San Diego Comic-Con is a never-ending parade of visual overstimulation. At this convention, the attendees are just as much as part of the show as the exhibitors and panelists. That’s because a large percentage of them come in costume. And by costume, I don’t mean something that can be purchased at the Halloween store. Those are present of course, but most of the costumes are painstakingly handmade by someone. Hours of gluing and stitching are represented on the convention hall floor, and cosplayers are almost always happy to stop for photos. Even in a crowd of gold medalists, a handful of costumes stand out. Here are my favorites of the costumes that crossed my path.Â
Horse-Heart Eating Daenerys
I know several cosplayers, but Jill Pantozzi tops the list for sheer dedication. She made a Daenerys costume (from Game of Thrones) that stood apart from all the others. I think we can safely say she was the only person carrying around a horse heart on the convention floor. And she wore this costume most of the day. Her hands were covered in sticky red goo, and she pretended to be taking a bite out of the heart every time someone wanted a picture. She even got to meet the author of the books the show is pulled from. Apparently, George R. R. Martin was complimentary of her threads. And blood.Â
D**k in a Box
I’d been standing in line under the blazing sun for an hour for a panel I probably wasn’t going to get into. I was cranky, and my fair skin was burning instead of sparkling. Then this guy walked by. He didn’t just walk. He swaggered with style. He got turned away from the end of the line but kept his cool. He hammed it up for everyone that asked for a picture and practically had in me in tears from laughing so hard (that also could have been because of the pain in my feet). This guy wins for being awesome. If you haven’t seen the video that inspired this costume, watch here. (Adults only).
Technically these ladies were working at the AnovosÂ booth. Anovos makes high quality replica costumes from shows such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. They had about six women representing the fleet. I include them because they aren’t just booth babes—I also wanted to include costumes that were bought but still handmade. Anovos makes costumes in small batches, and they are tailored to the customer’s measurements. They are replicated from the original patterns or approved by a costumer on the show. You can buy stunning costumes from them, and I think they get props for hiring actual geek girls to show off their costumes.Â
I know, I never thought I would utter that phrase either. Ewoks are teddy bears, not sexy costumes. Yet this cosplayer was adorable and alluring while wearing an Ewok costume. How does that even happen? When I picture hot costumes, furry ones don’t come to mind. I know there’s a whole subculture for that, but I didn’t get the appeal. Turns out I just needed a little yub nub to draw me in.
Mary Poppins and Bert
I don’t even like Mary Poppins. Saying the name or seeing the costume makes me think of Julie Andrews and that puts every annoying song she ever sang in my head for hours. For example, just from typing this The Lonely Goatherd took up residence. Given all of that, I was still impressed by these costumes. I stopped them to ask for a photo (without mentioning my Mary Poppins hate) because the details were meticulous. They actually cosplayed the parts, too. They were so cheery that they could have been Disneyland cast members.
The Steampunk Group
â€œInsert obligatory gear or cog here.â€ That seems to be the basis of most steampunk costumes and accessories. I see more and more steampunk costumes each year, and only a handful actually make an impression. I don’t like when someone looks up a few steampunk ideas and adds them to an outfit without any purpose. It shows. This group did have goggles and gears, but for me, it worked. I also didn’t notice the word â€œNerfâ€ on any of their weaponry. That gets them bonus points.
It was hard to narrow down the field of just costumes I saw through my own lens. Imagine judging costumes from the entire convention. You can actually do that though! Comic Vine has an impressive gallery of over 1,100 costumes at their site. I bet you’ll walk away from hours of browsing and be inspired to make your own costume.