Wizard World Preview: Cosplay, It’s Not Playing Dress-Up

Above photos by Vincent Glielmi taken @ 2014’s C2E2, Anime Central, and Anime Midwest

Leggings and Tights and Prosthetics, Oh My!

Once upon a time, in a suburb far far away comic conventions were obscure, cultish gatherings where lovers of the books, toys and memorabilia could gather amongst their nerd and geek brethren – not a lot of girls in the early days – vying for a coveted creator’s autograph or that very first appearance of Gambit. But things have changed.

The Flash stopping for a quick interview. The Flash stopping for a quick interview.

Present day: Comic-Con International – aka. San Diego Comic-Con or SDCC – is the epicenter of a media and pop-culture eruption. Every major Hollywood film and TV studio are on hand accompanied by video game developers, toy manufacturers and – let’s not forget – comic book publishers to name a fraction of who’s on hand. The latter may seem like an afterthought now, but that’s a topic for a different article.

Evolving through the years, these congregations now summon from every demographic and bring zealots from around the globe. As nerd culture continues to infiltrate the mainstream, so comes the masses to these sacred events. But even with all this change, one thing continues as a mainstay: the hardcore fan(atics).

Out of all the groups that populate this world, cosplayers exhibit a dedication and commitment few others can boast. Some spending months of time and thousands of dollars on elaborate, handmade creations dedicated to their favorite comic, game or anime. Costume contests have become lifestyles and in turn, added endless amounts of color and entertainment to show floors worldwide.

Say Cheese!!!! Say Batman!!!!

If you’re new to the con circuit or just looking for a reason to go, spending the day wandering alongside the extravagantly adorned characters – some from your childhood and some you’ll never recognize – is a memorable diversion. This brand of people watching is second to none! Get your picture with Power Girl or Captain America, let your kids run in terror as a pack of Zombies stumble down your row or just sit back and snap selfies while heroes and walking-talking cartoons pass by.

But if for some reason you find no interest in a three or four day costume contest – you’re missing out if you don’t – comics, toys, art, games, props, lunch-boxes, t-shirts and everything else you’d expect to find is still there. And, surprisingly, it’s only enhanced by the bright Hollywood spotlight that now shines over each show. Just be ready for those Saturday crowds!

Next up for us is Wizard World Chicago, so if you’re not in the midwest keep it here for updates and images from the con as well as our thoughts on the show. But if you are not in Chicago and you’re looking for something a little more local, check out Convention Scene’s site for info on almost any type of convention.

So keep your camera ready, remember to say “thank you” after a costumed hero stops for the thousandth time to take a picture, and most of all, have fun.

Let us know your Comic-Con tales. What is the best cosplay you’ve seen, or even dressed as?

 

About The Author

Michael Pellegrini

Michael is a classic example of a child trapped in an adult's body - and I use the word "adult" very, very loosely. With interests ranging from comic books and movies to theater and fine art, Mike has followed humble journalistic beginnings that have led to interviews, reviews, news write-ups and opinion - though it's ever changing - pieces covering those same interests. All of that brings us here, to a site where a community of like-minded geeks can inform the rest of the world on the topics we adore. And on the personal side of things, Michael squeezes time for his lovely wife and house full of dogs between all the comic reading and video game playing.

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