Travel Reads: “Heroes & Villains” by Andrew Boyle

Photographer Andrew Boyle spent three years photographing and interviewing the cosplayers at New York City’s Comic-Con for this book. The result is a fun picture book showcasing some amazing costuming talent.


Title: Heroes & Villains: A Photographic Odyssey into the Fantastic World of Cosplay
By Author: Andrew Boyle
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Smith Street Books
ISBN-10: 1925418456
ISBN-13: 978-1925418453
Available on Amazon in Hardcover. You can find it at other online and offline booksellers, as well.

Carma holding a copy of Heroes & Villains by Andrew Boyle

Summary of Heroes & Villains

Heroes & Villains is basically a picture book with pages and pages of photographs of cosplayers in their elaborate costumes. Some are accurate reproductions of film, TV and comic book characters, others are the cosplayer’s interpretation, reimagining or own creation. Either way, the craftsmanship that goes into these costumes shows.

What Worked for Me

Simply this: Full color photos showcasing talented costume artists. I really enjoy flipping through the book and seeing the creativity of this cosplayers. It is obvious they are passionate about their work and their favorite characters. I also enjoyed the interesting mashup and re-imagined costumes. Some of the costumes are so good, you’d think they came right out of the movies. In fact, when I first saw the cover, I thought it was Adam West, until I noticed the jaw line wasn’t right.

I also enjoyed the quotes from some of the cosplayers that is sprinkled about the book.

What Didn’t Work for Me

The size of the book is so small — only 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches — which means you have to hold the book open with two hands. I think a slightly larger size would have showcased the images better and would have been easier to leaf through.

What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition

I could easily see this book inspiring future cosplayers. So why not add in a resource section that would help these readers start creating costumes of their own? Maybe even add in some advice from the cosplayers pictured, too.


This is a nice, compact coffee table book. If you enjoy costuming, then this book could give you hours of enjoyment.

Score for Heroes & Villains

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Get your copy on Amazon today.

NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books I’ve received for free and you’ll know I don’t hold my punches.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.