RodCon attracts fans of cartoons, cosplay

RodCon is a mini comic-con held at the Rod Library at UNI where many Cedar Falls students find themselves dressing up as their favorite characters. Fans of all different kinds of movies, TV shows, books, comics and animes come together to celebrate their love of the characters that make it pop. Here’s a look at three Peet freshmen who enjoyed RodCon last weekend.

Peet freshmen, Lexi Bender (left) and Delaney Ramussen (right) walk home with their prizes after winning “Best Group“ at RodCon.

Delaney Rasmussen

Has been cosplaying for three years

Went as Ryuk from the anime TV series, Death Note, to this year’s RodCon

Favorite character she’s cosplayed was Juuzou Suzuya from anime TV series Tokyo Ghoul

Delaney Rasmussen first got into cosplay when her friend introduced her to RodCon a few years ago. “My favorite part about cosplay is having to dress up and get compliments from people who know what you’re dressed as,” Rasmussen said.

She said she enjoys bringing some of her favorite characters from anime TV series to life through cosplay. “It works by just picking some character you want to be and start putting your ideas together to make that character come to life. Cosplay is pretty much just for fun and a way to hang out with your friends, but there are competitions at times,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen and her friends Lexi Bender and Lizzy Bainbridge won the best group costumes competition at RodCon this year after all dressing as characters from the series Death Note. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, Rasmussen described Death Note as “an anime television series about a boy who finds a notebook that can kill anyone if you write their name on it, and he starts killing criminals.”

Lexi Bender

Only recently started doing cosplay

Went as L from the anime TV series Death Note to this year’s RodCon, and it was her favorite character to cosplay yet

Lexi Bender immediately fell in love with cosplay after first giving it a try at a school dance. “I’ve always loved Halloween, so when I found out about cosplaying, I was completely in love with the idea of turning myself into somebody else,” Bender said. “I got into cosplay when I started watching all these different shows, and the characters are so cool looking, and their personalities are all amazing, so I wanted to be them instead of me.”

Bender said that even though she’s new to the game, she never fails to go all out. “I haven’t been cosplaying for long, but when I do, I like to pick more outrageous characters. Whether it be the character’s personality or appearance, I like to do the strangest ones, ones that draw attention,” Bender said.

Bender’s favorite part of doing cosplay is seeing people’s reactions and the transformation she feels when getting into character. “My favorite part is when you go to conventions, and random people that you’ve never seen in your life will scream at the sight of you. People will rush up to you and call you by your character’s name and want to take pictures and hug you. Another, more personal part I love about cosplay is that it lets you transform into anyone you want to be. I felt so like my character once I put on my wig, when I look into the mirror fully dressed as my character, it’s like I’m not even me anymore,” Bender said.

Mia Stark

Has been cosplaying for three years

Went as Mabel Pines from the TV show Gravity Falls to this year’s RodCon

Favorite character she’s cosplayed is Louise Belcher from the TV show Bob’s Burgers

Mia Stark and her family really got into cosplay when her step-dad introduced it to them. “I love being able to express myself through a character that might not be anything like myself. If I don’t sew and glue together the cosplay myself, I also really enjoy trying to find the very specific items for a cosplay or figuring out how to improvise when I can’t find certain items,” Stark said.

Stark also explained how even when she couldn’t find the right pair of shoes for her costume, she was able to improvise and use her knowledge of the characters personality to make it her own.

Like Bender, Stark enjoys being able to transform herself but also see people’s expressions when they recognize her costume. “I love being able to be someone else, usually fictional. Getting to bring these characters to life is so great, especially with how others who like the character react when they see you,” Stark said.

Comparing herself to the characters she has portrayed, Stark said, “Mabel Pines reminds me of the type of person I was when I was younger.” When she compared herself to her favorite character, Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, Stark said, “Louise is my favorite character from any show I’ve ever watched. She reminds me of how I wish I was but can’t be just because of who I am.”

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