Check Out the Kickstarter Making Waves in the Cosplay Community

“Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– E. E. Cummings

2015 is officially here and Chase Lawrence of Affliction Cosplay Photography has kicked off the new year with a bang! A professional photographer, Lawrence is winning over backers with a proposal that will turn the spotlight on an outstanding group of cosplayers in his latest project, Cosplay 24.

“Over the years, I have seen people grow both as cosplayers and as personal individuals,” says Lawrence. “Skill sets have tremendously expanded, and their upbeat enthusiasm has only become more intense.”

With Cosplay 24: Beyond the Mask, he and cinematographer Zach Gables of Crimson Arrow Cinema plan to showcase the work of twenty-four outstanding, passionate cosplayers in a combination book and a documentary which will follow the project’s progress as their team tours the country shooting on location. Cosplay 24‘s aims go beyond simply showing off the work of artists from the cosplay community, however.

“As onlookers and bystanders, we often forget to recognize the persons behind the fantastic costumes. I want to highlight the variety of people involved in this creative venture,” said Lawrence in a release for the project’s Kickstarter campaign. “With ‘Cosplay 24,’ I wish to highlight the wonderful personalities behind the fabric and armor.”

Cosplay, for those who have never heard of it, is the art of designing, building, and wearing costumes in order to portray characters from movies, graphic novels, video games, anime, and more. It is a growing part of the entertainment industry and has long been a favorite practice at comic conventions. In admiring the costumes and getting the chance to see our favorite fantasy characters up close, though, it is sometimes easy to miss the hard work and dedication that these artists invest in creating authentic, stunning cosplay for fans to enjoy.

Cosplay 24 represents a chance for artists and fans alike to go beyond the mask. Lawrence plans to create “a photobook about 24 cosplayers in the US,” but the project is more than that. “The book,” he says, “is based on what cosplay means to them and their everyday lives.”

The project’s Kickstarter campaign has taken off in the last several days. “I’m feeling pretty good,” Lawrence told us in an email, reporting that the campaign was getting a lot of social media attention and that he was eager to see the project funded. Kickstarter also recognized the potential in the project. Cosplay 24 was selected as a Kickstarter Staff Pick not long after it was launched, and with twenty-five days left to go, the campaign’s prospects are encouraging.

On a personal note, I am very excited about this project. From the moment I heard about it, I have been holding my breath. Not only is the art these cosplayers create completely brilliant, they are also phenomenal people, and they deserve the kind of opportunity Cosplay 24 represents for them and for the cosplay community. Lawrence’s work, too, is stunning.

With this project, Lawrence, whose work can be found in We Rise Magazine, Syfy, Arcade Sushi and elsewhere, is looking “to produce the most incredible cosplay photography we have ever achieved.” This will be no small achievement considering the excellent work he has built his career on.

To learn more about the project and the awesome artists it will feature, check out the Cosplay 24 campaign on Kickstarter. Don’t forget to donate while you’re there! Affliction Cosplay Photography is offering some killer rewards to project donors.

Some things are worth speaking up for, and we want to hear our community get loud about this, so tweet #Cosplay24 and #WeWant24 to Chase (@Afflictioncos1) and us (@roggenwulf) to show your support!


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(Roggen Wulf, 2015)

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5 comments

  1. It’s a scam. $27,000 for a photo book is outrageous. Many photographers can make a photo book without requesting a kickstarter startup. You don’t need anywhere near $27,000 to make a book, unless it is seed money for max production. So it can actually be sold in bookshops nation wide. The big warning sign, that this is a scam, is that they need money for travel and accommodation. There is no need for cosplay shoots, for people to travel from one part of the world, one location. Professional photographers and cosplayers, are located everywhere. If someone says they are doing a photo set for online viewing, and ask for more then $150, they are lying to you. If someone says they are doing a photo set for prints and ask for more then $300 they are lying to you. If someone says they are doing a photo book and ask for more then $2000, they are lying to you. And if someone says they want their book to sell nation wide, and they ask for more then $10,000 they are lying to you.

    The majority of his cosplayers are local, and his locations are also local. Then he plans on selling this book personally. It’s being promoted that sales for this book will go to a charity. However the fine print says only 10% of the proceeds go to charity, while people advertising it having been claiming all proceeds go to charity. With a project this small, no one is even going to be able to check and make sure any of it goes to charity.

    Chase (The photographer of this project) has been portrayed on national television as “An idiot savant, without the savant part”. He has shown himself as incompetent, and has a negative reputation with many of the cosplay community outside of his closed social circle.

    1. Recently Anna Fischer, just scammed everyone with a cosplay book for $26,000 kickstarter for her art book The Wild Places. She was claiming that she was taking cosplayers all over the world to even Australia for her book. And this massive project was $1,000 cheaper then what Chase is asking for to do his shoot with local cosplayers in the Southeast area. She was a lot more well known then Chase, and worked with the World Cosplay Summit. And her project was a scam as well.

      If you want a cosplay book, Cosplay in America does it without any kickstarter, or begging for money every year. They have been doing it for many years now. Go get your book from them.

      1. 765 Kickstarter backers pledged more than $41,000 to Ejen to fund the second edition of “Cosplay in America.” Ejen set the goal for the “Cosplay in America” Kickstarter campaign at $35,000 ($8,000 more than “Cosplay 24”), which was met and exceeded in August 2013.

        Ejen told backers on Kickstarter that “I self-financed the [first] book thanks to a few credit cards and a bank loan. Then I spent the next few years going to cons to promote the book.” According to Ejen’s latest update on Kickstarter, the second edition will be available soon.

        There are only two editions of “Cosplay in America.”

        It is unclear why Fischer’s “The Wild Places” has experienced so much trouble following through on the project. Fischer was backed by about 700 users and received $26,000 despite the fact that she only asked for $3,000, presumably to produce a small photobook based on a single shoot. It is likely that she attempted to increase the scope of the project based on donations in order not to disappoint to her backers, but succumbed to backlog as a result. This is only conjecture, of course.

        Clearly, Kickstarters are a mixed bag. Backers must evaluate for themselves the merits of any particular project and in general should be more interested in the success of what they are backing than the rewards they will receive for donating.

        Backing a Kickstarter campaign is always an act of good faith. As Kickstarter’s FAQ’s make clear, “the fact that Kickstarter allows creators to take risks and attempt to create something new is a feature, not a bug. At the same time, backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists.”

    2. We would never suggest that our readers back a campaign without fully evaluating it for themselves.

      If you have concerns about exactly how the project will be carried out or how donated funds will be applied to the project, I would suggest you contact Chase Lawrence through Kickstarter to find out more.

      Since ‘Cosplay 24’ is not our project, I cannot address your concerns about how it will proceed.

      If you have questions or comments about this or any Kickstarter campaign, please address them to the campaign’s creator using the “Ask A Question” function at the bottom of the project’s Kickstarter page or contact the campaign’s creator directly.

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