Cosplay may be the best part of attending comic cons. You can see a diverse group of people portraying their favorite characters from anime, comics, books, movies and television series.
Cosplay is basically a mash-up of costume and play. Cosplayers wear outfits that range from very basic to intricately designed pieces. Cosplay has grown into a pop culture hit from something that was considered a hobby in the early 1990s.
In fact some people have become successful professional cosplayers.
Steampunk is another version of cosplay. It involves costumes having a Victorian-era or wild west style.
O Comic Con was not without its share of Cosplayers. Hundreds of people dressed as their favorite characters. Some people wore more than one costume during the three-day convention.
It was impressive to see people from all ages dressed up. We saw little kids, teenagers, and adults in costume.
Some people are almost identical to their character. For instance, the cosplayer portraying Thor looks a heck of a lot like Thor in the Marvel movies. We saw him at Werner Park a week earlier for Superheroes Night. The resemblance is uncanny.
Wonder Woman is popular with women. Some of the cosplayers portraying her were spot on, as well. We got a shot of a Wonder Woman alongside Cinderella.
One of our favorite cosplayers was the girl portraying Maleficent. She could have passed for Angelina Jolie’s movie double with her looks. The outfit was truly impressive. She made the wings herself. They’re flexible and can move.
We caught a few Dr. Who players. This guy stuck out to us.
Star Wars is represented well. Storm Troopers from the 501st Legion were on hand.
Mandalorian Mercs is a local costume club that focuses on Mandalorian characters, such as Boba Fett. The local group is part of an international group.
Since cosplay is a major element of comic cons and other festivals, it’s common for people to host panel discussions of issues, concerns or etiquette.
We visited the “Sexuality in Cosplay” panel. It could have been called something else, because the nationally-renowned panelists dealt with a variety of items.
The initial message of the group – Knightmage, April Gloria, Erin Lei and Alexa Heart – was that anyone can dress in cosplay, regardless of physical size or age. Be comfortable with yourself.
They addressed preset views some people have. An audience member mentioned that he had a friend of East Indian descent who dressed as a comic character. Someone told her that she couldn’t be the character because she didn’t “look” like her. That person missed the point of Cosplay, they said.
It’s not uncommon for people to portray members of the opposite gender. In the vast majority of cases, cosplayers don’t care how another person is dressed. They share a love and passion for the genre.
Some cosplayers encounter issues with casual fans or just plain rude people. These people have made sexual comments to some cosplayers dressed in costumes. Several cosplay outfits are revealing. Some people apparently believe they have the right to catcall or even touch cosplayers’ bodies. It’s not acceptable behavior. Some onlookers have been known to alert security when it happens, so that the offender can be remnoved from the convention.
Heart later led a panel of “Coming out in Cosplay.” Heart is transitioning to be a woman. She said a friend helped her realize she was more comfortable as a woman. Transitioning included meeting with a therapist. It didn’t take long for the therapist to acknowledge that Heart was ready to transition.
While most people are supportive, she has encountered issues. In a later conversation, she told me that people have come up and touched her chest. Why? To see if they’re real? We agreed that some people are wired wrong.
Beauty pageants have nothing on a cosplay contest. More than 80 people participated in a contest at the end of the Saturday session. They met with judges Knightmage, April and Lei earlier in the day to discuss the technical aspects of their costumes and roles. Then, they paraded on stage, stopping briefly in front of the judges for a final view.
Three people were recognized as honorable mentions for their outfits. Three people were named to the top three, with an overall champion.
It is truly amazing the amount of work people put into their costumes.
As a huge Marvel fan, I had to spotlight a Marvel character. A woman portrayed Agent Carter to a T. She looked like her.
Captain America (one of my two favorite Avengers) was at the convention.
Batman and Catwoman were catching up on old times during O Comic Con.
Lurking nearby, though, was the Joker.
If the Dark Knight needed anyone else to make his day a challenge, Bane was at the convention.
Bane wasn’t the only one with a facemask.
Characters galore were out and about during the convention. Not being as well-versed in games, anime and graphic novels, I know there were a lot characters I should know names of, but don’t. That doesn’t stop us from enjoying the beauty of their costumes.
We had a great time at O Comic Con, and the cosplayers were a major reason that. It was fun taking in the views and talking with people. Everyone was nice to each other and always willing to pose for photographs (etiquette is to ask first).
We are excited for O Comic Con 2016 to roil around next year.
For more information on O Comic Con, please visit www.ocomiccon.com.
Disclaimer: Thanks to O Comic Con for the media passes for the event. However, all opinions and views (regardless of geekiness) are ours.