Geek Culture has been around for many years, probably around one hundred years or so. I personally believe that geek culture started with the birth of the super hero through comic books. Later as technology advanced, computers and video games gave birth to techies and gamers. As comic books, computers and video games have continued to evolve over the last twenty-five to thirty years, geek culture has changed from not just obsessing over a particular niche, but pretty much a fascination over anything and everything. Whether its comics, art, games, wrestling, television, movies, anime, or science fiction, you look it up and in all likelihood you will find internet sites or Facebook pages that are dedicated to it. The ultimate tribute to this fan boy and fan girl obsession is Comic Con, where geek culture occupies all and becomes pop culture. Yes, geek culture is now pop culture, there is no denying it. From the first years of the Comic Con going all the way back to 1970, attendees/fans have been dressing up in costumes to pay tribute to their favorite comic book or movie characters. And with this we saw the beginning of cosplay. Short for Costume Play, cosplay has grown bigger and more popular year after year, Con after Con.
One of the brightest and most talented cosplay artists that I have met is Nadya Anton, known in the cosplay world as Nadyasonika. Nadya hails from Cd Juarez Chihuahua, Mexico where she studied Industrial Design and began designing costumes.
When I spoke with her at Alamo City Comic Con, Nadya described her cosplay style as a sort of gender bender theme. What this means is she takes a male character, like Vega from Street Fighter which she describes in the interview, and imagines what this male character would look like as a female. As part of the process, Nadya then begins to take these ideas and illustrates them on paper, all without losing the essence of who the character is. As she continued to describe this to me, I saw her passion and her love for what she does. As an artist, a cosplay model can’t just show up with one costume for a convention. They must prepare and choose a unique costume for each day. On Friday we saw Nadya as Poison Ivy, on Saturday she was a Lady Gambit, an example of what she described earlier of a female portraying a male character (see photo above). On Sunday, for this interview she was dressed as Sukura Kasugano, a Japanese school girl from the video game Street Fighter.
There is no denying the attention that cosplayers and celebrities get at conventions. Some have criticized them arguing that they take away from the comic book writers, artists and dealers. Others and myself feel the exact opposite, that they bring in a larger audience who may have never been exposed to comics or art, thus introducing them to a whole new world or a whole new culture. This is Geek Culture, and this is cosplay.
You can visit Nadya’s website here http://www.nadyasonika.com/