At New Orleans Comic Con and many other comic book conventions, often the first thing one notices is the elaborate costumes that many of the con’s attendees wear. These costumes can range from classic superhero outfits to bizarre creatures that come from the makers’ minds.
The people that create and wear these costumes are called cosplayers. These mega fans spend days and even weeks creating their cosplays, which they then proudly display to fellow fans and confused onlookers.
For a majority of cosplayers, it is all about passion.
“I am a big fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy, so this just seemed like a cool thing to do,” said a cosplayer dressed as an X-Wing pilot from “Star Wars.” Many groups come together at the con over a shared love of dressing up and helping others.
“We do it because we love it, we like dressing up. But we also do it because we love the reaction we get from the fans and making the kids happy,” said Otek, a Mandalorian bounty hunter from “Star Wars” who represented a global group of cosplayers called the Mandalorian Mercs.
The Mercs spend a lot of time doing charity work, visiting children’s hospitals and cheering up sick and injured children.
The process of making a costume can vary greatly depending on the type of cosplay one wants to make.
“This is called PVC plastic. You get it at a sign shop. You can heat it up with a blow drier and bend it. Then its just your imagination from there on out,” said Otek talking about his realistic looking suit of armor. Otek spent a great deal of time crafting the pieces of his cosplay, trying to get a look that was individual and eye catching.
But for some, the process is much simpler.
“Everyone tells me I look like Clark Kent on a daily basis, so I decided to wear my work uniform and put a Superman shirt underneath it,” said Kyle Fischer, an attendee of the con dressed as Superman’s alter ego.
If they are not wearing costumes, almost every person wears a shirt representing their respective fandom. Shirts with superhero logos, anime characters and inside jokes can be seen on most people in the exhibition hall.
Cosplaying is an integral part of the con, and much like the con, people use cosplaying as a unique form of escapism.
“It’s an escape from mundane everyday life. Who doesn’t love to get outside the box and be someone else for 5 minutes,” said Suzie Seager who brought her own original character, “Union Jackie Whovian Headhunter,” to life at the con.