WonderCon is just a few weeks away and it’s time to get your cosplay in gear. Many of you are considering suiting up for the first time ever at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Well, a great way to try out the experience is to cosplay at WonderCon. This show is the perfect opportunity for ‘first timers’ because the attendee-to-cosplay ratio is very strong. Meaning, there are a lot of cosplayers in comparison to other similarly sized shows. Being the little sister show to Comic-Con, many use this show to test run their costumes. Another reason that makes this a great cosplay show is the awesome pavilion in front of the convention center (pictured below).
All weekend long, the best and the creative will be congregating around the fountain for prime photo opportunities. If you ever wonder where and when the incredible themed group pics happen, this is the place. Unlike Comic-Con, where the cosplay is dispersed, at WonderCon it’s focused out front. This means that even if you don’t have a badge, you can have an awesome time just hanging out front. Another reason this is a great show to come in costume in, is that it’s a relatively convenient location. The walk from parking isn’t too bad. Food, hotel, shade, and the con center area are all in very close proximity making this ideal for those with heavy or hot costumes. So for you ‘cos-curious’ who are considering dressing up this year, here are a few things to consider:
1. Up, Up And Away!
Dressing up in tights in front of a bunch of strangers can definitely be intimidating but can also be an incredible liberating experience. Sure it’s not for everyone, but I would encourage you to try it at least once- even if it’s a pretty subtle outfit. It will push you out of your comfort zone and you never know what opportunity will spark from it. Depending on complexity, an average costume can take a couple of weeks to many months to put a costume together. The main thing you need to be concerned with right now is having enough shipping time if you have to order some parts. If you are ‘noob’ to conventions, then taking this first step can be pretty intimidating- but fortunately, there are TONS of resources available on the interwebs. For instance, check out Sirene’s Cosplay 101 video. If you are not super crafty, then you may want to draft the help from a more experienced cosplayer. The cosplay community is very helpful so feel free to reach out. More cosplay tips to come in future posts as we approach Comic-Con.
2. Don’t Be A Drag
Your idea doesn’t have to be big or expensive, it just has to be something you personally embrace. Use material that is lightweight and easy to transport. Cosplaying all day can really take it’s toll on you. If you are starting out, use cardboard, foam core, duct tape, foam, or other materials that won’t weigh you down. If you are attending WonderCon in a group of non-cosplayers- don’t be the friend that has to stop and take a break every 10 ft because of your costume. Pick a costume that is within your capabilities and one that you can travel in with relative ease. Being beat down will not make for a great first time experience so choose materials and an idea that is easy to manage. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help from more experienced cosplayers or crafty friends.
3. Don’t Leave Home Without It
Depending on the complexity and craftsmanship, it’s usually a good idea to have a cosplay emergency kit on hand just in case. Whether you have it in your hotel, car, or in your travel pack, having a few key items can mean the difference between enjoying the con or suffering from a wardrobe malfunction. Your Emergency Kit should include:
- Needle & colored thread
- Safety pins
- Paint pens
- Super glue
- Small hot glue gun and sticks
- Fabric glue
- Bandages or moleskin tape
- Small needle-nose pliers
- Double-sided foam tape
- Fabric tape
- Adhesive velcro
- Instahem Tape (peel and stick)
- Clear Packing Tape
- Wrinkle release spray (if you don’t have an iron)
- Stain remover
- Small travel version
- Larger version for the hotel
4. Get Into It
Half of cosplay is showmanship. Getting into character really goes a long way to make your character complete. This will take some courage and a little acting on your part. While the most successful cosplayers have highly crafted costumes, they also have an equally crafted personas. This means striking the right set of poses, intense facial expressions, and being personal with photographers and fans. Nothing worst than asking to take someone’s picture and they just stand there looking put out. Joining the cosplay community means you are a PART of the show- which means, getting into character and having positive interactions with fans.
5. Have Fun!
The point of cosplaying is to have fun while expressing yourself. If you are a first timer, don’t take any of this too seriously. Some cosplayers will get more attention than you, you’ll get more attention than expected, you will get great feedback, and you’ll get some weird feedback. Some fans words will be incredibly uplifting and inspirational and a select few will say something odd or inappropriate. Either way, it’s important that you enjoy yourself and enjoy WonderCon. The key is not comparing nor criticizing yourself in relation to anyone else. Your contribution is unique and important regardless of how much ‘attention’ you get. It takes time to get used to cosplaying so don’t be too hard on yourself after your first show. For some, it’s a anxiety inducing experiencing but most will say it is totally worth it. Take this opportunity to talk to fellow cosplayers and ask them to share their first time experience while your at the show. Decide first you are going to have fun regardless of how things go down.
And don’t forget WonderCon’s Weapons Check Policy!
If this is your first time cosplaying then I commend you! Cosplayers are a vital part of the con experience so thanks for taking a chance to make WonderCon even better. If you have more questions or advice of your own, then please leave a comment below. Good luck and see you in Anaheim!