'Heroes of Cosplay': Spectacular dress up for MegaCon big money

heroes-of-cosplay-scene-syfy.jpgIn Hollywood, celebrities dress up all the time, and gossip mags are often comparing the relative fashion sense of this actor or that. But in the world of comic books and sci-fi/fantasy, fashion celebrities not only wear spectacular outfits -- they also make them.

Airing Tuesdays, Syfy's "Heroes of Cosplay" (originally announced as "Cosworld") dives into the subculture of fans who handcraft costumes based on their favorite characters from sci-fi movies, video games, anime and more. And at conventions around the nation and the world, they walk their creations onstage to win glory and cash prizes.

Filmed in part at MegaCon in Orlando, Fla. -- a convention famed for its costuming excellence -- "Heroes of Cosplay" follows several cosplay enthusiasts as they put it all on the line in design, manufacture and showmanship.

They include:

Yaya Han - An acknowledged expert in cosplay, the Atlanta-based Han also often serves as a judge at contests.

Riki LeCotey - A native of rural Canada who moved the U.S. to follow her passions, she works as a special effects technician on sci-fi films. In her free time, she founded Cosplay for a Cause, which raised money for victims of the Japanese tsunami.

Monika Lee - Also from Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology student has competed in cosplay since she was 13, earning many accolades.

Victoria Schmidt - The co-founder of the geek fashion-and-style blog settostunning.com, she began cosplay in high school. Among her peak experiences is being Princess Leia on LucasFilm's "Star Wars" float in the 2007 Rose Parade.

Jesse Lagers - A native of Portland, Ore., where he works as a software systems administrator, he hopes his cosplay fame will help him launch a company creating costumes and props. This drives his quest for authenticity and realism in costumes.

Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad - These theater-trained Southern Californians founded a costume fabrication shop, cosplay community and new-media entertainment company. Conrad is the also the granddaughter of Dorse Lanpher, a special effects animator for Disney and others.
Photo/Video credit: Syfy