Rain could not deter the motivation of people interested in costume play (more popularly known as cosplay) at this year’s Dhaka Pop Culture Expo.Held at Baridhara DOHS Convention Centre on Friday, it was the third edition, where a convention for fans of comic books, films, TV, anime and video games all come together under one roof. The highlight of the expo happens to be the ‘cosplayers’ – fans who dress like their favourite characters, which is why a lot of Iron Man, 300’s Leonidas, superheroes and other pop culture icons were noticed at the event.It was an event where people with all sorts of pop culture fascination came together.
The day featured rap performances by artists such as ‘Janowar – U.N.Y’ and even a street dance performance by the ‘Blue Poppers BD’.Merchandise and collectibles were up for sale in stalls given by establishments such as Scavengers, Encore, RPM Anime Store and more.Best cosplayers were given awards and cash prizes, such as best male/female Cosplay in the categories of crafting, costume and fabric. They were selected on the basis of their designed workmanship, appropriate props, etc. Winners were rewarded with cash prizes worth Tk 10,000, 7,000 and 5,000 respectively.‘It feels so great to be here,’ said Rajib, an avid anime fan. ‘I’ve been to all the previous Comic Cons, but this is more holistic as people could dress up whoever they wanted to be, like Jack Sparrow’.‘Contrary to what many people may think, Bangladeshis are up to date with what is going on in across the world and on television,’ said AKM Alamgir Khan Jamil, founder of Jamil’s Comics and Collectibles (JCC).Jamil also added that people may think that Bangladeshis are conservative in this regard, hesitant to pull off such cosplays, but these expos prove those critics wrong.The first such expo was held in August 2013 by Dhaka Pop Expo, which was organised by its founder Nesar Nadim Talukdar.Photography is open for all in such expos, where visitors may take pictures with cosplayers, subject to their approval.