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Zentai: full-body masked spandex subculture from Japan

Zentai (short for "zenshintaitsu," Japanese for "full body suit") is a largely obscure Japanese subculture whose adherents go out wearing full-body patterned spandex suits that cover their faces. In a relatively unsensational article in the Japan Times, Harumi Ozawa talks to a few zentais about their hobby, and learns that for some proponents, being completely covered is a liberating experience. The zentais in the article describe the suit as an anonymizer that frees them from the judging gaze of society, which is a fascinating study in contradictions, since the suits undoubtably attract lots of judgmental looks, but these seem to adhere to the suit without penetrating to the wearer within.

Some zentais wear their suits in superhero fashion, and do good deeds in public, while others wear the suits for sexual kicks. They are often mocked in Japanese pop culture. One academic cited in the article believes that the wearers use the suits to hide their appearance in order to force others to deal with their "true" underlying identity.

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Homemade cardboard Portal gun for less than $10


Redditor Pastlightspeed cosplayed Chel from the game Portal and put together an amazing Portal Gun out of cardboard and paint for less than $10. The Imgur set shows some details of the build, and the incredible fact that she ran a 5K while dressed in full Portal drag and carrying her sidearm.

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Into the deep woods

Wherein Rob and Heather try their hand at cosplay, the art of fandom-based costume design and performance.

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Left 4 Dead tank cosplay


From the Geeks Are Sexy gallery of photos from London's MCM Comic Expo: a clever fellow in his Left 4 Dead Tank costume, snapped by Nick Acott. The full set of Acott's photos is really worth a go: there were some extraordinary cosplayers at MCM this year!

MCM London Comic Con Cosplay in Pictures [Gallery] (via Super Punch)

Bollywood Steampunk


"Bollywood Steampunk" -- created by DeviantArt's MakeupSiren and photographed by Andrew Williams . There's loads more, all great.

Bollywood Steampunk : Salkcity Photo Shoot (via Pipedream Dragon)

Danny Hellman draws three scenes from Cosplay Apocalypse

Here's one of three Cosplay Apocalypse scenes drawn by bOING bOING illustrator Danny Hellman. See the other two on Danny's blog.

DragonCon cosplayers who dressed up as Marriott carpet get a cease-and-desist for their fabric offering


There's widespread consensus that the best cosplayers at this year's Dragoncon were the people who dressed up in bodysuits patterned after the notoriously bizarre institutional carpet at the Atlanta Marriott hotel, one of the event's venues. But when one of the cosplayers offered to supply carpet-camo to other attendees, Couristan Inc (the company that designed the carpet) sent them a legal threat.

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Fan-made Batman scalemaille


Etsy seller CreationsChristopher has listed a $9500 suit of Batman scalemaille, originally made for a Batfan project called Legends: The Dark Knight. It's handmade, took 350 hours to complete, and weighs 60 lbs.

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Tiny pink Stormtrooper


Stephanie sent this pic of a tiny pink Stormtrooper cosplayer to Fashionably Geek. They say it was a little girl in there, but that seems to be citing facts not in evidence. In any event, this kid is hella cute.

Little Girl Proves Stormtroopers Look Good In Pink [Cosplay] [Amy Ratcliffe/Fashionably Geek]

(via Wil Wheaton)

Cosplayer in a realistic Ron Jeremy mask


By far the most uncanny and arresting cosplayer I've seen at any Comic-Con was this young woman in an incredibly realistic latex Ron Jeremy mask, from Hyperflesh. I mean, wow.

Ron Jeremy Mask

Tank Girl cosplay


KayLynn-Syrin's Tank Girl cosplay is just about the greatest bringing-to-life of one of my fave comic characters I've ever seen.

Tank Girl!

Ronald McJoker


This terrifying Ronald McDonald/Joker mashup cosplayer was snapped at San Jose's FanimeCon 2013 by David Ngo.

Ronald McDonald (via Neatorama)

Sheldon Cooper mask


This is a Sheldon Cooper mask. It makes you look like a character from the Big Bang Theory. It scares and excites me. That is all.

The Big Bang Theory- Sheldon's Mask (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Little girl in a Stan Lee costume


The bestest kid costume yet: tiny, female Stan Lee!

Little girl's cosplay of Stan Lee (i.imgur.com)

Wreck it Ralph cosplayers


DeviantArt's TwinFools snapped these photos of a pair of amazing "Wreck it Ralph" cosplayers at Sakura Con 8D. They are absolutely perfect!

The Ballad of Calhoun and Felix (via The Mary Sue)