Disclaimer: this post is a personal one, and is not intended as an official endorsement of a Hugo Finalist by the ICG or its president.
It’s always fun when people you know are named as finalists for prestigious awards; I’ve been fortunate to know many of the writers, artists and fans who have made it to the final ballot and, sometimes, go on to win a Hugo Award at the World Science Fiction Convention. It is even more fun when it is someone you have been nominating for years. This year, I have THREE friends who I know costume and are all finalists for the Fan Artist Hugo Award.
It happens that one of them is my friend and Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild Member Richard Man.
I no longer remember at which convention I first met Richard and his wife Karisu, we’ve been friends for decades. I’ve watched his kids grow up, invaded their lovely home many times for wonderful potluck gatherings, and sung up the sun more than once with them at the winter solstice. Besides being a technical and programming whiz, Richard’s love for the visual arts is broad, including not only costuming, but also includes brush calligraphy and of course photography. His eye for what the camera can capture is inspiring, and, in fact, I asked him and Karisu to photograph our wedding at Natural Bridges in 2005; the featured image is his work.
Richard also specializes in working with large format cameras and films, which lend a richness to his work that is amazing.
Richard also deeply tied into our costuming community, both as costumer and photographer. He’s great at putting subjects at ease and capturing the essence of their costume art. I asked him to be official masquerade/cosplay photographer at Anime Los Angeles* when Andy and I were asked to start up their competition, to run our whole visual archive department at Costume-Con 26, and then to be the official Masquerade Photographer at Renovation (Worldcon) in 2011. I turned directly to him for my portrait for the ICG Lifetime Achievement Award. His talents continue to be in high demand, he was most recently the official photographer for Costume-Con 39.
While RIchard’s nomination for the Fan Artist Hugo has focused on his ongoing Worldbuilders of SF and Fantasy project, he has several other community portrait projects underway, including Cosplay Transformations (obviously on point for the ICG and fan’dom), and Hearts on Our Sleeves, featuring wonderfully heartfelt portraits of transfolk.
Obviously, I’m a bit biased, but if you are unfamiliar with Richard’s work, I urge you to visit his site at richardman.photo and browse the galleries. He and Karisu have assembled a focused portfolio for the nomination you can download at
If you like his work and are an eligible Hugo voter, I hope you will take the time to consider him for your ballot. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I also know España Sheriff and Allison Scott, so half the Fan Artist Hugo Finalists this year are my friends. Do go look at ALL the finalists work before casting your ballot. I certainly have my work cut out for me)
*One of the features of his shooting ALA for us was how much we (Richard, Andy, and me) stressed to the contestants that they had the right to withhold consent to casual photography, that “No means No” and we were all empowered to eject any creeper photogs who might bother them. It was the first time some of them had ever been told they had those rights.