A Different Type of Creativity

Written by on November 21, 2018

For most people, dressing up in costumes is contained to around Halloween, but many others spend weeks and months planning new costumes for different anime and comic book conventions.

This group is known as cosplayers and Keokuk’s own Nicole Dupy is a member of this special group. Dupy recently attended Anime NebrasKon in Omaha and said at first she was not planning to attend, but she is glad she changed her mind.

“It was so much fun; I’ve never been to Anime NebrasKon. Originally, I was not going to go, but we met this group of people at Anime Iowa and they did this Ouran High School panel and we, me and my other friend who went with me, we just really clicked with them,” Dupy said. “We all just kind of had a lot of fun, it was honestly, I liked it a lot better than Anime Iowa.”

Anime NebrasKon this year was a three day convention held in Omaha that saw over 5,500 attendees. As part of the event, the convention helped raise money for the Basset and Beagles Rescue of the Heartland. Thanks to the high number of attendees, over $11,700 was donated.

One of the major parts of conventions like this is giving people an avenue to share their interests in a fun and accepting environment.

Attendees dress up as their favorite characters and get to share the creative ideas and work they have put into their cosplays.

Although she has not been doing cosplays for long, this is one of Dupy’s favorite parts about going to these conventions.

“I’ve always wanted to, like, you know, be crafty, I guess. I’ve been sewing since I was really little. When it comes to cosplay, I didn’t really, I guess, acknowledge that it was a thing until maybe high school and then I’m like, ‘Oh, this is a really cool thing to do,’” Dupy said.

Dupy first got involved with anime conventions by being on the Photography Staff at Anime Iowa in the summer of 2017 and her involvement in the conventions has steadily grown. Her first cosplay was Lucy Heartfilia, a major character from her favorite anime, Fairy Tail.

Her involvement has now reached a point where she is hosting panels at conventions and plans to keep doing so.

An exciting aspect for people attending conventions is the opportunity to meet some of their favorite live action and voice actors. For Dupy, this included meeting voice actor Vic Mignogna while hosting the Ouran High School Host Club Panel, a show that Mignogna voices one of the main characters in.

This occurred after one of her friends who was dressed at Tamaki Suoh, Mignogna’s character in the show, was dared to dance with someone in the audience.

“She was looking around, you know, looking at all the raised hands, trying to figure out who she wanted to dance with, and we just hear from across the room, ‘Oh, Tamake.’ We all just, heads whipped towards him. He was just leaning up against one of the support columns, just chilling, watching our panel,” Dupy said.

“Honestly, we just all started freaking out, us in the panel, us in the room, and she actually got to dance with him, which was a really cool opportunity.”

For the celebrities that attend the conventions, it also an excellent opportunity for them to get to meet their fans.

Mignogna said it is difficult to pick a favorite memory with his fans because so many have left impressions on him.

“You know, it’s hard to even pick just like one because there have been so many, so many endearing experiences,” Mignogna said.

He said it is very similar for him to when he was a kid getting to go to Star Trek conventions and meeting the actors he idolized growing up.

“It’s very humbling, it’s a real honor to be able to now, years later, have had the privilege to be a part of things that people have enjoyed in the same way that I enjoyed those things when I was young. So, I really, really cherish every opportunity to meet the fans,” Mignogna said.

Throughout his career, Mignogna has played many recognizable characters including Edward Elrich in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Broly in the Dragonball series and even a live action role as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek Continues.

Even with so many starring roles in his career, Mignogna said he is humbled just getting to play the characters that his fans love so much.

“One thing I always want people to know is that I am so extremely grateful for every opportunity. It’s such a gift and a blessing really to get to do what I do,” Mignogna said

Dupy was one these fans at the convention and ended up getting pictures with Mignogna and also getting his autograph, something she was very excited about.

Mignogna is one of Dupy’s favorite voice actors because of his roles in shows such as Ouran High School Host Club and RWBY. -SUBMITTED PHOTO

In the future, Dupy said she plans to attend more conventions and will continue to do more cosplays of her favorite characters. She said she is a part of this world now and does not plan to change that any time soon.

“It’s been a wild ride, but, honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Dupy said.

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