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!


Tales from Behind the Mask
by James Hannon


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:

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 or For media inquiries, contact the author at

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