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Cosplay Contest Dresses Up
Southern Oaks Library

What is “cosplay”?  For fans of Japanese comics and animation, it’s a way to slip into the world of their favorite characters. 

Fans who have already discovered the fun of cosplay will want to take part in the Cosplay Contest at Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker Avenue, on Saturday, January 8, 2011, from 2:00 to 4:00pm.  The contest is for teens, but everyone is invited to drop by to see the costumes.

Southern Oaks teen librarian John Hilbert has become something of a student of Japanese pop culture over the several years Southern Oaks Library has been co-sponsoring the contest.

 “My appreciation for it grows and grows,” he said.  “There are a lot of teens in this area who are really interested in manga, which are Japanese comics, and anime, which is Japanese animation, and they know a lot more about it than I do.  There’s a lot of anime on American television these days, and I’m sure our local experts will be happy to talk about it with anyone who takes part in our cosplay day.”

The word “cosplay” is made by combining “costume” and “play.”  Cosplay isn’t just dressing up in Halloween style costumes to suggest the look of a favorite character.  The point of cosplay is to reproduce the costume down to the smallest detail so you can become the character.

 “It’s not quite like dressing up like a character from ‘Harry Potter’,” Hilbert said.  “Pure cosplay is just Asian characters from comics, animation or video games, but we’re not going to be that picky for the contest.

“We just ask that participants keep it clean and remember that this is sort of like writing fan fiction in that the person you dress like is a recognizable, copyrighted character.  You can’t just throw something together and then say that you’re some guy in the upper left of the frame in an episode of ‘Dragon Ball Z,’ or something.”

For more information about the Southern Oaks Library Cosplay Contest, which is co-sponsored by the Scarlet Kitsune Anime Club, Atomik Pop! and Speeding Bullet Comics call John at 631-4468.  The contest is for teens and there is no cost to enter.

For more information about this or any Metropolitan Library System program, visit the MLS website, www.metrolibrary.org.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.