Hey all! I recently was asked my opinion on Are Cosplay Contests Fair? (maridah.com), and I decided to respond to it here. First off, please read Maridah’s article before jumping to any conclusions on what I have to say.
I’ve been in a multitude of cosplay contests, ranging anywhere from crazy skits to hardcore craftsmanship judging. I’m all about making things separated out so those who are better at presentation can show off their skills, while those better with the construction can be judged on theirs. I really wish more contests followed this format, but hey, I also understand only so much time can be devoted to contests.
With all of that, I have also judged a few contests. I try to honestly separate the categories, because I feel it’s hard work to create an amazing performance just as much as it is creating a crazy costume. However, we’re focusing more on craftsmanship judging here. I believe anyone judging craftsmanship should have the skills to do so, much like Maridah states on her blog. If people are judging on how something’s been made, they should have the knowledge to do a lot of it on their own as well.
Prime example: I had a judge tell me I should have just “hemmed the cape” and left it alone. Due to the fabric being sheer and possibly could shed the fibers, I roll-hemmed it to protect it. I explained that, and the judge was clueless on what I was talking about. I then got docked points on craftsmanship because she didn’t understand the technique and refused to learn. DON’T BE THIS JUDGE.
So yeah, I agree with Maridah. I think conventions need to step up if they want their contests to have the crazy costumes coming out of the woodworks from people. Have presentation judges. Have craftsmanship judges. Hard work goes into both and more contests need to acknowledge that.