Review: 1,000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas / Author: Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio, Joey Marsocci / Publisher: Quarry Books / Release Date: Out Now
1,000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas is a book that pretty much defines itself by its title; this is a large, softcover book filled with single shot photos of fancy costumes inspired from the worlds of anime, manga, movies, videogames, TV and comics. Each idea has a single photo, with some brief information as to what the costume is meant to be as well as information such as who took the original picture, where the costume was made and who the model is.
As a handy visual reference, it does the job. It’s diverse, filled with ideas and is nice to look at. It’s the sort of thing you lend out or have laying around the home for other people to pick up and discuss. The pictures are eye-catching and pleasingly presented. There are some problems however; each entry doesn’t always have the full information, such as the model's name or who made the costume. In addition, some of the descriptions are a bit sketchy. For example, there’s a picture of a lady in a custom-made outfit simply captioned ‘Hawkeye’. The problem with that is that they are both male and female heroes called Hawkeye in the mainstream Marvel universe. (That’s assuming it’s a costume inspired by Marvel; it doesn’t say). It’s entirely possible that the costume may also be a gender-flipped version of the Hawkeye from the Avengers movie. As the book also has gender-flipped versions of other characters, it’s really hard to know what the costume is about, so it becomes less useful for anyone interested in the outfit. These sorts of minor flaws become grating after a while, especially when you consider that attention to detail is an important part of cosplay.
This is also the main problem with the book; you get one photo for each idea, and the barest of information about that idea. It may serve as inspiration, but it’s not much use for someone looking to make their own costumes, except as motivation. In addition, the thick cardboard softcover, combined with the large and heavy flexibound format means the cover immediately crinkles in the middle, which is a minor, but annoying niggle as this book is all about looking pretty and interesting. Some of the pictures are also Photoshopped, and though it’s often obvious, in other cases it really isn’t, and this again reduces the book's practical use, because it’s hard to emulate photographic wizardry with a sewing machine.
This is a good starting point for the budding cosplayer, but if you want to emulate any of the costumes in this book's pages, expect to have to do a lot of research first. It’s a nice talking point and will look good on your coffee table, but die-hard fancy dress fans will find nothing new here.