Strathmore cosplayer Autumn Desjardins claimed a second-place finish at the GamesCon Calgary Cosplay Competition, June 24, netting her a $750 prize alongside the accolade. 

This year’s event was the debut of GamesCon in Calgary, which invited judges from across Canada, and saw competitors from across the continent in attendance. 

“I entered online into the masters’ division, and because it was the convention’s first time around, we entered a costume that we had previously made … but that ended up working out. We just upgraded what we brought to Calgary Expo,” said Desjardins. “The judges at Calgary Expo told us the costume was perfect, but there were things that, because I know the costume, I wanted to do. I was basically touching up paint, making sure the electronics were still good, and changing the little bits that probably only I noticed.”

The masters’ division is a segment reserved for veteran competitors who have already won previous awards on stage for their craftsmanship and performances. The costume quality is expected to rival that of industry professional and Hollywood-grade craftsmanship.

Desjardins created a costume in the likeness of Link, a character from the Legend of Zelda franchise, which was worn on stage by her partner, Conor Anderson. 

She expressed particular excitement regarding this competition, as she had only expected it to be attended by local creators, as opposed to faces from across the continent. 

“I think it was great … it ended up being a competition that people flew in for. What we thought was going to be a local competition ended up being a continental competition. People traveled from B.C., Montreal, a couple people we know traveled up from Ohio – so it ended up having a much bigger impact than we were expecting,” she said. “I was really happy because some of the people we competed against, I actually met in Toronto last year, and they have competed internationally. I was excited to compete against these amazing people who I have been a fan of for years.”

Always one to take on a new and greater challenge, Desjardins said she intends to continue learning new skills and putting them to the test in her next competition costume. 

The project this time will be to bring Mitsuba Sousuke, from the “Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun” series to life, portrayed on stage by Desjardins herself. 

“It is a crazy mish-mash build that is going to pull every technique that I know out of the book to get it done,” she said. “I am learning how to knit for it, this project is going to (require) tailoring, quilting, paneling, leatherworking, wig styling, latex prosthetic work, electronics, resin printing, PLA (polylactic acid) printing, foam sculpting … it has everything in it.”

She joked at her apparent dislike of free time, as the costume build will be a labour and time-intensive process to complete. 

If she is deemed to have qualified, Desjardins intends to compete again in Switzerland in April, and in France, come November.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 12, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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