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Illustration by Megan Koch

Calgary Comic Expo’s cosplay craziness

By Cristina Paolozzi, May 16 2022— 

Calgary Comic Expo took place this year from April 21–24, and saw a massive congregation of the city’s nerds come together again after last year’s events were cancelled. A “limited edition” of the Comic Expo took place last year, however, this year’s convention was in full swing, welcoming guests from all over the world. 

Calgary Comic Expo celebrated 15 years, bringing all things pop culture to Stampede Park. This year’s notable guests included Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, William Shatner and other stars from anime, gaming and TV shows. 

Illustration by Megan Koch

Another tradition that many expo-goers anticipate is being able to dress up as their favourite characters. Known as cosplay, this can be anything from casual and goofy costumes to intricate and fragile works of art. 

The word “cosplay” is an anglicized version of the Japanese word Kosupure which is a blend of the two words “costume play.” This type of performance art can be seen at similar conventions all over the world and participants usually act and dress as their chosen character. 

While frequenting Calgary Comic Expo, the Gauntlet spotted many cosplayers, asking some about their experiences in the community. 

Illustration by Valery Perez

Alisa Siklodi has been cosplaying for about 10 years, as says that she was inspired by anime as a kid. 

“I come to conventions at least every year and have so many costumes,” she said. “I go to OtaFest and Comic Expo. Every once in a while I’ll go to Edmonton.” 

Siklodi says that she usually plans out her cosplays at least a year in advance, in order to book off work and to complete each look in time. Her favourite cosplay took over a month to finish. 

“[My favourite cosplay is] honestly probably this one — Jaina Proudmore from Warcraft. We just revamped it, and I’ve done it before.” 

Illustration by Valery Perez

Megan Crowe, a teacher in Calgary, also enjoys cosplaying and says she started cosplaying when she was just 11 years old. 

“I just fell in love with the community and the culture of it, and kept going.” 

For those who are looking to get started with cosplay, Crowe says that you don’t need to break the bank to create your very own masterpiece. 

“You can make cosplay from cardboard and craft paint,” she said. “Just give it a shot — everybody’s going to be excited about your character and your costume.” 

For more information about next year’s Calgary Comic Expo, check out their website.

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