December 12, 2018

Local cosplayer shares why she loves getting into costume

Pictured above is Megan Cannon in her amazing hand-made "Rengar" costume (Photo: MomoCon)

Pictured above is 2011 HHS graduate Megan Cannon in her amazing hand-made “Rengar” costume. She spent about 130 hours working on it and completed it with only about $50 in materials. (Photo courtesy of MomoCon)

(Atlanta, GA) — A record 28,377 people attended MomoCon, a four-day weekend of nonstop fun and festivities held over Memorial Day weekend in downtown Atlanta.

MomoCon is a fast-growing national anime and gaming convention held each year in downtown Atlanta.

The all-ages convention originally started in 2005 at Georgia Tech and has grown in popularity each and every year, so much so that since 2015 it has been held at the Georgia World Congress Center, a much larger stage than the original venue at the Student Center and Commons area at Tech.

The rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990 has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture in Japan and some other parts of Asia and in the Western world.

Cosplay, a contraction of the words “costume” and “roleplay,” is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.

Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture and a broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage.

Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books and cartoons, video games, and live-action films and television series.

Megan's cosplay of Varus from League of Legends (Photo: Kathy Cannon)

Megan’s cosplay (R) of Varus from League of Legends (Photo: Kathy Cannon)

One of the most enthusiastic attendees of MomoCon this year was local native Megan Cannon.

Megan, a 2011 graduate of Heard County High School, first became interested in cosplay soon after high school when she started attending UGA.

“I started getting into cosplay around my freshman year of college,” said Megan in an interview after Momocon.

“I always loved playing video games and once I got to college I made friends who had gone to conventions and I started seeing people cosplay on the internet and thought it was the coolest thing so I decided to give it a try!”

Megan’s costume for this year’s Momocon was the most detailed and intricate piece she has done.

The 23-year-old estimates that she worked on the gear for about 130 hours while utilizing only about $50 worth of materials.

The inspiration for Megan’s amazing costume was inspired by the character Rengar from the video game League of Legends.

“I used to play the game a lot during my undergrad and I loved the character design. “I decided to make it because I wanted to challenge myself to making a full set of armor and I loved the way it looked,” Megan stated.

“I worked on it periodically since last August when I had time between my grad studies and working. All of the armor was crafted using EVA Foam (The foam puzzle piece floor mats you can put on your garage floors) and my sword was made using insulation foam board. I sealed everything with a combination of wood glue and wood filler and then painted everything by hand!”

She has designed several different costumes since she fell in love with the art of cosplay with each creation becoming more and more sophisticated.

Megan was born with spina bifida and suffers from muscle weakness and loss of sensation in her feet and lower legs, and having a disability has compounded the challenges of school and everyday life.

The benefits of the hobby for Megan are numerous, but she believes the most important is a boost in her self-confidence.

“Cosplay helps me so much! It’s just awesome to be able to kind of ‘transform’ into a different character for a day. Putting on the armor makes me feel just powerful, and it is seriously the greatest feeling when I am at a convention and hear someone yell my character’s name and get really excited to see me,” she says.

“The community has been so positive and loving towards my work and it is fun to be able to make their favorite characters come to life! Being able to kind of step away from being myself is super refreshing and helps me escape a bit from my disability and the struggles I have.”

Thanks to lots of effort and determination on her part, Megan’s health has improved immensely since her high school days when she was at times confined a wheelchair.

“I still have to wear a leg brace on my left leg to help with walking because my left foot is partially paralyzed, but I am incredibly stubborn and don’t let it slow me down.”

Megan as Red Card Katarina from League of Legends (Photo: Kathy Cannon)

Megan (L) as Red Card Katarina from League of Legends (Photo: Kathy Cannon)

Megan is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology at Augusta University, and her ultimate goal is to achieve a PhD in psychology and become a college level professor.

Two of her other favorite past costumes were also inspired by League of Legends, Varus and Red Card Katarina.

While Megan believes she is probably the most serious cosplayer from the local area, she hopes that others might be influenced to give it a try.

“I just want people out there to know is that anyone can cosplay. I love it so much and I hope that people can see me and be inspired to try it out as well.”

A plethora of activities are available at cosplay conventions including group photo shoots, art displays, expert panels, gaming, and various demonstrations just to name a few.

Not all attendees dress up for the conventions which draw people from all ages and all walks of life.

MomoCon is scheduled to return to Atlanta next Memorial Day Weekend, in 2017.

 

 

Comments

  1. Carolyn Lane says:

    What a positive attitude you have Megan. God bless you in all your great hard work.

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