Cumberland County community shares love for cosplay

Cosplayers can be found in just about every community, even Cumberland County. But what exactly is cosplay and why do people do it?

Cosplay is a form of expression when people dress as characters from movies, TV shows, or graphic novels.

Popular cosplay characters come from Japanese-style animations called anime, books, TV shows, comics, Disney characters, or popular movie franchises like Harry Potter or Twilight.

There is a comic book in Fayetteville that welcomes everything “geeky” including anime and cosplay.

Since 2015, with the exception of last year’s break due to the pandemic, Fayetteville Comic Con has been held there twice a year. The Spring Show was last week and the next one is in October.

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“Fayetteville is an extremely inclusive but very diverse community,” said Keith Gibbs, co-producer of the Fayetteville event. “So there’s a lot of things that Fayetteville does really well. One thing I think about partnering with Fayetteville Comic Con is that we’re able to bring this comic book role-playing game, the cosplay culture, a house at least for weekends out of the year. ”

Sarah Corcione, from Fayetteville, got into cosplay as a child when she wanted to stay in the Halloween costumes her mom made for her.

“It’s so much fun,” said Corcione, whose Tiktok account under the name Sk8tr_Chick has more than 29,000 subscribers. “It’s inclusive, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever gotten from cosplay, it’s all inclusive. It doesn’t matter who you are trying to portray, what color you are, male, female, whatever she is. either. We accept everyone as they are. It could be a store-bought costume or a costume you’ve been designing for a year, we’ll all love it. “

Corcione spoke on one of the panels at Fayetteville Comic Con last week.

Corcione, like many other cosplayers, enjoys dressing up as characters from popular comics like the Marvel or DC franchises. She cosplayed Harley Quinn, Black Widow, and Captain Marvel among others.

Bernie Mangiboyat, owner of Dragon’s Lair, a comic book store in Fayetteville, is a former cosplayer and father of a current cosplayer.

“Cosplay is from all the different cultures of comics and anime,” he said. “I love to see it. My daughter is now addicted to cosplay and it’s all my fault. I dressed her up as Bat Girl when she was probably 6 years old.”

Mangiboyat’s daughter Rylee, 15, said cosplaying was a way for her to be the characters she admired.

“I kind of find myself through cosplay,” she said. “I started to accept myself for the type of personality I have and everything through the characters I watched on screen.”

Doing things like cosplay usually gives people the label of “weird,” “nerd,” or “geek,” but Corcione says they should own it.

“Accept the strangeness,” she said. “Be that Froot Loop in a world of Cheerios. It’s good to be different, so don’t try to fit into the mold.”

Editor-in-chief Akira Kyles can be reached at [email protected]

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