cover image Cosplayers


Dash Shaw. Fantagraphics, $22.99 (116p) ISBN 978-1-60699-948-6

For a book titled Cosplayers, this comic contains astonishingly little of the reality of creating costumes. There isn’t a single scene of sewing, crafting, or pattern making, activities that take up the majority of a cosplayer’s time. Instead the story follows two young women, Annie and Verti, who act out and film short scenes that they upload to YouTube. There are early suggestions that Verti is in love with Annie, but this remains unresolved. Later they visit a small anime convention, where they encounter several nerdy fanboys and a despairing Osamu Tezuka scholar. Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button) is well-known for his experimental digital coloring and flat line art, which does not give artistic weight or relevance to any particular part of a panel, a look that readers may take or leave. This time Shaw’s style underlines the often-meaningless nature of his character’s lives, but this will appeal mostly to Shaw fans (a character from Body World makes a surprise appearance) and doesn’t really illuminate the lives of cosplayers, except for those who find it a curiosity. (Sept.)