First impression on opening my much anticipated delivery was pleasant surprise. It feels like a quality piece of print, an unusual sized book, but the perfect size for curling up on the sofa and browsing through with a good cup of tea (it IS the first British publication for cosplay after all!) and also has that lovely tactile, slightly rubbery finish to the cover that feels so soft to the touch. Im impressed…it looks like a very professional piece if literature.
My obligatory quick flick through the pages before delving my whole attention into reading it reveals a hybrid beast of a journey into cosplay that sits between being a book and a magazine…a Bookazine apparently. Not something I’ve come across before and is the phrase used by the editor with dry amusement in the introduction. It works well however, especially when it is compared to other the other internationally based cosplay magazines I’ve been investing in this month out of curiosity.
There looks to be a refreshing mix of images and articles and now I’m thoroughly excited at the thought of reading it properly!
So… let’s begin shall we!
Right from the start you are welcomed into TCJ with an attractive to the eye layout, simple yet effective branding and lack of clutter. Fonts are well chosen and easy on the eye and it almost has a slightly vintage feel, but with modern flourishes such as page sections that are mirrored with black background and white writing.
Just browsing the contents page you can see the variety of subject matter and get a sense of what they are trying to achieve with TCJ.
**All of the above was written in real time as the “bookazine” was opened, the next section is after having read through all the articles and closed the cover, by no means for the last time…links are at the bottom of the article**
The photography throughout is a thing of beauty! Such gorgeous shots of each featured cosplayer and their work.. the efforts to get the prefect lighting and pose in their locations is not lost on me.
The only criticism I’ll put in here is the images of Ghost Rider.
Now the photography here had a consistently darker, moodier feel to it, grainy too due to the choice of paper it is printed on.. (which it works well for on the other images in here)
However, the nature of the costume means I think I too would have been enamoured with the lighting effects employed within it, but what it loses in these images is the detail of the costume. Because it is all focussed on the lit up effects, there are none instead where I can really look at and appreciated the detail and work that has clearly gone into the costume in its entirety, which is a shame! Also, it feels a little odd not to include a picture of who the cosplayer was.
The sheer range of topics covered makes this almost a manual. A manual on upping your inspiration and cosplay game!
There are so many tips, tricks and how-tos to take away from reading this, as well as the real life feedback from people who are active in the community of cosplay on why it is such a great hobby and how it impacts their life.
Their Cosplay Survival Guide was particularly thorough and a great reference for anyone from “first ever con” to “seasoned con goer!”
One off the things I found most refreshing about TCJ after reading some other international publications, was the vast range of humans they featured. It encompasses what the very best of the community is all about..inclusion.
Cosplay is for everyone..Cosplay can look amazing on anyone..Cosplay does not give a flying *beep* what you look like under your costume, it is about paying homage to characters you love, costumes that empower you and having fun.
I liked the section “opinion” and the topic they choose to discuss. It was well balanced and thought through and a topic I’m also on the fence about as I’ve seen it done well at events such as CosXpo but also, unfortunately, unimpressive at a lot of events.
Overall this “bookazine” is worth every penny and we at Cosmic Workshop whole heartedly recommend that you go buy it and continue to support it.
– Jules x
You can purchase The Cosplay Journal on a variety of online shops including Amazon.
Check out their website www.thecosplayjournal.com for all information