Each year, Salt Lake Comic Con is a little like Christmas for me when it comes to cosplay. I’m both Santa and the little kid getting the presents. I spend months working on costumes for my husband and I, and then we get to debut them. This year was a little different because we also participated in the Cosplay Contest with a group of friends. Here are some tips if you’re cosplaying a large convention for the first time, things that I have learned along the way.
People may try to take your picture. If you see them trying to snap a shot, tell them you’re totally willing to pose for them. This gives them a better picture and hopefully you’ll find it later and be able to see how awesome you looked. I’ve noticed more so at Salt Lake Comic Con than other conventions I attend, people may not ask you to take your picture. They may do it when you’re eating, or waiting in line. If you see them, just ask if you can pose. I do not think most of these people are attempting to be rude or snap a sneak shot, they just don’t realize the etiquette involved.
People may not try to take your picture. When my husband I dress up as characters from the Marvel Movies, we often get stopped a lot. When we dress up as our favorites from the comics, sometimes we don’t get stopped at all. My husband has a Captain America costume that is very popular, and sometimes they will ask for a picture of just him and not me. Everyone likes different things and it’s good to remember that cosplay is about your love for the character. Even if not a single person knows who you are, try to have fun with it.
Try not to take pictures in crowded areas. We often get stopped in the middle of the floor, as we are walking to and from our destinations. I always try to say “Hey, can we go over there?” or “Can we swing to the side?” so that we aren’t blocking the flow of traffic. 9 times of 10 the person is happy to move a little as long as they get the picture. It keeps things moving and doesn’t cause a traffic jam.
Plan ahead and plan that part of your costume will break or you something will go wrong. I bring a little repair kit in case of emergency. It has moleskin, bandaids, super glue, string, stain wipes and several other things I might need. In the middle of the con, my husband’s boots started to break. We were able to use super glue to save them and get them through the con. Salt Lake Comic Con actually has a costume repair booth, which I utilized on the second day. My red Fedora kept falling off. They helped me hot glue in loops so I could bobby pin it to my wig. It was a life saver. I definitely would have lost my hat without their help.
I also brought flip flops so I could pull off my cosplay shoes whenever I needed to move or at the end of the day. One thing to be careful with: If your feet are swelling from all the walking, you may not want to take your cosplay shoes off. Your feet can swell enough that your shoes will no longer fit. Plan ahead and get comfortable shoes (I use gel inserts and other helpful things for comfort and to prevent rubbing) because if your feet are done at Comic Con, you might be done too.
Lastly, consider entering the cosplay contest. But also be aware that it will take up a chunk of your time. They had pre-judging a week before the contest, which would certainly save you some time on Saturday. We attended judging the day of, so that took up some of our time. From there, most of our evening was taken up by the contest, since we found out we were lucky enough to make it in. Just try to have fun with the contest. I had a lot more fun just enjoying being on stage and enjoying seeing the amazing costumes up close, than I would have if I stressed over winning.
What about you? Any tips you would share with cosplayers about this and other conventions? Please leave them in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Part 3 is going to be full of a lot of Chris Evans and what made Comic Con special for me this time around. See you then!