When manga and anime aren't quite flesh-and-blood enough, you've got cosplay, short for costume-play. Dressing up as characters from Japanese comics or films, or as game characters or frilly vintage porcelain dolls a style known as Goth-Lolita or GothLoli is one of those look-at-me fads that people turn into a lifestyle, a philosophy, a tribe. How to win those cosplay trophies this Memorial Day weekend at FanimeCon at the San Jose Convention Center? Well, custom-made costumes can be commissioned from online sources such as CosplaySupplies.com and Dream-Angels.net, but it's more fun to make your own with the help of an affordable East Bay fabric shop such as Jo-Ann (multiple East Bay locations, JoAnn.com) and bead shops such as Cost Less Beads (1710 University Ave., Berkeley, 510-548-2800). How to get started? Gerry Poulos' Cosplay: Catgirls and Other Critters, published by Berkeley's Stone Bridge Press, is a step-by-step handbook with patterns, measurements, sewing tips, and ingenious ideas for transforming yourself into a 25th-century hyperspeed space-cop with a tail.