Cosplayers is cartoonist Dash Shaw’s ode to that defining element of fandom, the “costume play” of so many anime and comic conventions. Artfully celebrating both the culture’s obvious theatricality and uniquely D.I.Y. beauty, as well as its often awkward conflation of fantasy and reality, Cosplayers explores these delicate psychological balancing acts via a series of seven interconnected short stories surrounding two talented young women who combine their love of cosplaying with their love of social media and film in order to deepen their relationship with the popular culture they celebrate. Cosplayers depicts their stories in an affectionately funny way, celebrating how much more inclusive and humanistic fandom can be than most of the stories and characters it is built upon. Featuring plenty of easter eggs for fans of the broader culture as well as being the perfect entry point for those completely befuddled by it, Cosplayers is another distinctive, instant classic from one of the most acclaimed voices of his generation, and will be released around the same time as Shaw’s feature directorial debut, the independent animated feature My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, starring the voice talents of Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, and Susan Sarandon.
Check out the book trailer below. Music by Jesse Moynihan.
“A former student of the genius artist-seer-cartoonist Gary Panter, Dash, it's fair to say, is something of a genius as well.” — Chris Ware, cartoonist
“I’ve seen the future of comics and its name is Dash Shaw.” — David Mazzucchelli, cartoonist
"... a pleasant read—a Bechdel-test-passing, intelligent, well-drawn set of slight stories that maybe have something to say about a very particular time and place." - Paste Magazine
"Shaw has achieved a new level of literary depth in these smaller, more focused stories, and has created striking images through the use of digital patterns and washes of color. Cosplayers reminds you how good a comic can be, telling human, emotionally resonant stories through powerful pictures." - Cleaver Magazine
"Shaw’s work here transports his fictional overheated cosplay ecosystem beyond mere trendiness, standing the feedback of fiction-into-reality fabrication in front of a slightly warped mirror and taking overexposed pictures. Cosplayers reads like an account of what it’s like when a person’s soul is addicted to fantasy, leaving folks with masks some will desperately want to be their real faces." - io9
“Dash Shaw is an utterly brilliant young cartoonist who has, in a few short years, advanced from the academic experiments of his earlier work ... into a formalist genius whose skills encompass both a natural gift for color and a feel for subtle, indirect characterization.” — Only the Cinema
“Kaleidoscopic ... Shaw has a deft touch ... Like the very best illustrated fiction, Shaw's work moves between pathos and humor, between the fantastic and the familiar.” — The Christian Science Monitor
“Cosplayers will strike a chord with anyone who turns to reading as an escape, be they lit-nerd, comic geek, messageboard troll, or a little mixture of all of the above.” — HTML Giant
"The blending of fandom lives with the real world is a wholly relatable experience and the book shows the reader what it means to take it to the next level." - Women Write About Comics