The comic book festival «Raptus» was held last weekend in Bergen’s public library. Despite the rain, the festival attracted both families, onlookers, avid cosplayers and comic book fans.
– This environment is welcoming, it signals: come, everyone is welcome, says Knut Nærum, a famous Norwegian comedian and one of the main guests at the festival.
Every year there are between 40 and 50 students who volunteer at the festival, and about 60 percent of them return the following year, according to the organization.
20-year-old Julie Therese Nostdal came to the festival for one reason in particular.
– Cosplay for me is a way to put myself in another life for an afternoon, to find relief from everyday difficulties.
A Place for Everyone
Cosplay is the practice of wearing costumes inspired by characters from movies or comic books. The Raptus festival is one of the few occasions in the city where cosplayers have the opportunity to gather.
– Some of the visitors also take a plane to Bergen on purpose to participate in this beautiful festival, says Frode Haaland, organizer of the event.
Cosplayer Nostdal says that being in cosplay can be really fun, but for some people it can be useful to forget some of the difficulties of daily life. For this reason, events like the Raptus festival are very important, as it allows fans to get together and have a engaging weekend doing what they love.
– You don’t have to be a comic geek. Our community is open and everyone can participate, even kids or adults.
The Effort was Worth It
For many the most awaited event of this festival is the Cosplay Competition.
This year the winner of the «Best Costume» category was Tom Henrik Amble (22). He was cosplaying Deathstroke, the villain in the comic books Green Arrow by DC Comics.
– I choose this character because it is my favourite villain: I really like the masks and the fact that he has a lot of weapons, says Amble.
It is the fifth year that he participates, but this is the first time he goes home as the winner.
– I’m very happy, even though I was very nervous before getting on stage. I spent a lot of time preparing for today, and I didn’t want to mess it up, says Amble.
Participants have only one opportunity to perform in front of the audience. For this reason, each cosplayer tries to bring their character to life by creating the most detailed costume possible.
– If I can give a suggestion to those who want to cosplay, it’s to plan. You need to spend a lot of time and dedication to the creation of the costume, trying to use the right materials and stick to the budget, says Amble.