San Diego Comic-Con: The holy land for all things entertainment and superhero related. From movies to comic books to anime to TV, it's a place for geeks galore. Though shopping is of course a very big activity at Comic-Con, there are so many other things to do while in attendance, with the event usually lasting upward of three days. But the one thing I look forward to the most is undoubtedly the cosplaying attendees.
The first time I went to Comic-Con, I was extremely hyped by all the people around me in full costume. And it's not like a Disney-type character meeting. Nope, these people are true comic enthusiasts. After my first experience, I decided that I wanted to join in on the fun. And due to the amazing experience I had, I've come up with a list of points as to why cosplay is so fun and why it's worth it.
1. Filling Super Shoes
By this I mean becoming your character for a whole day (or three). Who wouldn't want to be #BruceWayne and bump into a Captain America or Naruto?
Take this above incredible cosplay courtesy of Julian Checkley. You don't have to dress to this detail — he's somewhat of a professional. But wouldn't it be just as great if your own character got photographed alongside one as incredible as this? You know what that is? That right there is what you call fun! Speaking of which...
2. It's Really Fun!
This probably sounds like a vague reason, but it's undeniable. There aren't too many occasions where you can proudly walk around with your #Wolverine adamantium-style claws on, a cigar hanging from the corner of your mouth.
Sure, you might be in an uncomfortable catsuit for the day, but seeing others as passionate as you are about characters you love only makes the whole experience absurd, delightful and funny. And what's not to love about that?
3. Not Something You See Everyday
Cosplaying is definitely something you don't see while on your morning commute or doing the grocery run. These conventions happen annually, generally on specific dates, so it's likely you've been waiting for this event all year. Why not make it extra exciting by dressing up? Check out this spotlight below for the #NewYorkComicCon in 2016:
Wouldn't you want to be a part of that crowd? These cosplays are incredible! It's definitely an opportunity to be a star for the day. And the best part is interacting with other characters who aren't even in the same cinematic or comic book universe as yours.
4. 'Batman, Over Here!' 'Hey, Iron Man!'
One thing I really love about #ComicCon as a cosplayer is that you may not know who these people are, but you still know their name. Isn't that cool? If you want a picture with Sailor Moon, all you need to do is call out her name and ask her and she'll be sure to oblige.
This happened to me at Comic-Con one year. It was so much fun to take photos with these characters you know, and yet you don't know who's hiding under the character's clothes. Plus, there are always Deadpool cosplayers to take pictures with, and who doesn't want a photo with them?
5. Paparazzi Everywhere
It's a truly surprising feeling when an 8-year-old Harley Quinn approaches you and asks, "May I take a picture with you?" When I went to #C2E2 in Chicago, I wasn't expecting anyone to ask me for a photo, seeing as it was only my second convention. But I was wrong. Everyone was asking everybody for photos!
Take this terrific trio as an example. Whenever cosplayers go in groups, there are bound to be lightbulbs flashing all over the place. The camaraderie is boundless and infectious.
6. Breaking The Fourth Wall
At Comic-Con as a cosplayer, you're basically breaking the fourth wall. You don't even need to be Deadpool to do that — all you need to do is cosplay as whoever you wanna be. When I bumped into another Logan, plenty of people stopped to take photos of the two #Wolverines together:
I took a few photos with other Logans, but this guy is my absolute favorite. We broke the fourth wall together — everyone there did! Now, what reason do you have to not cosplay, especially when you have the opportunity to show off your toys?
7. Gear Galore
Comic-Con features a variety of booths and stands that offer everything, ranging from art pieces to action figures. This includes weapons, though many cons are starting to prohibit the sale of extreme weaponry.
But nonetheless, if you need a little something-something to upgrade your outfit, a stall is bound to have what you need. Are you a Captain America walking around without a shield? Trust me, there are plenty of shields sold at Comic-Con. The more gear, the better the costume, am I right?
8. Cosplay Competitions
This is where things get serious. After cosplaying a few times at a con, you may have that itch to take it a step further. And that's when you might choose to enter yourself into cosplay competitions, which many cons tend to offer. Check out this cosplay competition at C2E2 in 2014:
These competitions bring out the fiercest of cosplays. But you don't have to cosplay at Comic-Con only to enter a competition. Do it for the unmitigated joy of it. And if you've really nailed your look, you'd be surprised by the feedback and positive reactions your costume will garner you.
9. Celebrity Opportunities Become 100 Percent More Fun!
When I went to C2E2, I met three celebrities: Danielle Panabaker of The Flash, Vincent D'Onofrio of everything, and the one and only Stan Lee. I was beyond speechless to meet all three of these stars. I was even more speechless when they each told me they liked my costume. The praise was particularly meaningful coming from Stan the man.
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When I silently stood to his left for a photo op, he looked down at my claws and smiled at me, saying, "I like that." I was speechless, completely shocked. One thing for sure is that this experience has encouraged me to cosplay more when I go to my next Comic-Con.
D'Onofrio also asked, "Are those made of cardboard?" and I handed him one. I said, "Yeah, it was a last-minute costume," and he gave me the biggest smile, looking me right in my eye, saying, "It looks awesome!" He also filmed a video for my mom — and we were the only ones to get a video from him. But that's another story. Honestly, I felt right at home in my costume.
10. Home For All
Comic-Con is a place where any geek or anyone passionate about the entertainment industry can really feel at home. People are so nice there, and so open. It seems like you know everyone because of what you have in common: Pure passion for the art of entertainment. Watch this Movie Pilot video below on how you can transform into Two-Face:
Cosplay is not just playing dress-ups. It's a social activity that brings people together that everyone should try at least once in their lives. It doesn't matter if it's a super-simple cosplay — just do it! Few people can say that they really fit in. But at San Diego Comic-Con, everyone and anyone who is a true geek or is just passionate about entertainment will undeniably enjoy the crowd and feel at home.
San Diego Comic-Con takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from July 19–23. Will you be attending? And if so, what will you be cosplaying as? Sound off in the comments section below.