Nerd Caliber
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Cosplay & Style

March 21, 2017

Cosplay Melee Is A Heroic Change Of Pace

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Written by: Rodney Brown
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If you are a fan of cosplay as I am, you will be impressed at the skill and creativity demonstrated by the contestants on the first episode of Syfy’s new show Cosplay Melee. If you are fan of timed competition reality shows, like History Channel’s blade-making show Forged in Fire or The Food Network’s Chopped, you’ll appreciate the lack of drama and focus on talent and skill.

Perhaps even more importantly, if you are a cosplayer of any level of costume-making experience, you will undoubtedly learn some interesting techniques. While I am not a cosplayer, between photographing cosplayers for six or so years and helping run the education-focused Cosplay And Photography Expo, I know about a lot of techniques. And in the first 15 minutes I saw people do things I had never heard of.

Some comments online have complained about the judges, but I felt they did a fine job. Nobody should complain about Christian Beckman, an SFX makeup and costume maker with credits as diverse as TRON: Legacy and Spielberg’s A.I. But some people think choosing LeAnna Vamp was a mistake, apparently for no other reason than she is best known as a “cosplay model.” Full disclosure, I know LeAnna, but objectively I still felt it was clear she knew her stuff when it came to costume building quality. And while others complain about the choice of Yvette Nicole Brown as both host and judge, it is a smart choice despite her lack of cosplay build experience. She is a well-known nerd and brings the traditional entertainment fame the show likely needed to get funded.

One criticism I can level at Episode One is that Cosplay Melee glosses over what seems like some very impressive makeup work the contestants use to finish off their amazing two-day armor costume builds. I would love to see as much attention paid to that part of the cosplay, as it is just as important for most cosplayers as the costume build is.

With just one episode under our belt, it would be jumping the gun to complain about a lack of other aspects of cosplay beyond armor making. Future episodes may concentrate more on sewing and seamstress work, or SFX makeup. But even if this show turns out to be more “Cosplay Armor Melee” I will still be watching every episode.

About the Author

Rodney Brown



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