“The Negative Space” (w/ Dave Ward) – Issue #2: HEROES OF COSPLAY (and why it sucks)

Greetings Fellow Nerds!
Your favorite curmudgeon is back with another piece of cinematic crap in The Negative Space. For this one, I had more than a few requests to tackle the show Heroes of Cosplay. I had never ventured to watch this show because…

  • A: I don’t cosplay, I’m fat and lazy,
  • and B: the fine quality programming that siffy (I refuse to acknowledge that SciFi is the same as SYFY) is putting out these days just really hasn’t been anything that watching kitchen linoleum warp from summer heat couldn’t entertain you more.
SyFy’s “Heroes of Cosplay” logo (screen-cap)

But, as any proper journalist would do, I sat down over the course of a week, and with a few nerd skills, found this series that everyone either loves or hates, and watched every. single. episode. SO, here is this month’s Negative Space on SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay

Yaya Han (image courtesy of SyFy)

Heroes of Cosplay starts out with a few vague intros to a few people that are (or at least what have been presented to the audience as) “professional cosplayers”, with what seemingly is the head-diva-in-charge: Yaya Han, who is “the greatest cosplayer ever,” apparently. From the beginning, this show started off on the wrong foot, not only painting cosplay as something that you can only do well at if you are a “professional,” but also setting up this scenario of elitism that carries on through the rest of the series. You have head diva Yaya who everyone worships and wants to be her fool, to two girls Jessica and Holly who have their own costume/prop shop business in California, and already major film credit under their belts. Next we have Chloe Dykstra of The Nerdist fame supposedly just starting to dabble in the professional cosplaying scene. I call B.S. on this; one, because her father is none other than John Dykstra, the man who actually brought the Light Saber to life, along with various other Star Wars effects and props. Your father is who he is, you host a variety of nerd-related shows, and you are just NOW getting into this??  No… Sorry… Not buying it..

The rest of the supporting cast is a revolving door of other pro-cosplayers such as Riddle, and ones that are trying to become pro-cosplayers. Right off the bat, Yaya shows off a snobby, haughty attitude with underlying passive-aggressive tendencies. She rips people apart as a “judge”, frowns upon “risqué cosplay” even going so far as to shun former proteges that went that route, and just seems overall fake.  Fat-shaming larger people who make an effort to dress up is NOT a way to win over a new audience, and even as a non-cosplayer, I thought that was extremely uncool of her.

There are two very opposite messages that resonate with this show. 

First being that cosplay is this super serious business, and you can have fun, but you have to be sooo serious about it, otherwise it’s not worth it and everyone will hate you. WRONG! – Cosplaying is extremely hard work, and those who do make costumes put a lot of time and energy into making them, regardless if they plan on competing or not, because it’s what they love as a hobby, and they love to pay homage to what they are fans of.

Chloe Dykstra (image courtesy of SyFy)

Second is that cosplaying is all for fun, do it with your friends, do it as a hobby, etc.. The problem with this is, the actions of what they are all doing, and then what they are saying in their little sound bits, are completely opposite of each other, sending extremely mixed signals.

Another thing that irritated the hell out of me was that these “professionals” would go to all of these cons that offer money as prizes, with these elaborate costumes they have made, and try to essentially take out the local people. Thankfully, there were not a lot of them winning top prize, which screams to me either the con knew what was up, or they were doing it for TV purposes. Either way I say shame on you to both these groups, and the cons themselves for even allowing them to enter into the costume contest. If you are going to be a professional, and attend cons, then get a damn table and sell/pimp your work out for the crowd. If you insist that they do display it in some kind of “show”, then make one specifically for them like a runway show. Save the costume contest for the kids and locals that work at home making a costume specifically to go to con with. Stop being fucking trolls. Another thing, it’s a costume contest at a con, not the Miss Universe Pageant! Pre-Judging is also B.S. in my opinion.

Riddle (image courtesy of SyFy)

This show, with the competition/reality show base in actions, is a detriment to how you should treat cosplaying and treating others at cons. Verbally, they tried to stress this, but people pay more attention to actions; and what they see are a bunch of trolling pros trying to suck up cash prizes at cons, shutting the local con people out, and downing others stuff if it isn’t perfect or “pro” looking..

There is one positive thing I can say though.. If someone ever wants good plastic surgery, hit up whoever Yaya went to. Not even joking, she’s had some top-quality work done. And when that is the nicest thing I can say, it says a lot about just how bad this show really is.
This is Dave Ward, and you have just warped through The Negative Space.

— Have something you just don’t like that you’d like to see torn apart here in The Negative Space?? 

-Dave Ward
Columnist: Nerd Nation Magazine

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed by Mr. Ward in “The Negative Space” are his and his alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, or anyone else… so please, don’t be a d-bag and try to sue anyone over the stuff he writes. It’s called an opinion… don’t like it? The internet is a big place. Just read something else… preferably on here! =)



  1. A lot of Cons I know of have purposely put the word out that if they are ever offered the chance, they will NOT allow this show to carry on and wreck things as they have done in the past.

    When your target demographic is telling people you’re NOT going to be there as a way to assuage the nerves, the you have majorly f***ed up.

    And on a side note, I get the distinct impression that some of the bigger names on the show are nothing more than flashy FRAUDS.



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