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Man-Faye is the moniker given to Damon Evans, a cosplayer who dresses up as the character Faye Valentine from the 1998 Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop. His skimpy outfit, hairy body and zany antics made him an early Internet icon, and influenced the style of cosplay known as “crossplay”. (See also Rule 63)
In an interview by the Anime News Network from 2005, Damon Evans claimed he started cosplaying as Faye Valentine sometime in 2000 after a friend introduced him to the anime series, and began attending conventions as far back as 2001. After becoming somewhat of a famous character at various conventions, some members of the cosplay community criticized him for giving cosplayers a bad name. A Cosplay.com forum thread from September 2003 shows many members of the community expressing this sentiment.
An Urban Dictionary entry was submitted on September 23rd, 2003:
A male cosplayer famous for it’s trauma-inducing representation of Faye Valentine
I saw Man-Faye and my eyes started to bleed.
The same month, software developer Jon Bailey created a page on his website featuring Man-Faye related photos and animated GIFs accompanied by the 1994 single “I like to move it!” by Reel 2 Real. The webpage was a mirror of the now defunct website http://man-faye.mooniidx.com/ which featured the first animated gifs of Man-Faye, allegedly made around July 2003 by Moondabor, a cosplayer and webmaster considered famous for his Man-Faye shrine.
During Anime Expo 2004, Evans accidentally flashed a non-convention attendant and was subsequently banned from the convention. It wasn’t until 2006 that he was allowed to return to the convention.
Man-Faye first appeared on television during a segment for the TechTV show Unscrewed on September 25th, 2003. In 2006, Man-Faye auditioned for the SciFi channel reality series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, and demonstrated his “ass wave” superpower. The segment caught the attention of The Tonight Show where Evans made an appearance on April 19th, 2006.
Search queries for “man faye” peaked in July of 2004, the same month the Anime Expo convention took place that year.