Regular readers of our Fancy Pants cosplay feature here on Kotaku will be familiar with the phenomenal work of Crystal Graziano. From Metal Gear to Valkyria Chronicles, she’s one of the most recognisable and successful video game cosplayers around.
So much so that her work is now being professionally sponsored.
In a sign that the art of cosplay is beginning to be taken very seriously, Firefall developers Red 5 Studios have made the move to sign Crystal up to a one-year sponsorship, where the developer will be footing the bill for twelve months’ worth of cosplay. Whatever she wants. Whichever character or game she’s working on, they’ll pay for the costumes, the tools and the photography.
In return, she’ll be “acting” as Firefall character Mourningstar at press and community events for the 12 months. Which instead of being a “job” in itself looks pretty cool, as you’ll see in the video here, because the live-action costume (and others like it) have been designed by Hollywood effects man Steve Wang, who among other credits is the man who built the original Predator.
The move is testament to the leaps and bounds the artform has taken over the past five years, where what was once seen as a hobby for fanatics and super-nerds is being recognised for the dedication, hard work and vision that goes into its best pieces.
To get a better look at the kind of costume she’ll be contractually obliged to wear, check out this Firefall trailer released earlier in the year, which shows off the suit designs pretty well.