New podcast interview – Frenchy Lunning on Cosplay

In my latest interview for the New Books Network, Frenchy Lunning discusses her book Cosplay: The Fictional Mode of Existence. Cosplay, a portmanteau of “costume” and “play,” emerged from geeky Japanese subcultures to become a popular hobby, and even profession, around the world. Lunning dove into the reasons why people cosplay through interviews, pictures, and her own firsthand experience of cosplay events in America and Japan. She distills the essence of cosplay to performance and the negotiation of identity, a pair of concepts that she interrogates in part by contrasting cosplay practices in America and Japan.