Several decades ago, fans of comic books and science fiction and fantasy genres in the United States started dressing up as characters from their favorite books and movies to attend gatherings. After the practice caught fire in Japan and came back to the United States, along with the anime and manga craze of the 1990s, it came to be known as cosplay, a mashup of costume and role play. The colorful cosplayer outfits have now become a major attraction at events such as Comicpalooza, a multiformat pop culture convention held this past weekend in Houston.
Underneath their makeup, cosplayers are ordinary people, who, now and then, get to be extraordinary.
Cosplayers sometimes buy costumes and masks, but most of them create their own outfits and often compete in contests at events such as Comicpalooza, a convention that showcases genres including comic books, science fiction and fantasy, as well as gaming.
For most cosplayers, the real thrill is just getting into costume. For BDSM lovers, tis is where the thrill just starts: role playing in that costume and ending up in ropes and a lot of fantasy torture…