Yaya Han


Although the second season of Heroes of Cosplay redeemed the majority of what was so wrong with the first season, all that artificially amped up drama and confrontation. In fact you’ll see a lot of those same Heroes of Cosplay in Cosplay Boom. The difference? This time you see the side that Heroes of Cosplay basically ignored in that first season, their love of cosplay, what it means to them and the cosplay community. (more…)


Even if you only have a glancing knowledge of cosplay, you have undoubtedly heard the name Yaya Han. A competitor, repeated champion,  judge, teacher, entrepreneur, grand ambassador and more; Yaya is a defining personality and voice in the geek costuming game. She is recognized for her level of detail and quality to her cosplay outfits, almost as much as she is celebrated for her poise, class and welcoming heart. Being at the top of an optics based community isn’t always easy of course – trying to stay a float the rampant jealously, envy, ill assumptions, false acquisitions, creeps, and attitudes is enough to make anyone sink – but this veteran has remained ever truthful (to herself and fans), and respectable. Diplomacy and perseverance along with her talents is why she has endured; why she has reached “legend” status.  This we learned first hand as we at Nerd Bastards had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Yaya.

We got to learn a little bit about Yaya’s history and unique experiences. We also got to hear her speak quite vocally on some very important trending discussions in the Cosplay scene. Drama that she herself has, at times, been in the center of (mostly pertaining to controversy over SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay). She sets the record straight on how people should or shouldn’t cosplay, where sexuality has its place, and how “we’re all in this together.” (more…)


Almost since its inception there’s been nothing but drama and controversy surrounding SyFy‘s reality program, Heroes of Cosplay. Initially the choice of content combined with a predominately female cast raised concern the series was only interested in parading around sexy girls in costume. Thankfully, the series has managed to steer clear of that, though sexuality and how much is proper for cosplay did become a hot-button issue. An issue that was only escalated by some heavily manufactured drama between Yaya Han and Jessica Nigiri; a matter we’ve covered before.

Now it seems only a handful of episodes, and a new editor/supervising director, later there’s only more drama and fan backlash for the series. To the point where I’m questioning what SyFy’s intention for the program was if all it has caused is dissent in the community it chose to portray?



A few days ago, I wrote an article calling shenanigans on SyFy‘s reality competition series Heroes of Cosplay. You can read the article in full HERE, but basically, there’s been a lot of controversy over the first two episodes accounting SyFy’s negative depiction of cosplayers and the medium in general. Specifically regarding the shows display of hyper sexualition (what with all but one of the contestants being attractive females), false drama regarding a clash of egos and sad comments made towards costuming and select body types.

Being able to distinguish reality from reality TV (which, sadly, not everyone can), I commented on SyFy’s blatant execution of manufacturing drama. Things happened, words were said, but it all was clearly taken out of context. All for the purpose of creating eye widening television.

I wrote the piece because nerds offer so much creativity and positivity in this world; we are the architects of all that is cool. I have great personal distaste for mass market media misrepresenting aspects of nerd culture. While nerdery in general has been welcomed and accepted in recent years, being a nerd and defending our passions is a hard sell to those who don’t understand it. While I won’t argue passive aggressive behavior in the cosplay community and the selective mindsets that exist, that episode of Heroes of Cosplay gave a really sour view about the cosplay scene. I’m fortunate to know cosplayers personally and am quite familiar with the community to know the difference, but had I not, I probably would have accepted the drama, egotism and ignorance on HOC as typical (which a lot of people on Twitter and message boards did). I understand it’s a show, things need to be dramatized to make for cheap entertainment, but not at the cost of misrepresentation. It’s so very hurtful to the culture and the fans. It’s important to speak up and call attention to it, hence the article.

Alright, so, where are we now? Well, I’ve come to find out (from an insider) that SyF supposedly changed out the editor/supervising director for the third episodes after the backlash especially after the second one. This new editor was credited for the softening of the segment where host Yaya Han initially talks about Jessica Nigri. The original was far more one sided. He extended the segment by a few more scenes to have Yaya say “I know I do it as well…”, referring to sexualized cosplays.

I haven’t seen the 3rd episode, but according to my source who has, the difference between it and the 1st two episodes are just bewildering. Saying that sans drama the show is now enjoyable and shareable.

A SyFy media relations person who I contacted to clarify, was unable to confirm or deny, but did say that background staffing changes happen quite often. Take that as you will.

Wow, really? I’m quite surprised SyFy would respond to the backlash and change the trajectory of the show. Maybe now the program will be enjoyable on it’s own merits and not relay on manufactured drama? I certainly hope so. I want Heroes of Cosplay to be a celebration of cosplay, showing the creativity, talent and fantastic personalities these wonderful people have to offer. Anything else would just be obtuse.

Still, the damage is done. I feel terrible at what a crushing blow some of the cast members took to their careers. Particularly to host Yaya Han, who was grossly misrepresented. The poor girl has lost fans and has taken so much heat for comments and attitudes that were taken out of context. The truth is out, and her character will prevail, but it stinks that she and other members of the show have deal to with so much unnecessary damage control.


Never being one that’s cosplayed myself, just a person that enjoys the medium, I couldn’t help but tune into SyFy‘s Heroes of Cosplay – a reality series that chronicles (somewhat) new and veteran costumers as they go from con to con in their latest garbs to be judged and take top position for fame and money. As with any reality series, some (very obviously edited) drama ensued. Some superficial BS, which has sent the cosplay community in a fritz. When I say fritz, I mean fans taking to Twitter and saying, “Well cosplay community, brace yourselves for the newsfeed attacks and people’s opinions.” Well, I guess, since I’m writing this, I’m guilty as charged. What I’d like to do, though, is discuss the abhorrent editing from SyFy and how its depiction of cosplayers and misrepresented opinions is actually hurting the community.




SyFy has a new series, Heroes of Cosplay, airing in August about the wonderful world of Cosplay Competition. I know, I know. SyFy . . . everyone take a deep breath and then a moment to slowly exhale. Everyone settled? OK, now let’s give this show a chance. The series has some very talented people involved (Yaya Han being one) and should provide an interesting look at how they put together their terrific costumes.

The series synopsis contains a complete list of who’s in the show below after the video first look. My only concern at this point is the whole competition-reality-show-drama-factory that every other show of this type format uses. That format usually casts an uncomfortable shadow over the contestants personalities and social skills, and often paints the same wide brush on others interested in the pastime.

Everyone knows that these shows are edited for maximum drama and tension and that’s my main issue at this point. My experiences within the Cosplay community as a whole have been very positive. Everyone is helpful and always ready to offer their advise and knowledge when you have a problem that needs solving. I’m worried that the competition side of the show will overshadow the regular hobby side of Cosplay, most people do not Cosplay to compete with other Cosplayers.

Take a look at the first look video below and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Cosplayers and cosplay contests are a fixture and highlight at the many comic book and genre fan conventions around the world. These conventions provide an international stage for fans to showcase often spectacular handcrafted costumes and portray their favorite characters from sci-fi movies, video games, anime and more. In Syfy’s new Heroes of Cosplay (formerly Cosworld), nine passionate fans put their imagination and skills to the test to make a name for themselves in the competitive world of cosplay.

Heroes of Cosplay is a tantalizing docu-series that lifts the veil on the imaginative world of cosplay competition, because fans at the comic book conventions don’t merely dress up as their favorite character; they also compete to see who’s the best!

The series follows cosplayers of all levels, from legend Yaya Han, to rising stars and newbies, as they make a splash at comic book conventions around the country. The series will dive deep into their lives, following their process as they create extravagant and visually arresting costumes each week. These nine constantly defy odds and race against the clock to transform themselves into amazing fictional characters that push the boundaries between fantasy and reality, all in hopes of impressing the convention judges to win a cash prizes and take their cosplay stardom to new heights. 

The Heroes of Cosplay cast bring to life a variety of fictional characters but the pressure each one faces and the drama that ensues is very real. The cast includes: 

Yaya Han – Yaya is one of the acknowledged legends of cosplay whose entrance at each convention – always in full costume – never fails to create a stir. A source of inspiration and intimidation to the contestants, Atlanta-based Yaya Han is often a judge at contests.

Riki LeCotey –  Riki moved from rural Canada to the United States to follow her passion for cosplay. A special effects technician on sci-fi films, she is also the founder of Cosplay for a Cause, which has raised money for victims of the Japanese Tsunami.

Monika Lee – Monika is from Atlanta and a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she’s majoring in industrial design.  A cosplayer since the age of 13, she’s competed in numerous craftsmanship contests winning several “Best in Shows” and various other awards. 

Victoria Schmidt – Victoria is co-founder of the geek fashion and style blog settostunning.com. A passionate fan of cosplay since high school, she’s especially proud of being Princess Leia on LucasFilm’s Star Wars float in the 2007 Rose Parade.

Chloe Dykstra was almost fated to be in the cosplay community; her father is an F/X legend, having worked on the original Star Wars and Star Trek films. An actress and model, she hosts the Just Cos show on YouTube’s Nerdist channel.

Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad – Jessica has performed in regional theater in Southern California since she was five years old. Together, she and fellow cast member Holly Conrad co-founded a costume fabrication shop, cosplay community and new media entertainment company.

Holly was mentored by her very qualified grandfather, Dorse Lanpher, an F/X animator for Disney and others. She now works in the special effects business for several major studios, in addition to her business with Jessica.

Becky Young – Becky has created costumes since attending San Diego Comic-Con in 2006. A trained actress, she has voiced Video Game Nussie on Maxim Radio and was a judge on CBS Sports’ Guitar Hero Competiton show. She lives in Burbank.

Jesse Lagers – Jesse lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a software systems administrator. He hopes that success in cosplay competitions will lead to his own business creating costumes and props. Jesse is a stickler for realism and authenticity in all of the costumes he creates. 

Heroes of Cosplay premieres August 13th at 10:30 PM/9:30c following the special 90-minute Season 5 premiere of Face Off. The show then moves to its regular time – 10/9c on Tuesdays – starting on August 20th.

Via: SyFy


In the world of nerd culture there’s an aspect that doesn’t get quite the amount of respect it deserves: Cosplay. Now, if you follow Nerd Bastards you know we’re no strangers to complimenting the ladies or the fellas, but those outside this sub-culture don’t really know what kind of work goes into the trial and error of costume making. So, leave it to SyFy to come up with another reality-based television show to shove into our eye holes, Heroes of Cosplay.

The six-episode “docu-series” will have contestants develop and create costumes based on popular shows and series all in the name of cash prizes. It’ll be a “race against the clock to transform themselves into amazing fictional characters that push the boundaries between fantasy and reality…” Wait a minute, this sounds familiar…it’s Face Off for cosplayers!

Here’s a first look at just who will be a part of the show after the jump.

Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at nerdybits@nerdbastards.com.

Above: Yaya Han is a queen among cosplayers. Every costume she does a masterpiece which she embodies perfectly. Just take her cosplay of Polaris above, it’s so amazing! For more sex cosplay jump to Comic Book Movie.


Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut.

Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at nerdybits@nerdbastards.com.

We’ve featured before the video of 100 Ways to Die in Skyrim, now we’ve got a video of 42 Ways to Die in Saints Row: The Third. If you like watching people bite the dust in video games it’s your lucky day, there are some phenomenal deaths in here. Like being juggled in the air by explosive rounds or being smashed in the head by a mace. Good, wholesome stuff. (TDW: Geek)