Project image
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$6,329
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
102
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 26 2019 8:04 PM UTC +00:00
$6,329
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
102
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 26 2019 8:04 PM UTC +00:00

About

MY STORY 

In 2008, Anime Expo moved to the Los Angeles convention center in downtown LA and I decided to check it out. I knew Anime Expo was one of the largest fan convention in the country and with the convention center 10 minutes away from where I lived, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. So I packed my camera and bought my lights to photograph cosplayers!

It was my first time seeing cosplayers in person, and needless to say, I was impressed. Not just with the costumes but also with the wide range of people from different backgrounds who represented their fandom. Here, it wasn't important what school you attended or what occupation you held as your title. It wasn't important if you made the costume yourself, commissioned someone to make it, or if it was bought; all are welcome. In 2009, I spent half a year traveling to 6 conventions across the country, photographing around 1,200 cosplayers. After this adventure, I compiled 260 cosplayers into a hardcover book I called Cosplay in America.

Cosplay in America (2010)
Cosplay in America (2010)

In 2015 I released my second book Cosplay in America V2  following three years of travel  and visiting 20 cities across the country to provide more of a behind the scene perspective to this fascinating culture and even garner some mainstream attention from Wired and Forbes!

Now, close to a decade later, I wonder what happened to those people in the original book. Where were they now? Were they still cosplaying? How had cosplay impacted their lives since they started? I pulled out my old records and started emailing people.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. I know people change emails. People leave the scene. Life happens. Ten years is a pretty long time I did managed to find many still cosplaying (or had taken breaks from cosplaying), and I started to make a list. I spent a good chunk of 2018-2019 hopping back and forth across the country re-photographing them again on my own dime. Though I wish I could photograph everyone who said yes, I couldn't reach everyone.   

COSPLAY ?

Cosplay is the act of dressing up as your favorite character from any media - comics, movies, anime, books, TV shows, basically anything in the pop culture sphere. Most people do this at conventions or Halloween. Think of San Diego Comic Con.

On the surface, you may wonder what's special about dressing up. To me, cosplay is a creative venture no matter if you make it or purchase it and put it together. Through cosplay, I know countless people whose life has been changed through it. Perhaps they met their significant other, maybe made life long friends. They could discover their self identity, or learned new skills such as budgeting, crafting, time management and more through a simple act of dressing up. There's more to discover underneath the surface of cosplay culture than what it seems.

THE BOOK

This book will be the same size as the first two books, 8"x10" sized hardcover with around 160 pages. Every cosplayer I photographed again had the opportunity to tell their story of how cosplay impacted their lives. I'll also include never before seen outtakes portraits from 2008-2009.

The Kickstarter will cover the cost of hiring the graphic designer to put the book together and the cost of printing the book in Shanghai. I also have to pay 8%-10% in fees (Kickstarter gets 5%, credit card processor get 3%-5%).

My goal is to get the book out by Feb. 2020 available online through my website. I don't plan on touring America doing Artist Alley like the previous two books.

Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.
Final may differ from the sample page.

KICKSTARTER

For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a crowdsourcing platform similar to GoFundMe or Indiegogo. The main difference is if I don't reach my goal in a month's time, my book project will not be financed. This is "all or nothing" deal.

Your credit card is not charged and you are free to change your pledge up to until the campaign ends. I know not everyone can pledge to this campaign so all I ask is to let your friends know about the campaign know.

PERKS

 Perks include 4x6 Cosplay in America postcard (same as book cover), your name in the contributors page, copies of my third book Decade, copies of my second book Cosplay in America V2 (sorry, I've sold out of the first book), 18x24 limited edition poster of the Decade book cover, 18x24 limited edition poster of the Cosplay in America V2 book cover, Cosplay in America T-shirt (see bottom of this listing for design), and finally half hour Skype calls where we can chat about photography, book publishing, conventions or whatever else you like.

You will noticed some of the perks mention Library Donation. I will donate a copy of my new book to a library in the United States. How many I will donate depends on how many chose that perk. I donated 100 copies of Cosplay in America V2 to libraries across the country back in 2017, just my small way in giving back to libraries. I spent a lot of my childhood in libraries.  

18x24 limited edition poster "A"
18x24 limited edition poster "A"
18x24 limited edition poster "B"
18x24 limited edition poster "B"
T-shirt design
T-shirt design

FINAL THOUGHTS

It seems amazing to me the 10th year anniversary of the first book is almost upon us. In the beginning, I just wanted to put a photo book together, but throughout the past ten years, I grew more curious in understanding cosplayers' perspectives. If you follow any of my social media, you'll know for the past few years, I've been posting about cosplayers and their stories.

While my first book was mostly photographs, my second book added more insight from cosplayers. Now, with this third book, every cosplayer I photographed in 2009 and 2018/2019 have an opportunity to tell their stories more wholly.

Cosplay is more than just dressing up--it is about community and expression of our favorite fandoms, as well as a vehicle to explore ourselves. I plan on continuing Cosplay in America for as long as I can. I already have plans for another book in 2025 and the 20th anniversary book for 2030.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported and followed me since 2009. Thank you for the opportunity to create these books for y'all!

Risks and challenges

The only potential problem I can see would be time-related. The book is already photographed, I'm budgeting 4 months to put the book together, add 2 months for printing and shipping of the book. We should be good but if there's any problems, I'll let you know

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Thank you !

    Pledge $1 and get a high five for being awesome! No amount too small, I appreciate it!

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Postcard

    In appreciation of your contribution, get a Cosplay in America 4x6 postcard mailed to you!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Your Name in the Book

    Your name will be listed in the contributor section of the book as well as you will receive a 4x6 Cosplay in America postcard.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Decade book

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade: A Cosplay in America book! Your name will be listed in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Decade book + Library Donation

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade: A Cosplay in America book. For an extra $10, we will donate a copy of Decade to a library in the United States. $10 covers the shipping & packing.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    Decade + Cosplay in America V2

    Get both signed hardcover of Decade (2020) and Cosplay in America V2 (2015), two books for one special price! Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    2 X Decade books

    Get two copies of Decade (2020)! Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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    Pledge US$ 90 or more About US$ 90

    Decade + Cosplay in America V2 + Library

    Get both signed hardcover copy of Decade (2020) and Cosplay in America V2 (2015), two books for one special price! For an extra $20, we will donate a copy of Decade and Cosplay in America V2 to a library in the United States. $20 covers the shipping & packing for two books.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Decade book + T-shirt

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 110 or more About US$ 110

    Decade book + T-shirt + Library

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt. For an extra $10, we will donate a copy of Decade to a library in the United States. $10 covers the shipping & packing.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 170 or more About US$ 170

    Decade book + T-shirt + "A" Poster

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt and an 18x24 limited edition poster of the Decade book cover.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 170 or more About US$ 170

    Decade book + T-shirt + "B" poster

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt and an 18x24 limited edition poster of the Cosplay in America (2010) book cover.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Decade book + T-shirt + both Posters

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt and an 18x24 limited edition poster of the Cosplay in America (2010) book cover and Decade book cover.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Decade + T-shirt + Poster + Skype

    Be the first to get a signed hardcover copy of Decade book as well as a Cosplay in America T-shirt and an 18x24 limited edition poster of the Cosplay in America (2010) book cover and Decade book cover. We'll also chat via Skype for a half hour about photography, publishing, conventions or other topics.

    Your name will be listed in Decade in the contributor section and you'll get a Cosplay in America postcard as well.

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Funding period

- (30 days)