More than just dress-up
FOR MORE THAN 30 years, comic, lm and science ction fans have descended on San Diego in the US for the annual Comic-Con International event. It started in 1970 when a group of fans created the rst comic book convention in southern California – a oneday mini-event called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, which saw about 100 attendees. The mini-con’s success led to the rst three-day San Diego Golden State ComicCon just a few months later, with 300 people in attendance.
In the last few years, the convention has seen 130 000 people walking through the San Diego Convention Centre doors over the four-day event. It has grown to encompass pop culture and entertainment elements across a range of genres – particularly animation, horror, anime and manga; the trade of collectable toys, cards, video games and comics; and the Comic-Con International Film Festival. It is, according to Forbes, ‘the largest convention of its kind in the world’. From its beginnings in a hotel, the event now includes satellite locations in the convention centre’s surrounds, including outdoor parks.
One of the most popular elements of attending Comic-Con is cosplay, where fans dress up as their favourite comic book, video game and lm characters. Dressing up in costumes like these dates back to the rst World Science Fiction Convention in New York in 1939. Often, they are meticulously detailed recreations of characters’ likeness, while others have elements of the individual’s own creative alterations: usually handmade costumes, body paint and make-up. Each year’s convention has an annual masquerade competition on the Saturday evening, where anyone is welcome to take to the stage in front of a 4 000-strong audience and a panel of judges to win awards in categories including Judges’ Choice and Best Re-Creation.
LEFT Star Wars enthusiasts posing as what they call ‘Chew’s Angels’ CENTRE AND
RIGHT Colourful costumed fans at Comic-Con
BELOW Cosplay fans dressed as characters from the Transformers franchise
The 2015 San Diego Comic-Con drew 130 000 people and incredibly detailed costumes from every genre.
ABOVE Fans create detailed costumes of pop culture characters
BELOW Fans dressed up as characters from the Captain America franchise
BELOW LEFT A group of Power Rangers pose inside the San Diego