Scores of attractive girls induced their style to Comic Con in San Diego, Calif. last week to don skimpy cosplay outfits to entertain the conventions superhero fans. Many do it just for fun, but for some its a task that pays well into the six figures.
In addition to a per diem and travel costs, popular professional cosplayers can make at least $5,000 to $10,000 a reveal, comic book expert Christian Beranek told FOX4 11. If you add in mail order sales, mob funding contributions and YouTube ad revenue, the top talents are pulling in close to $200,000 a year.
Boy Meets World actress Maitland Ward has become one of the more popular cosplay superstars. She said a “Star Wars” themed photo shoot she did in 2015 got the ball rolling.
It actually started when a few photographers who encompassed me and my daring red carpet looks thought it would be a cool idea if I became the girl that posed in ‘Star Wars’ gear for the holiday and annual Star Wars celebration, May the Fourth Be with You, she said. I thought it was a cool idea to shoot as slave Leia, and didn’t devote it much believe. It was only after the photos “re coming out” did I realize how much fans enjoyed assuring me dressed up.
Ward wouldnt tell us how much she made for her appearances, but said theres plenty of money changing hands at the conventions.
I’ve find cosplayers charge $20 to $30 for selfies, and they charge just as much for their autograph. I could never do that, Ward said.
Ginny McQueen has been garmenting up in character attires in 1998. Her website features a hire me segment as well as a support section that allows fans to donate money to her projects, including cosplay, but McQueen said she does it because she loves it.
While I have received many possibilities over the years because of cosplay, it is still first and foremost a hobby for me, said McQueen.
Ward said if you don’t like it, you won’t last long.
The key to having longevity as a cosplayer is first you have to enjoy it, because most days you are on your feet all day, the costumes aren’t that comfortable, and the shoes have to match the attire, said the 39 year old. So if you are in it to make money, you will burn out fast.
But some critics say the original intention of celebrating comic book art, depicts, and movies at the conventions has been tainted by cosplayers looking to cash in on their looks.
Some Comic-Coners probably dont appreciate the half-naked women in body paint and sexy attires assembling crowds, ” said Bill Swift, editor of Egotastic.com, a site that features many of the popular Cosplay girls. “But as is the case of half-naked women in body paint and sexy attires, the majority of fanboys are well in favor.
Swift added that while not all women who dress up as Leia or Lara Croft are genuine fangirls, they work hard for what they earn.
The popular ones communicate with the nerd fan base 365 days a year on social media, he said. So its not as if they just show up to Comic-Con and abruptly have cred.
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX4 11 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today’s top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @ dianafalzone.
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