It takes guts to wear spandex in front of 120,000 people

I took a lot of photos during the four days of Comic-Con. A LOT. Something like 3,000 photos over the course of four days. As a first-time SDCC attendee I wanted to document as much of this incredible experience as possible for my non-con-going friends, because I knew there was no way I would be able adequately explain the madness or massive crowds without visual proof.

I went crazy stuffing my camera’s SD cards and iPhone and iPad with memories: the incredibly friendly fans I met in the long lines, famous folks seen during the TV and movie panels, giant pretzel lunches, the huuuuge exhibit floor with its enormous flashing displays, the endless comics booths, signings, collectibles, my night at W00tstock, a zillion or so t-shirts booths, and, of course, the swag. But most of all, I took photos of the COSTUMES I saw. Everything I had ever heard about costumes at Comic-Con was true – they do not disappoint!

You simply had to admire the confidence of someone who would willingly wrap themselves in a rubber suit or spend hours applying full body paint and then walk around in front of thousands of strangers for hours on end. Add to that the fact that anyone wearing an outfit couldn’t move more than a few feet on the exhibit hall floor without being stopped by someone with a camera – how the cosplay folks ever got a chance to do anything they actually wanted to do at the con mystified me.

Certainly the professional models wearing costumes and handing out swag could be pretty show-stopping, but then so were some of the vendors, especially the Steampunk crowd. Probably because of his new movie premiering that weekend, Captain America was simply everywhere, including Chris Evans’ appearance that caused a near riot at the Marvel booth. But Batman and Wolverine and Wonder Woman were strutting around, too. Even Pikachu and the Penguins of Madagascar made personal appearances. I saw plenty of Lukes and Hans and Anakins, but only one bikini-clad Slave Princess Leia, although I heard there were at least three in attendance.

Some folks were wearing officially-licensed complete replica movie costumes that must have cost thousands of dollars, but right next to those were guys in cardboard box robot suits topped with tinfoil hats. More than a few brave souls daringly appeared in little more than a few strips of cloth and a smile. Families dressed up in superhero themes and friends combined forces and their talents to go as complex ensemble groups, but even the occasional fan simply wearing a silly hat seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. What really impressed me the most were the fans who put such obvious effort and imagination into their homemade costumes and “becoming” their favorite character. From anime to action-hero, and from Disney princess to the undead, there was something dazzling or dramatic or downright dumfounding everywhere I looked.

I already know I want to take twice as many pics next year! 😀

Cross-posted from my report at SciFi4Me.com

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