[Week Five broadcast of “The Superhero Show” from WAMH 89.3 FM Amherst; originally aired 11/07/2015]
[Part 2 of 2 “Costumes? Cosplay!” Question]
Question of the week: Why do people cosplay?
In last week’s broadcast, we defined the distinction between costuming and cosplaying. This week we talked to a major cosplayer at Amherst College: Allison Lee. She’s been cosplaying for five years and summed in her own words, what cosplaying is:
Although tons of cosplayers buy their costumes, Allison usually makes her own (though for Halloween, she sometimes buys the more recognizable costumes, like Super Man). She’s been to tons of Comic Cons and has some advice for those who want to start cosplaying:
This week, we took a break from our Western comic book heroes and focused more on manga:
Created in Japan, the word “manga” (漫画) is made up of two kanji that can be roughly translated as “whimsical picture” or “impromptu sketches”. Unlike American comics, manga is read from right to left, and the story starts at what we would think of as the back of the book.
Besides, how tons of people (including Allison) get interested in manga is not different from how people get interested in Western superheroes: television.
Allison got interested in manga from watching anime, and also interested in superheroes from watching cartoons.
Lisa Gitelman, author of Already Always New, referred to this as:
Using the new medium offered intercultural experiences of varying intensity in addition to cultural experiences of varying weight.
These new media allow more access to more users and a reflexivity of circulation (i.e. able to go back to older media and have its message still be relevant).
Cosplaying allows its players to complete a wish fulfillment of sorts, by connecting them to characters they love and directly relate to their morals, traits, etc. if even they’re old-fashioned, outlandish, and maybe even completely nonexistent.
Current Lead of Favorite Superhero Poll
“The Superhero Show” broadcasts live from WAMH at Amherst College on Saturday nights from 8-9pm EST/US. Listen at 89.3FM or wamhradio.com