The Costumes of New York Comic-Con 2015

Posted on October 12, 2015

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“Everyone looks so happy,” marveled Lorenzo, upon surveying his very first Comic Con crowd. “Yes,” replied Tom, whose first comics convention was 30+ years in the past, “That’s what happens when you have an intense relationship with some aspect of pop culture and then get to go out in the world and be among the only people who understand that relationship.” In other words, there’s no happier nerd than a nerd among his or her kind. Regardless of whether you share the same nerdy passions as any of the people in the following shots, it’s hard not to smile at the glorious self-expression, body-positivity, and technical skill that compels your average cosplayer to put on his or her very own version of a drag show. And like most drag queens, they are all more than happy to immediately cop a pose and hold it for however long it takes you to get a picture. As you scroll through the shots, take a look at the faces. Look how proud and happy they are to be out in the world, expressing their truest passions, and showing off their handiwork. Nerd Pride. The crowds are insane and everything is over-priced (we spent 150 dollars on about a dozen t-shirts in two days), but the vibe is so positive and the sights such a treat for the eyes that it was impossible for us not to enjoy ourselves.

Oh, and not even Tom can name all of these characters, so feel free to identify them. And if you’re in any of these shots, identify yourself so we can compliment your cosplaying!

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[Photo Credit: Tom and Lorenzo, Getty Images]

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  • lexilexi

    So what did TLo dress as?

    • mandocalrissian

      This is the most important question!

    • Black Doug

      Apollo and Midnighter?

  • Gatto Nero

    I don’t know who 90% of these characters are, but they all brought it, didn’t they?

    • Tigerfly

      My thoughts exactly. I may not recognize the character, but I do, however, recognize the fierce and the fabulous!

  • stardust462

    This probably my second favorite event coverage ever from your site, as a cosplayer and convention nerd of 10+ years. Second only to your Miss Universe posts, because those will always reign supreme.

    • lost in the stars

      Maybe someday TLo can combine coverage of both, when a post-Trump Miss Universe accepts a Miss Comic-Con.

      • joything

        Wouldn’t that be a kick! “Miss Imaginary World!” One entrant is from a completely made-up place. How does her costume represent that place?

        • formerlyAnon

          I say print the Miss World & Miss Imaginary World contestant photos and the locales: both real countries and imaginary worlds (with descriptions). It’d be a hilarious game to try to match up the two, I’m thinking.

    • Frank_821

      You should know DragonCon, the Carnivale of Nerd conventions, holds an annual MIss Klingon Beauty pageant. Sadly I’ve never had time to attend that contets. There’s too much to do at DragonCon

      • mayanempire

        Ah, yes! Someone beat me to mentioning DragonCon. We’d welcome TLo with open, beautifully-costumed arms.

  • amanda siegelson

    i’m so impressed by everyone! such a fun time looks to have been had by all… especially like mr. princess leia.

    • Nancy Arseneault-Heald

      Don’t these guys look like the people you want to go partying with?

    • Lucía Gavello

      He looks awesome! And it the Star Wars vein, that Queen Amidala cosplay is breathtaking.

  • YoungSally

    I have to say I like Elasticman (?) who I first thought was skinny Robin without his pants.

  • Luca

    it’s always nice to see that nerdy doesn’t always equate to unfit!

    • lost in the stars

      Although I dug the guy embracing his natural Penguin-ness.

      • Judy_S

        That Penguin is gorgeous!

      • JosieKat

        Is he not perfect? I love him.

      • NJCathi

        He was my favorite.

        • lmg

          Mine too. At Chicago Comic Con, there was this guy who was the best Hagrid I’ve ever seen.

      • Lucía Gavello

        The cigarette holder technique is dead on, it’s on the perfect upward angle. I loved him!

    • fiddlecub

      It’s not so nice to see you fat-shaming with the tired idea that nerds are fat, and implying that a fat nerd isn’t quite so “nice.” I think they all look wonderful, without any qualification. Every body is worth celebrating.

      • Luca

        I was namely speaking of the collective image that people have of the nerd community (and, actually, I was thinking more of the skinny weak guy than of the overweight one), that -it’s a fact- is very hard to remove.
        I’m always happy when images defy stereotypes.

        • Kristin

          Then that’s what you should have said.

          The answer to judgmental stereotypes about nerds being either fat or weak/skinny is not “more fit nerds,” it’s “less judgment.”

          • Luca

            I don’t mind more fit nerds!

            And anyway, you are reading too much on my first comment.

          • Kristin

            Nope. You offended at least two of us, and instead of considering that your statement was offensive, you’re doubling down. But clearly nothing I say is going to change your mind, so you just keep on.

          • Luca

            whatever. Anyway, not mentioning a stereotype as pretending it doesnt exist does not help to make it vanish. So, as a nerd(ish) kind of guy, if there are people that look at these photos and say “oooh, we were wrong”, I’m all happy.

  • la_fwee

    Which one of you bought the elf ears and who got the fairy dust wand?

    • formerlyAnon

      “Custom painted to match your skin tone”

      Fandom has a raftload of its own problems but you also see so much stuff like this sign that makes me happy.

      • Beardslee

        This was my favorite photo. So much fun!!

    • Pammer

      Yeah, that’s what I want to know. 🙂

  • GoryDetails

    Great pics! I do love the fan-convention vibe. (The duo in green in the pic just below the excellent Wolverine are portraying Kyoshi warriors from “Avatar: the Last Airbender”.)

    • NJCathi

      Had no idea where/what they were from, but those costumes are gorgeous.

  • smayer

    Love the Kyoshi warriors from Avatar (the TV show, not that godawful movie)!

    • quitasarah

      For the uninitiated, they’re the ones with the yellow fans. 🙂

  • imspinningaround

    These are fun! My faves are Janeane Garofalo Maleficient and Drag Leia.

    My favorite Comic-Con costume I’ve ever seen was the guy who went as “Every Johnny Depp Character at Once.” Google it, he’s wonderful.

    • Gatto Nero

      Looks pretty much like Depp on any given day.

    • W. Frame

      I think who you mean as Janeane Garofalo Maleficient is actually Raven as the Evil Queen, which was the San Diego Comic Con special edition Ever After High doll. And yes, I have that doll in my living room.

      • W. Frame

        or you mean the person with the black wings. which is not that doll!

    • Northern_Light_27

      If Drag Leia is the guy in gold, that’s Xerxes from 300, not Leia. (And he’s hot as hell!)

      • Daisy Walker

        No, the one in the white dress, construction boots and Leia side-buns hair.

      • Creepy Sheep

        I think Drag Leia is the guy with the white dress and the other kind of buns…

  • poorellensmith

    I scrolled slowly down that picture of the stuffed animals, waiting for a face to appear, like in E.T….

    • Sarah

      haha!!! I did the exact same thing!!

  • teensmom99

    I don’t know what I love most about this and I am so not comiccon person: the body positivity, the pictures or the love of T & Lo, sharing this event together and with us.

  • MarieLD

    OMG. You were there!! I had a four-day pass and didn’t use it (send in my son without me). (Too much to do, believe or not, at the library.) Librarians are big, big nerds and lots of my cohorts were there. So cool.

  • Are we sure that wasn’t ACTUAL Johnny Depp in his pirate drag?
    These are really great and fun!

    Well played, comiccon people. WELL PLAYED.

  • Tiff79

    These are fantastic! I saw a picture on another site of the guy in the Iron Man Hulkbuster armor and it blew my mind. I just attended my first Con in Dallas this past summer and I completely agree about the joy and body-positivity. It’s so freeing to let your nerd hang out and know that the only response you’ll get is an enthusiastic, “Me, too!!”

  • Darren Nesbitt

    The gender-flipped cosplay is so cool. The male Rogue form X-men (brown leather jacket, green jumpsuit and yellow boots) is executed so well! I’m sewing a cape for my friend this weekend. He’s going to be a male Storm for Halloween.

    • MartyBellerMask

      I loved that. He clearly loved it, too!

    • Genderbending is one of my favorite parts of fandom.

    • ohayayay

      Thanks for explaining that one! I thought it might be Link from Legend of Zelda on first glance. I really love the remixing and gender flipping and the sheer creativity on display!

    • sisterb67

      One of my favorite gender flips was my friend, a 6’3″ very burly dude, dressed up as Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time. His son wanted to be Finn, and while they were hunting around in some bins of costumes/fabric/etc at his in-laws house they found a long pink wig and that was that 🙂

  • Heather

    This is so Not My Thing, but I have enormous respect for the creativity and artistry on display here. Better than many runway shows or fashion editorials, for certain!

  • I’d like Lorenzo’s thoughts on the whole con experience – I’ve been trying to convince my husband to come with me for our first but he’s really hesitant!

    Fantastic costumes. I love the thought and effort some cosplayers put in!

    • formerlyAnon

      I’ll be honest, I don’t normally do conventions because I’ve prioritized other things with my disposable income (or maybe I’m just not that much of a fan.) Every year I think ‘maybe next year.’ And then there are tickets for some dance thing, or music thing or theater thing . . . you know!

      But I hope he goes for it! If he’s generally o.k. with mass events (harvest fairs, carnivals, Renaissance fairs, food & wine festivals, etc.) I don’t see how he’d not enjoy it.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        And then there are tickets for some dance thing, or music thing or theater thing . . . you know!

        Ha, yes. The great “Which geek will I be this year?” debate. It’s a perennial issue for me, too.

    • Frank_821

      The trick is finding the right convention to start with.

      you want one that’s large enough to amuse yourselves for 1 day and to see a good array of costumers. But you don’t want your first time going to be at an event so big that they suck you dry from fees, merchandise autographs, etc or that it’s hard to socialize with other attendees

  • MK03

    I am LIVING for that Edward Scissorhands.

  • Anne Silberman

    So much fun! Thanks for making my Monday morning bright.

  • Jasmine C.

    $10 says Xerxes didn’t leave NYCC empty handed.

  • Frank_821

    I was surprised to see that asian girl in the Reign garb. Period pieces like that don’t usually go over that well at comicons. I am thinking the woman further up was doing her own spin on on Chinses vourt garb was channeling big trouble in little china

    the Xerxes from 300 amuses me

    not bad on the final fatansy character. using you need an uber ripped guy willing to tackle the body makeup

    although the 6th Doctor cosplay is quite selling it right :p

    • “own spin on on Chinses court garb” – that’s a Padme Amidala costume, isn’t it?

      • marlie

        That’s what I thought too.

      • Frank_821

        I wasn’t sure. very possible since her clothes were heavily inlfunced by japanese and chinese garb

      • Frank_821

        I just looked it up and see it’s her handmaiden’s outfit.

        I only allowed myself to see that terrible movie once…lol

  • Jitka Pavlíková

    This post is so pleasantly surprising from TLo! I adore cosplayers who bring so much skill and creativity in replicating their outfits even though I can name barely one half of the characters!

  • Frank_821

    Oh and if Lorenzo is braving enough, take a trip to DragonCon and be prepared to be blown away 10 times over

    also you could cover the Miss Klingon beauty pageant at the same

    • Snailstsichr

      I sent my daughter a link to this post and she echoes the DragonCon suggestion. She has gone twice and is thinking of costumes I could make for her and the BF.

      • Frank_821

        I’ve always enjoyed it. Of course the last time out was insanely crowded and way too many photoshoots goign on.

        I know that’s not really a big problem..lol

  • NBG

    Thank you for this amazing post and for always showing cosplayers love and respect. I did cosplay for the first time a few weeks ago at Baltimore Comic Con (my play on Bombshell Wonder Woman) and it was such a great experience. I loved the positivity and community of it all. I’ve been to a lot of cons (including three times at San Diego) but this was definitely my favorite con experience.

    • The Baltimore Con is great. We’ve gone a couple of years now. Not as big as New York, but plenty to look at and lots of great costumes. One year there was a full size functional Dalek rolling around the Con floor.

      • NBG

        That was last year! I have photos of that Dalek! It was awesome. We also love the BCC because it’s not huge or overwhleming and still largely about comics so there are artists doing sketches and all that stuff. I purchased some great art there this year. And yes, the cosplay game is solid.

  • Love the Kyoshi Warriors!

  • Snailstsichr

    I went to my first Renaissance Faire in 25 years and I was amazed by how much elf ears have improved in that time. I love making Halloween/costume party costumes; I need to go to a con!

  • MaggieMae

    People watching times a million. I want to go!

  • KateShouldBeWorking

    What a great way to start the week; I’m charmed and inspired!

  • Awww, yay! I’m so glad you made this post.

    I’ve only been to a Harry Potter con, back in ’08. There wee some incredibly giddy, high moments.

  • MilaXX

    Fabulous! I haven’t been to NYComic Con since I was in undergrad. I think I’m going to try and make it next year. There were a few BLERD meet ups I was sad to have missed. Glad Lorenzo had a wonderful time at his first con.

  • smh4748

    What fun! Comics and such are so not my scene, but I love how elaborate all of these costumes are, even if I understood almost none of the references. I love that you included this on your site.

    I like the Superman in the small pictures who is working both sides of the persona at once. The Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands are both amazing!

  • Kris

    I should be into Comic Con and their ilk. Where/when does someone get to spend months making a costume and parade around for attention (besides Halloween)?!

  • Lee

    Wow! Kickass!

  • formerlyAnon

    I love you guys. I love your blog. I love this post. XOXO

  • marlie

    This is all sorts of awesome. Thanks for sharing this side of you with us!

  • M_E_S

    You hit the nail on the head about what’s so wonderful about going to conventions! SDCC is exhausting and crowded and overwhelming, but I adore finally being able to speak the same language as everyone else and be understood.

  • Sanglots longs

    I was in the city this weekend, though not at Comic-Con. However, there were plenty of cos-players on the trains, and the nerdy delight was palpable. My too-cool-for-everything teens were actually jealous and vowed to dress up and attend next year. I told them to start saving their dough.

  • Shelby

    This is wonderful and beautiful and totally makes my day. <3

  • Fancy Mukluks

    Did anyone else see Jared Leto’s costume? Genius.

  • GemFemme

    Cosplaying is just such a joyful, creative outlet.
    I love all of the top hats displayed in the one photo. I would seriously buy 2 or 3…………oh screw it, ALL of them.

  • VCR1

    Really impressed by these awesome cosplayers. Years ago, comic conventions were so much smaller. It really makes me feel happy that people are now participating and showing off their ingenuity and creativity at these comic cons. It really has become mainstream and I mean it in a good way.

    • evave2

      This is also why Halloween is now an adult holiday. Adults like dressing up TOO. What I wonder is if the costumes are from costume shops or if we have wonderful seam-sters (male and female) making all these wonderful costumes.

      • It’s a mix of both! There are also fannish seamsters who make a KILLING doing commissions before these cons.

      • VCR1

        There used to be a show called “Heroes of Cosplay” that I watched which followed some of these talented cosplayers and how they made their costumes. It was amazing. I am a lifelong comics fan and if I could sew or had any skills putting together costumes, it would be so much fun!

  • Kelly

    Okay, so that is actually really Johnny Depp there in the pirate costume, right? Just pretending to be a cos-player? Because he looks 100% like the real thing. Love this entry; thanks,TLo.

    • jorinde

      Edward Scissorhands too looks very much like Johnny. The Mad Hatter slightly less so.

  • Imasewsure

    Ok so my favorite shot is of the Elf Ears signs… hilarious!

  • mayanempire

    Would love to see TLo at Atlanta’s #DragonCon next year. It is heralded as the Cosplay King of Cons. I may be a little biased, as it is my home Con, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many who would disagree!

  • JauntyJohn

    Man, I needed this on a Monday.
    These folks are radiant.

  • I love cosplaying. I love getting dressed up in my nerd drag (and very often I am, in fact, crossdressed) and communing with my fellow nerds, not being judged for being into obscure and/or weird hobbies and sharing crafting tips and new nerd things to check out. Admittedly though, even many of the nerds these days don’t recognize my Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks cosplay.

  • purpleprose78

    TLo, you guys need to come down south to Dragon Con. If you like these costumes, you’ll love what Dragon Con produces. Costuming is a big part of the con culture in Atlanta.

    • MsLanaSugarKane

      If TLO could come to DragonCon next year that would be amazing. It will be my first time going! Dragoncon is like NYFW for southeast cosplayers like myself.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I’ll never forget going to a hotel where there was a con the same weekend as the opening of the fashionable new bar in the building. The cosplayers and the society group just kind of stared at each other. They were both so at home in their environments, but so completely alien to each other. It was like some weird first contact movie. I loved it. 😀

    On the costumes here? Love the Cap-girls and Peggy ones. Everyone looks like they enjoy themselves so much!

  • Crimson Chin!!! This one is so genius.
    Everyone looks so nice in those pictures!

    • sisterb67

      “Here comes the Crimson Chin!” Man, I love that character.

  • somebody blonde

    So many people in Harley Quinn outfits that are better than the costume they picked for the movie. Love the Avatar Kyoshis!

    • PrettyBlueFox

      The Harley in that last thumbnail here is so bad ass! My first thought was, “Why didn’t they do THAT for Suicide Squad??!! That’s the “real” Harley Quinn.”

  • verucaamish

    Hat’s off to one of the best curated set of cosplay pictures ever. I love the variety of costumes and the fact there were men in a state of undress as there were women. You all chose from a variety of genre and styles and included some awesome genderswapping.

  • Kaonashi

    I love cosplay. Everyone looks like they’re having so much fun!

  • sisterb67

    Seeing those Kyoshi Warriors makes me a little sad, knowing that for yet another year my Avatar Kyoshi costume is sitting in storage in NJ 🙁 There’s always next year!

  • MsLanaSugarKane

    I am so happy to see this post. Yay for cosplaying and cosplaying kittens!

    • mayanempire

      On a related note, Lana is my fave cosplay! 🙂

      • MsLanaSugarKane

        Thank you! 🙂 I hope to be in full fledge Lana drag next year!

  • Winterlight

    I just love Nerd Pride. They all rock the hell out of their costumes.

  • siriuslover

    My favorite of all of these are the Kyoshi warriors! I like the homage to the classic Penguin.

    • CelandineM

      They look fantastic! Always glad to see the love out there for Avatar: The Last Airbender, that was such a great show. I still wish they had been able to a chapter for each element, the end was so rushed.

  • Lisalady161

    They all look fabulous! Thanks for sharing these, TLo.

  • BarbWoodruff

    Fun. Although the real question is, did you see the first episode of Jessica Jones, and if so, what did you think? I am really looking forward to it, and hoping that you guys will cover it.

  • W. Frame

    Yes! Please come to DragonCon! The media director is an awesome guy. I’d love to have you at the tea duelling tournament (that I run).

  • quiltrx

    These are ALL amazing! And as a quilter/sewer, I am always SO in awe that so many of these folks make their own costumes.
    If I had to pick my favorites (not easy!) I guess I would pick Xerxes (good costume, dead ringer) and Edward Scissorhands (a favorite of mine, great costume, dead ringer).
    And I don’t know who the chick is with the pink feathery headpiece and the long black gown, but she is fabulous.
    Thanks for sharing these with us!!

  • Lauren Lynch Fox

    My daughter was there and would have loved to have met you?

  • FridaStaire

    Something magical about how these people inhabit these personas…ladystars, take notice!

  • Erin Kristoff

    So sad I didn’t see you there!!

  • Cyd Butler

    The Salt Lake City Con just set the world record for people dressed in Comic Costumes in one place 1700+! A friend of mine took her twins (age 3 or 4) dressed as Captain America and Belle. They ran up to costumed Superheroes and Disney Princesses (and everything in between) all day and took photos. Just like TLo said, everyone is happy to pose and show off their costumes; they told me it was better than Disneyland!

  • Eric Stott

    YES!!!!! I KNOW THAT PENGUIN!!!!!

  • Sadly, by the time I knew that I’d be in NYC last weekend, Comic-Con was sold out. Tom and Lorenzo, thank you for sharing these glorious pics. And btw, in my world, $12.50/t-shirt is smart shopping!

  • Love your costumes!

  • Carriganak

    I love seeing Madoka cosplay, and that Goddess Madoka (the pink haired girl in the gallery for those who’ve never seen Puella Magi Madoka Magica) looks fabulous.

  • CommentsByKatie

    There’s a lot of comments like this already but I thought I’d add my two cents – I’ve been cosplaying for 14 years and I clapped with delight when I saw this post, covering a convention. You guys are awesome.