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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up Book Review

I received this book from the publisher in the hopes of providing an honest review of the book, and that is what you get below. It is more of an adult book, so if that might offend, please move on.
My first exposure to Cosplay was the Heroes of Cosplay TV show on the Syfy network. I always knew it happened, I just didn't know its proper name. We do the Renaissance Festival nearly every year, but I don't get dressed up for it. I'm always in awe of the costumes some people come up with, and the time spent creating them. With the Renaissance Festival, I swear some people just use it as another excuse to get dressed up, even if the costume isn't appropriate for the time period. I had to laugh when I heard a carpet company was suing some cosplayers because their costumes matched the conference hotel's carpet and the cosplayers were selling the pattern to others.

I bring all this up because the Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up book is brought to you by the folks over at Cosplay Deviants and presents more of an adult view of the Cosplay world, or at least nerdy girls with a naughty side. With the forward written by Edgar Munster, promotions director at Cosplay Deviants, you get a good feel of the book. To quote Edgar, "Oh, the boobies."

The roughly 200 page coffee table picture book is broken up into four sections: The Girls of Gaming, Cuties of Comics & Cartoons, Adorable Ladies of Anime & Manga, and Sirens of Sci-Fi. Each section includes a series of pictures of models showing off their cosplay costume, then costume sheds and you see what's under it. Typically just topless, though sometimes with legs crossed just so, and sometimes not. All in all, there are 45 models in the book, some in as many as 12 outfits, or not in so many outfits. Each outfit/series has at least two pictures (one with, one without), with some series having as many as 7 pictures.
I've liked sci-fi for a long time, and at various times I've been into gaming, comics, and cartoons. I've never read much anime/manga, apart from some recent books trying to teach technical subjects to the younger crowd. My biggest complaint about the book is I don't recognize many of the characters the costumes are supposed to be. I'm trying to figure out if that really matters though, or if you have to pay for rights if you actually call someone something. The end of the book does include a model index, so you can see which models are which characters, it just doesn't say who the characters are. Besides the index, you can follow the models from their tattoos and piercings, too. Most have one or the other somewhere.

Several of the costumes are easily recognizable. Princess Leia in her metal bikini costume, and how she looks underneath, Leeloo from The FIfth Element in her orange hair and white tape wrap costume, with different tattoos underneath. Model Ivy in a Mario Bros. hat sans suspenders, the Riddler with just a ? hat and tie, a sexy cowgirl, Catwoman shedding her skin. You do have to admire the time spent to create the costumes, and how closely they match the original characters.

The book is an interesting coffee table title. With a kid, I can't see this left out on our table. Someone without kids and into the conference scene, perhaps. The pictures are professionally and tastefully done, with nothing too lewd. The book really does just show off the naughty side of the nerdy girls. Well done.

Amazon doesn't let you look inside, but the publisher Schiffer Books offers an inside look.


Another Review, from Games Fiends.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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