Ausnew Home Care | Brisbane's first full scale Comic-Con since COVID brings an influx of new cosplayers

Brisbane's first full scale Comic-Con since COVID brings an influx of new cosplayers

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Brisbane's convention centre has been swarming with pirates, elves, and stormtroopers this weekend as part of the first full-scale OZ Comic-Con since COVID, and it's brought with it an influx of new cosplayers.

While the two-day comic convention gives fans an opportunity to come face-to-face with their favourite film and TV stars, for many the real appeal has been connecting with an inclusive community.

Cosplay – or costume play – involves dressing up as characters from TV shows, movies, video games, books, and more.

A woman in costume smiles. Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, My Aged Care
JusZ Cosplay is OZ Comic-Con's cosplay emissary. (ABC News: Lucas Hill)

JusZ Cosplay, who is OZ Comic-Con's cosplay emissary, said it had helped provide a place for people to feel safe and comfortable.

"A lot of people got into cosplay during lockdowns. People who were like, I've had all this spare time, I've always wanted to try it, maybe I'll just try to make something in my living room," she said.

"There was a big transition to doing a lot of things online so we've become accustomed to 'going live' and having a chat with people and sharing panels.

A woman and a boy in a Spider-Man costume looking at comics.
COVID has provided a "healthy reset" for cosplayers.

"Now that we're transitioning back it's opening doors to people who previously felt they weren't welcome.

"They finally saw some of the content online and saw that, actually, I could go do that, that is a place where I could be."

Oz Comic-Con event manager Zac Fitzroy said emerging from COVID restrictions had been a "healthy reset" for cosplayers.

Two women dressed up.
Organisers say people have realised the importance of human connection.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

"One thing that people have realised over the last two years is how valuable that human connection is and how much they enjoy being able to get out and celebrate the things that they love," he said.

"That was all taken away during the last two years, so I think it's actually made it, in some respects, a lot stronger coming out of that period."

Someone in a chewbacca constume in a wheelchair.
Skye, dressed as Chewbacca the Wookie, says she has been cosplaying for 10 years.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

It's also become more accessible.

Skye has been cosplaying for more than 10 years.

Over that time, the cosplay scene has become increasingly inclusive of cosplayers with disabilities.

"There's more knowledge about accessibility, and spatial awareness, and respect. It's a very respectful space at conventions," she said.

People sitting around the table with merch.
The event has become very inclusive of people with a disability.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

"It's actually really nice to come back and see everyone. Just the vibe that you get being in here is really awesome."

It's a sentiment shared by JusZ Cosplay.

"With cosplay I find that not only has it really helped me to expand the people that I talk to, it's helped give me a lot of insight into pockets of life that I otherwise wouldn't have interaction with. I've met people from pretty much every state, every walk of life.

"I love that it makes me feel like I can be connected to everyone, and that I can be someone who can talk to anybody no matter what."


Source: ABC

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