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A lush combination of portraiture and documentary photography, Cosplay in America Volume 2 takes us on a tour of fan conventions across the nation—from Comic-Con International in San Diego and Los Angeles's Anime Expo to Dragon Con in Atlanta and New York Comic Con—in celebration of the pastime of cosplay. The act of dressing up as characters from movies, manga, video games, and anime can require hundreds of hours of preparation and painstaking attention to detail, and with five hundred conferences per year in the United States attended by a dedicated community, the line between hobby and lifestyle blurs.
Ejen Chuang spent two years photographing people as they constructed their costumes and gathered at events to model their efforts. Accompanying Chuang's beautiful and deeply human images are cosplayers'—of all ages and backgrounds—own stories of finding themselves while bringing fictional characters to life. Essays by Andrea Letamendi and Liz Ohanesian deepen our understanding of this transformative subculture.