ByTj Smith, writer at Creators.co

First off, credit to the Merry Band of Misfits. They are the amazing group featured in the cover photo. Check out their Facebook page and give them some love!

Merry Band of Misfits Facebook

So, I'm writing this post because Phoenix Comic-Con is a little over a month away, and I am more than a little excited for it. Well... that and Cosplay/Cosplayers are probably my favorite part of the entire event. I, for one, have never cosplayed myself. But if I had the ability and finances to - I have an epic lineup in my head.

What is cosplay... After looking at a very long drawn out explanation the short version is people showing their love and respect by dressing and acting like characters from their favorite pop subcultures. But to me from my personal experience's its so much more. I have seen the Green Lantern do Make a Wish Foundation visits, Ironman visit the cancer ward of children's hospitals, and even had Deadpool passing out awards at student of the month ceremonies at elementry schools.

I say all that to say this Cosplay is not just pretty girls in skimpy outfits, or guys trying to look cooler then they are. It's also about community, and respect for something bigger then all of us, and no matter what your day job is or what walk of life you come from these characters we all know and love can unite us all under a common banner.

There are more Cosplayers in the world then I can count, but the five i have selected and will be showcasing below are people who in one way or another have stood out in my mind. When I think of Cosplay as an art form these people jump out to me, no disrespect to anyone else and their craft but these people are pretty awesome to me.

5. Miggy Jagger

Miggy Jagger as Injustice Nightwing
Miggy Jagger as Injustice Nightwing

Miggy is a New York based cosplayer who I first heard of watching the TV show Heroes of Cosplay that aired on SyFy. Although I don't know a ton about him personally, I do know that he is a very talented costume maker and has a wicked sense of humor. He is also an EMT which is not only a very important job, but one that comes with a high level of stress. What better way to blow off steam then to patrol Bludhaven and crack some skulls as Nightwing.

Miggy Jagger Facebook

4. Sean Shaw

Sean Shaw as Darth Vader
Sean Shaw as Darth Vader

Okay first look at that picture, I mean come on have you ever seen a more epic Darth Vader. Well I haven't anyway, I don't know Sean very well so some of the things I know about him I won't talk about on here out of respect for him. What I will say though is he is based out of California, and he does a lot of work for and with kids. Plus his craft is top notch, so go check him out.

Sean Shaw Facebook

3. Mystique's World of Cosplay

Mystique's World of Cosplay as Bane
Mystique's World of Cosplay as Bane

The first time I came across this picture I said something I didn't think was possible... How did Bane get so beautiful. Mystique which I'm sure isn't her real name but I don't know her real name so it will do is another Cosplayer I don't know personally so I won't be to loose lipped about her. But she has a very impressive resume. Mother, College professor, damn near a bodybuilder, and amazing cosplayer to say a few. You can see above that this is not a game, so go show Bane some love.

Mystique's World of Cosplay Facebook

2. Amonymous Cosplay

Amonymous Cosplay as Dragon Age: Origins Leliana
Amonymous Cosplay as Dragon Age: Origins Leliana

Amonymous is a Canadian based cosplayer who is also a part of the group that is featured in the cover photo for this post, the Merry Band of Misfits. I'm a bit bias to her and the Misfits, I ran into them at my first convention and they completely blew my mind. Not only are they amazing at their craft, but they are some extremely nice people. She is very helpful and no matter how random or odd a question I have she always answers with a smile. So give my neighbor to the north some love and the rest of the Misfits as well.

Amonymous Cosplay Facebook

1. Michael "Knightmage" Wilson

Michael Wilson as Medieval Spawn
Michael Wilson as Medieval Spawn
Michael Wilson as Wings of Redemption Spawn
Michael Wilson as Wings of Redemption Spawn

Okay Mister Knightmage gets 2 photo's because I couldn't figure out which one was more Awesome. I mean look at it this is just spectacular, Michael Wilson or Knightmage as he is also known as is an amazing cosplayer. Also I can't tell you how many times I have seen video clips of him featured on his local news, or doing a weather report. He has a diverse catalog of characters he does armor, clothing, weapons, and accessories. He works with kids, he does charity events I mean this guy is everywhere, and he is a true inspiration to me. Even though I am not a cosplayer, this guys work ethic and dedication is more then enough to push me forward. Go show the Knightmage some love before he reaps your soul.

Michael Knightmage Wilson Facebook

Honorable Mentions...

The entire cosplay community, its a community of people who cast aside their differences, and even if it is just for a weekend or a moment make the world a better place for a "misfit" like me and people all over the world.

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