Graphic-Sha's How to Cosplay books: an introduction

Topic started by rocketbomber on Aug. 21, 2009. Last post by rocketbomber 5 years, 7 months ago.
Post by rocketbomber (226 posts) See mini bio Level 9
I came across these in the course of my own graphic novel/manga research, and while they're a tad outside both my own interests and the scope of my [other] blog, I knew there was an audience somewhere for this stuff; I'm a nice guy, so I thought I'd do a write up for you. 

Graphic-Sha -- perhaps sensing the sea change among casual fans away from Manga-style art (which is a damn lot of work) toward the cute outfits (which are also a damn lot of work but which get a much better ego-stoking-reaction at American cons) -- have started the How to Cosplay Series, announced and released to little fanfare back in the spring (ANN had the press release) (yeah, I don't remember seeing it either).

If this is anything like Graphic-Sha's How to Draw Manga series, we can look forward to many, many volumes culled from Japanese sources and translated into English.  Two volumes are currently available, vol 3 releases at the end of the month, and after that it looks like we'll be getting one new volume a month for quite a while.  The list price on these is either $19.99 or $24.99 (of course you can find them online for less) but I can't determine an overall pricing strategy here... maybe it depends on length?

 Here are the volumes I've been able to find so far.

[item descriptions from online sales sites; I'm assuming they were provided to Amazon, B&N, et al. by the publisher and such are fair game.] 

vol 1 Transformations & Special Effects Makeup, currently available.  isbn 9784766119602 
"There are a number of books out there on making the costumes for cosplaying, but until now, there have been none that specialize in cosplay make-up. Taking full advantage of the know-how amassed through its publication of various how-to books, Graphic-sha has produced a detailed and thorough book on how to do cosplay make-up. Graphic-sha has obtained the necessary authorization to use the popular (and copyrighted) anime, manga, and game characters featured in the book, and can present the actual make-up techniques needed to reproduce them accurately! Using familiar materials and items, professional make-up artists present complete lectures on such topics as Basics/Cross-dressing/Using face paint/Special wound and make-up/Covering facial faults! Also featured are exclusive reports on major cosplay events!"

vol 2 Japanese Style Costumes, currently available.  isbn 9784766119619
"Characters in Japanese-style costumes are a cosplay staple, so How to Cosplay includes in-depth tutorials on how to craft easy-to-arrange costumes, beginning with the basics of materials and sewing machines. Ninja costumes, haori and hakama for samurai costumes, one-piece kimono and casual clothes - you can also freely combine the different parts to make your own original variations! From larger pieces such as outer coats, sleeves, haori, and hakama to smaller ones such as hoods, coverings for the back of the hands, and leggings, How to Cosplay features basic designs that are easily arranged and tutorials on techinques that will allow you to produce beautiful costumes. Includes a CD-ROM containing sewing patterns for different costume parts in different sizes, complete with pattern grids to make them easy to use!"

vol 3 Manga, Anime, & Game Characters; Aug 29.  isbn 9784766119916
"Experience to the fullest the latest cosplay information from Japan, the home of cosplay!! Cosplaying - in which fans dress up as their favorite manga, anime and game characters- is exploding in popularity around the world. And the place all these fans admire is of course-Japan ! Cosplayers around the globe want to know which characters Japanese fans are interested in now, how they express that interest, and what techniques they use to bring those characters to life. How to Cosplay 3: COS*Style is the project we've developed to meet those fans' desires. The book features lots of great photos of the best cosplayers from cosplay events all over Japan. Details of costumes and weapons are shown from many different angles, and the book includes a wide variety of ideas for costume execution and hair and make-up arrangement. It's an excellent reference book. The How to Cosplay series editors and camaramen are in charge of production."

vol 4 Wigs & Contact Lenses, Sep 29.  isbn 9784766119848
"Your costume and make-up are perfect, but you find that you're still worried about one thing - WIGS! In order to thoroughly become your favorite character, wigs are indispensable, but for beginners, they're tough to handle. This book explains in detail the techniques used at a cosplay-specialty beauty salon, using both lectures and photos. The differences between wig materials, how to maintain and store wigs, how to process wigs, vertical rolls, corkscrew curls, pompadours, Japanese hairstyles and more - all will be fully explained. The second feature compares 60 different types of color contact lens, complete with lessons for beginners on how to put in and take out contact lenses safely."

vol 5 Gothic & Lolita, Oct 29.  isbn 9784766120035
"Announcing a new stylebook from Japan, the birthplace of Gothic and Lolita fashion! 'Gothic Fashion' is patterned after gothic novels set in medieval Europe and the costumes worn by nobility in the movies based on those novels, as well as the styles associated with demons, witches, and vampires. 'Lolita Fashion' takes to extremes the classical girlish tastes of young girls and women - the Lolitas made famous in Literature. This book includes Gothic and Lolita fashion zones from all across Japan, and features numerous photos from famous streets, fashion shows, and 'charisma' shops. Costumes, accessories, and tips on designing clothes, hair, and make-up are also detailed."

vol 6 Uniforms Arrangement, Nov 29.  isbn 9784766120042
"In this volume, Graphic-Sha tackles uniforms - popular costumes that appear with great frequency in anime, manga, and games. Photos and illustrations help explain clearly how to make basic uniform types, plus some of the props that complement them. Patterns for all of the uniforms are also included on the enclosed CD-ROM as PDF files."

vol 7 Props, Jan 29, 2010.  isbn 9784766120059
"Take your costume and cosplaying to the next level! No matter how much your costume looks like the real deal, no matter how perfect your hairstyle and make-up is - if the props for the character are rubbish, the effect of your costume will be ruined. In easy-to-comprehend terms, this book details how to use the same materials the pros use to create amazingly realistic props at home."

If this release schedule keeps up we can expect vol 8 in February or March (my guess is March, and with additional volumes every othe month following -- for as long as they keep up the series)
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