New Jersey Comic Expo Addresses Etiquette Towards Cosplayers

The New Jersey Comic Expo is coming up in less than a month and they've just sent out a new announcement adding three guests to the list. Scott Hanna, Rags Morales and Veronica Cosplays. Hanna is a penciller/inker/cover artist who has worked for both Marvel and DC. Morales is an artist who might be best known for his work on Identity Crisis. Veronica is a full-time internation cosplay artist. Nice editions to a growing guest list that already includes Jae Lee, Ethan Van Sciver, Colleen Doran, Meredith Finch, Joseph Michael Linsner and Scott Koblish.

New Jersey

But what stood out to me more was included in the email was something they called "How to Con: Cosplay Edition". This included three examples of things to never say to a cosplayer. The examples are all things I've heard people say at cons and the reasoning why not to say them are really well said. Here are the examples:

1: "WOW! Did you ACTUALLY make that yourself?"


Saying this is throwing some serious shade the cosplayers way and equivalent to comparing their hard work to something you could buy at a Halloween store. Try instead telling them what you love about the costume and asking for more information on how they constructed it.

2: "YOU ARE SO HOT! Can I get a picture? By the way, what are you supposed to be anyway?"


Besides just being against general manners all together, its incredibly insulting! Prioritizing a picture of their body over their hard work and passion is NEVER okay. Ask who they are cosplaying, tell them how much you dig it and ask for a picture politely.

3: "You look SO MUCH better than the other [character name] I saw today!"


Through this compliment, you're effectively saying that someone else did a horrible job. Not to mention that person getting this "compliment" doesn't feel great, either; you've created competition where it doesn't belong. There is room for everybody is cosplay! Instead, just let them know what a great job they did, and that you love their cosplay!

Cosplay is something that has grown naturally out of conventions. People have been dressing up as their favorite characters since the first time a kid wrapped a towel around his neck and pretended to fly. As the conventions became more prevalent, more people donned costumes and over the last decade it grew into a thriving art form. The problem is that a good number of attendees don't understand it as an artform. That the cosplayers put hours and hours of work into their costumes. Allowing you to photograph them is a way for them to share their work… they deserved to be treated as artists and with respect. I think it's great that the New Jersey Comic Expo is addressing this in such a straight forward manner.

For more information on the New Jersey Comic Expo, click here.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.