The Meaning of Comic-Cons and Cosplay

Stillwater LexiCon (34).JPG

Saturday was a normal day for almost everyone except for those involved with Stillwater Public Library’s LexiCon.

Lexicon is Stillwater’s very own annual comic-con, the library had been anticipating a good outcome.

And the cosplayers? They did not disappoint.

The Stillwater Community Center was filled with vendors selling fan merchandise. Across the street at the library were fans who had come in their full cosplay glory, from Heath Ledger’s Joker to characters from My Hero Academia. Cosplaying, or “costume playing”, is when fans dress up as their favorite characters and dedicate their time (and money) to create a representation of their fandoms. However, some ask “why”. Why do these fans dress up for and go to comic-cons?  Paula Long, Stillwater Public Library’s event coordinator, has a theory to answer the “why”.

“It’s part of the cultural conversation and something that people talk about,” Long said. “But there were no comic-cons in Stillwater. The closest ones were Oklahoma City or Tulsa.”

Long explained that there were almost no opportunities for people living far away from cities to experience an actual convention.

When asked about the reasons for attending a comic convention or cosplaying, the answers from the fans are pretty simple and unanimous.

“I really enjoy meeting other cosplayers and taking pictures,” Leah Butler, an eighth-grader from Nowata said.

Butler’s school friends, Kayley Ray and Nealey Dake agree. Dake added that she liked complimenting and asking others how they had made their costumes. The trio cosplayed as casual Kiroshima, Denki Kaminari, and Izuku Midoriya from the manga series My Hero Academia.

Aubree Bizzell, another attendee, cosplayed as Bakugou from My Hero Academia, with his grenade gauntlet. She had gotten help from her father who’d made the foam parts for her, but she had made most of the costumes herself.

For some, doing cosplay was nothing new. To regular LexiCon attendee Alexander Horne, cosplaying was something he was passionate about. Horner donned a Rick Sanchez costume.

“It’s like Halloween, Christmas, and everything rolled into one,” Horne said.

To Maddie Castrator, a junior at OSU, going to cons were the norm. Castrator and her friend were dressed as an SCP scientist duo.

“I’d gone to a couple of them in Texas and Georgia,” Castrator said. 

Connie Zhang, dressed in Hufflepuff attire, confirmed the collective sentiment that LexiCon and cosplaying were great ways to meet new people and have a bit of connection with them.

Either way, another successful LexiCon is added to the list and it would not have been successful without the support of Stillwater and its cosplay community.