[Interview] ICosplay

22 April 2015

Sometimes the difficulty of dressing up as Spider-man or cosplaying as Wonder Women is not in finding the money to construct an amazing costume or combining various elements with tape, it is walking around in public as those characters.

Plucking up the confidence to do so can be challenging when people can hurtle abuse or detrimental comments at you, which can be difficult to stomach even if your dressed as Batman. ICosplay is aiming to stamp out bullying in the cosplayer/costumers community through their campaign. I got a chance to speak to founders of ICosplay, Sarah and Dan Parker, at The Birmingham Comics Festival last Saturday.

Sarah Parker said:

“ICosplay is an anti-bullying campaign but does not just focus on the cosplaying community.

“It began when this little one [their son Kyle] was costuming for charity at his school. He was picked on for cosplaying and so we sent in a video to the school showing why bullying is wrong.”

Screenshot 2015-04-22 at 11.31.41 - Edited

The video eventually spawned the ICosplay campaign which quickly became very popular, with people coming forward with their personal stories.

“In just two weeks we had 2000 supporters on our Facebook page” Sarah said.

Sarah and Dan then wanted to take their campaign to comic-book conventions where cosplay is in full swing, to establish a place where people feeling anxious can get support.

Sarah said: “The aim now is to create a huge video consisting of cosplayers to show the negative affects and how wrong bullying is. We are aiming for charity status also.”

ICosplay have a presence across the UK, from the Midlands to Scotland and has grown to lengths where people in America are also helping.

The jokes on you bullies.
The jokes on you bullies

Sarah said: “We are now being contacted by cosplayers and organisers and having only been established for a year, we have just under 5000 likes on Facebook.”

ICosplay are always looking  for supporters to aid their efforts of tackling bullying. You can make a donation over on their website or print out a poster and share it on social media. You can even take it a step further and volunteer by representing the campaign at conventions.