Dissecting the Cosplayer: Holly Conrad

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Starting cosplay at the tender age of 4 in which she created a character from Super Mario Bros, Holly Conrad is another one of the most famous cosplayers in the world. In comparison to Jessica Nigri, Holly chooses to hone her craftsmanship and mostly design costumes that are based around skill and technique; with the results being on parr to that of film standard costumes.

Most may have seen Holly when she along with her cosplaying team that also includes Jessica Merizan in Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about comic-con; in which she made some elaborate and electronic costumes based off the video game ‘Mass Effect’. Seeing that Holly and her team were so passionate about the game itself and incredibly impressed with the level of quality and skill that went in to making these costumes; video game developers Bioware hired her as a professional cosplayer along with being a part of the wardrobe/costume team for the potential cinematic adaptation of the game itself.

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Unlike Jessica Nigri, Holly has made a career on making some of the more elaborate forms of cosplay with a very high standard. She does not fall under the ‘sexy cosplay’ movement as she seems to not believe in it; when you watch her in interviews you can tell that she isn’t interested in that kind of attention at all and merely wants to make incredible costumes from films/comics and games she relishes. This can be particularly seen in her online Youtube videos where she shows viewers at home how she makes her costumes along with the Morgan Spurlock documentary that debuted her work to the world itself.

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Holly’s work is definitely ambitious, and with that being said only someone with her decade of experience in cosplay could make costumes of that stature. In the cosplay world, she is a veteran of  the trade, showing that craftsmanship can really take you to the next level. I feel that with Holly she would also be someone that ‘Geek’ Magazine would love to interview or do a feature on as well as she really personifies the true nature of cosplay within her work.

When I compare the work of craftsman extraordinaire Holly to that of sexy cosplayer Jessica I personally feel like its an obvious choice who’s quality is cosplay is better. However, I feel in very much two minds about comparing them at all as they just so different; they approach cosplay in very different lights so it feels like they cannot be compared at all. It depends almost entirely on your strengths to copy the character that you are trying to portray far more than how to decide to approach the character, whether it be through being a sexualised version or though authenticity of craftsmanship. I feel like this cements the idea that cosplay shouldn’t be about which style is better or of a higher quality as there will always be an underlying of both in the sub-culture as a whole and in a way, this proves that each form of cosplay needs each other in order to successfully exist.

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