Category Archives: Cosplay

This category is for cosplay we’ve seen and reviewed or cosplay that we have seen before, written about and reviewed and is now archived here. The titles we’ve reviewed are also listed in chronological order, and can be found using the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.


It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Haven Editorial: Cosplay is good

Cosplay is to me a wholesome activity, that promotes creativity and fun. For people of all ages. Children love to play dress up, Halloween promotes it and we have a similar tradition in Norway, only with singing for candy on new years eve. Not to mention that people love to host costume parties and masquerade balls. There is also a lot more kinky ways to use a tantalizing costume. Cosplay is short for costume fun and that’s the main point.

However there are also several unintended benefits in the recent and increased popularity. A lot of old crafts was about to die out, due to mass production and few career prospects. It used to be a common profession to sew custom clothes, such as fancy, frilly party dresses and such. There is only so many tailors and seamstress the community can keep aloft, when anyone can buy a suit at a mall. Mass producing cosplay is virtually impossible. Since there are millions of characters to pick from and they all have something unique about them. Which is quite awesome indeed. There is an old saying that goes «If you want something done right, do it yourself». Creating a costume is hard work and a real mental challenge, that forces the one making it to think about the best approach. Both when it comes to picking materials and when it comes to assembly.

Let’s face it. Everything is possible on a 3d model, or in an animated show. Because it is not real. Creating cosplay is all about making it real. Which requires a sound mind and some insanity. Since it is a common fact that big shoulder plates will never stay in place and that female clothing is not designed to stay on. Personal I use the term practical problem solving. Challenges is a part of life, but creative crafting is a way to overcome that. Most costumes includes many intricate sewing patterns, fancy fabric and a lot of armour pieces. Due to the decline of old professions a lot of the knowledge needed has to searched for online, due to a lack of good mentor figures. Sure a lot of it can be searched for online, but for the most of us we learn by trying. On a side note, its a very common thing for people being too hung up on collecting reference materials, you know downloading a ton of character pictures onto a hard drive. Then to never interact with the pictures again. Anyhow, crafting armour, making weapons and intricate , all requires crafting. Which also teaches people to use tools and think for themselves. This in turn makes a person more independent. Apparently a lot of people does not know how to do minor maintenance at home, or own a hammer.

Another positive effect cosplay has on people, is the ability to make friends and boost self confidence. It is quite a challenge to walk around in a costume, where everyone will look and admire you. Meeting new people is also easier when one have something in common. It breaks the ice. Plus all the professional venues has a zero drug and no alcohol policy. let’s face it, many people have a very difficult time being around other people or initiate a conversation, it’s a surprisingly good ice breaker. Cosplay is also starting to become a viable way to sustain oneself. Such as winning price money. Live streaming the prop making progress. Which is what I do. There is also a market in selling products to people who lack the patience or the skill to do it themselves. On top of that there is a huge market itself in selling materials to create a costume from. Most of the more exotic martial I use is only sold online and shipped from abroad.

Personally I love crafting costume props and make them work. Which is why I stream the creative process several times during each week.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Raptus 2016 and cosplay

Haven Editorial: Raptus 2016

A halo marine, still alive and kicking somehow

The charming little comic expo in small a city Known as Bergen. It’s a place with a heavy focus on comic books and quite famous artists. Such as the ever present and enigmatic Mike Collins. He is quite known for various super hero comics and drawing Dr. Who. Naturally he is not the only guest. Though a lot of the them are from European countries. Due to the popularity of Belgofranco comics. Such as Spirou and the Italian made Donald Duck comics. In the grand scale of the world, it is a tiny convention, however it still attracts some lovely and colorful people. People flock to this place in order to meet their heroes and get things signed. After all who woulden’t like to have his prop knife signed by the walking dead creator? All in all it is a long running and very awesome.

This year as many that came before, a cosplay competition was held. Where anyone in a costume has a chance to win fame and fortune. In most cases it is a gift card for the local geek store known as Outland. Unlike previous years, I took a last minute job as the cosplay competition judge, along with another fellow and one of My little pony comic artist. A lovely lady in some very alternative clothing. Regardless I threw myself into action at the last minute, with poor planning and rough plotting. By now You’ve probably realized that this did not go as well as planned. Several mistakes was made, but they where not made again. Fortunately for me there where a competition on Sunday as well. I did indefinitely better and was a lot more prepared. I know some of those with fancy bought costumes felt unfairly judged when it came to the outfit. However I usually put stage presence very high. Very few can pull it off. Which is why either Deadpool, Harlequin or the Joker ones usually win.

Therefor I decided to make a list over things I should take into consideration:

First of all there is the performance and stage presence. A competition is a show. Keeping it entertaining is key. To become the character and own it. however going onto stage, then bolt after two seconds is boring and bad. If nothing else strike a pose and hold it for at least 4 seconds. Because that is how you get good pictures!

Naturally the next point is stage presence. Some costumes can be quite elaborate and some just leaves no lasting impact. However there are still several points to judge by. Such as the seam quality and craftsmanship. Even commercially made products can be crap. In the end I value the effort and thought process that went into a cosplay project.

Plans and planning

This is starting to sound a little too much like American idol, so maybe awarding should be a bit more creative and interesting. Tough Raptus is not the best proving ground around. As cosplay usually plays second fiddle, is rushed and have terrible backdrops.
Fight the horde!

Keep in mind, the second day at the outfit competition,everything went much,much smoother. Which is key, live, learn and improve.

Here is a gallery of picture taken during Raptus 2016, by Yngve Hegreberg

Njål Sand

Nerd Review: Zentai Spider-Man Suit!

First up, a disclaimer. We got this product because we wanted to review it, and as such
all views in this article our are own, and no money has been exchanged for this review.

Ever wanted to be a Super Hero but could never make the outfit you wanted? I did, and I find it irritating that so many people can cosplay, but I cannot. However an idea came to me, and I realized that there are people who can make it possible for the right price.

True, some outfits like Gundam suits are a bit out of their league, but Super Heroes in general are not! Ever wanted to be Spider-Man, Batman, or even (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) Aqua Man? Then pre-made suits may be the way to go. Even more so if your a talentless hack like myself.
A bit about the suit in question:  Batman was my first choice. I have the disposition for it, but lack the money. So I ultimately went with Spider-Man. Made entirely of spandex, the suit breathes easy and feels simply amazing. You won’t be gasping for air through the face mask, and the cool breeze wafting through your backside provides comfort, no matter how hot it gets on the convention room floor!

I was worried when I first donned the mask because I could hear some ripping and tearing. But I was later informed that this is normal, as the suit itself is double stitched to improve integrity. The product handles quite nicely overall and I’m happy I can finally enjoy cosplay, even if I am on the “big” side for a Spider-Man.
Cosplay should not be judged by bodily figure; what you can or can’t “pull off.” It’s about doing what you enjoy. Of course there are purists who will disagree, but ultimately it boils down to having fun, enjoying an outfit you bought or made.

The great part about owning the suit is that I can experience the best of what it means to be a Super Hero. I visit children in the hospital on “free comic book day”, and am able to cheer them up! They get to read the adventures of Spider-Man while hanging out with the ultimate “ordinary” Spidey!

Another great thing about the suit is how customizable it is. You can order it with a piss zipper, as well as with a detachable hood so you can hang from the ceiling and make out with someone, just like in the movies…assuming you can actually hang upside down for any length of time!
Overall, Zentai suits are worth the price of admission. The quality is amazing and  customer support is great. Not many companies go out of their way to help you into just the right suit.

If it’s within your budget, I definitely recommend geting a Zentai suit.
I have a video of mine in action, but since we were banned from YouTube over a glass of orange juice, I will find another way to post it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-