From the Con: Cosplay at SDCC 2016

by Transmute Jun

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Cosplay is an important part of any con. It is the ultimate expression of love for a franchise, putting in a lot of time and effort both before and during a con to represent a character that means something to the person who dons the costume. As a cosplayer myself, I love the way wearing my costumes connects me to people who love the same things that I do. When people recognize the character I am cosplaying and want to talk to me about it, my con becomes more fulfilling.

Of course, there are those who are practically professionals, working all year on outstanding cosplays, and these are the people who enter the Masquerade. But for the rest of us, our efforts are displayed on the exhibit floor, around the convention center, and in the Gaslamp.

San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is unfortunately known as a con where there isn’t as much cosplaying as at other cons. Technically, this is true: there is a much smaller percentage of attendees dressed up at SDCC as compared to many other cons. However, SDCC is so large, so well-known, that even that smaller percentage results in hundreds of cosplayers wearing their finest on any given day. There is still plenty of opportunity to cosplay and see cosplayers at SDCC. Have you ever noticed that while there are many online articles with galleries of ‘the best cosplayers at SDCC’, the images are usually all different? That’s because there are so many of us that most of the time the photographers are all seeing different costumes.

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Unfortunately, this year there seemed to be fewer cosplayers at the con. This was true both inside the convention center, and out. While certainly there were a number of cosplayers, they were fewer in number, and it was noticeable to previous attendees. My guess is that the weather had a significant part to play in this change, as the intense humidity made wearing all but the skimpiest of costumes highly uncomfortable. Additionally, people with heavy prosthetics and makeup had to fight the weather to prevent their faces and bodies from literally melting in the heat. Personally, in my group, we had people who brought cosplays and decided not to wear them, due to the discomfort involved with the humidity. In my case, I not only wore fewer costumes, but limited myself to staying inside the air-conditioned convention center on the day I wore my heaviest cosplay.

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Even so, there were great cosplays out there worn by attendees, and even worn through the Gaslamp as promotions for various franchises. You can see some of the costumes I admired during SDCC in this article.

If you’re considering cosplaying next year, it’s never too early to start thinking about which character you would like to portray, and how to compile the necessary costume pieces. I hope to see you next year at SDCC!

Transmute Jun

Transmute Jun has an addiction to pop culture conventions, and attends as many as she can each year. When she’s not traveling, she likes to stay at home reading a good book, playing a video game, or binge-watching a TV show. She can be bribed with pizza, Coke Zero and Belgian milk chocolate.