Strathmore Cosplayer returns to world stage, will compete at Calgary Expo

Autumn Desjardins and her partner Conor Anderson are once again going to be representing Team Canada through the World Cosplay Summit.

This time staying at home to do so – the World Cosplay Summit is hosting a video division for its competitors, which allows them to showcase their skills as costumers and actors via a digital format.

“The World Cosplay Summit did a video division over the COVID-19 pandemic (because) people could not do the competitions on stage in person,” said Desjardins. “People liked it enough that this is the first year that they are doing it as its own entity. Now there are in person and video divisions.”

She explained hers and Anderson’s video submission was created over the course of January through March with a team of six other people supporting them.

To qualify for the world stage, Desjardins and Anderson had to first be selected as the victors of a preliminary competition hosted by the World Cosplay Summit. Their video will now move forward and be judged in May as part of the global event.

“The nice thing here is that a lot of times, competing is limited to people who make their own costumes, whereas this cinematic version of World Cosplay Summit, WCCS, you are allowed to buy costumes,” said Desjardins. “It is more about how they look overall as opposed to how they are made. It makes it really open to a lot more people who want to be involved.”

Desjardins will also be competing at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo on April 27, once again returning to their Master’s Division.

For Calgary’s event, which is a more traditional competition judging craftsmanship and performance in person, Desjardins will be dressed as Mitsuba Sousuke, from the Japanese supernatural horror comedy, “Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun.”

“There is this Japanese legend about a bathroom ghost, kind of similar to how we have Bloody Mary here. It is kind of similar to that. I have been working on this costume since June of last year,” she said. “Nine months I have been working on this pretty much nonstop … this is probably the biggest costume I have put together.”

Desjardins described learning how to knit in order to create several of her costume components, writing program script for electronic eyeballs, and casting teeth using dental molds acquired from her dentist.

The winner at Calgary’s competition will receive an invitation to compete in Toronto in August to represent Western Canada at that final, which invites competition winners from across the North America.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times