Sorry, Sioban, I have been a Reader reader for years. I had to create an account just to tell you how insulting I thought your article was. You obviously had preconceived opinions about cosplay, and set out to write an article to support those opinions. I know some of these kids. They are far more diverse and multitalented than you portray them. You spent the day collecting comments, taking them out of context and using them to paint a less than flattering picture of cosplayers. The ones that I know have so much more going on than you know. Apparently you failed to ask.
My Son was a 4 year varsity letterman in hockey. I saw him cover himself in blue latex and perfectly portray some character from a Japanese anime. He rocked it. It was very cool. I have been asked to critique designs and build accessories. I have enjoyed helping create characters. I admit I do not recognize ANY of the characters. I just know that the costumes are very creative, the crafting is often complex. I see a fun form of living art.
It is too bad that you didn't get it. It is worse that you would hold yourself out to be a serious journalist and be so judgmental and insulting.
So before you judge all of us in a negative light, try doing some reaching on what cosplay is, and how the people closest to it feel about it. You could have done a professional interview, instead of this sneaky and negative piece. You could have ACTUALLY asked proper questions to find out more, left out all the stuff that doesn't have anything to do with cosplay...You could have made an effort to go in open-minded.
If you want to write a proper piece on cosplay, or what it is like I am happy to answer questions via email. Or, go to the proper source on cosplay news and articles: http://nerdcaliber.com/ - People who actually understand us and nerd culture.
To get in contact with me, go to my Facebook page: http://facebook.com/AslinnCosplay