels, drawing contests, and celebrity meet-and-greets.

Some overseas cosplayers have managed to make a career out of it, including American cosplayer Yaya Han who has over 600,000 Instagram followers, a book, and a range of cosplay accessories and fabrics.

The world’s largest comic book and cosplay convention, Comiket, takes place in Tokyo. It has both a summer and winter event and attracts half a million people every year.

The Melbourne cosplay contest host, who goes through JusZ Cosplay and works in IT, said contestants spend anywhere from a few weeks to six months preparing their costumes.

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She’s made over 50 costumes since discovering cosplay in 2011 and flies over Australia to host the Oz Comic-Con cosplay competitions in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

“We really find a group of people who understand each other…all of my best friends are involved in cosplay.”

“Cosplayers are all in one – we have to make the armor, we have to make the patterns, we have to sew the dress…Movie studios have 10 people working on a piece of clothing – we’re just one person at our table of the kitchen.

The centerpiece of cosplay competitions is the Oz Comic-Con Championships of Cosplay, reserved for the most skilled cosplayers who demonstrate high-level craftsmanship in their costumes.

The winner will be flown to Sydney for the final.

“We’re really looking for beautifully executed techniques, innovative ideas, great polishing finish,” JusZ said.

For Fung, it’s as much about the task as the result. “Your two hands can create something amazing,” she said. “We forget to sit down and just enjoy the process.”

About Walter J. Leslie

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