Clowning glory with Joker cosplay
DC characters, including Batman's clown nemesis, take centrestage at cosplay festival
It is no longer just heroes that are inspiring people to cosplay.
DC Comics villain Joker was a popular choice at this year's Cosfest XV: Reborn, which was held last weekend at D'Marquee at Downtown East.
The 15th instalment of one of Singapore's biggest cosplay conventions was the first time DC Comics favourites were involved on such a large scale at the annual event - characters from the upcoming supervillain movie Suicide Squad featured prominently among the usual anime cosplayers.
During the DC Comics Super Runway segment last Saturday, a 33-year-old stay-home mum, who wanted to be known only by her cosplay moniker Yugana Senshi, her six-year-old daughter whom she calls Yugana Mini-me and her male friend Fredrick Paras, 21, paraded as a Joker "family".
The Singapore permanent resident, who is originally from Malaysia, has been cosplaying for three years.
She told The New Paper: "I like to make my own costumes and do my own make-up. I like to cosplay because it combines all my passions.
"It's also a positive influence on my daughter because it allows her to be artistic and it also boosts her confidence when she goes for events and appears on stage."
Together with her husband and daughter, Yugana Senshi has also cosplayed the Minions and The Powerpuff Girls.
She took about two weeks and spent at least $500 to make her detailed Joker costume out of foam, cloth, pipes as well as metal buttons and gardening gloves from $2 mega store Daiso. She took less than a week to do her daughter's version, which cost her $120.
She gets her materials from craft shops, fabric craft and home interior store Spotlight and art materials and supplies store Art Friend, and sometimes flies to Malaysia for her cloth supply.
FREAK SHOW: Cosplayers The Jokumi and Arashi Lan (not her real name) dressed as The Joker and Harley Quinn respectively at the DC Comics Super Runway segment.
Also channelling Joker at Cosfest was a 32-year-old chemical engineer who wanted to be known by his cosplay moniker The Jokumi.
He has been cosplaying for 15 years, since his polytechnic days, after his friends influenced him.
His Joker was inspired by Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto's incarnation from Suicide Squad.
His costume, which was made out of synthetic leather, polyester and dri-fit cloth, cost him around $80 and took him five weeknights to complete.
He said: "I like Batman, but I didn't want to cosplay as him because wearing the armour would be very hot.
"There's no fun in seeing the heroes all the time anyway. I like Joker because of his craziness and I chose the new Joker for the novelty (factor)."
Jokumi represented Singapore in the World Cosplay Summit in Japan in 2013 and 2014. He won the best performer title at the Supanova Cosplay Competition in Sydney last year and also made a cameo appearance in local cosplay film Young & Fabulous, which opened in cinemas here in May.
When it comes to family support for his hobby, the bachelor said: "They are the typical Chinese family and made a lot of noise initially... saying cosplay is a waste of money and doesn't do much for you.
"But I guess they kind of kept quiet about it after I won a few competitions and appeared in (Young & Fabulous)... that I 'produced results' from cosplaying."
Of course, no cosplay convention would be complete without a sighting of "Aunty Shirley", a spunky 70-year-old retiree who is a fixture at similar gatherings.
Madam Shirley Chua, who has been cosplaying for the last five years and was dressed as Wonder Woman at Cosfest, has been accompanying her 29-year-old son, Mr Skyy Sia, to his cosplay events ever since he was 15.
SNAP: Madam Shirley Chua dressed as DC Comics Wonder Woman seen taking a selfie with another cosplayer at the cosplay convention Cosfest XV: Reborn.
She said: "I told him five years ago that I wanted to join in the fun because I like to dress up too."
Madam Chua, who previously cosplayed as the Red Queen from Alice In Wonderland, Fairy Godmother from Cinderella and Storm from X-Men, sewed her latest costume herself because "it's cheaper than going to a tailor".
She said: "I like Wonder Woman and I think I was in my 20s when I watched the (1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter)."Ms Stephanie Loh, 33, and Mr Takahan Tan, 41, the organisers of Cosfest who kick-started the convention in 2001, appeared on the runway as Wonder Woman and Batman respectively.
They will be publishing a book titled Cosfest 15th Year: The Singapore Cosplay Legacy, which is about Cosfest's growth, hopes and vision. It is available for pre-order online.
Ms Loh said it costs over $100,000 to organise Cosfest each year and the event attracts around 20,000 enthusiasts.
She said: "I think Cosfest (has evolved the most) this year because we officially incorporated an American concept (DC Comics), aside from the usual Japanese concept."
I like to cosplay because it combines all my passions. It's also a positive influence on my daughter because it allows her to be artistic and it also boosts her confidence.
- Cosplayer Yugana Senshi