New book Cosplay World explores the evolution of costume play, a small curiosity in Japan that became a global phenomenon. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1409141991); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3429909”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1409141991); });

1. Yaha Han as Camilla from the anime film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

Yaha Han as Camilla from the anime film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust .

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Judith Stephens / Cosplay World / Prestel

Men and women have been dressing up as their favourite characters from anime, films, games, manga, TV, and books for over 100 years.

Cosplay World, by Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunkett, features over 200 photos of stars of the art form, including Yaya Han, Crystal Graziano, and Spiral Cats.

2. Kamui as Wonder Woman.

Kamui as Wonder Woman.

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Darshelle Stevens / Cosplay World / Prestel 3.

Bill Doran / Cosplay World / Prestel

Wesley Smith, The Portrait Dude / Cosplay World / Prestel

 

A Daft Punk costume built and worn by Bill Doran (left), and Knightmage as Venom from Spider-Man.

4. Checkley as Savage Opress from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Checkley as Savage Opress from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars .

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Julian Checkley / Cosplay World / Prestel 5.

Eric Ng / Cosplay World / Prestel

Kyle Johnsen / Cosplay World / Prestel

 

Boomie (left) of the cosplay group Strawberry Censor as Gon Destroyer from Blade & Soul, and Goldy as Alphonse Elric from the manga and anime Fullmetal Alchemist.

6. Danny Kelley as Superman.

Danny Kelley as Superman.

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Andrew Michael Phillips / Cosplay World / Prestel 7.

Jay Tablante / Cosplay World / Prestel

Eurobeat Kasumi Photography / Cosplay World / Prestel

 

Maria Rivera (left) as Wonder Woman, and Chaka Cumberbatch as Captain America.

8. Shawn Thorsson as a Spartan from Halo.

Shawn Thorsson as a Spartan from Halo .

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Melissa Hammack / Cosplay World / Prestel 9.

Xenia Rogutenok / Cosplay World / Prestel

A.G Vask / Cosplay World / Prestel

 

Voroninsky (left) as Empress Himiko from the video game Atlantica Online, and Jibrii Ransom as the Marvel Comics character The Black Panther.

10. Lyz Brickley as Garrett from the video game series Thief.

Lyz Brickley as Garrett from the video game series Thief .

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Darshelle Stevens / Cosplay World / Prestel 11.

Anna Fischer / Cosplay World / Prestel

Anna Fischer / Cosplay World / Prestel

 

MangaFreak150 (left) as Cheza from the anime Wolf’s Rain, and Meagan Marie as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones.

12. Namiko101 as Panty from the manga and anime Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt.

Namiko101 as Panty from the manga and anime Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt .

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Judith Stephens / Cosplay World / Prestel

13. Crystal Graziano as Raiden from Metal Gear Solid.

Crystal Graziano as Raiden from Metal Gear Solid .

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Eric Ng / Cosplay World / Prestel

14. Mo Meinhart as spider queen Arachnia.

Mo Meinhart as spider queen Arachnia.

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Judith Stephens / Cosplay World / Prestel

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/matthewtucker/glorious-photos-of-cosplayers-celebrating-their-art-form

#BlerdSquad

1. Attempting to reconcile two very distinct cultures which is, often times, difficult.

In other words “too black for the nerdy kids, but too nerdy for the black kids.”

2. When people realize you’re not the “cool black kid” of lore.

Fox / Via crushable.com

Sorry guys. My input on what’s going on in hip-hop culture is severely limited.

3. You know all too well that your parents kinda don’t get it.

Fox / Via mic.com

4. Dealing with the people who expect you to always have strong feelings on the casting of traditional superheroes as POC.

FX / Via giphy.com

5. And when they realize you actually like the original Peter Parker, they treat it as if you’ve disrespected your people.

Warner Brothers Pictures / Via zap2it.com

Just because I don’t care that the next Spider-Man is black doesn’t mean I don’t support the cause, people.

6. The realization that there are not a lot of POC options to cosplay as.

Homegrown Pictures / Via youtube.com

7. So you say “Fuck it,” and just do you.

8. Having to call out people for making racist slurs on Xbox Live is just a typical day.

NBC / Via youtube.com

9. Not to mention the racist remarks on online forums and in fan chat rooms.

20th Century Fox / Via giphy.com

10. And you always have a weird sense of camaraderie with any other POC at conventions.

ABC / Via youtube.com

11. You have to bite your tongue when people insist that historically, black people wouldn’t be in things like Lord of the Rings.

USA / Via Netflix.com

12. Or assume that the black character in a series must be your favorite.

Tyler the Creator / Via wifflegif.com

13. Then there are those times when you read a novel and imagine a character as a POC…

NBC / Via pandawhale.com

14. … but then you watch the movie and realize they’re actually white.

Universal Pictures / Via imgarcade.com

15. Or worse, when you know a character’s a POC, but the movie casts them as white anyway.

16. Then you notice that every main character in a video game is white.

17. POC superhero figures were so few that seeing them at all made a huge impact on you as a kid.

NBC / Via bustle.com

18. Which made meeting your childhood POC idols the greatest treat because of how much they made you believe that you could be special, too.

19. It’s always upsetting when you watch all the POC die or leave your favorite show.

USA / Via Netflix.com

20. And you’re reminded, yet again, how much representation actually matters.

 

21. But you can’t deny the comradeship that comes with being a part of the blerd community.

Thumbnail photo credit: Warner Brothers Television via http://starcrush.com/then-now-alfonso-ribeiro/

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/moniquesteele/realities-of-being-a-black-nerd