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New Episode!!! COSPLAYER HOTSPOT – EPISODE 4: HEATHER ELIZABETH

COSPLAYER HOTSPOT – EPISODE 4: HEATHER ELIZABETH
Hear how Heather got into cosplay, her REAL feelings about John Wesley Shipp and why d**k pics are always a bad idea

Welcome back to the 4th episode of Cosplayer HotSpot – where I interview interesting cosplayers I have met since I started writing my book “Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask.” Some have been interviewed in the book, while others I met after publishing it – all have intriguing stories that deserve being told in this series.

Heather and her boyfriend Kirk Disla (interview coming soon) are great friends and co-conspirators in my group the Legion of SuperVillains. They have certainly made my costuming life a lot more fun. They have put together costumes for the Legion of Doom (Cheetah and ToyMan) and the Flash Rogues (Trickster and Mirror Master) just because I wanted those groups to happen…. Believe me when I say I will never forget that kindness..

Heather’s current roster of costumes are:The Trickster, Cheetah, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Wild Dog, Black Cat, Gwen Stacy, Lucille Ball,
Black Canary, Walking Dead’s Beth, Fairly Oddparents, Wanda, My Hero Academia Ochaco Uraraka, Jessie from Toy Story, Velma from Post Apocalyptic Scooby Doo and the Gang, She-Ra, Killer Frost, Dove from Hawk and Dove, Terra from Teen Titans, Artemis, Speedy, Felicity Smoak,
Poison from Street Fighter, Bride of Frankenstein and Tiffany from Bride of Chucky… And more….

Heather is a mom and a Medical Lab Tech as well as one of the co-owners of Tricksters Escape (Escape room coming soon)
Please enjoy the fourth video in this series and please like and subscribe to my channel. Please message or comment if you have any suggestions for future videos in the Cosplayer HotSpot series

Associated Links:
Heather Elizabeth’s FB Page
Heather Elizabeth’s Instagram

James Hannon website
James Hannon FB page
FB page for my book Anatomy of a Cosplayer

Legion of SuperVillains website

New Episode!!! COSPLAYER HOTSPOT – EPISODE 3: ED O’CONNELL

Welcome back to the third episode of Cosplayer HotSpot – where I interview interesting cosplayers I have met since I started writing my book “Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask.” Some have been interviewed in the book, while others I met after publishing it – all have intriguing stories that deserve being told in this series.

Ed O’Connell is a good friend who is also one of the founders of the Rebel Legion costume group (which I didn’t know until long after I started writing my book). He also was very responsible for me joining the group back in the beginning. He is also the founder of NYC’s USS Growler NCC – 76369 Star Trek costuming group. And he has been active in science fiction costuming since the early 90s.

Ed’s current roster of costumes are:
501st Legion: Imperial Crewman, Imperial Navy. Imperial Gunner
Rebel Legion: Rebel Pilot, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Hawkbat Pilot
GI Joe: Recondo
Star Trek, StarGate, Battlestar Galactica

Please enjoy the third video in the #CosplayHotSpot series and please like and subscribe to my channel. Please message or comment if you have any suggestions for future videos in the Cosplayer HotSpot series

Associated Links:
James Hannon website: http://www.JamesHannon.com
James Hannon FB page: https://www.facebook.com/lanternmedia
FB page for my book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: https://www.facebook.com/AnatomyOfACosplayer
Ed O’Connells’s FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/ed.oconnell.773
USS Growler FB Page https://www.facebook.com/USSGrowlerNCC76369/
501st Legion: http://501st.com
Rebel Legion: http://www.rebellegion.com

#rebellegion #starwars #jameshannon #edoconnell #reaper #501stLegion #501st #anatomyofacosplayer #cosplay #costuming #CosplayHotSpot #cosplayerspotlight #Battlestargalactica #BSG #startrek #stargate #gijoe #recondo #charitycosplay #rebelpilot

New Video! COSPLAYER HOTSPOT – EPISODE 2: JACQUELINE HANNON


Welcome back to the second episode of Cosplayer HotSpot – where I interview interesting cosplayers I have met since I started writing my book “Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask.” Some have been interviewed in the book, while others I met after publishing it – all have intriguing stories that deserve being told in this series.

Jackie Hannon is my beautiful wife and best friend. So I am absolutely biased here, but she has been with me from the beginning of my costumed journey. From swearing that she would NEVER COSTUME to currently owning over 12 costumes, she has been waist deep in cosplay for the last decade.

Jackie’s current roster of costumes are:

Legion of SuperVillains:
Mrs Cold (gender-bent Captain Cold), Poison Ivy, The Top, Pied Piper, Sinestro, and generic Yellow Lantern

501st Legion:
Imperial Crewman, Reserve TIE Pilot, Jawa (dual costume with the Rebel Legion)

Rebel Legion:
Rebel Pilot, Rebel Fleet Trooper

Finest GI Joe Costume Club:
Cobra PR Officer

Independent:
70s/80s wrestler Adrian Adonis, Yeoman Hannon (Star Trek TOS Red Dress)

Jackie is also an elementary/pre-school teacher and has used her teaching skills in cosplay, and her cosplay skills in teaching. She explains how the two callings are related..

Please enjoy the second video in the series and please like and subscribe to my channel. Please message or comment if you have any suggestions for future videos in the Cosplayer HotSpot series

Associated Links:
James Hannon website: http://www.JamesHannon.com
James Hannon FB page: https://www.facebook.com/lanternmedia
FB page for my book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: https://www.facebook.com/AnatomyOfACosplayer
Jackie Hannon’s FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.hannon.161
Jackie Hannon’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pinkleatherjack
Legion of SuperVillains website: http://www.LegionofSuperVillains.com
501st Legion: http://501st.com
Rebel Legion: http://www.rebellegion.comFinest GI Joes Costuming Club: https://www.thefinestcc.com

New Video Series Begins! Cosplayer Hotspot – Taylor Goodson of the 501st

As bonus material for my book “Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask”, I am creating a YouTube video series spotlighting various cosplayers with interesting lives and stories. Some have already been interviewed in my book, while others I have met AFTER publishing – All of them are fascinating subjects and I feel they deserve their own Cosplayer HotSpot moment.

Cosplayer Spotlight Episode 1: Taylor Arthur Goodson of the 501st Legion

Our first episode features Taylor Arthur Goodson of the 501st Legion. Taylor is a great friend, and has a pretty amazing resume. in cosplay and in his real life. He is the Executive Officer of the NorthEast Remnant (NJ) Garrison of the 501st Legion, a professional musician and composer, and has even composed music for my video called “Enter the Villains” which we did for the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest convention. He also spends his spare time helping potential members of the 501st Legion get their costumes into shape to be approved to be in the 501st – this has helped me tremendously, and is affectionately christened the “Taylor Made Armory” by Sean Glennon.

Please enjoy this first video in the series and please like and subscribe to my channel. Please message or comment if you have any suggestions for future videos in the Cosplayer HotSpot series

Associated Links:
James Hannon website: http://www.JamesHannon.com
James Hannon FB page: https://www.facebook.com/lanternmedia
FB page for my book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: https://www.facebook.com/AnatomyOfACosplayer
Taylor Goodson’s FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/tayloragoodson/
Taylor’s Music on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/taylor-arthur-goodson
Taylor-Made Armorer FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Taylormadearmorers/
501st Legion: http://501st.com
NorthEast Remnant (New Jersey) Garrison of the 501st Legion: http://www.501stNER.com

BookCon & BookExpo 2019 Review from a self-published author’s POV

James Hannon – a self-published Cosplay Author tries to promote himself and his book at these two very different events at the same place, and learns a lot about the publishing and book reader worlds in the process.

#TheBookCon #BookCon #BookCon2019 #BookCon19 #BookExpoAmerica #BookExpo #BookExpo2019 #BookExpo19 #Unbound


During the last week of May and the first couple of days of June 2019, I made the trip into New York City to hit BookExpo and BookCon 2019 at the Javits Center. I was there to promote my book Anatomy of A Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask and try to increase my footprint in brick and mortar bookstores and libraries.

BookExpo was on May 29th – 31st and BookCon was June 1st and 2nd, and they existed in the same space of the convention hall. On the surface they look the same with many of the same vendors and exhibitors, but they are totally different events for totally different target audiences.

BookExpo (also known as BookExpo America or simply “BEA”) is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. According to Wikipedia:

Nearly all significant book publishers in the United States, and many from abroad, have booths and exhibits at BEA, and use the fair as an opportunity to showcase upcoming titles, sell current books, socialize with colleagues from other publishing houses, and sell and buy subsidiary rights and international rights. Authors, librarians, and buyers for book retailers also attend the event.

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, May 30). BookExpo America. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:42, June 14, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=BookExpo_America&oldid=899506457

BookCon, on the other hand, is a fan-based convention very much like New York or San Diego Comic Con, but with a focus on books. Most of the exhibitors kept their same booth locations throughout both events, and just switch from being in “industry networking” mode to “promoting their product to fans” mode.

I figured that as an author trying to promote my book and increase my distribution network, it would be a good idea to attend both of these events as they seemed to have all the people I needed to reach in the same place. So I applied for an author pass at BookExpo (only industry people allowed) and was approved, and bought my BookCon weekend passes for my wife Jackie and myself.

A few days later, I signed up with the Combined Book Exhibit to display Anatomy of a Cosplayer throughout both events at their 2019 New Title Showcase exhibit. They also offered an opportunity for me to have a book signing during the show, but the price was a little above my budget. As I kept visiting their exhibit area over my time at both BookExpo and BookCon, there were actually lines for the authors who were signing, and I felt a little jealous that I didn’t have that signing moment at a big con. That being said, I still would have made the same decision to not do the signing.

At this point, I’m going to split this review into two sections since I had a very different experience at each event.

BOOKEXPO 2019

Walking into BookExpo, I was very optimistic about being productive over the three days based on the “Welcome to BookExpo” message where they proclaimed in their program guide:

“BookExpo Loves Indie Publishers – Independent publishers have always been a vital segment of our exhibiting customer base. Being small and nimble allows these publishers the ability to put some of the most unique and powerful books into the market and we are excited to deliver a new way to give them a spotlight”

As I read that paragraph walking into BookExpo on the first day, I was confident this was the perfect place to help me get my book out to the right people – all in one place! Looking back a week after the show, I realized I was rather naive and uninformed as to what BookExpo actually was about. Independent publishers are NOT the same as self-published authors. Even though I have a large publisher behind my book (AuthorHouse), they did not attend BookExpo, nor did I expect them to…

A little behind the scenes here:


Anatomy of a Cosplayer and my previous book Lost Boys of the Bronx were both published by AuthorHouse Publishing. And they did their job turning my manuscript, photos and artwork into a beautifully formatted hardcover, softcover and eBook that is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a bunch of other online retail sites. However, unless you spend a few thousand dollars more, they are not going to help you market your book or get it into the hands of libraries and brick and mortar stores. They are pretty upfront about that, so there are no unreasonable expectations, and I probably will use them again for my next book.

So, I am pretty much on my own marketing the books. And that is a exciting and great place to be – where I am responsible for my own destiny… But at BookExpo, it wasn’t a very good place for self-published authors. Nobody tried to kick me out or was rude in any way, but I was told quite a few times that the distribution channel people would only talk to publishers and not authors. After a few occurrences of this, and seeing their face drop while reading the “Author” on my name badge, I just gave up any hope that any of my business goals were going to be achieved at BookExpo.

So, I decided to just enjoy BookExpo as a spectator with access to stuff most general readers do not have. And that made the event so much less of a total waste of time for me.

I went to the Combined Book Exhibit to take some pictures of Anatomy of A Cosplayer being displayed on the shelves of a big con, and while I was there, I heard the Downtown Stage (which was right next to the CBE) starting a new panel introducing Deborah Harry and Chris Stein of one of my favorite bands – Blondie. I have no idea how I missed this when planning out my BookExpo trip, but Debbie has a new book out called Face It and was promoting it. Well, Fate had me in the right place at the right time, so I went and watched the panel – which was great, and even tho she wasn’t autographing, I got some great pictures of her and Chris Stein from pretty close up.

I also ran into George Takei who was signing his new book They Called Us Enemy at one of the vendor tables. His lines were long and I wasn’t sure if I had to get a ticket to get an autograph, but I was able to wave at him and grab a photo.

I explored the BookExpo some more and found myself in the Unbound section of the event. This was a section set aside from BookExpo/BookCon that had non-book items for sale. There were vendors that sold greeting cards, tea, fancy writing pens, and items like that. I walked by a vendor with artwork on his walls that cause me to dead-stop seeing the vibrant colors on the prints. It was Nakatomi Inc and I struck up a conversation with the artist Tim Doyle about his work. It seems he is an artist that produces concert posters for acts such as Metallica and Weird Al Yankovic. His artwork on the walls were not those items, but they were amazing. We talked about my book cover artist Angela McKendrick (@cuddleswithcatsart) and how wonderful her art is. Hopefully the two of them see the potential of a team-up down the road.

As the day got later and I wanted to get out of New York City before Wednesday rush hour traffic kicked in, I decided to hop on the ferry back to my car in New Jersey. But I will say my mood had changed for the better with the artistic interactions I had – even if my plans for getting help with distribution had fizzled early on.

I didn’t go back Thursday or Friday, and I probably would not go to BookExpo 2020 after this experience, but I will keep an open mind about it. If you are reading this, and have any suggestions that would have made my trip more fruitful, please email me or post in the comments!

Full album of my experience at BookExpo on my Facebook Photo Album:
https://www.facebook.com/lanternmedia/media_set?set=a.10161741195450133&type=3

Now lets talk about a much more fun and productive couple of days!

BOOKCON 2019

Going into BookCon, I had a much different strategy than I did for BookExpo. As a cosplayer, I have been to New York Comic Con and other fan conventions for the last 10+ years. Its a large part of my Anatomy of a Cosplayer book, so I knew exactly what to expect. Kinda…

I had heard there was some cosplay going on at BookCon in recent years, but nowhere near the amount at NYCC. So I figured I’d ask around to see if costuming was ok. Being that I have a lot of DC Comics based costumes, I figured I’d ask the fine folks at DC Comics if they’d be interested in having me and a couple of my friends there to help promote the brand in an official capacity. (And my book… cough cough)…. They saw right thru my ruse, and told me that they wanted to highlight their authors who were appearing, and didn’t want to take away from their thunder. A perfectly legitimate concern, and they were nice about it, so I didn’t press it. I did ask a moderator of the official Facebook page of BookCon if cosplay was ok, and she excitedly told me that they would LOVE to have cosplayers there (in an unofficial capacity). So I decided to enlist a couple of friends and do some cosplay promoting – I mean I am the Cosplay Author right? LOL

On Saturday, I appeared as Jay Garrick – the Golden Age Flash from the CW show The Flash. I recruited Karen Gaebel as SuperGirl to carry my book around for photos, and my wife Jackie Hannon to wear a colorful shirt with the image of my book’s cover. We walked the con floor for quite a while and got a LOT of positive feedback and requests for pictures – Even got a few requests to purchase the book right there and then – but I read that was against the rules of BookCon for non-official vendors, so I just passed my information to them (and believe it or not they emailed me later that they bought it!). I took a lot of pictures, and met a lot of people. Saw the Adam Savage panel, and had just a great fun time…. Then BookCon closed for the day, and we went home in a much better mood than BookExpo.

On Sunday, I didn’t cosplay due to a blister from the day before. But I had no regrets because I had a secret weapon – my talented cosplayer friend Renata Gatti wore her Handmaidens costume from The Handmaid’s Tale, and it was accurate. If I thought we got a great reaction on Saturday cosplaying, we got an even bigger one on Sunday being The Handmaid’s Tale was a book before it was a TV series, and the new season was starting later that week. We (well, Renata) took well over 200 pictures with fans of the show and the book, and we got a lot of interest in Anatomy of a Cosplayer. Again, a few requests to buy my book right there and then. And again, I couldn’t sell without breaking the BookCon rules, but gave info to the requestors.

As a weird side note, on Sunday an older woman came up to Renata and myself, and started a conversation with us about her Handmaid’s costume. She didn’t ask the usual fan questions or request to take a photo, but she was more grilling us about WHY Renata chose to wear that particular costume. (There is a political movement regarding that costume, but Renata is just purely a fan of the show.)

It was an interesting convo, and when it ended, we both went our separate ways not thinking much about it. However, today, while searching for photos Renata’s Handmaid costume at BookCon, I ran across a picture of Margaret Atwood – the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, and Renata and I swear it was the same woman who talked to us. Now, I looked for a while, and there was absolutely no record that Ms Atwood did appear at BookCon on Sunday, and I assume that if she actually did appear, there would have been a bigger deal made about it. But that woman who approached us looked exactly like her – and it makes for an interesting story…

BookCon was a big success for me… I had a really great fun time and was very productive. I met a lot of people, got some excellent tips for marketing the book from other successful self-published authors, and took a lot of great photos. I will absolutely go back again!

One thing I will mention is that there were a LOT of women at BookCon. I would guess the crowd was 90% women. I expected there to be large number but not THAT big…. I saw a photo posted for a male with a shirt that said I’m just here to stand in line and hold books for my wife. Everyone was really nice to me, and I only mention it as a curiosity and a mental note about a potential marketing opportunity.

Full album of BookCon available on my Facebook album:
https://www.facebook.com/lanternmedia/media_set?set=a.10161753328435133&type=3

Thanks so much for reading! Any questions or feedback, please drop em in the comments, or email me.

-=James

Gotta Run
Gotta Run

New Year – New Cosplay – Why I made an Ace Frehley Costume

Why did Bronx author James Hannon make a cosplay of KISS member and famous Ducky Boy Ace Frehley, when he wasn’t a fan of KISS? Read on…

In case you didn’t know, I premiered a new cosplay on New Years Day 2019. This new one was Ace Frehley the Spaceman from the original lineup of KISS – or at least it was supposed to be. After all was said and done, I looked more like Tommy Thayer who is the current KISS guitarist who is wearing the Spaceman makeup. But more on that later.


So, this was a big surprise to my friends who know me and know that I was never really a big KISS fan. Sure I knew their music and gimmick and it wasn’t bad. My sister owned the KISS Alive II LP until I stole it from her. And I also bought the KISS Platinum 8-track tape (still have both of them).

But the real reason I did not want to be a fan is that when I was a kid, the biggest KISS fan in my circle of acquaintances was a pariah in the neighborhood because he was the “smelly kid”. Its not that he was unclean, but whatever detergent his mom used had a horrible stench that was just unbearable to be around. I realize that isn’t PC in today’s world, but this was the 1970s and most in my group hadn’t even turned 13 yet. The bottom line is that we didn’t want to be associated with him – and liking KISS was a sure fire way to do that. So KISS fandom was always downplayed.

When I got to senior year of college in 1989, I got into Ace Frehley a little bit. He was out of KISS for a while by this time and performing solo. Gordon G. G. Gebert was a friend of a friend of mine, and Gordon was good friends with Ace at the time. I was part of a software sharing group and Ace was looking for a particular piece of software which I had. So I shared it with Gordon to give to Ace, hoping to meet the big man eventually. But it never happened as Ace and Gordon had a big falling out shortly after. But I did learn more about Ace’s music during the time. And realized it was ok to like Ace’s music again since the smelly kid was long out of the picture.

Flash-forward to 2005, and I was starting to do research into a documentary I was planning on the real life gangs of the Wanderers movie. This video project would eventually become my book Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang. In my initial round of research, I found out that Ace Frehley grew up a couple of blocks away from me (Marion Avenue and 201st Street in the Bronx), and was a member of the infamous Ducky Boys. After all this, I figured Ace Frehley was destined to be a factor in my life “somehow”.

I reached out to his manager, and I had about an hour-long phone conversation with Ace one day. I told him about my project, and what I found in my research about where his old friends in the Ducky Boys ended up. At the end of the call, I asked him if I could film a short interview with him for the documentary, but he shut me down hard asking for a $10,000 appearance fee – which was way more than I could afford, so we parted ways.

When my documentary eventually turned into the book, some doors were opened for me. I received permission from Gordon Gebert to use a section of his KISS AND TELL book where Ace’s buddy Bobby McAdams talked about Ace’s involvement in the Ducky Boys. It wasn’t the optimal choice, but I had no choice but to cover Ace’s involvement. For months after going public with my project, I was getting dozens of emails a week from people telling me that Ace Frehley was a Ducky Boy. I still get occasional emails from people telling me this – LIKE I DON’T buy xanax uk ALREADY KNOW BY NOW! LOL

James and Jeff Hornlien meeting a un-enthusiastic Ace Frehley in 2008

In late 2008, shortly before the Lost Boys of the Bronx was released, I finally got to meet Ace at a local Chiller convention. I was even wearing a Ducky Boys shirt which one of his friends/handlers LOVED, but Ace didn’t even seem to recognize it or remember the conversation we had. Supposedly this was during his sober days, but he really seemed out of it. Not just to me, but everyone in the line. All he did was grunt and put his thumb up when taking the picture with me and my friend Jeff Hornlien. I was bummed for me, but even more so for Jeff (and all the other people there) who grew up idolizing this guy. Jeff is an extremely talented guitarist who learned to play because he was inspired by Ace and KISS. It was sad.

Figuring the Ace connection was completely dead at this point, I moved on and did other stuff – like write the book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask. I met a lot of other cosplayers in my travels, and this one particular Batman costumer named Ed Universo lived in my town, and we became good friends. At one convention, he showed up in a full Gene Simmons Demon costume – and it was amazing. He asked if Jeff and I were willing to do a Halloween appearance with him in his personal KISS costumes. We couldn’t make Halloween but the thought was planted in my head.

And not just my head…. Jeff Hornlien completely wanted to costume as Paul Stanley at a convention… And he wouldn’t let it go. He kept bugging me so I had to do “something” to shut him up.

The big objection for me was “Dude, theres no way I’ll be able to walk in those heels!” Well Ed, brought over his personal Ace boots for me to walk around in, and you know what? They weren’t that hard to walk in! And I kinda liked being 6-7 inches taller…. So I started thinking about it more and more…

And then Ed sent me a link to someone selling an Ace Frehley Destroyer era costume. And well that was all I needed to know. The die was cast and my fate as the Spaceman was sealed!

While waiting for the costume to arrive, I attempted the Ace Frehley makeup. I got the specifics from a YouTube video, and gave it a shot.

First attempt at Ace Frehley makeup

And it didn’t come out too bad. Sure, there were some issues, but I spoke to Ed and he suggested different makeup to try for next time.

Which leads us to New Years Day 2019. With the new costume in hand, and the right makeup, I decided that I couldn’t wait for the next convention to premiere this costume and posted on social media….

So far the response has been great. I realized that I don’t look that much like Ace Frehley with my facial structure, but I can definitely see a strong resemblance to Tommy Thayer – so making lemonade out of lemons, we’re going with that!

Now for the second part of my plan…. Not going to give it away here, but there will be others involved…. And all I can say is you shouldn’t have let me start this mission…. There is only one way to finish it…

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, please share it

James Hannon, Jeff Hornlien, Jackie Hannon and Ed Universo
James Hannon, Jeff Hornlien, Jackie Hannon and Ed Universo
James Hannon as Kiss Spaceman and Bronx Ducky Boys member Ace Frehley on New Years Day 2019

News

Published Article on Charity Cosplay in Cosplay Culture magazine Dec/Jan 2019 issue

Cosplay Culture Magazine Dec/Jan 2019

James Hannon’s article Cosplay with a Heart for Cosplay Culture magazine (Dec/Jan 2019 issue) has hit newstands!

The articles focuses on charity cosplay and how cosplayers can give something back to their communities while having fun in costume – and how to get started in it.

Cosplay Culture magazine can be found at Barnes and Noble, ShopRite, CVS, Walmart, and crafting stores like Joanne’s Fabrics, Michael’s and AC Moore.


Anatomy of a Cosplayer reviewed by Kirkus Reviews!

From:
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/james-hannon/anatomy-of-a-cosplayer/


ANATOMY OF A COSPLAYER
Tales from Behind the Mask
by James Hannon

KIRKUS REVIEW

A cosplayer explores the phenomenon that has him portraying a galactic Stormtrooper and other characters.

Comic book conventions these days feature parades of grown men and women dressed up as action heroes and other characters, proudly posing for photographs and reveling in the rising popularity of costume play, or cosplay. The global market for cosplay costumes, which reached $11.7 billion in 2014, is forecast to grow to $23.6 billion by next year. In this book, Hannon (Lost Boys of the Bronx, 2010), an avid cosplayer, shares his experiences and examines this intriguing trend. The author’s own fascination with cosplay began with attending a Star Wars exhibition, which resulted in him putting together a Stormtrooper costume and joining the 501st Legion, a pioneering “costuming community,” whose membership has roughly tripled since 2008 to more than 12,000. He “struggled with shyness” but after his first event, or “troop,” with the Legion—a Halloween parade—he came out of his shell. He added other characters to his repertoire, co-founded the Legion of SuperVillains, and enjoyed the camaraderie of other cosplayers. “Forget about the TV show Cheers, conventions are truly the place where everyone knows your name,” he writes. The book also deftly spotlights some of Hannon’s costume-loving friends, many of whom found in cosplaying a way to express their inner geeks or “live out a childhood fantasy.” “You can relive your childhood, but also bring joy to the next generation, as little kids love this kind of thing,” says one, while another asserts, “Let’s be honest, it’s so we can play pretend.” But the author’s use of an oral history format often produces dreary reading and his account fails to offer the depth that would make it compelling to non-cosplayers. He mentions, for example, that he has seen the breakups of costumed couples firsthand, but rather than examine how cosplaying might contribute to marital tensions, he refrains from getting into specifics. Ultimately, he fails to bring as much color to the participants as they do to the characters they inhabit. Still, Hannon provides a lively insider’s view of cosplaying, delivering some vivid details. For example, the crowds at conventions have become “absolutely horrible,” but—very much on the plus side—the 501st Legion raised $889,000 for charity in 2017.

An account provides rich insights into the psychology of cosplayers but lacks the depth that would attract a wide audience.


Pub Date: June 30th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5462-4712-8
Page count: 412pp
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: Aug. 31st, 2018

Anatomy of a Cosplayer makes front page of the Courier News/Home News Tribune!

Woke up to find out that the Courier News newspaper put the official release party for Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask on the front page of its daily newspaper. I knew there would be an article, but I had no idea it would be on the front page, and very detailed with pictures!

It is a great article by a very talented journalist by the name of Alexander Lewis, who actually came out to the party and updated the online version with pictures from the event.

The entire article with photo updates can be accessed (for free) at:
https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/things-to-do/2018/08/01/cosplay-event-james-hannon-book-comics-store-scotch-plains/837339002

Cosplay: James Hannon’s new book explores this worldwide phenomenon

Alexander Lewis, Editorial Intern Published 6:00 a.m. ET Aug. 1, 2018 | Updated 12:04 p.m. ET Aug. 6, 2018

Press Release: James Hannon releases book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask with Charity Cosplay Event

James Hannon releases book Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask with Charity Cosplay Event

Cosplayers to come to Scotch Plains comic shop to celebrate release of cosplay book Anatomy of a Cosplayer and raise money for Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey charity.

On August 4th, 2018 at 6pm, cosplayers from the NY/NJ/PA area will converge at Little Shop of Comics in Scotch Plains, NJ to celebrate the release of James Hannon’s new book, Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask. and to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey. DJ Batman aka the DJL Show will be leaving the Bat-Cave and spinning Bat-Tunes all evening.

Hannon explains the book, “Regular people from all walks of life put on costumes and go out in public, and it’s not just for Halloween. Some do it for the love of a character, some do it for friendships and camaraderie, while others want to help charity events out or get their fifteen minutes of fame – or a combination of all these. Anatomy of a Cosplayer tells you everything you could possibly want to know about cosplaying but didn’t know to ask. A cross-section of 60 world-wide cosplayers with various experience levels will cover topics such as how they got into cosplaying, how they made their costumes, the pros and cons of costuming groups, how family, friends and co-workers react, their best (and worst) experiences, and the future of cosplay.”

Author James Hannon is particularly suited to be a behind-the-scenes guide as he has been a costumer for the last decade, and is friends with the original pioneers of costuming, up-and-coming stars, and everyone in-between. Hannon has spent the last 7 years interviewing them on all the various aspects of cosplay. He still bears scars from “Costuming” or “Cosplay” wars.

Entrance to the book release party is free, and signed and personalized copies of Anatomy of a Cosplayer will be available for sale. Mr. Hannon’s previous book and documentary will also be available as gifts for donating to the Make A Wish Foundation of New Jersey.

Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory. Doors open at 6pm and will run until at least 8pm. Little Shop of Comics is located at 387 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

Anatomy of a Cosplayer is available at Little Shop of Comics in Scotch Plains, NJ, and on most online booksellers such as AuthorHouse, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It is also available in eBook, Kindle and Nook format.

For more information on James Hannon or Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales from Behind the Mask, please visit Lantern-Media.com or facebook.com/AnatomyOfACosplayer. For media inquiries, contact the author at jameshannon@lantern-media.com

Anatomy of a Cosplayer: Tales From Behind the Mask
By James Hannon
Published by AuthorHouse, Jun, 2018
412 pages

6×9 Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5462-4713-5)
6×9 Hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-5462-4712-8)
Kindle/eBook (ASIN: B07FDBSCYM)

About the Author
Growing up in the Bronx during the 70s, author James Hannon never imagined he’d be spending almost a decade of his “adult” life dressed up in costume, but sometimes life takes unexpected detours that somehow includes spandex and plastic armor. Mr. Hannon has portrayed Stormtroopers, TIE Pilots, Gorilla Soldiers, Cylons, SuperVillains, and a professional-wrestler-turned-governor, and has personally seen this hobby explode from a small group of friends to the current worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.

Mr. Hannon is also the author of 2010 book Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang, and is the filmmaker behind the 2004 documentary Out of Our Dens: The Richard and the Young Lions Story.

He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Jackie who thankfully also costumes, and his cat Buster, who just isn’t surprised at anything that goes on at the Hannon house anymore.

#cosplay #costume #cosplayer #comics #popculture #scotchplains #bookrelease

 

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