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2014 The Beyond Cosplay Year in Review

So people, 2014 has come to a close.

While we’re all excited about whats in store for us in this fabulous new year with its shiny big round numbers and promise of bigger and brighter everything it wouldn’t hurt to look back on the last twelve months and reflect on the journey so far..



Our Favourite Con!

It is a difficult decision to make as there were simply so many great ones to choose from but Brisnova really stands out for its great location, friendly crowds, amazing cosplay and (despite what we heard from others regarding inconsistent weapons checks) the odd creeper, and one really odd ejection of a Cosplayer from the con, we had a smooth con. It was hands down our most memorable for 2014.

We look forward to seeing it only get better this year along with visiting a few more for the first time such as PAX and Armageddon.

Biggest surprise?

Probably how popular this site has gotten and how many people recognize the name when we hand out our cards at Con. Its been so gratifying that while we struggle to find contributors and post our own submissions in a timely manner that what does make it up there is getting read and enjoyed. Would love to see more comments on the site (of course) but we do feel like it’s only the beginning of a hopefully long and fruitful journey.


Biggest letdown?

Probably not hearing back from anyone at PAX.

After emailing them a few times about getting down there to join in the fun, we will do our best again in the coming  year (2015). From all the buzz online it really looks like one of the bigger events of the con season and not something we want to miss again! We also regret not setting up a facebook page before the algorithms changed, its already hard enough to get our voice heard amongst all the noise in social media and its only going to get harder. If anything though it just spurs us on to work even harder to create content so good that people actually seek it out instead of us having to spam a million facebook groups etc to get anyone to read our articles!


Most standout costume?

There were so many but for us it was Wirru’s Odin god of Thunder at Brisnova..the craftsmanship..the dedication, the time it too to build, the sheer goddamn breathtaking awesomeness of the costume itself..the judges at the Madman national comp must have agreed as he took home the prize for best cosplay and won a trip to Japan!

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Most Memorable Cosplayer?

Well this was an easy one, far and away this title belongs to Justin Costello.

He, sadly, passed away due to heart failure later in the year.

He was an inspiration to many

Both, at home, to his family, and in the cosplay community for his boundless creativity, skill, enthusiasm and selfless acts of kindness. Unfortunately we only met him a few times but always came away impressed with his obvious passion for the hobby and the fact that he always had time for everyone, from the noobiest cosplayer in nothing but an off the shelf Batman mask, to being firm friends with some of the more well-known personalities in the Australian scene.

His legacy will live on with his wife a guest of honour at the Cosplay Competition at Ironfest in April this year which is being held in memory of him. We love you man and you will always be the benchmark I aspire to in my future endeavours.


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Most Controversial moment?

This is actually a tough call with so many reports of “stalky” photographers and “touchy feely” videographers doing the rounds so its going to have to be a tie between a legitimately bad guy ‘Bryce Dulaurent” and a well meaning, if slow, to realize he was pushing his luck Slenderman..w

hile we were at SMASH on both days we somehow didn’t come across Bryce or hear about his antics until a few days later when the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan online. This tumblr post was what seemed to get the ball rolling with social media erupting in flames for weeks afterward and the young man in question eventually being visited by the police and told to delete the footage he had taken and apologise.

This is he did but not long after also deleted pretty much his entire online presence, probably for the best really.  With cosplay sirens like Yaya Han weighing in on the outreagous breach in ettiquette his behaviour was https://www.facebook.com/yayacosplay/posts/10152287606136608 and numerous other tumblrs and bloggers reposting his name it seems his career as a cosplay videographer was very short indeed..


As for Slenderman, well his little mix up at Comic Con Sydney made it all the way to Life magazine , Vice online as seen here http://www.vice.com/read/a-7-foot-teenage-slender-man-was-kicked-out-of-sydney-comic-con  and took over the comment threads of many a cosplay group on social media for months after getting booted out of comic con. The reason given for his ejection was repeatedly ignoring warnings by security staff to stop scaring con goers by creeping up behind them and startling them, the main issue was the he would sometimes touch them on the shoulder if they were taking too long too notice his presence.

With the recent drama at SMASH management were presumably on high alert for any behaviour that could be construed as harassment and his time was up, our personal friendship with the cosplayer aside we do recognise the potential for said behaviour to be misconstrued and obviously he should have dialled it back a notch after the first warning. The cosplayer himself in hindsight agrees with this and did so at following cons like the EB games expo and hopefully we’ll see him again this year at many a future con.

The main problem with Bryce and his stolen kisses was he was deliberately pushing for a reaction on camera that would hopefully push his videos into ‘viral’ territory which is not repugnant on its own. However the methods he chose to do so definitely were and they upset many people on the day, of both genders and with the amount of ill feelings out there for him since it is highly unlikely he will be making any kind of comeback for the foreseeable future.


What are we most excited about in 2015?

So many things! We can start with the next big event thats local for us, Ironfest in Lithgow ( http://regionalartsnsw.com.au/festivals/ironfest/) where we are on the judging panel of the cosplay comp for both days, we also plan to get down to Melbourne for our first official con in that neck of the woods. If we can manage it then Perth and Adelaide are also in the works, fingers crossed guys but either way we will be bringing you all the news and action from as many cosplay events both large and small that we can!


We also hit up some of the more popular Australian cosplay groups on Facebook with a few pertinent questions and were overwhelmed with the response, here they are ad verbatim!

You’re favourite con of the year ?

Rather than copy pasting each individual answer I collated the votes and came up with a top three!

Near the pointy end of the field was Brisnova at number three, followed by SMASH Sydney at number 2 and finally by far the most popular con of the year according to our readers was the Sydney Supanova at Olympic Park in July. A worthy winner by far, honourable mentions also go to Armageddon and the Sydney Oz comic con.

We have included a few quotes below from readers regarding their favourite cons..

” Armageddon. I know it got kind of a bad rap from a lot of people but it was my fave. It was slightly quieter then the others I went too, the location was better and the open spaces made it more “kid friendly”.

“BrisNova by far. Though I certainly enjoyed Gold Coast I found the organisation of the event less interesting and I was in more of a rush so I just spend all of Saturday playing board games(still fun) but no where near as much as when I cosplayed at Brisbane.”

“I’ll spin a little story 2014 is the year I made some really cool friends who talked me into going to my first con and we all decided to dress up for it so i did lots of research on cosplay and on my character and basically got overwhelmed by the world of cosplay.  It’s become an addiction!”



Now for the more interesting answers from across the net to those same questions we just answered..

The Biggest surprise?


Sean Lopez –                   Meeting Stan Lee

Shahab Gh    –                Stan Lee coming to SydNova

Ashlee Johnston –       Orlando Bloom coming to Syd comic-con

Naomi Mejorada –       The amount of people in Sydnova

Jenni De Gille  –           That Finn Jones likes adventure time

Sarah Hillier                 How well my Chewie costume was received.

Ryan Gosschalk           The amount of times I was stopped for photos as Groot

James Niland               Getting photobombed by a famous person during a shoot at OZ Comic con

Erin ‘Ren’ King            Sitting in a food court in Atlanta next to a bunch of Disney Princesses and a couple of stormtroopers, and then an alien from Aliens stomps by. Talk about a mind-fk. LOL

Lisa Browne                  My biggest surprise was probably how far reaching this community is. So many people came up to us at Armageddon saying they recognised our costumes from this group. It was really exciting and gratifying!

Michael Cassimaty    How big the brisbane cosplay community is.

Philip Vincent              How welcoming the cosplay community is. I had read comments online that it is catty and cliquey, but I have experienced none of that. I consider my wonderful 501st brethren as good friends despite only knowing most of                                           them less than a year.

Bob Holmes                   Seeing little kids the age of 6-10 recognising my cosplay and getting the parent to tap my shoulder for a photo despite the gore and stuff in the anime

Matthew Kenealy        Definitely the response to my costume and my friend’s costumes. Though nothing can compare to how impressed the stars were about my costume, I think that was certainly an awesome moment.

Danielle Papaya           Costume compliments from Bryce Papenbrook

Alan Gamble                 How much better an Air-conditioned event is vs the old RNA Nova

Kaylin McDougal         Michael Rooker complimenting my Borderlands Costume at GoldNova.


Biggest let down?


Sean Lopez-                       Price of Food and Water

Shahab Gh                         That’s a tricky one. But I’ll go with Oz Comic con’s location and the stupid car park rate

Nelson Qiu                        Not running into many others cosplaying characters from Black Bullet (though there were a fair amount on SMASH! day 1, and I was more than content with that)

Ashlee Johnston             The people at Syd Comic-con were extremely rude and had no manners, and I missed out on meeting Reika at Smash

Jenni De Gille                  Natalie Dormer cancelling coming to adelaide

Sarah Hillier                     My Chewie stilts

Ryan Gosschalk               Losing our Gamora from our GOTG cosplay group. Was pretty upsetting

James Niland                   Convention Staff

Erin ‘Ren’ King                Armageddon. The atmosphere and organisation was just crappy. ComicCon was ridiculous too.

Philip Vincent                  The queue for anything to do with Stan Lee.

Bob Holmes                      The star i got a photo with (Richard Kiel) sadly passed away. I would’ve been great to see him at more conventions because he was extremely nice

Gabriela Kaye Flestado

Alan Gamble                    Not one, but two guests I wanted to see cancelling Brisnova

Matthew Kenealy           The lack of photos I got. I’ve managed to compile a few from FB and the ones I paid for with stars. However, I would have loved to have more photos considering how many people took photos and filmed my costume at                                                  the event. Defs bringing a cheap digital camera next year.

Kaylin McDougal            Nothing really besides an actor I wanted to see at Brisnova cancelling (Though they replaced her with another actor I adore, so Win/Win either way!)




Most standout costume?


Sean Lopez   –                                Deadpool Cosplay and Props Iron Man

Shahab Gh   –                               I don’t think any cosplay made me smile and go crazy like the first time I saw Pixis ftom Attack on Titan

Nelson Qiu   –                               Rentarou Satomi of Black Bullet

Ashlee Johnston –                      My Lady Galadriel cosplay ^^ I loved it!

Matthew Kenealy –                    Not really sure, I saw so many amazing ones that it is hard to tell. I certainly loved the Iron Man one that the helmet popped on and off. But I think that the sheer volume of costumes was epic.

Sarah Hillier  –                          Dashy’s Legion.

Damon Mckay-Hosa –            The guy who did the awesome Shaun of the dead, and backed it up the next day with Tin Tin.

Ryan Gosschalk –                     The Casey Jones from BrisNova Sunday was 50 Shades of kick ass

James Niland –                .       The disco ball zombie at the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle

Erin ‘Ren’ King –                      Everyone who put together costumes, seriously. This was my first year doing anything like this and it was awesome. Sentimental favourite went to the kid who was one of the Knights of Ni (Monty Python) at                                                                     ComicCon in Melbourne. I had my mind blown in Atlanta by some outstanding costumes but they don’t count for this.

Lisa Browne  –                          The Groot that we saw on the Sunday of Armageddon was incredible!

Michael Cassimaty –              Darkwing Duck, Rough Copy Cosplay’s Space Marine and Sunday Cosplay’s Pikachu Marine just for the accurate scale of both.

Bob Holmes –                          The Space Wolf at Supanova Sydney with the Commissar


Most memorable cosplayer?


Sean Lopez –                               Justin Costello

Shahab Gh    –                            Justin Costello

Ashlee Johnston –                    Wirru!!!

Naomi Mejorada –                    Zeek

Sarah Hillier –                          The Captain in the frame from SpongeBob SquarePants.

Ryan Gosschalk –                    The dude dressed as Professor Genki from Saints row, or David, who grabbed my attention as soon as I walked through the doors

James Niland  –                       The two awesome cosplayers from Aurelius’ Armory.

Erin ‘Ren’ King –                      EVERYONE! Though there was a particular Lara Croft wandering around at Pax that I was ga-ga over for a while.

Michael Cassimaty  –             Renwood Cosplay’s Mary Read was freaking unbelievably spot on, same with Hitgirl’s Maleficient (deliberately excluding friends because otherwise this would be about 40 people?)

Philip Vincent –                       The almost naked Mystique.

Kaylin McDougal –                Major Sam Cosplays Cinderella… She was absolutely stunning and the costume was flawless!

Gabriela Kaye Flestado –      Zeek

Lisa Browne  –                          I know it’s biased, but I have to say seeing my little six year old in her first homemade Princess Poison Ivy was my most memorable cosplayer!




 Most controversial moment?


Shahab Gh                               Push up thing with Patty or that Slender incident I guess?

Nelson Qiu                              Some creeps interviewing cosplayers at Smash

Jenni De Gile                          Slenderman

Sarah Hillier                          Slender man being booted out of OzCC.

Ryan Gosschalk                    The Slenderman report from OzCC

Philip Vincent                         The backlash against the almost naked mystique.

Bob Holmes                             Slenderman being booted from comic con

Gabriela Kaye Flestado        Weird interviewers at Smash.

Alan Gamble                           Oz Comic Con being right next door to a fitness expo on the same day.

Danielle Papaya                     Getting the hat trick at anime trivia and still not getting our prizes.



 What are you most excited for in 2015?

Sean Lopez                        DC’ing it up with my 5yo

Shahab Gh                         Making new costumes and hopefully a great line up of artists.

Nelson Qiu                        Hoping for the opportunity to travel interstate more just to attend cons

Ashlee Johnston              All the planned cosplays that I have waiting to unfold, so excited!

Naomi Mejorada             Cosplay plans and hopefully meeting more cosplayers

Sarah Hillier                      Trooping with Rebel Legion in an approved costume and getting my con on with friends

Damon Mckay-hosa       More money more time and being able to go to cons in 2 cities gonna be a gun packed 2nd year of cosplaying for me

Ryan Gosschalk               After finishing my first costume ever, I’m really excited to get my Gears of War COG finished

James Niland                   Going to a convention overseas

Erin ‘Ren’ King                 Hopefully throwing together another costume in time for Nova and learning to sew.

Lisa Browne                      Most excited for making some serious progress on my costume-making in 2015. 2014 was the first year of cosplaying for me so it was a steep learning curve. For 2015 I’ve already invested in an overlocker and some                                                        sewing lessons so I can’t wait to get started on some new costumes

Matthew Kenealy             Remaking my costumes, going to all 3 days of Gold Coast and to Bris. And most definitely trying to get into one OzComicon. Oh, that and actually making my costume light enough that I don’t have slits and bruises on                                                  my shoulders and the costume fully transforms for poses.

Alan Gamble                      Building more costumes (already underway) where the character carries a camera (so I can take photos without being out of character)

Kaylin McDougal             Building far more complex costumes! (And getting my partner in on the cosplay scene :D)



So there we have it! Feel free to send in your answers and we’ll add them to the list or just comment below!

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