Every year more than 130,000 people visit San Diego Comic-Con – the original Comic Con where the phenomenon began. And with many more Comic-Cons all over the country, chances are that this year there will be a corresponding event in your area.

in your area
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So would you like to join the masses and experience a Comic-Con yourself? These unique events bring together everything you love about comics and many other elements of popular culture. At Comic Con, you’ll find great merchandise, new artists, comics of all kinds and much more.

For many people, the elaborate cosplay costumes are one of the best aspects of Comic Con. Some beginners might just decide to stroll around Comic Con as an observer in normal clothes, but the more daring might want to try their luck with cosplay and stroll around the fair as one of their favourite heroes.

If you’re one of the latter, this ultimate cosplay guide is a valuable guide!

Cosplay is definitely a great way to enjoy the full comic experience.

What does Cosplay stand for?

Although most people have heard the word cosplay, many people don’t really know the origin and meaning of the word. Cosplay is composed of the two English words costume and play and therefore means something like “costume game”.

costume game
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The difference to conventional costumes like on carnival and Halloween is that you don’t just dress up, but you also play the character in its personality, its traits, its behavior, its movements, its abilities, etc. as exactly as possible.

The almost professional costumes of the most famous cosplayers and the real cosplay fans often go into the hundreds, if not sometimes even into the thousands, especially if you count the working hours. Real cosplayers make their own costumes, or modify and personalize high-quality purchased costumes with lots of loving details, accessories and stage-ready makeup. This has nothing to do with an off-the-peg Halloween costume at a ridiculously low price.

However, it is also possible for beginners to cut a good figure with a reasonable costume, a good wig and some great props – so don’t worry!

Cosplay ideas for beginners

Once you’ve decided to play cosplay and participate in Comic-Con, you’re faced with a question that might be a little difficult at first: What or who should you dress up as?

you dress up as
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So let’s just take a look at the different genres and options:

  • Superhero and Indie Comic Costumes

Comics offer the most obvious food for cosplay ideas. At least you’re going to Comic-Con.

But even within the comic genre there are many different costume options. If you love superheroes, you can choose from countless characters between the Marvel and DC worlds. Here you can also get honorable inspiration in the corresponding comic movies.

If superheroes are not your style, you can get inspiration from independent comic book publishers. Image comics and other indie comic sources offer many cool, popular characters that deviate from the superhero standards.

  • Sci-Fi Costumes

Science fiction plays a role in many comics and today it also plays an important role in comic cons.

Your favorite science fiction movies, books or shows are all good ideas for cosplay. You can go for a recognizable classic like a Star Wars character, or you can go for a lesser known niche. Chances are good that someone there will recognize your character anyway!

  • Fantasy Costumes

Comic-Cons today are about everything nerdy, not just comics. This means that fantasy characters work perfectly for cosplay too. It’s also the perfect excuse to wear all those wings, horns or hooves you secretly always wanted to wear

  • Video Game Costumes

Do you love video games? Many players will surely be at Comic Con. So why not make your favorite video game characters part of your costume?

From classics like Zelda to newer and lesser-known games, video game costumes can be easily and funly assembled for Comic Con.

  • Anime Costumes

Anime has its own conventions, of course, but still many anime lovers flock to comic cones. If you choose an anime inspired costume, you will definitely not be alone.

  • Gender Swap

After all, it’s a great way to make any costume for cosplay even more fun by swapping sexes.

Are you a woman who would like to cosplay as Joker? Or a man who feels inspired to dress up as Princess Leia? Don’t hesitate, because cosplaying is pretty much everything and it is definitely a new trend.

The cosplay materials you need

After you have chosen your costume, the difficult part begins: to turn the vision into reality.

into reality
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Be sure to set a budget, because a costume can be found in any price range and everything together – costume, wig, weapons, jewelry, accessories, make-up – can quickly become expensive. You should also consider the time frame, because if you want to sew and make the costume yourself, you will have to allow for quite a bit of time, depending on the level of difficulty. In general, the smaller the budget and the shorter the time frame, the more creative you have to be.

Talking about budget – if you want to go to Comic Con, you have to pay entrance fees, often also travel expenses and maybe even accommodation and lodging. In addition, as a fan you can spend a lot of money on great fan articles, comics and the like at Comic Con. So it’s better to be a bit more economical with your costume – especially at the beginning!

Start with a rough overview of the items you need for your costume. Especially important are the elements that make the character recognizable. This can include clothes, wigs, make-up and other elements.

In addition to buying a brand new costume in the online shop and its accessories, you can often also buy used items cheaply on the Internet.

If you have cosplay friends, you can often rent something from them as well. Because the cosplay community is helpful – especially for beginners.

Ready to use this cosplay guide?

With this ultimate cosplay guide in your hand you can start planning your first comic con and make a great cosplay costume.

great cosplay costume
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The most important thing is that you have fun. Not everything has to be perfect. Our most important advice to newcomers is that the costume should be simple, with time you can increase the level of difficulty. But especially in the beginning, when everything is incredibly exciting anyway, you shouldn’t burden yourself with too much pressure to perform when it comes to the cosplay outfit.

From experience you also get wise with cosplay! We wish you a lot of success and especially a lot of fun with your first cosplay appearance!