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“Charlie” as Morrigan from the Dragon Age:Origins Series











What is Cosplay you may ask ? Here’s the literal definition.
“Cosplay”, short for “costume play”,is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.

Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered around role play. A broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.

Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books, video games and films. Any entity from the real or virtual world that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject. Inanimate objects are given anthropomorphic forms and it is not unusual to see genders switched, with women playing male roles and vice versa. There is also a subset of cosplay culture centered around sex appeal, with Cosplayers specifically choosing characters that are known for their attractiveness and/or revealing (even explicit) costumes.

The Internet has enabled many Cosplayers to create social networks and websites centered around cosplay activities, while forums allow them to share stories, photographs, news and tips. The exponential growth in the number of people picking up cosplay as a hobby since 1990 has made the phenomenon influential in popular culture. This is particularly the case in Asia where cosplay influences Japanese street fashion and popular culture.”

Zevran aka Kyla & Morrigan aka “Charlie”

Arriving at Comic-Con 2012 for the first time, I was overloaded with what to see & when. If Comic-Con lasted a full week I could still never see it all, so it’s all about time management, scheduling, and massive amounts of patience for starters. Also a good rule of thumb is make sure you have SEVERAL backup plans in place for each panel or show you wish to see. Chances are you’ll be lucky to accomplish 10 percent of what you originally intended to do. Trust me, I know that all too well.

In retrospect , being shut out of panel after panel wasn’t a bad thing. It allowed me to walk the show floor, taking my time, which in turn gave me the chance to meet an abundance of really dedicated fans & Cosplay Artists. I took well over 500 pictures while at the Con from Wednesday (preview night ) through early Sunday morning when my body gave out and I just had to call it quits. It’s exhausting at any age. That said I have seen more amazing cosplay in 5 days than I could begin to describe to you or even show you. So this article will cover a VERY FEW of my personal favorites. Let me stress again, MY PERSONAL FAVORITES.

Above you already had the privilege of seeing “Charlie” and her friend Kyla. I spotted “Charlie” as I wandered the show floor, spending money I still can’t rationalize spending. Elliott laughed every night when I said I was done shopping. Anyway, when I stopped “Charlie” to take a photo, she struck me as an amazing artist. First off, that costume she is wearing was made by her own two hands. The attention to detail was staggering. I know, I’m a huge Morrigan fan. From her hair down to her boots, she just nailed it. When I stopped her to ask her a few questions , she was sweet and seemingly taken aback by the fact that I had decided then and there to make her my #1 choice to feature here. Why not ? It’s a damn near perfect real life portrayal. Even the staff was perfect. It took her 3 weeks of long days to put this together. Also amazing. Here’s a short Q&A I had with her after the Con ended.

Tony: Was this your first attempt at Cosplay ?

Charlie: No. I’ve done a few costumes before but this was easily the most intricate design I’ve done to date.

Tony: When did you start dressing for conventions ?

Charlie: My first 2 costumes were in 2005, but I hadn’t dressed up again until 2009 when I was Pikachu. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Tony: How many times have you attended Comic Con ?

Charlie: This would be my ninth year.

Tony: Wow, 9 times. So why Morrigan from DAO this year ?

Charlie: Easy. Morrigan’s badass and her outfit is amazing. Loving her character made it an easy choice.

Tony: You told me that the costume from start to finish took 3 weeks and long hours during that time. How difficult was it to reproduce such a detail rich replica ?

Charlie: Well there was a lot of trial and error. I mean a lot of trial and error. The total cost of the materials ran roughly $300. Well worth it in the end.

Tony: What is it you like most about dressing up as your favorite characters ?

Charlie: I love dressing up because you get to embody a different persona, preferably one you can identify with & appreciate. Honestly being a character like that is a blast!

Tony: So did you get to meet anyone interesting while at the Con this year ?

Charlie: I met David Gaider, the writer of all things Dragon Age, as well as a few voice actors from Mass Effect. A few you tubers I follow were there as well that I really like.

Tony: What was your favorite part of Comic Con this year personally ?

Charlie: Tough choice. It’s a tie between meeting some really great people & the massive appreciation that people have for everyone in costume.

I’d like to personally thank “Charlie” for her time. She is what Cosplay is all about in a nutshell.

I look forward to what she pulls off next year. If it’s half as good as her Morrigan, she’s bound to turn more than a few appreciative heads.


If you’d like to see more of “Charlie” and Kyla, feel free to visit their tumblr page at :


I’d like to close out this brief piece on Cosplay by expressing my deep admiration for all who participate. Without you, Comic-Con would be a corporate, bland environment that would be mediocre at best. Atmosphere is everything, and Cosplay is the most necessary of atmospheres for any Con related convention.

In closing here are a few of my secondary favorites from Comic-Con 2012. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.







Tony Manchen

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