Ukrainian Cosplayers Prepping for Kyiv Comic-Con
Superheroes, magicians, and space villains are getting ready for their annual gathering in the center of the Ukrainian capital.
“There are two basic kinds of cosplayers. There are those, who associate themselves with a certain character, like ‘I love Batman and I want to be Batman!’ And then there are people, who actually make costumes, not ‘I want to be Batman,’ but rather ‘I want to make costumes! I want to make armor.’ We call these people crafters,’ as they make everything by hand and this is their craft,” Luka said.
Together with friends, Luka designed and crafted many costumes including superheroes, fantasy characters, and wizards. Luka said creating a bespoke costume can take time and money.
“From one month to half-a-year. Right now we have an ongoing long term project. It may become our most expensive one. Money-wise, when we just started, we made a costume for ₴400, now we’re looking at $1,000 per costume,” he said.
Yulia has been making cosplay accessories for sale for over three years. She says, the popularity of this hobby in Ukraine is booming.
“Cosplay is part of the geek movement. These people love all kinds of comics, movies for young people. Although, really, people of all ages get into this, from a 2-year-old girl dressed as a fairy to an old lady, who goes around kicking butt with a stick from a cartoon,” she said.
With enough skill and dedication, Yulia says prop weapons like crystals with superpowers, magic wands, and even hooves for mythical creatures can be crafted and any idea can be brought to life.
“These are hooves for a Pan,” she said, displaying them. “They are rather uncomfortable to wear because of the lacking of heels. We started with the idea that it’d be cool to make some hooves. Why? Well, because we can! And we’re like ‘Cool! Let’s make hooves.’ But what for? Ahh, we’ll come up with something!
In the Ukrainian capital, the cosplay movement first came into its’ own only four years ago at the Kyiv Comic-Con. Anastasiya has been to similar events abroad. She said Ukrainian cosplayers still have much to learn.
“I had the honor to visit the Comic-Con in Toronto. Of course, the level of cosplay out there is well above ours. Those guys have been into cosplay and crafting for a lot longer. They have more skill and experience,” she said.
But Ukrainian cosplayers are catching up. They do their best to learn from their foreign counterparts and invite them to feature at Ukrainian events.
Every year here in Ukraine events and particularly Comic Con Kyiv are getting better. They invite many interesting speakers for lectures on literature, games, there are master classes, opportunities to test out new technology,” Anastasiya said.
The next opportunity to see cosplayers turn into their favourite characters will be at Kyiv Comic Con 2019 taking on the first weekend of June at the Ukrainian House.