Heroes of Cosplay is a tantalizing docu-series that lifts the veil on the imaginative world of cosplay competition, because fans at the comic book conventions don’t merely dress up as their favorite character; they also compete to see who’s the best!
The series follows cosplayers of all levels, from legend Yaya Han, to rising stars and newbies, as they make a splash at comic book conventions around the country, diving deep into their lives, following their process as they create extravagant and visually arresting costumes each week. These personalities constantly defy odds and race against the clock to transform themselves into amazing fictional characters that push the boundaries between fantasy and reality, all in hopes of impressing the convention judges to win a cash prizes and take their cosplay stardom to new heights. Heroes of Cosplay is produced by 51 Minds, an Endemol Company. Executive producers are Mark Cronin, Courtland Cox and Dave Caplan.
The Heroes of Cosplay cast bring to life a variety of fictional characters but the pressure each one faces and the drama that ensues is very real. The cast includes:
Yaya Han – Yaya is one of the acknowledged legends of cosplay whose entrance at each convention – always in full costume – never fails to create a stir. A source of inspiration and intimidation to the contestants, Atlanta-based Yaya Han is often a judge at contests.
Riki LeCotey – Riki moved from rural Canada to the United States to follow her passion for cosplay. A special effects technician on sci-fi films, she is also the founder of Cosplay for a Cause, which has raised money for victims of the Japanese Tsunami.
Monika Lee – Monika is from Atlanta and a student at the Georgia Institute of technology, where she’s majoring in industrial design. A cosplayer since the age of 13, competed in numerous craftsmanship contests winning several “Best in Shows” and various other awards.
Victoria Schmidt – Victoria is co-founder of the geek fashion and style blog settostunning.com. A passionate fan of cosplay since high school, she’s especially proud of being Princess Leia on LucasFilm’s Star Wars float in the 2007 Rose Parade.
Chloe Dykstra was almost fated to be in the cosplay community; her father is an F/X legend, having worked on the original Star Wars and Star Trek films. An actress and model, she hosts the Just Cos show on YouTube’s Nerdist channel.
Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad - Jessica has performed in regional theater in Southern California since she was five years old. Together, she and fellow cast member Holly Conrad co-founded a costume fabrication shop, cosplay community and new media entertainment company.
Holly was mentored by her very qualified grandfather, Dorse Lanpher, an F/X animator for Disney and others. She now works in the special effects business for several major studios, in addition to her business with Jessica.
Jesse Lagers – Jesse lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a software systems administrator. He hopes that success in cosplay competitions will lead to his own business creating costumes and props. Jesse is a stickler for realism and authenticity in all of the costumes he creates.
...And I now demand trading cards.
Heroes of Cosplay premieres on Tuesday, August 13 at 10:30 PM/9:30c following the special 90-minute Season 5 premiere of Face Off. It then moves to its regular time – 10/9c on Tuesdays - starting on August 20th.