The first academic book about cosplay was released at a book launch and exhibition in Salford this week.

David Hancock and Garry Crawford’s new book, Cosplay and the Art of Play, looks at contemporary urban spaces and analyses the ways in which cosplayers use urban spaces to express their art form.

A selection of David Hancocks paintings, which he produced during his five years of research for the book, were used for the exhibit.

David spoke about his work: “Originally I was interested in virtual spaces and how people cope with immersive environments, I suppose cosplay of video game characters is the complete opposite to that.

“The cosplayers I was working with, because they are being creative anyway, I think they respect what I’m doing in a way a researcher wouldn’t be able to do.”

David and Garry came together when Garry supervised David’s PHD in 2015.

Garry spoke about why he wanted to use art as a research method for the book: “I think art is really useful because I think words can be quite restrictive and cant always express what happens in the real world.

“It wasn’t difficult to put into words but Davids art provided another way to visualise and to express the research.”

The book is for anyone who is interested in cosplay and has been added to the reading list at the Univeristy of Salford for the fine arts course.

David added: “To some extent the fans of cosplay are the target audience because it takes something they are passionate about really seriously.

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