The cosplay season is underway for 2016 kicking off a few weeks ago on the Gold Coast which Beyond Cosplay was lucky enough to cover.
But what to do in between that, and the next event in September? We all want to cosplay and get together with our friends as much as we can. But sometimes it’s nice to have something a little bigger than just a BBQ and a photo shoot.
Well… now we have the House of Fandom Markets. This time held in Fortitude Valley in Brunswick St Mall.
This was a combined effort between the House of Fandom and the Fortitude Valley Markets and in my opinion it was a great turnout.
The sun shined, people smiled, and even Fortitude Valley locals unfamiliar with the House of Fandom enjoyed seeing the amazing cosplay that was present. The beginning of the day was slow as we arrived at 9am to find only a few people in cosplay (I’m always in cosplay) but that didn’t detract from the day. Stalls were being set up and friends started to arrive thanks to the event posted on Facebook and shared between I think almost all the Brisbane Facebook groups I know of.
By eleven o’clock the mall was buzzing with furries, superheroes, villains, kids adults and even a few older people. I even saw one young woman help an old man (assumed to be a war vet) make a phone call to help him get his friend to come pick him up to get home. This is why we love the community. This is why we love cosplay. Because we care about our fellow man. So to the amazing random citizen, thank you.
The stalls were filled with amazing hand crafted wares, trinkets, toys, comics, and essentially anything else you could imagine. It was like a smaller outside version of a convention floor and it was completely free to go and have a look. We even had the amazing colour artist Adam Nichols selling some of his amazing works. For those of you who are into art and missed his panel at Gold Coast Supanova, do yourselves a favour and don’t miss it next time. I’m not an artist and I learnt a lot from seeing it.
The cosplay in general was great to see. By lunch time a large crowd had drawn, all wanting to get involved in the cosplay parade organised by Jennifer and Deadpool. This saw approximately 40 people in cosplay walking through Brunswick St Mall then up to Wickham St then down warner St then back to Brunswick St. This loop was done twice to give the late comers a chance to be involved in the parade and for photographers to get better photos.
During this whole escapade they were also holding a cosplay competition for the best cosplay of the day.
Prizes were supplied by the awesome Comics Etc. in Elizabeth St Brisbane. For first prize, a $250 voucher. For runner up a $100 voucher.
I will have to admit there were some AMAZING cosplays there. Including the runner up of the competition. A little boy dressed in a handmade Spartan Master Chief costume made by his dad.
The winner was taken by Kakashi Hatake. From what I could see he was the only Naruto cosplay there. But I’m sure the judging was tough. But in the end these 2 stood out to the judges.
I was lucky enough to catch up with the organiser Jennifer Stewart after the cosplay competition announcement to ask her a few questions about the event.
Thanks for talking to us today Jennifer. So how long have you been running these markets?
They have been going since September last year. Roughly since April last year it was just a dream. But we had our first one in Paddington, then we had another one as part of Neon Pop Asia festival in February, and this is our third.
So this is the first cosplay parade that Fortitude Valley has probably seen, how do you feel the response went from the people Not involved in the Cosplay scene?
I think it was quite surprising. It’s pretty positive, which is fantastic to see. There’s a lot of people taking photos and enjoying it. Hopefully the next one will get bigger and it will keep growing.
So Jennifer, where to from here?
Well we hope this takes off really well. We would like to get it (the markets) in different venues to accommodate everyone in the different areas, different days, and potentially even night markets. Hopefully take it to every month or every second month, to just make it a regular thing for in between cons.
There’s definitely a cry out for these kinds of things from people around Brisbane.
Do you feel that this brings cosplayers together more than people just trying to organise BBQ’s and photo shoots between friends?
Yeah absolutely, so it just brings more people together to have a bit of a fun day out and not just focus on cosplay but they’re also supporting their local artists and businesses in that industry, which I think is really great and there’s always a lot of things going on.
I totally agree with you Jennifer. We need to be supporting out local artists and cosplayers. So for those who didn’t come down this time check out the House of Fandom Facebook page and keep an eye out on the Beyond Cosplay page for upcoming events.
So at the end of the day we had cosplayers having fun, random people seeing cosplay for the first time, artists getting the chance to show their stuff, and I realised I need more money to buy cool things people make.
Will I be going back to the House of Fandom Markets again next time? You bet I will be. And I’ll be taking more money next time!