Cosplayers is a 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 film, which stars Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, and Susan Sarandon, and goes into wide release in 2017 after delighting audiences and critics at the 2016 Toronto and New York Film Festivals. This expanded paperback edition also includes the 2016 single issue comic book, A Cosplayers Christmas, which did not appear in the hardcover edition, as well as the original short story that inspired the film.
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 interconnected short stories surrounding two young women, Annie and Verti (the latter is also a main character in Shaw’s film, voiced by Maya Rudolph, connecting the two works) 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.