A lush combination of portraiture and documentary photography, Cosplay in The united states, Volume 2 takes us on a tour of fan conventions around the nation from Comic-Con International in San Diego and Los Angeles’s Anime Expo to DragonCon in Atlanta and New York Comic Con in celebration of the pastime of cosplay. The act of dressing up as characters from manga, video games, and anime can require hundreds of hours of build time and painstaking attention to detail; and with five hundred cons per year in the USA and a dedicated community, the road between hobby and way of life blurs.
Ejen Chuang spent two years photographing folks constructing costumes and gathering at events to model their efforts. Accompanying Chuang’s beautiful and deeply human images, cosplayers of every age and backgrounds speak about their experiences of finding themselves at the same time as bringing fictional characters to life. Essays by Andrea Letamendi, PhD, and Liz Ohanesian deepen our figuring out of this transformative subculture.