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BREAKING ALL THE RULES: COSPLAY AND THE ART OF SELF-EXPRESSION

Photobook | October 2013
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Buy it
$28.30 softcover
$35.00 autographed copy

Reviews
"Her photos highlight each cosplayer and costume both at conventions and beautiful locations. Every photo is artfully complimented by its cosplayerís interview...Itís refreshing reading about the passion and love that cosplayers have for their characters, community, and costumes. For many, itís a release from the everyday runaround of life or a liberating feeling of expression."

"Wonderful and insightful book for anyone that has quesions about cosplay or to learn about the people who cosplay...Tysk gathers a large base of interviews that she has conducted with cosplayers at conventions, whether popular or not, to ask many thorough questions about what cosplay means to them and how it plays into their lives."

What's this book about?
Costume Play - a Japanese word originally coined to describe the hobby of designing and dressing up in costumes. While that may bring up images of Halloween, costume players - or "cosplayers" - now go all out with painstakingly accurate replicas of their favorite costumes from TV shows, cartoons, comics, and movies. Cosplay has moved from a niche corner of Japanese geekdom to a global pop culture phenomenon that includes the United States.

Breaking All the Rules is a photobook that showcases the people behind the costumes. Cosplay is a hobby that breaks all the rules: anyone of any size, any race, any age, any gender, any background, can cosplay. Over the next year I'll be visiting at least one convention in every major region of the United States, taking photos and interviewing cosplayers.

Even in the United States there are many hundreds of thousands of cosplayers, more than I could ever fit into a single book. But I hope this book is a beginning. I hope it can promote understanding and start dialogues between people, no matter how diverse their backgrounds. When asked, "why do you cosplay?" I hope someone can flip through the pages of this book and point to the cosplayers describing in their own words how cosplay has profoundly changed them and made their world a better place.

Many thanks to Edition One Books and Bond Street Studio, Brooklyn.


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NOTHING BUT AN ISLAND

Retracing the Journeys of John Manjiro, the first Japanese person in America

Photobook | August 2015

Buy it
$19.99 PDF copy
$71.61 hardcover from Blurb.com
$68.76 softcover from Amazon.com

Visit the Kickstarter page, fully funded in May 2015!

What's this book about?
John Manjiro, the first Japanese person in America, was a humble fisherman who made an incredible journey from Japan to America in the 1840s, while Japan was still closed to Western trade. When he returned to Japan, he convinced the shogun to open Japan and sign the treaty of Kanagawa with the United States in 1854, bringing about the Meiji Restoration and the fall of Japanís feudal system. Manjiro became the first English teacher in Japan, the first Japanese navigation and sailing expert, and the first Japanese person to ride on trains and steamboats. More importantly, his friendship with his American foster family continues to this day through both familiesí descendants, even through World War II. Spanning three continents and eight years of research, this richly illustrated book brings Manjiroís journey to life.

Photo Essay: Drifing Toward the Southeast
My work on Mystic Seaport's 38th Voyage site